ThingLink – Making Your Visuals Interactive

Images are powerful!

They can tell stories without a word.

They can freeze moments of time.

They can provide context.

They can explain.

They can inform.

They can support learning.

They can engage.

Even though they can do all of these things, images do not provide a means for the viewer to go deeper, learn more, and explore.   Thinglinka Web 2.0 site and app, provides a platform that can remove those limitations.  If you’re at a loss for how to use Thinglink, try doing a search to see what you find.  There are many educators who have created interactive images and you’re able to remix many of them to change the links!

What makes Thinglink even better? They give you the ability to create classes and logins so your students can create as well.  And if you want even MORE features, you can elect to purchase an annual Educator’s license for an additional fee.

So How Does Thinglink Work?  

In a nutshell, in Thinglink, you upload an image and then apply “hotspots”, which are the areas that a viewer clicks to learn more information and/or opens a website to learn more.

First, you begin with an image, which is probably the most difficult part of the whole process, especially if you need something unique. However, don’t be intimidated because creating an image that can be used in Thinglink is actually easier than you might imagine.  What are the components that you’ll need to create your image?  Gather those and save them in a folder.  If you’re working from an iPad, save the images to your Camera Roll in Photos.  When you have everything you need, you can begin piecing it all together to basically create a collage.

Creating a Collage from a Computer
The easiest way, in my opinion, is to start with a new Google Slide presentation (or yes, Power Point).  Did you know you can download slides as images? It’s easy and for those who want a quick and easy way to create their picture from scratch, there’s no learning curve if you already know the program.

Begin with a blank slide.

  • What size do you want this to be when it’s completed?  Yes, you can change the length and width or stay with the standard size.
  • What do you want your background to look like? White, black, a pattern?Thinglink-hotspot

Creating A Collage on an iPad
When working on an iPad, the best (free) app to use for creating a collage is PicCollage, which is very user-friendly.  No account is needed to use the app and any creations can be shared to the Camera Roll for use in Thinglink.

Once you have your images for your collage ready, it’s time to start loading your images and adding any text that you might want.  If using Google Slides or Power Point, remember to stick to ONE slide.  Play around with how you’re going to arrange your content.  Think about it in terms of where you’re going to place your interactive elements, known as “hotspots”.

When you’re image is complete, be sure to save it to your Photos (Camera Roll) or if you’re working on a computer, download or export it as a .png file.

After you’ve created your Thinglink account, it’s time to create! You upload your image and start clicking in areas where you want hotspots to go.  The hotspot image itself can be changed.  For each hotspot that is added, a window appears on the left where you can edit the tag (hotspot).

For more detailed directions, please view this Thinglink tutorial.  – Be sure to roll your mouse over the two images at the bottom for the “hot spots” to appear.