Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Link this Thing!


A few weeks ago the second semester of the school year began—which also meant the beginning of a brand-new course for me: Multimedia II. The best part about being given the opportunity to both teach and design a class is not only having the autonomy of writing the curriculum but being able to select the tools to meet the course objectives.

With that said, I kicked things off with a “Link This Thing” Project that involved students creating an interactive image about a topic of their choice using one of my most favorite edtech tools—Thinglink. After adding a variety of media rich tags providing viewers with all sorts of info about their topic, students were then required to embed their finished product into a wiki page. Their final task was to share the projects on Edmodo so they could view all images and then provide feedback to one another.

Yep, learning can be extended in numerous ways with the use of a few fantastic tools!

Here are a few student examples as well as some feedback regarding the use of this “cool tool”.

Kyle: “With one picture, you can gain all sorts of knowledge and information by clicking on the various links. The more information and links you have, the more information a student can access.”

Valerie: “Thinglink helps gain knowledge because I personally like looking at images better than pages of information. This tool allowed me to get quick information about a person, object or place. It helps with cross-curricular knowledge which is always important.”

Dylan: “I liked that Thinglink made searching for information easier. You can link it to any type of media, like a web site or video. This makes finding info simple.”

Classroom Connection:

So there you have it… In addition to the rationale I’ve previously mentioned regarding the use of Thinglink, you now have authentic feedback from students related to the benefits of integrating a visual literacy tool into the classroom. Yep, it’s true! Students not only love being engaged, but they also appreciate having the opportunity to discover new content as well, so why not use Thinglink images as a means to explore info and/or extend learning related to a particular topic or concept.

I realize that the project I developed was for a Multimedia class as opposed to a core content area, but the educational possibilities are really endless regardless of the curriculum. For example, students in a Social Studies class could complete a visual research report on a historical figure or event. Or how about creating a character or book study using an interactive image in a ELA classroom. Math students could generate a project on topics such as geometric shapes or angles. These student generated projects could then be presented to the class as introductory information and/or for review purposes.

Still not sold on the whole Thinglink concept? Then be sure to check out Aunty Tech’s Interesting Ways to Use Thinglink in the Classroom, a Google presentation that is continually updated with new ideas, tips and tricks for integrating this “cool tool” into educational activities. Better yet—earn bonus points for adding your own masterpieces to the growing list!

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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

Be sure to add this awesome tool to your tech-box!

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