ThingLink







Categories: Interactive Images
Availability: Browser, Android, iOS
Uses: Support Engagement, Create & Share Learning Resources, Flipped Classroom, Reflective Practice

What is it?
ThingLink is an app, available to download to your mobile device or use through a browser, that lets you turn an image into an interactive learning resource. You can embed video, audio, text, images and other media into the original image and these will be represented by interactive icons that show the embedded media once clicked.

ThingLink offers a free account which allows you to annotate images with some limitations, and this may be sufficient for your needs. You can upgrade to a pro account for €35/year (incl. taxes) that also lets you annotate videos and also create groups to use ThingLink with your students. Try the free account first to see if you want to expand the features available to you.



How can I use it?
ThingLink provides a means to offer more context to your images by adding explanatory text, embedding relevant video resources or offering your own audio guide. ThingLink provides a repository of publicly available resources (remember to check the licensing before reusing) that you can use for your classes through the “Explore” button on their site. 

Some popular uses of ThingLink include offering virtual tours of places or environments by adding more information to an image or video of the place. This works quite effectively with 360° video where students can pan to view a more immersive experience. 

Instructors can also use ThingLink to provide supplementary material for their students by embedding short quizzes, like MCQs, in an image or to spark discussion by providing an image before class and embedding a link to a poll.

To get started:

  • Download and install the app or go to https://www.thinglink.com/ in your browser and sign up for a free account.
  • When you log in you will find a sample image and video or you can click “Create” to add your own image. 
  • With your image loads you’ll see a + icon. Click on the image and you’ll be given the option to add text, URL or media. A panel will open to the left of the screen, from this you can add another image or document, add a video or audio file. 
  • Save your image when you have finished and give it a title. 
  • You’ll also want to make sure that you “unlist” your ThingLink or else your image will be made public on the Thinglink site.
  • You can use different icons for different embedded media, e.g. a play icon for a video, numbered icons to represent steps, an information symbol to embed a guide or rubric for your students’ project or assignment.


Why should I use it?
ThingLink offers great opportunities for instructors to create and share learning resources and support material with students for clarity, revision or to spark discussion. You can embed links to short digital quizzes, like MCQs, within the image or create your own audio guide by embedding audio files.

You can also use ThingLink’s “Explore” button to find images and videos that you can use for your classes (Pro account required for videos and 360 images).

It can also be used very effectively by students to share project ideas and research, for brainstorming, revision or group work. It enables them to provide context or explore relationships between ideas or concepts by embedding additional material within an image.

Top Tips
You can create a ThingLink and embed the finished interactive image into your institute’s LMS (e.g. Blackboard) for your students to access quickly and easily.

The pro teacher account allows you to create a space where you can assign projects to your student groups and allows you to view the students’ work within your account.

For more ideas of how to use ThingLink, view their blog here: http://thinglinkblog.com/

Where can I find it?
Disclaimer:
Unless otherwise stated, all reviews and recommendations are solely those of the Department of Technology Enhanced Learning team and do not reflect the views or opinions of any organisation, including Cork Institute of Technology. The Department is not responsible for any inappropriate, offensive or illegal content viewed or accessed through the tools and products reviewed.