To showcase end of the year learning for Open House, I used the medium of ThingLink. It is such an easy platform where students can showcase their work.
The ThingLink platform is quite user friendly. I taught the students the very basics by having them create a ThingLink Timeline from a recent assignment that we already had completed. We used the free basic version of ThingLink for this task. Students uploaded their finished TimeLine as the background image, then uploaded more commentary on each event in the timeline. (see the student example below)
Though the above assignment was quite simple (as students had already created the timeline), students got the hang of creating links on the picture. Soon after their first assignment, we upgraded to edu premium accounts which allows students to include images in their links, as well as added features. The edu premium account costs $35 a year and allows exceptional ease of use, especially regarding adding pictures as links (see below).
Our next project allowed a great deal of creativity. Students were given the task of creating a game board of 13 assignments that they have done over the school year which has brought them to mastery of computer use. I provided them with a game board, or they could alter the one I provided or they could create their own board outside of class. I showed students how to put all their work in their Google Drive so they could link their projects. Then they created links linking their various projects and assignments as well as include symbols to represent what they learned, what was challenging, what their successes are, what awards they earned, and who helped them along the way. A few 6th grade students’ projects are shown below.
Most students used the board I gave out, but a few students created their own original playing boards. These will serve as an awesome portfolio to share with parents at Open House next week.
I see a lot of great use of ThingLink in the classroom. It is a very easy to use tool. Students could label cells in science or maps in social studies. The ideas for ThingLink are limitless. See below for Student testimonials and their end of the year projects.
“I like ThingLink because it has so many cool, different features that you can use, such as the different icons and how you not only can add links, you can also add pictures to represent your links. The program is pretty easy to use because all you really need to do is click and type. . . To be honest, there really isn’t anything challenging about ThingLink. It is easy to learn how to use, plus it’s fun.” -Jasmine, grade 6
“The ThingLink program is pretty easy to use. If Ms. Milton hadn’t given us any directions, I probably would figure out how to use it on my own. I could use this program a lot for future assignments. I don’t think ThingLink is challenging to use at all.” -Amanda, grade 6
“I think ThingLink is a cool program because you are able to create presentations with icons that show information when your mouse hovers over it. ThingLink is pretty easy to use once you get used to it. If I make a presentation next year I would most likely use this website again. What was really challenging about the program was that if you put the picture in first then the link the picture won’t show up.” -Aleah, grade 6
“It was really fun to do this project on Thinglink. At first it was hard to understand it, but after a while it made more sense. The thing that was challenging about this website was the links. Sometimes they would work and sometimes they wouldn’t. Overall I’m really happy with how my Thinglink project turned out.” -Trinity, grade 7
“I liked Thinglink because it showed me a different way I could label on a computer. What was cool about the program was that I could use different icons in different colors to label my information. I also loved how it was super easy to use. Everything was labeled correctly, and simple. I thought it was going to be complicated because some programs that I use are not easy to follow. . . The only thing challenging is when you need to upload a website onto a tab and then when you save the tag, the website would be blocked, but other than that the program is very suitable for any one who wants to label certain pictures.” -Evelyn, grade 8
“What I like about ThingLink is the way you can make links to any website you want and that you can see your classmates work. In my opinion ThingLink is a relatively easy site to use because you can get anything you want, click, type, save, and your done. Something challenging about it is getting used to all of the tools and getting everything perfect.” -Tyler, grade 7
“I like the program Thing link. In the program Thinglink it allows you to put links on and image so you can learn more about the thing that the link is on. For a project Miss Milton made us do a Thinglink about the things we learned in her class and about what we learned at our school. I definitely think that Thinglink would come in handy for assignments that I may have to to in high school and or if I just wanted to send a cool pic to my friends The program has many perks but it can be difficult to click links close to each other. lol” -Jordyn, grade 8
“What I like about the Thinglink program is that you can edit your mistakes, share what you have done and also share to your friends. The Thinglink program is very easy to use. I think its easy because all you have to do is press on the square or what you are doing and then paste what you are writing.I can use this program maybe almost everyday if I don’t have anything to do. There is nothing that is challenging in this program.” -Tia, grade 8
- Basic Board, student added the items on the right (stars, books, badge)
2. Student altered the coloring of the board and added the heart and star on the right
3. Original game board created by student:
4. Original board created by student
5. Original Board created by student
“My favorite project in this class would probably be this one because it was easy and I enjoyed getting work done on my own. Later on in computer class I would like to do more of these and maybe another newsletter because I also enjoyed doing that project too. The program Thing link is really cool and easy to use. I think it is easy to use because I have been working on it for a while and I enjoy using it. I’m probably going to come back to this program just for fun but if I were to use it in high school it would probably be for map and a picture just like this one. Something that is challenging about the program is that sometimes the link won’t work or a picture won’t upload but you just have to be patient and get the help you need.” -Roxanne, grade 7