Teacher Review for ThingLink

Thinglink is a great tool for analyzing primary source documents.

Adrian N.
Instructional technology learning coach
Instructional Support Facility
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My Grades 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies
My Rating
Learning Scores
Engagement
Pedagogy
Support
Setup Time More than 15 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Great with Advanced learners
ELL
General
How I Use It
What's your overall opinion about this product as a teaching tool? What did you like? How could it serve kids and/or your teaching better? Please be specific and don't shy away from constructive critique. Here is a link to a student example: http://www.thinglink.com/scene/517827070756126720 How did you/would you use this product in your teaching? Please be specific. What worked? What didn't? Please be specific. I recently used in my 5th grade social studies classroom to analyze primary source documents. Students have been learning about the U.S. Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights. I asked students to find an image that represented their assigned amendment. Students then spent time locating images, text, informational websites, and videos to embed within the image. Each “hotspot” was required to enhance the learning of that particular amendment for another student. Finally, students visited each other’s Thinglinks in order to learn about and be tested on a particular amendment. Students used iPads to explore the content of the Thinglinks. The only difficulty we discovered was that some students embedded BrainPop videos and the iPads were not able to open the video using our BrainPop app. Luckily, students worked around this problem by visiting Brain Pop website and searched for the appropriate video.
My Take
What's your overall opinion about this product as a teaching tool? What did you like? How could it serve kids and/or your teaching better? Please be specific and don't shy away from constructive critique. I loved using this tool in my classroom. I teach students to analyze primary source documents, and Thinglink allowed my students to analyze documents digitally, layering more content onto the image. By the end of the lesson, students were more knowledgeable of the content of their amendment than they would have been had I taught the whole class. My critique is the ease of access to the Thinglink website. Setting up a teacher account, adding students, and creating a channel were not intuitive. I had to speak to Thinglink tech support multiple times before I was able to see my students’ accounts and they were able to see my own account. Also, Thinglink generates a student username and password. These consist of a complicated collection of characters that were difficult for students to enter to their login. Don’t forget to save these usernames and passwords because Thinglink deletes them immediately afterwards. As a 5th grade teacher, I am quite familiar students forgetting or losing their usernames and passwords. If it weren’t for me saving these into a text document, I would be in a very difficult place. Students can change their username and password; however, again, this is not intuitive. Great tool, but the website needs to be more user-friendly for both students and teachers.