The second tech tool I chose to learn more about was Thinglink, where a person can use an image and attach links to it where ever they like. For example, if you had a map and you wanted to show where all your favorite restaurants are on the map, you could make a Thinglink in order to do this.
I have always liked teaching the orchestral story and music of Peter and the Wolf, by Sergei Prokofiev. So, I decided to create a Thinglink that listed each of the characters in the story next to a picture of their instrument. I then added a link to each one so that a student could hear that particular character's musical theme when they clicked on the circle next to the text.
Importing the image and adding the links to each character was simple enough, but then I could not get the program to stop asking me to upgrade, especially when I went to fullscreen. The "PLEASE UPGRADE" request was so large that it covered my Thinglink and made it unusable. After much struggling, I emailed Thinglink:
They responded within a day and told me that indeed to go fullscreen, you have to upgrade. So, I remade my background visual much bigger using SMART Notebook. Then, by taking a screen shot of the larger, new and improved version, I was able to make a new Thinglink that was big enough not to have to be fullscreen to be used. I then spent a good deal of time trying to figure out how to embed the Thinglink into my blog. It was a YouTube video called Embedding Thinglink into Blogger that finally solved the problem for me!
I had the same problem embedding into my Weebly, and another YouTube video Embedding Thinglink into Weebly was what made the difference. It turns out the size of the image relative to the size of your blog is really important. Once I made the image size smaller, it embedded without difficulty.
I really liked making this and feel that Thinklink is a great way to make a lesson more interactive and exciting for students. Although I didn't feel the information provided on the site itself was adequate, their customer support was excellent for both problems I encountered. It would be wonderful if District 90 purchased this for teachers to use throughout the school year so that we could get the fullscreen version.
Students themselves could also use Thinglink fairly easily to put together information on a musician, or piece of music. However, since we don't have much class time, I would probably use this for an extra credit project rather than working with the whole group on it.