Design Your Digital Self

We are kicking off the ThingLink Summer Challenge #TLChallenge with a fun activity designed to help educators get started using ThingLink EDU. Explore the use of rich media tags to tell your professional story and introduce yourself  as you Design Your Digital Self.


About the Teacher Summer Teacher Challenge

This free, online, self-paced professional development is designed for busy educators who want to build a professional learning network and have fun learning! We have nearly 400 educators from 20+ countries signed up to participate.
To fully participate in the Teacher Challenge activities you will need to sign up to join our group. This will provide you with a 3 month free trial of EDU Premium for use during the Teacher Challenge so you can fully explore the powerful possibilities of using ThingLink for teaching and learning.

Design Your Digital Self Rationale

To engage students in learning, it’s important to help them make connections to their own world. This classroom kick off activity sets the tone for making those personal connections . The activity can also be very useful for gauging students’ problem-solving and research skills as you facilitate a similar activity in the classroom. This activity provides teachers with the great opportunity to address Internet safety and digital citizenship at the start of the year and the avatar can continue to remind students to protect their identities while online.

Steps at a Glance

  1. Create an avatar or use an existing avatar you have.
  2. Upload your avatar to ThingLink
  3. Add Rich Media Tags to your avatar to Design Your Digital Self.
  4. Add your annotated avatar to the channel, Design Your Digital Self by using the Post button found on the right side of an interactive image.
  5. Get to know other participants as you explore their work.

Get Interactive Directions

Classroom Connections and Modifications

  • Take advantage of the teachable moment and combine this activity with an Internet Safety lesson to help students distinguish between personal and private information when sharing on the web.
  • Introduce the activity at the start of the school year in place of a traditional getting to know you activity and encourage students to add tags as they learn, change and grow throughout the year.
  • Create a class channel of student digital selvess for use as an introduction to another classroom when collaborating.
  • Adapt the activity to fit into your curriculum and use it throughout the year as a place for students to showcase their growth and progress in a particular area.
  • Ask students to create a channel of their own to track their progress towards specific goals, adding tags to highlight accomplishments throughout the year.


Get Started

  1. Get Started with the ThingLink Teacher Challenge
  2. Watch Video: Create a ThingLink for EDU

Additional Help and Support

Join Us

There’s still time to join us for this flexible summer learning adventure. All you have to do is sign up. After you sign up, you will receive an email with the invite code to join our district organization group named ThingLink Teacher Challenge. This will allow you to access our shared workspace. This will also give you access to the EDU Premium trial for use during the Teacher Challenge.This will allow us to share the invite code so you can join our district organization group and access the shared workspace. This will also give you access to the EDU Premium trial offered through this challenge.

We hope you will join us for this fun filled and excited, self-paced professional learning opportunity. Questions? Please email Susan@thinglink.com.

All Teacher Challenge Activities

Get Started

3 Reasons to Take the Next ThingLink Teacher Challenge

ThingLink Teacher Challenge Launched at #ISTE2015

Week 1 

Design Your Digital Self

Meet the ThingLink Teacher Challenge Participants

Week 2 

Collect and Curate Incredible Content

Week 3 

Create a Collaborative Student Project

Unpacking Google Apps for the Teacher Challenge

Quick Tips

Create a ThingLink for EDU

Convert a ThingLink Account to EDU

Post a ThingLink to a Channel

Adjust Image Size

Teachers / Schools / Districts


Next Week’s Challenge

Curate Incredible Content Created by Collegues

Engage Students in Informed Decision Making

With access to an abundance of online resources, students can become informed decision makers and stakeholders in their own learning.  Use of online polls, surveys, and digital tools for collecting feedback can turn passive observers into active participants. 

The ThingLink Teacher Challenge this week asked educators to explore the use of an interactive image for informing and collecting feedback from an audience. We introduced Polldaddy as an integrated tool for the task. Polldaddy is an excellent choice because rich-media tags support embedding of a poll into an interactive image, allowing the poll to pop up without leaving the page. Of course, there are many web tools available for collecting feedback and any of those tools can be linked to a ThingLink interactive image.




Examples of Using ThingLink for Informed Decision Making

Participants self-published their interactive images on the Padlet wall linked below. Many participants chose to create interactive images to share tech tools and collect feedback about popular choices, which makes the images particularly useful for teachers as we approach the start of the school year. I hope you will explore the Padlet and watch it grow as more participants add images. There is a wealth of expertise here!

Final Thoughts

As we kick off a new school year I encourage teachers to consider creating activities to inform students and collect feedback as alternative to traditional homework assignments. Completing this type of activity prior to class can maximize instructional time and it is certainly more interesting than a worksheet. Just think about the possibilities that exist with ThingLink and tools for collecting feedback!

7 Questions to Inspire Thinking and Ideas: ThingLink App

I had the opportunity to “lead” #1to1ipadchat,with Dena Gynn last week. Follow @Glynn_ed 

In preparation for the event, Dena advised me to write 6 questions to guide a discussion and provide examples. I did that and I also scheduled the timed released tweets through Tweet Deck. These tips from Dena helped tremendously.




I wondered if the prep would help me follow the conversation, since I’ll admit I have a 
difficult time keeping up with Twitter Chats. I did see my questions in the hashtag feed, but they were just there. I don’t think anyone responded, but I did notice some people retweeting them. Still, the answers and questions were hard to follow. We were all talking about other things, and that was a good thing too.

A New View of the Questions & Examples

To organize and share the questions and examples from the Twitter Chat I used a Google Form as a model for a content delivery method that works well with learners, young and old. This Google Form is designed to introduce ideas and provide the opportunity for feedback. 

If you please, you can view the questions and examples without actually responding to any of them. Click on the icon or link and you will be taken away from this blog to the Google form where all questions are optional and feedback is appreciated! 

The Form | Think | View Examples |Get Inspired |Connect 


ThingLink UnPlugged & Self-Published

Explore this interactive image by @pmmerlin on our wall

This week’s ThingLink Teacher Challenged asked participants to grab their mobile devices, get away from wifi, and explore use of the ThingLink App beyond the walls. 

The ThingLink app makes the most out of the ease of use of the camera and video capabilities available on iOS and Android, allowing users to capture life on the go and become engaged in the learning at the moment. 




View Our Wall of UnPlugged Learning Experiences

This week’s images are self-published on a Padlet Wall. Watch it grow. View wall.

//padlet.com/embed/48wng9a2fqn5

Connecting with Some Amazing Educators

I am truly enjoying facilitating the ThingLink Teacher Challenge this summer because it has allowed me to connect with some amazing educators. We are all learning, creating and sharing together. 

One of the early challenges was to Design Your Digital Self as an introduction to other participants. We started by creating an avatar, then we added it to ThingLink and tagged our images with Rich 
Media tags to define ourselves through multimedia.




I used Padlet to create a wall of ThingLink Teacher Challenge participants and would like to introduce readers of this blog to these amazing educators. The activity itself can be used with students as you kick off the school year and establish best practices for Internet safety as you teach them about protecting their identities when publishing anything on the web. 


Meet the ThingLink Challenge Participants

I invite you to explore this Padlet wall of interactive images, connect with these educators on Twitter (#TLChallenge), join our Google+ community and expand your own PLN this summer!


//padlet.com/embed/moynodk81m36


Created with Padlet

For the best viewing experience, view the full wall on Padlet

Why Padlet?

Benefits of Padlet at a Glance

  • Padlet is a free, flexible and user friendly tool that is available online, 24/7
  • Users can create account and design Padlets for a variety of purposes for teaching and learning. 
  • Students can contribute to Padlets without an email address, just tap to add an image.
  • Padlet works well on a computer and also from the web browser on an iPad. 
  • There’s no tape or physical space limitations with these types of word walls.
  • Padlet is capable is displaying text, images and video.
  • Padlet can be embedded into a blog, wiki or website.
  • Padlet supports ThingLink interactive images!

Join Us

There’s still time to join us and take the ThingLink Teacher Challenge. This free, online professional development activity is self-paced to fit in with teachers’ busy summer lifestyles. There are no deadlines and each challenge is designed to be flexible. New participants are joining every day.


A Collection of Interactive Maps

Using interactive maps in the classroom encourages exploration, invites curiosity and promotes spatial thinking. Interactive maps can be used to provide students with background knowledge to launch a unit, or they can be used as a starting point for digging deeper into any concept through research. Interactive maps can be used to explore a wide variety of topics in traditional ways, or they can be used creatively to help students visualize just about anything.





The ThingLink Challenge for week 4 asked teachers to create an interactive map on any topic. I’ve assembled the collection of maps on a Padlet wall for other educators to explore and reuse. Here you will find a lot of expertise and creativity from the participants.

Explore this Padlet Wall of Interactive Maps

Explore this Padlet  board of interactive map images created by participants and watch it grow! To get the best viewing experience view the full sized board on Padlet.

//padlet.com/embed/ry38sukfmxqj

The Ultimate Word Wall with ThingLink & Padlet

I am fortunate to be working with an amazing group of educators this summer for the ThingLink Teacher Challenge. This week’s challenge to design an activity to  help students Dig Deeper Into Vocabulary, a topic I am very passionate about.

I also love Word Walls and have been using them for as long as I can remember. While I was once frustrated by trying to keep taped images up on a physical wall, I now find the process to be streamlined and slick with the help of one of my favorite tools, Padlet

Benefits of Padlet at a Glance

  • Padlet is a free, flexible and user friendly tool that is available online, 24/7
  • Users can create account and design Padlets for a variety of purposes for teaching and learning. 
  • Students can contribute to Padlets without an email address, just tap to add an image.
  • Padlet works well on a computer and also from the web browser on an iPad. 
  • There’s no tape or physical space limitations with these types of word walls.
  • Padlet is capable is displaying text, images and video.
  • Padlet can be embedded into a blog, wiki or website.
  • Padlet supports ThingLink interactive images!

Using Padlet to Create The Ultimate Word Wall of Interactive Images

As the interactive images for the challenge started rolling in, I had the idea to build a Word Wall of vocabulary activities. The word wall is embedded below, but to get a better view you might want to visit the full wall on the Padlet site. 
Click on any image to preview and explore any interactive vocabulary image created by teachers from all over the world. If you want to explore the full version of an image, click the Share icon on the ThingLink image to grab the link. If you want to embed the image into your own space, grab the embed code.

Be sure to check back as many more images are submitted. This wall will grow throughout the summer.

//padlet.com/embed/fi64ga5bqb6k

For a better viewing experience go to Padlet to view this wall.

Join Us for the ThingLink Teacher Challenge

Educators Design Your Digital Self

Join Us for the ThingLink Teacher Challenge

I have been having a lot of fun connecting with educators and expanding my PLN this summer as I facilitate the ThingLink Teacher Challenge

This challenge is a free, self-paced, online summer professional development opportunity designed to help teachers transform classroom teaching and e-learning with ThingLink, an easy-to-use interactive image and video platform. Teachers complete one activity each week and explore ways to use the tool in the classroom.



The challenge this week is Design Your Digital Self. The goal is to use ThingLink to create an interactive avatar to serve as an introduction to other members of the challenge. The activity is well-suited for a variety of student-driven learning experiences in the classroom, and it provides educators with opportunities to remind students about Internet safety and protecting their identities when online. As a bonus, the challenge uses a guided lesson, or channel of interactive images, as a teaching tool which can also be used to facilitate classroom instruction. All the directions and resources are in one place.

Showcase: Design Your Digital Self

Images submitted for each challenge are displayed in a ThingLink Channel to showcase the great work educators are doing. As more participants submit images, the channels grow. Meet the ThingLink Challenge Teachers.


View our weekly Showcase of images.

Take the ThingLink Teacher Challenge

Since the challenge is self-paced, there is still plenty of time to sign up and join us.






Educators Explain with ThingLink

Teachers have been busy creating interactive images for Week 1 of the ThingLink Teacher Challenge. The first challenge was designed for teachers to create an image about something within their realm of expertise to explore the tool without trying to create a complex lesson. The task was to create a “How To” image.






View Our Channel of Interactive Images


//www.thinglink.com/channelcard/534361625419841536

The ThingLink Teacher Challenge is free, self-paced, online professional development. Discover 3 Reasons to Take the ThingLink Challenge This Summer  on the ThingLink Blog.