Thinglink in the Classroom

Thinglink is a free and friendly digital tool that provides users with the ability to turn any image into an interactive graphic. Users can create multiple “hot spots” on specific parts of an image and turn the image into a multimedia launcher. Embed video, record audio with the click of a button and a free SoundCloud account, or link to any website. ThingLink is a truly  amazing tool that is compatible with any blog or website with a widget to support javascript,

I used MentorMob to create a playlist of  resources for using ThingLink in the classroom. Be sure to check out the final step in the playlist to view Donna Bambach’s collaborative slideshow, Interesting Ways to Use ThingLink in the Classroom, for a growing collection of great ideas contributed by ThingLink users.

Create your own Playlist on MentorMob!

Wikispaces Features: An Interactive Graphic

A wiki is a website that allows members to easily edit and contribute content. Wikispaces is a teacher and student friendly tool that supports multimedia for collaborative learning.
  • A wiki provides teachers with a platform to design learning experiences that provide students with flexible learning paths to meet unique learning styles
  • Wiki’s can support student-driven project based learning experiences to help students develop super skills for the 21st century: creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking.
  • Wikis are a simple yet efficient online tool for the 24/7 classroom

I used Thinglink to create this interactive graphic which illustrates my favorite features available in Wikispaces. Please scroll your mouse over the graphic to access the resources.


Update: Wikispaces to Support the Common Core on

Google Docs: New Fonts & Templates

Google Docs is making the transition to Google Drive and with that they have recently announce some improved features for Docs users. Most notably is the addition of  60 new templates and 450 new fonts.

New Fonts:
Before you can access the new fonts you need to click on the button to Try Google Drive, found on the screen you see when you access your list of Google Docs. After that the fonts don’t show up automatically, you have to manually add the ones you commonly like to use. To access the fonts:
  1. Open a New Document.
  2. Click on the name of the font.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the list of fonts and choose Add Fonts.
  4. Choose the fonts you want to add.
New Templates:

If you’re looking for an easy and efficient way to provide students with a starting point for a digital project, Google Docs Templates can help. You can save time and guide the learning by providing students with a consistent page format by using and creating your own templates. A Google Docs template is like a virtual copy machine. There are plenty of user-submitted templates already created and available for public use and there is even a category for Students and Teachers. Here are some of the new templates created by Google of particular interest to educators:

Note: You must be signed in to your Gmail account to preview and access the templates.

Google Search Education

Searching for information and making sense of it is a process that involves critical thinking. Google has many tools to help students sift through the overwhelming abundance of web content, but those tools are often not utilized by students and teachers. 

Google recently announced the launch of Search Education. With it comes the promise of bringing educators the tools they need to help students become savvy searchers and independent learners. The site for educators includes lesson plans that are tied to A Google a Daya daily puzzle designed to develop complex search skills. The lessons are aligned with NETS and Common Core Standards, connected to content area subjects and differentiated on 3 levels. 
In addition to lesson plans, Google offers live trainings and archived videos of past trainings to provided educators with the background knowledge

Providing students with strategies that makes it easier to find relevant information more efficiently is a skill we need to teach our students. Check out this video to learn more about Google Search Education.

Cool Tools to Curate Content

Content curation is one way to find and share useful knowledge efficiently. There are plenty of user friendly push-button digital tools to help you collect, organize and store web content in flexible ways to allow for shared resources that are accessible online.

Educators can use content  curation tools to streamline instruction by providing students with easy online access to a variety of resources to meet the needs of diverse learners.

Possible Uses in Education:

  • Use handy bookmarklet tools to quickly create collections of content-related resources for students, parents or coworkers.
  • Embed collections of resources into a webpage, blog or wiki for easy access.
  • Create packages of content for student research, inquiry and project-based learning.
  • Design guided-learning activities that include digital text at a variety of reading levels and multimedia resources to meet the diverse learning needs of all students. 
  • Create collections of published student work that are easily available for sharing and reflection.

I created a collection of Cool Tools to Curate Content using Mentor Mob, one of the featured tools. Use it to quickly browse through the tools that interest you and enjoy the opportunity to interact with live webpages right within the playlist. Consider how you can use Mentor Mob or one of the featured tools to create a collection of resources for your own use.

Create your own Playlist on MentorMob!