How to Create Interactive Images with Thinglink
Thinglink is a great resource for creating interactive images for your lessons. This resource allows you to embed tags into any image you can find on the web or upload from your computer. To clarify, tags are closer in function to what some would call hotspots. There are lots of things you can do with Thinglink. You can create interactive maps, visual guides, and tutorials based off of images. Tags can link to text, Youtube videos, music, and photos. Some ideas for Thinglink in the classroom include:
- Historical maps: Upload a historical map and tag spots of significance. For example, mark famous battles on a map of the 13 colonies for a Revolutionary War unit. You could include a label or a brief video segment about significant battles.
- Pictures: You can upload a picture and label the parts with relevant information. I used the base of a project for this in the example below. A picture of a brain can be used for a biopsych unit. The teacher can label the parts of the brain with tags that have information or maybe short video clips that explain the purpose of each labeled brain part.
- Feature Labels: Upload a picture and label the features of something you are studying in class. You could do this with a specific ecosystem in science class. You could include information on what type of animals live there or types of vegetation. Another possibilities is to label the parts of a historical area like a colonial village or parts of a fiefdom.
- Work Exemplars: Another idea is to use Thinglink to display exemplars of student work. Take a picture or screenshot and label evidence of good work. I saw an example of this where a teacher took a screen shot of a writing sample and labeled examples of supporting evidence.
There is also a collection of Thinglink creations that you can either use or draw ideas from.
There are few things you should know about Thinglink. There is an upgrade option, that gives you access to more features. The program is definitely usable without the upgrade. Most of the features are convenience oriented. The only thing that bothers me with the basic account is the whole screen option. The site overlays a banner saying Please Upgrade when you go to full screen mode. That being said, the image is fine when embedded in a site like you see above.