Friday, July 25, 2014

Try Using ThingLink to Create Visual Prompts for Blog Comments

ThingLink is one of my favorite tools for playing with media. ThingLink allows you to add links, text, videos, and audio recordings to images. If you embed a ThingLink image into a blog post and allow editing you can have anyone add comments to the image. The comments can include links, text, videos, and audio recordings.

One of the things that I often do to spark students' curiosities and questions about a topic is to present them in an interesting image. To allow students to comment directly on the image I will put it into ThingLink then embed the ThingLink image into a blog post. See the example below.

By using ThingLink in this way I can have students and more than just text comments in response to the visual prompt. To extend the activity I can have students look for YouTube videos and or websites that will help to explain answers to the questions generated by looking at the featured image.

Helpful guides to using ThingLink in your classroom.
Thinglink Edu - Your Students Can Use Thinglink Without Email Addresses, Here's How
How to Embed Interactive ThingLink Images Into a Blog Post
ThingLink Remix - Share One Image and Let Your Whole Class Make It Interactive

Why Is It Hot Underground? - A Short Video Lesson

Why Is It Hot Underground? is a short video lesson recently released by MinuteEarth. The video examines the accurate and inaccurate aspects of Lord Kelvin's theory of why the center of the Earth is hot.

FutureLearn Offers a Wide Range of Free Online Courses

FutureLearn, a subsidiary of The Open University, offers a wide range of free online courses. FutureLearn offers online courses on academic topics in history, science, literature, and political science. You will also find FutureLearn courses on topics like public speaking, developing a resume, and digital marketing. Courses range in length from two weeks to eight weeks. Some of the courses, like this public speaking course, require you to submit assignments to participate.

One of the FutureLearn courses that I am interested in taking is this six week course on Hadrian's Wall. The complete list of scheduled courses is available here.

Applications for Education
FutureLearn could be a good place to find a course to help you meet your professional development needs. For example, the Hadrian's Wall course will help me further my knowledge in that area which in turn should help me develop better lessons for my students.

FutureLearn could also be a good place to find courses for students who have an interest in a topic that your school doesn't offer courses in.

How to Create and Publish Audio Recordings With SoundCloud

In my previous post I shared directions for creating and publishing audio recordings with Vocaroo. Vocaroo is a web-only application. In response to that post a couple of people asked for suggestions on creating recordings with mobile devices. My suggestion is to use SoundCloud.

SoundCloud works on Android, iOS, and as a web app. Recordings created with the mobile apps are saved to your online SoundCloud account. From your SoundCloud account you can grab the embed code for any of your recordings. In the video below I demonstrate how to use SoundCloud to create recordings and publish them in your classroom blog.

How to Use Vocaroo to Make Voice Recordings to Post On Your Blog

Vocaroo is a free service that you can use to create short audio recordings. Creating a recording on Vocaroo is a simple process that does not require you to create an account or have any special browser plugins. Just go to the site and click record to get started. In the video below I demonstrate how to use it to create a recording and post in on your classroom blog.