Monday, November 25, 2013

ThingLink Fun!

One of the coolest sessions I attended at the iPad Summit in Boston two weeks ago was about ThingLinks.  I had never heard of these before that session, but they are so easy to make and so useful in the classroom - especially 1:1 classrooms.  You can take any image and insert any type of link over top of it - basically creating a guided lesson for students to follow.  I created two this week - one for each of my math groups.  They worked out perfectly - as I was teaching one group, the other group was working through their ThingLink and vice versa.  I was even able to include videos that I had created so that students were still getting some instruction from me!  Here is the first ThingLink that I created:

I created the image in PicCollage using screen shots of problems they had already completed.  The videos linked over the images were created in Educreations.  I created the videos explaining how to do each type of problem.  Then, the question icon is their independent practice.  They can use the videos to help them solve all of the problems.  My students are very sweet, but not very independent yet.  By giving them the videos, I am giving them a resource to use so that they aren't constantly approaching me about each problem.  (And as much as I would love to, when you have 25 students in a class for 60 minutes, you cannot teach each of them one on one.)  Giving them the videos gives them a crutch, and allows me to be able to really work with other students that I may not have been able to get to before.

The second ThingLink I created is here:

This ThingLink is obviously focused on absolute value.  While the first ThingLink was designed as more of a review for students, this one was created to teach the initial lesson, and then I pulled them together as a group to clarify any misconceptions.  This was for my faster group of students who are a little bit more independent.  I created the image in PicCollage again.  It includes a video that I created in Explain Everything and posted to Vimeo.  While I love how that looks, I didn't realize Vimeo was blocked for my students - so I'll be using Educreations for now on.  I also linked to a website that had some practice problems, and included a Brainpop video/quiz that I wanted them to complete.  I edited the BrainPop image in Skitch to include the arrow, and text.  

A lot of these apps may be very familiar to some of you, but I really felt like I stumbled on a wealth of information during that session.  One of my favorite things about ThingLinks are once they're created, they're good to go - you can edit them if needed, and reuse them again and again.  They would be great for webquests too!

Do you guys have any cool ideas I could use these for that I may not have thought of?


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