Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Simple feature, Many applications: "Thinglink" for Learning

URL: https://www.thinglink.com/

Chanced upon this online application in an article. The application enables one to put in multiple tags (text and URLs) on images and video clips in a hassle-free manner.

The application is clean. It does not come with very complicated features. I guess, the owner of the application is very focused - the primary objective is to allow tagging visuals/ media. It is very easy to use, with clear navigation. I attempted to create 2 samples, and being a first-time user, each took me less than 3 minutes to create. Of course, this is done in a 'free education version'. 

More importantly, it has great potential to be used in classroom - to deliver (by teacher) and to create (by students).

Here's the Interactive Image I created:

Indeed, there are lots of potential of this application across many subjects, in particular those that heavy rely on visuals. A few that I could think of...
  • Language or Mother Tongue, where students are required to draw out key 'ideas' embedded in pictures and more often than not, to make inference. Tagging text and questions in these visuals would provide scaffolds to students when this type of 'assessment' is first introduced; similarly, tagging could be used to guide the weaker students.
  • Any subject that where visuals are available/ used. For example
    • an image of the landscape where students are to learn/ describe the land forms 
    • an image that depicts a scene (e.g. in history or literature) through the facial expressions and body language of various characters in the scene
    • an image of a science experiment set-up where students are required to name the parts or be lead to describe the processes involved in the entire experiment
    • an image that illustrates the working or steps of a proof where the tags get students to make connections to the concepts applied/ considerations to take into account
    • ....
  • In fact, visuals can go beyond drawings/ images. It could even be passages (that are converted to image) where questions could be asked to trigger deeper thinking. The text can also come in the form of further elaboration of selected words to broaden the understanding of the word in the context applied.

Click HERE to view the video where text can be tagged to the clip (at specific location & time)

Well, from the potential listed under "images", I think one finds it even easier and more straightforward on how tagging could be used in the video clips to scaffold students' learning. Certainly, this feature would be, in particular useful when designing materials for flipped learning.

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