How I Use It
I use Thinglink in whole group and small group instruction with my second grade students. So far I have used Thinglink to introduce and review new Science and Social Studies topics to my students. I have found that both methods have been highly effective for my students. I love how Thinglink gives me the ability to add information to my images via website links, videos and labels. This option allows my students to participate in more engaging ways to learn instructional content.
One specific lesson that I recently created for my students was a science lesson titled, "Exploring Earth". I first created an infographic in Canva that provided visuals and information supporting the Earth's rotation, magnetic field, core elements and percentage of water. Once I created my image, I added the image to Thinglink and added videos and links to website activities to support each image. To introduce the Force, Motion and Energy of the Earth, I began the lesson as a whole group activity by displaying my Thinglink image on the SmartBoard. I introduced each item by displaying the interactive media associated with each image. Following each interaction, I discussed and reviewed the material that was covered as a knowledge check. Throughout the week, the students participated in activities that correlated with the items introduced in the Thinglink.
By the end of the week, to wrap up the lesson I provided students with opportunities to review the material learned by completing small group assessments. In the assessment, students were grouped into small groups of four and were provided with a laptop, an assessment sheet and access to the Thinglink image. Students worked as a team to answer the assessment questions by exploring the Thinglink image to find their answers. I found that this method of delivery promoted teamwork and research skills. As a result, my students were able to enjoy a more collaborative approach to assessments and experienced reduced testing anxiety. This approach also provided my struggling learners with better opportunities to feel successful and promoted self-motivation.
My overall opinion is that Thinglink can be a powerful teaching tool, because it allows learners to participate in a more engaging and interactive way to learn. I found that Thinglink can be effectively used as a topic opener or a lesson review for both whole and small group instructional methods. I love the fact that I have many options for using this tool to deliver instruction and engage my students.
As an educator, I feel that it is extremely important that my students are provided with learning opportunities that are enhanced with technology, are meaningful and provide hands-on activities. Students learn best by actively participating in their learning environments and I feel that Thinglink greatly supports and meets the needs of all learners.