ThingLink: How to Transform an Image into a Full-Blown Lesson
ThingLink engages your students and drives curiosity and discovery—and it’s free. It’s an image platform that converts an image into an interactive experience by letting you connect music, video, text, images, shops, and more from around the web.
Experience it Yourself
Hover over over the image to see its interactive features.
ThinkLink image of the Montgomery Bus Boycott displays colorful “nubbins” to direct users to articles, music, and videos. ThingLink lets images act as a navigational surface, while embedding rich web content on the image itself. You can tag your image with content from nearly any site: YouTube, Vimeo, Wikipedia, Google Maps, SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon, eBay, Flickr, and much more. Students can take in various information sources from within one image without having to leave the page. “Now you don’t have to go away from the original image,” ThingLink Creator Ulla Engeström says. “You can discover all the things you need to know right there.”
ThingLink image of classical music composers displays a visually appealing, easy-to-read grid with text and audio.
Create a ThingLink
Share or Embed a ThingLink in Your Course
To share a ThingLink with your students, just hover over any image that either you or someone else has created, and look for the icons Share image or Embed image.
- Embed—Maintain an image’s interactive experience outside of ThingLink’s site by embedding images as HTML to your LMS (most LMSs will allow you to do this; if not, share the hyperlink as directed below). You can also embed a ThingLink into sites like Tumblr, Blogger, Twitter, and WordPress, just like we did in the examples above (see their full list of sites here).
- Share—Hyperlink a ThingLink into an LMS or other site, which will direct users to your interactive ThingLink image page.
Let Your Students Edit the Image
Why not let your students collaborate and create a ThingLink to share with the class? When you upload an image into ThingLink, select the Allow anyone to edit option:
Doing so allows your students to embed content on the image, increasing engagement and interaction opportunities in your course.
Check Out More of Our Favorite ThingLinks
ThingLink is an ideal platform for the classroom because it enables you to engage students and allow them to discover information while avoiding page load times or other page-jumping distractions. Want to see more interactive ThingLinks? Check out these creative, dynamic examples:
- Declaration of Independence: A history lesson using videos, Wikipedia biographies, quoted text, and audio.
- Interactive Mind Map: A visually appealing map showing ThingLink’s vast rich content connections.
- Martin Luther King: A strong photograph connecting the story with Google maps, video, Wikipedia, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Alan Partridge: An image connecting audio, publisher notes, and Amazon purchase option.
Show us how creative you are. Create a ThingLink, and share it with us in the comments section below. Tell us how you have or how you might use it in your curriculum.