I’ve been planning to talk about Thinglink for months. I had the chance to learn more about this last spring and, well . . . I just haven’t gotten to it. I’ve been busy. The dog ate my homework. The internet was down. There was football to watch. There was basketball to watch.

Basically I pushed it to a back burner, told myself that I would play with it some more, and never did.

But I was reminded today at MACE 14 about how cool Thinglink is and all of the awesome stuff you can do with it. So today a quick review and sample.

Thinglink is an online tool that lets you and your students create and view multi-layered photographs. Upload an image and embed documents, links, videos, audios, other photos, writing prompts, etc on top of that first image. Share the link to that image. Users can then interact with the image with access to the documents, links, videos, audios, other photos, writing prompts, etc on their device.

How about uploading a map instead? Or an image of a primary source document? Or political cartoon? Or how about asking your kids to those things instead? There should be all sorts of happy things going on in your brain right now. Cause there are so many things you can do with this!

Once created and shared, the end user simply hovers over the image and your layered content appears as clickable links.


This seems like a great way for teachers to push content and social studies historical thinking activities to students. And a perfect way for students to create evidence of learning.

There is the ability to embed the photo on lots of sites (though WordPress doesn’t like their code) and the chance to share on a wide variety of social media sites. You and your students can also use the iPad app as your tool of choice.

As a teacher, sign up for a free educator’s account. This provides:

  • Google Plus login
  • Student signup: Teachers can now register new students on their behalf.  The students do not need to have a working email address, yet they all will receive an individual user account.”
  • Automatic group creation on Teacher sign-up: Teachers will automatically get one group to which they can add students by listing their names
  • Automatic student/teacher signup based on email domain. School districts can now apply for Thinglink Educational status, which means that students can automatically sign up with their own accounts, and receive teacher/student privileges
  • Safe browsing environment: If the logged-in user is assigned student status, they can only see images created by other people with student status, teacher status, or images specifically curated by Thinglink Staff.  This affects search, streams, hashtags, and channels.
  • Google Video safe search. If the user is assigned student status, we automatically apply the maximum limits to Google Video search.

Check out my quick example here. Learn a bit more about using in a middle geo class here. Need some more ideas? Richard Byrne has a sweet Google Docs with 75+ ways to use Thinglink. Here’s some more.

Seriously. Tons of ways to use this. How would you use it?