Classroom Resource: Thinglink


Thinglink is a website and app that can be used to create interactive images. Teachers can upload images, and tag them with Rich Media Tags (RMTs) that can be clicked/hovered over to reveal additional text, images, links, videos, and audio, to allow students to explore images and related information.


I can really see the potential for interactive images as a stimulus in guided inquiry sessions, when teachers create images with information they want to provoke inquiry. They can also be used for lesson planning, collating links and information in one place. Teachers can create images for homework, or as information hotspots for lessons or even assignment task sheets. Students can also become content creators too!

Weaknesses/Limitations: This is a great way to share content, however in terms of students interacting with and responding to the image, it is a fairly limited resource. There is no option to have students comment on the image or reflect on their learning through the ThingLink platform (however a link to Padlet or GroupBoard can allow students to comment on and engage with others).

In The Classroom: 


  1. Design Your Digital Self / Getting to Know You – Students use photographs or other images (e.g. avatar) to create an autobiography to represent themselves using RMTs to elaborate on topics such as hobbies, likes/dislikes, family, etc. View Example
  2. Answer an Essential Question – students use image and RMTs to provide evidence of their understanding of an essential question based on curricular materials as posed by educators.
  3. Define Vocabulary – students are presented with a specific vocabulary selection, use the word as the main image and add RTMS to display understanding. View Example
  4. Discussion Piece
  5. Use in Project Based Activity – students create interactive to enhance a presentation of activity findings.
  6. Curate ThingLink creations on a Pinterest Board View Example
  7. Independent discovery to introduce, review a topic – teacher prepares the interactive with lesson content for students to review prior to or during class. Same interactive can be used later for review or summary purposes. View Example
  8. Interactive reports – interactive can be used as an alternative method to tradition report practices. View Example
  9. ESL / Language Learning – teacher can provide students with a text image of specific vocabulary to which they add RMTs to show understanding. Could include audio recording of pronunciations for evaluation. View Example
  10. Interactive book talk – student chooses an image from the cover of a favorite book and provides insights into plot, character, etc. using RMTs. View Example View Example II
  11. Photo or collage descriptions – students create a collage using image authoring tool or use a single image tagging it with descriptive adjectives, synonyms or antonyms View Example
  12. Interactive author presentations / Author stud – similar to Interactive book talk with a focus on the author where students can create an interactive biography. View Example
  13. Talking art – students use RMTs to add reflection to a piece of work they or someone else has created. View Example
  14. Indentification – Activity can be done in many variations using other topics. Some examples include:(1) Teacher can create interactive of cell structure for students to explore as opening activity (2) teacher can create an interactive quiz for the same image as means of assessment (3) students research cell structure and add interactive to explain understanding. View Example
  15. Activate prior knowledge – have students can an interactive showing what they know about a given topic prior to instruction. Have students present creations and facilitate discussion before moving onto instruction.
  16. Steps to solve problem in math – Teacher can create visual aids using RTMs on solving math problems or any procedure. These aids could then be embedded on a class blog or website. Likewise, students can indicate steps as means of proving understanding. View Example
  17. Mind maps – students and teachers can create interactive mind maps for a variety of topics. A mind map that is already created can be saved as an image, uploaded and RMTs added to elaborate. View Example
  18. Multimedia curriculum launcher – teacher can use interactive as a means to begin a new unit or curriculum topic to create excitement and interest. View Example
  19. Introduce technology tool – interactives can be used by students and teachers to create tutorials for classroom community when new tools like web based applications are introduced. Tags could links to YouTube tutorial videos, help section on a web site, audio prompts, etc. View Example
  20. Publish student wor – a great movitator for students is to have authentic oppourtunities to be published. Several features exist using ThingLink to publish creations that should address most needs. View Example
  21. Create an ePortfolio  View Example
  22. Mapping data – students and teachers can (1) add additional information via RMTs to maps such as population data, sound scapes, video tours, statistical information (2)teacher or students can take a real or fictional map (e.g. Lord of the Rings) from within a story, and add interactives to explain key events, setting features, places, path of journey, etc.View Example
  23. This week I learned – students reflect on learning, summarize and create an interactive image.
  24. Interactive Bulletin Boards – a novel take on a the traditional newsletter: take a photograph of a class or school bulletin board. Tag key areas and link to notices, video announcements, pictures, online calendars, etc. View Example
  25. Virtual tour – parents don’t often access the classroom setting and may not understand how a typical day unfolds. Take photographs of the classroom, tagging and explaining center areas, word walls, posters using videos of students working, audio of readings, images of best work samples. View Example
  26. Art reflections – have students reflect on their own or the art work of othes using RMTs. An example would be a student interview a peer about various aspects of their art creation. View Example
  27. Listen to interviews – student record or collect video or audio clips to tag photographs. View Example
  28. Add multimedia to Wordle View Example
  29. Art  – students can create multimedia art pieces.
  30. Add more info to infographics – there is a limit to how much information can be contained within a well designed infographic. Interactive elements could be added to exisiting infographic to extend learning and understanding. View Example
  31. Encourage to dig deeper – use interactive to challenge students to explore a concept or idea in further detail by adding questions and linking to where students can find more information to deepen understanding. View Example

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