Seasons Greetings ThingLink Style

Explore this amazing NASA Photo of the Day that has been annotated with rich media tags to help you learn more about Christmas Pluto. 

Happy Holidays and Happy Tagging!

Design Thinking for Communication

I've created an interactive image to introduce a method for combining the best features of popular apps to embrace visual literacy, powered by an iPad.

ThingLink Live & On Demand: Digital Differentiation

Many years ago I began building a digital toolkit of resources for using technology as a tool for differentiated learning. At that time I was lucky to discover ThingLink as well. My toolkit quickly grew into a powerful model that has remained current and useful over time.

4 Ways to Tell Digital Stories with ThingLink EDU

Every image has a story – and you can help those images come to life and tell deeper stories with ThingLink EDU.
Authors of all ages can use ThingLink to tell engaging digital stories by easily adding an interactive layer to images and videos. Just add an icon to annotate an image or video with embedded rich media to provide readers with opportunities to explore information, listen to songs, watch videos, or answer polls without leaving the page. Authors can turn multiple interactive images into books that are sure to meet the diverse needs of all learners. Explore the powerful possibilities of digital storytelling with ThingLink

--> Read more on the ThingLink Blog for Education

Power the ePortfolio Process with ThingLink EDU

I had an amazing time working with educators today during my iLab session at the EdTech Teacher iPad Summit! To follow up, I'm posting the interactive poster used during the session, followed by the  interactive slideshow. 

For those interested in a bit of background knowledge, please see a post published on this blog in August of this year, Back to School with ThingLink ePortfolios.

Creating My Personal ePortfolio of Learning

As I prepare for the EdTech Teacher iPad Summit in Boston next week I've found an incredible opportunity to practice what I will be teaching. I've started a ThingLink ePortfolio to document my own learning throughout the conference. I plan to capture the learning through images, photos and tags to prepare to use and share it.

This sounds like a lot of fun and I suspect my own session will include some very practical tips and tricks learned along the way since I will be attending 9 sessions and participating in the Creation Station all before my session on Wednesday.

Building the Ultimate Word Wall

The Ultimate Word Wall began in June, 2014 as part of the ThingLink Teacher Challenge. The wall has been growing as the activity has continued to be used. Explore these examples and think about creating your own vocabulary ThingLink and adding it to the wall. We'll be demonstrating how to create and share a ThingLink that helps students dig deeper into vocabulary. -> Learn more on the ThingLink Blog

I'm Shipping Up to Boston

I'm preparing to head to Boston for the EdTech Teacher iPad Summit. I will be sharing the idea of using ThingLink as a seemless portfolio tool to encourage students to become stakeholders in their own learning.

ThingLink - a Terrific Tool for the Task

  1. Every ThingLink starts with an image.
  2. Mobile devices allow students to capture artifacts that represent learning.
  3. ThingLink rich media tags provide students with an easy way to document self-reflection and set goals.
  4. The idea of using digital papr for a portfolio is appealing because it is changeable, erasable and expandable to support and document learning. 
  5. +More

Transform Teaching & Learning with ThingLink EDU

ThingLink EDU is in full swing with our free PD to help educators transform teaching and learning in classrooms, schools and districts. Join any or all of our sessions live, or view the archive on demand right from your in box. Share the recordings with colleagues, teams, administrators and decision-makers. We hope you can join our next session.

Join Our Next Session:

AppSmash with ThingLink, Explain Everything and Padlet Live on Tuesday, November 3rd 8:00 PM EST or On Demand.

App Smashing is a popular method of combining two or more apps together to create, publish and share content. App Smashing challenges us to discover new possibilities for teaching and learning with an iPad and presents us with greater possibilities for making the device meet our goals. ThingLink is well suited for powering any App Smash because of the presentation possibilities for turning any image into a rich multimedia content launcher. Join us as we demonstrate the powerful possibilities that exist for creating, publishing and presenting by AppSmashing ThingLink, Padlet and Explain Everything. Sign up to view the live session or receive the archived version in your inbox.

->  Sign up <-

Webinars at a Glance

Transform Teaching & Learning with ThingLink
8:00 PM EDT
Create Engaging Resources w/ ThingLink EDU & Google Docs
8:00 PM EDT
AppSmashing with ThingLink, Padlet and Explain Everything
8:00 PM EDT

Build the Ultimate Word Wall
8:00 PM EDT
Digital Storytelling with ThingLink EDU
7:00 PM EDT
Digital Differentiation with ThingLink EDU
7:00 PM EDT
Facilitate an Interactive Map Project with ThingLink EDU
7:00 PM EDT
Embrace ThingLink as an ePortfolio Tool
7:00 PM EDT

Request a Personalized Session

If you are a teaching team, school or district, perhaps a personalized session with plenty of opportunities for Q & A would be more helpful. Please schedule a session via calendly or send me an email. 


Great Ways to Use Google Drive to Power Student Projects

I'm excited to be hosting a Simple K12 webinar featuring one of my more popular interactive resources, Great Ways to Use Google DriveThis webinar will explore resources on the interactive image you see here. We hope you can join me and Simple K12 today.

Great Ways to Use Google Drive to Power Students Projects

Saturday, October 31, 2015 @ 10:00:00 AM EDT

Google Apps for Education provides educators with a suite of powerful tools for teaching and learning. Join me and Simple K12 as we explore many of the ideas in "12 Great Ways to Use Google Drive," a popular infographic packed with practical ideas and project ideas for leveraging the powerful features available within Google Drive. We will discuss using Slides to construct knowledge and share several popular differentiated group projects. In addition, we will share how to use the Research Tool to help students develop 21st century research and writing skills. Come discover all of these and more!

We hope you can join us as we explore Great Ways to Use Google Drive to Power Projects

Transform Teaching & Learning with ThingLink + Google Docs

Our next webinar is designed to help educators transform teaching and learning with ThingLink with Google Docs. Educators can use a Google Doc to collect information, automate tasks and make the  workflow progress smoothly throughout a student driven learning experience. ThingLink's media rich platform displays published Google Docs right on top of any image or video. Better yet,  those Google Docs are live and interactive. This is a truly great combination of tools for the classroom. We hope you will join us by signing up to participate live or on demand.

Embrace the Power of Twitter

When inspirational speaker Ken Shelton, @k_sheltongave the keynote speech at our school district's first Institute Day this fall, he challenged educators to join Twitter. Many thanks to Ken for inspiring the educators in our school district! 

We now have a more widely used hashtag and more of our teachers are beginning to use Twitter to document some of the great things happening in our classrooms, primarily through text and a photo. This is a very good start, but it's only the tip of the iceberg. This post is dedicated to educators who are just starting to step into the world of Twitter and for innovative educators and tech coaches to share as you lead the way.

Free Webinars to Transform Teaching & Learning

Join me for the first in a series of free webinars designed to Transform Teaching and Learning with ThingLink EDU. Explore the interactive image above to learn more about all of the webinars in the series and sign up to participate live or to receive the archived version in your inbox. 

Transform Teaching and Learning with ThingLink EDU

Live on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 8:00 PM EDT or On Demand

Are you looking for a user friendly and flexible tool to help you easily create engaging multimedia rich content to redefine teaching and learning? Are you interested in using technology to meet the personal learning needs of the students in your classroom? We invite you to attend our free webinar and explore the powerful possibilities that exist with ThingLink EDU.

Sign up to participate in the live session or receive the archived version in your inbox.

I hope you can join me for this PD series designed to help you seamlessly integrate tech into your classroom to transform learning and engage students like never before.

Great Ways to Use Google Drive to Power Your Classroom

Over the weekend I hosted a webinar for Simple K12 to share Great Ways to Use Google Drive to Power Up Your Classroom. The content included a closer look at some of the resources found on a popular interactive image I've been building and fine tuning over the course of the past 5 years. To view the infographic, click on the Google tab above.

I've received requests from many of the readers of this blog to share the slideshow, since the webinar was available for Simple K12 members only. So, here is the slideshow. I hope it sparks some ideas for leveraging the power of Google Docs in your classroom.

More Learning Opportunities

I'll be hosting a series of ThingLink EDU webinars designed to help teachers, schools and districts Transform Teaching and Learning by combining ThingLink with common digital tools. Explore the interactive image below to learn more and sign up, or read more on the Webinars tab or this blog. Sign up to participate in the live webinars or get an archived copy in your inbox. 

Google Docs Voice Typing is Here

Google Docs has added Voice Typing to the Google Document! This built in feature allows anyone using Google Docs in the Chrome web browser to dictate text that will be typed. 

This built in accessibility feature will be extremely useful for students with special needs because it levels the playing field and provides all students with the opportunity to use the same tools in the classroom. Best of all, It's easy to use and free!

AppSmashing to Share & Publish Student Work Globally

AppSmashing is a popular method of combining two or more apps to create, publish and share content. 

AppSmashing challenges us to discover new possibilities for teaching and learning with an iPad and presents us with greater possibilities for helping the device meet our goals. 

Google Forms Update: New Look & Feel

If you're a big fan of the Google Form like me, you may have noticed that the icon has changed colors. No longer does the form share the color green with it's counterpart, the Google Sheet, it now has has it's own purple icon.

I noticed this a few days ago and thought it was a great idea to acknowledge my favorite Google tool with it's own color, since I often get confused between the results that are displayed in a spreadsheet and the form itself, when using multiple tabs. Upon further investigation I learned that the Google Form has a new look completely.

Join Us for 2 Google Drive Webinars in October

I'm excited to be hosting two Simple K12 webinars in October featuring one of my more popular interactive resources, Great Ways to Use Google DriveBoth webinars will explore resources on the interactive image you see here, but since there is so much content to cover in 30 minutes, we've divided the learning into two separate webinars.

Introducting the Product Deconstruction Challenge

Many people believe that he best way to learn about something is to take it apart. This is certainly a theory that reflects my personal learning style.

Ed Charlwood is an educator whose work proves this theory to be true. I am pleased to be collaborating with Ed to help inspire educators across the globe with a powerful teaching and learning idea turned into a ThingLink Creative Challenge. 

We hope you will join us in the Product Deconstruction Challenge this Fall.

Back to School with ThingLink ePortfolios

As a longtime educator and instructional tech coach, I have embraced ePortfolios as a valuable tool for documenting learning over time, self-reflection, goal-setting and growth.

An ePortfolio is a collection of student work that is used to document student effort, progress, and achievement over time. Students become actively involved in their own learning as they engage in goal setting, decision making and self-reflection. ePortfolios are powerful tools for authentic assessment . ePortfolios can be an extremely useful tool for both formative and summative assessment at different stages of the learning process.

Explore Our Showcase of ThingLink Interactive Video Lessons

We are pleased to share a showcase of ThingLink Interactive Video lessons created by participants in the ThingLink Teacher Summer Challenge

5 Interactive Tools to Embed in ThingLink Video

In the final week of the ThingLink Teacher Challenge we asked participants to create a lesson to Engage Students with ThingLink for Video. Participants learned to Embed a Google Form in a ThingLink Video to minimize distractions and provide students with direct access to an interactive form without leaving the video. The ability to embed interactive content right inside of a video is very powerful. Let's take a closer look at 5 interactive tools to embed in ThingLink Video.

The ThingLink Teacher Challenge In Box

Now that we've reached the end of the Teacher Challenge activities, it's time to demonstrate a great way to collect and organize interactive images through the use of a Google Form as a ThingLink Teacher Challenge In Box. A simple Google Forms works beautifully for collecting ThingLink images or any digital work that come with a link. It's is a handy tool to have in any educator's toolkit of resources.

Transform a ThingLink by Replacing the Background Image

ThingLink is a powerful tool for creating resources that can be reused and easily adapted to meet the changing needs of educators and their students. When users create an interactive image, poster or video, it can be modified as needed by adding rich media resources and replacing content on the spot. Did you know you can replace the background image on a ThingLink while keeping the tags in tact?
The Replace Image feature, available with ThingLink EDU Premium, allows users to replace the base image of any ThingLink by simply uploading a new one. This is useful for fixing errors on your base image, but it can also be an easy way to transform an outdated resource into something new and useful. 

Embed a Google Form in a ThingLink Video

This week, participants in the ThingLink Teacher Challenge were encouraged to Engage Students with ThingLink for Video. The goal of this challenge is to add a layer of resources and interactivity to any video to design a customized student driven learning experience. 

A great tool for customizing an educational video is the Google Form. This handy tool can be embedded right inside of a ThingLink Video tag and displayed live within the video. 

5 Free Photo Editing Tools to Create ThingLink Custom Icons

One of the best features of ThingLink EDU Premium is the ability to create and use custom icons to tell deeper stories. 

For educators, custom icons are truly useful for providing students with differentiated resources. They help students tackle a learning task through the use of these  attention grabbing visual cues. Let's learn how to create custom icons.

Engage Students with ThingLink Video

In Week 5 of the ThingLink Teacher Challenge participants are encouraged to design a media rich guided learning experience to engage students with ThingLink Video. These annotated video lessons work well because they allow students to progress at their own pace, providing opportunities for review and challenge. Once a ThingLink Video lesson is created and published, it can be accessed at school or at home as an extension of the classroom. Best of all, these lessons can be powered by Google Docs to provide data, student accountability, and opportunities for feedback.

9 Ways to Use ThingLink UnPlugged

At the end of the 4th week of ThingLink Teacher Challenge, we are excited to share an interactive poster and channel of interactive images featuring 9 ways to use ThingLink UnPlugged. The images were created by teacher challenge participants using the free ThingLink App and a mobile device. 

These images demonstrate ways to connect with life's everyday learning opportunities by capturing moments and documenting them through text, images and rich media. We hope you will explore these interactive images and get inspired to create one of your own. Creating a ThingLink on the go is fun and it is the perfect summer activity for inquisitive educators on the go! 

Quick Tip: Reorder Images in a Channel

Throughout the ThingLink Teacher Challenge we have been working with Channels, more commonly known as slideshows of interactive images. Many educators have asked about reordering images within a channel so I am publishing a quick tip to demonstrate how to perform this task.

This functionality is built in to the free app for iOS or Android. You can easily drag and drop images to new locations within a channel using a mobile device and the app. Changes you make will immediately be visible when viewing channels through the web based version, allowing users to work seamlessly between devices with ThingLink EDU.

ThingLink UnPlugged: Capture Learning on the Go

The ThingLink Teacher Challenge for week 4, ThingLink UnPlugged, is the perfect compliment to any educator's summer fun. This challenge encourages educators to grab the free mobile app for iOS or Android and capture life and learning on the go with or without wireless.

9 Interactive Collaborative Projects to Explore & Reuse

Week 3 of the ThingLink Teacher Challenge asks participants to Create a Collaborative Student Project. The first of many project have landed in our group channel and it is with great pleasure that we share these 9 Collaborative Student Projects created by talented educators.

Quick Tip: Click Action on Tags

ThingLink EDU Premium provides users with the ability to control the click action on tags. This is a very useful feature for educators who Create a Collaborative Student Project because you have the ability to help students successfully navigate through a lesson.

When you add a tag, the click action is set to Automatic by default, but you can select another option by selecting Click Action in the Image Editor.

Unpacking Google Apps for the Teacher Challenge

The Teacher Challenge for Week 3, Create a Collaborative Student Project, is packed with resources, ideas and instructions. This is intentional and necessary because the Teacher Challenge is designed to be useful for teachers across all grade levels and content areas. It also has to work for educators with various levels of ThingLink expertise.

For this reason, I believe it's a good idea to unpack this challenge a bit and take a closer look at the use Google Docs within Create a Collaborative Student Project to help participants take advantage of using Google Docs to power a ThingLink.

Create a Collaborative Student Project

ThingLink Teacher Challenge Week 3

In this week’s Teacher Challenge we will be using ThingLink EDU to introduce a student driven learning activity. Participants will begin by creating an interactive image with differentiated resources.  Next you can add a layer of accountability through the use of a Google Form. For those of you looking to kick it up a notch, you can turn your ThingLink example into a collaborative student project.

Digital Storytelling with Interactive Images & Video, a Free Webinar

I'm excited to have the opportunity to present a new webinar on Simple K12 this Tuesday, Digital Storytelling with Interactive Images & Video. This webinar will feature some of the most recent work I have been engaged in, creating interactive image books for teaching and learning.

Quick Tip: Convert ThingLink to EDU Account

If you are an educator using ThingLink you want to be sure you are using the EDU version of the tool instead of the business version. This will allow you to utilize the features designed for education when you  Build Your ThingLink Classroom.  

Extending the Classroom Walls During Virtual Learning Days in Indiana

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the eRevolution Conference in Evansville, IN. I was invited by Tim Wilhelmus, via Twitter to "Bring ThingLink EDU to the teachers of Indiana!"  

Given my excitement about ThingLink EDU, my passion for teaching, and my desire to take on this challenge, I eagerly travel to the southern tip of Indiana. It wasn't until my first ThingLink workshop that I discovered that Indiana has begun to utilize virtual learning days for inclement weather. What a fabulous idea!

Quick Tip: Post a ThingLink to a Channel

This morning I received a comment from a reader requesting a brief tutorial to demonstrate how to Post a ThingLink interactive image to a Channel. Here is a resources that should help

ThingLink Teacher Challenge Collect & Curate Incredible Content

This week the ThingLink Teacher Challenge is designed to help participants discover and collect great content to remix and reuse. At the same time, participants will be able to connect with like-minded educators to share the workload and get inspired. Week 2 is all about working with ThingLink Channels.

Meet the ThingLink Teacher Challenge Participants

The Teacher Summer Challenge participants have begun to add images to our channel, Design Your Digital Self. We invite you to explore our channel and watch it grow. Connect with these educators on Twitter with the hashtag #TLChallenge. Join our Google+ community and expand your own PLN this summer and take the ThingLink Teacher Challenge!

eRevolution Conference in Indiana!

It seems like a very long time ago when Tim Wilhelmus and I had a conversation about bringing ThingLink to the teachers of Indiana. At last that time has come. I'm on my way to the eRevolution Conference in Evansville, IN.  This conference is Indiana's largest EdTech conference and it is sure to be a lot of fun. 

There's' is still time to register for the eRevolution Conference  on June 7th-9th.

Visual Literacy Resources from ISTE 2015

I've created a poster to highlight the interactive images shared during my poster and playground sessions at ISTE. I hope this poster will be helpful for helping all of the amazing educators I spoke with to quickly access the resources.

Design Your Digital Self

We are kicking off the ThingLink Summer Challenge #TLChallenge with a fun activity designed to help educators get started using ThingLink EDU. Explore the use of rich media tags to tell your professional story and introduce yourself  as you Design Your Digital Self.

Playground Sessions at ISTE Today

Today I am excited to share 2 EdTech Coach Playground Sessions at #ISTE2015. In a last minute attempt to make sure everyone can quickly get to my handouts I used the goog.gly bookmarklet to create a shortened url and a QR code with the click of a button.

ThingLink Teacher Challenge Launched at ISTE 2015

We are pleased to launch the ThingLink Teacher Summer Challenge today at ISTE 2015!  This free, online, self-paced professional development is designed for busy educators who want to build a professional learning network and have fun learning through collaborative play.

We hope to make some noise here at #ISTE2015 and grab the attention of enthusiastic colleagues who have come together to connect and collaborate. To join the challenge, simply sign up.