Before I get started with my experience - I must give credit where it is due. Lisa Johnson, also known as TechChef, was the presenter for Thinglink. She was VERY enthusiastic. I sat at the edge of my seat, trying to keep up with all the information she threw out to the audience. THANKFULLY she left us with her contact information and links to her presentation. This proved extremely useful as I started in on my own adventure.
I thought long and hard about how I could use Thinglink in my classroom. I decided my first effort would be to use it to jazz up our classroom weekly newsletter.
Here is my process:
Step 1: Create an image
I do not consider myself creative, so this part was quite challenging for me. I used shapes and banners in Microsoft Word. In each of the shapes, I designated one part of our weekly activities: Independent Book Project, Endangered Animals, Holiday Concert, Math and Service Learning. Once I had the image composed, I used the "snipping tool" to cut and save the image to my desktop. It was then quite easy to upload that image to Thinglink.
Step 2: Create Content for icons
Here is a picture of my image with the icons:
I asked several students to help me out with this project. Each of them took a few notes, practiced with a partner and then when they were ready I filmed them using the camera on my iPad. This process - for all four students took only about 10 minutes!
Step 3: Get videos from iPad into Thinglink.
I used our school Youtube account to upload the videos. Once in Youtube I copied the link and attached to an icon on the image.
Step 4: Publish to our school webpage (Haiku Learning).
On the left side of your image, there is a small share icon:
Once you click on the share option you are given both a link and an embed code. Thankfully Haiku Learning works really well with embed codes so that is what I used.
Blogger is not as kind with Embed Code. But I did a quick search on how to do that. When you are in the I did have to figure out how to put the embed code into Blogger though. In Thinglink make sure to check the box "iframe embed". Alter the size by clicking on the down arrows. I had to change the size to about half the original in order to fit it nicely onto Blogger. Click "copy code to clipboard". Then go back to Blogger and click on the HTML button on the left. Put the cursor where you want the image and do a paste. Make sure to save before going back to "Compose". Voila!
Here is the final ThingLink:
There you have it! My first Thinglink! I'm a little embarrassed by juvenile image, but it works. Since we had a snow day today I decided to fool around and create more sophisticated image. I used Canva, another recommendation from TechChef. MAN - I LOVE Canva. It's easy and FUN!
Here's the image I settled on:
Much better, right? None of the links are active yet - as I have to finish out the week and film the kids. But I'm excited about the direction in which I'm heading!
Now I have to come up with some ideas for how to use Thinglink to support the curriculum. Have any ideas? Please share!
Thanks for reading!