As you have seen, my focus of late has been PowerPoint alternatives and ways to do similar or better things for free. A few weeks back, I did a post about a site called Thinglink that I think fits this topic perfectly. I decided to again write about it and offer some potential ideas, mainly because I attended a conference last week and the Thinglink chat was all the rage. I saw teachers and students using it in action and that, to me was a home run.
Thinglink, as we talked about before, allows a visual object to become ultra dimensional. It allows for embedded text, links, and video. Teachers have been using it as an alternative to PowerPoint. In one class I visited, the teacher had kids research a topic related to the era in the novel they were reading. Each student had to be responsible for finding and linking the information to the visual. Because it has direct links, embedded tools, etc, the actual citation information is also included right into the document. Yes, it makes MLA not really the citation tool of choice, but, it is requiring kids to use critical thinking and research skills to find the best information for their topic.
I am going to use it as a tool in my French class this year. Each student will be assigned a specific vocabulary topic and will be required to create a thinglink that has the words somehow included. I am guessing they can even embed audio! I am so excited to play around with this tool. I think the kids will appreciate something different than the norm for a project, as well.
Here are a few ideas I saw for using thinglink:
1) Research of a topic in class and use the thinglink to expand the information.
2) Vocabulary thinglinks.
3) Student centered flip: Have the students develop some of the lesson and use a thinglink to present it to the class.
4) US Geography (Or any continent, country, etc.). Assign students (lower grades) a state and have them use a thinglink to map out whatever they can about it. Older kids can get a nation and go through it's historical changes, or take a continent and identify the different places, how they have changed, etc.
5) Battleground activity: Select a war, identify a battle site (Bighorn, Gettyburg, etc) and have the students create a thinglink that covers the topic.
The list can go on and on....