Over a million educators utilize ThingLink in their schools, classrooms, and communities to develop impactful and engaging resources using interactive media.
Effective educators constantly seek to increase their repertoire of ideas to help their learners fully grasp complex concepts in new, impactful, and interesting ways. Where educators have included ThingLink in their teaching toolbox they have seen 4x deeper learning outcomes than standard lecture-based methods. Please don’t take our word for it, explore these top 5 school-based engaging learning strategies, with ThingLink, that are proven to work. We’ve also included pedagogically sound examples that educators in our community have created and shared. Decide for yourselves how this could be used in your classrooms, schools, and communities!
In this post we’ll explore the five strategies of using interactive media to boost student engagement:
- Project Based Learning
- Gamification Principles
- Community Engagement
- Accessible Curriculum Content
- Virtual Experiments and Simulations
1. Project Based Learning
We don’t need to present the benefits or impact of project-based learning as a strategy, it’s incredibly well documented. However, we can share a few short and long projects that K-12 educators have created to engage learners that will inspire you. Finding the right context you can also include interdisciplinary learning (IDL) in which learners can focus on math, science, and ELA all in one project!
Topic / Book Reports
With a combination of images, video, and text your students can develop detailed and rich multi-modal reports. These are easy to share and obtain peer feedback.
- David Del Carlo’s class in Italy created a library of “books” based on the themes of the Global Goals. They each created a virtual book on a different goal – take a look here.
- Arts Research Projects from Canada, students each research their favorite artist and create a diorama with multimedia annotations, the Diorama is presented as a 360 image taken inside the ‘gallery’ to present and immerse themselves in their experience.
Multimedia Visual Resumes
By creating an individual, class, or team-based overviews learners can express their unique perspectives, present their work to create new multimedia resources alone or as a team. Perfect for class introductions or visualizing skills.
Virtual Field Trips & Tours
Use research and cited resources to provide a rich exploration of the town next door, one of the seven wonders of the world, or places that are completely inaccessible such as the solar system!
- A virtual trip to Venice for High School students in Italy.
- This K12 teacher collated a virtual round the world trip for her 3rd-grade leavers where they could visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris, London, Edinburgh Zoo, and the New England Aquarium!
2. Gamification Principles
Gamification is a highly regarded yet sometimes tricky-to-do effective learning strategy, how can you easily create challenges for students that actually create impactful learning experiences? Using ThingLink allows educators to easily do just that. Our tips include creating ‘conditional transitions’ to progress to the next scene, adding hidden clues, and sounds for an immersive experience. This combination enables students to interact, solve problems and find solutions in a chosen context. See these examples:
- Escape Rooms: to your classroom assignments by creating escape rooms that teach about a particular subject. Explore this spooky Edgar Allen Poe Escape Room.
- Digital Scavenger Hunts: Real contexts that have been gamified. Students here explore a layered experience in which finding the answer is not as simple as clicking a button. Example from Hawaii, a medieval-themed fayre made into a digital resource.
3. Community Engagement
Engaging with parents, carers and the school community can be hard to get right, how do you demonstrate the great work, value, and challenges your schools have in an easy-to-consume way? With ThingLink you can provide context and information in accessible formats that work on any device. This helps to engage your community and create a better understanding of your school’s culture and ethos. Explore these examples:
Interactive school tours
Let new learners and community members explore aspects of your school or program without setting foot on campus.
- Stirling High School welcomes new starters with an interactive infographic.
- Campus map and introduction to Loyola High School, Los Angeles.
Shared Community Activities
Dyce Primary interactive and learning-based sports day.
Share Policies and Learner’s Work
Create meaningful and impactful policies Cochrane Castle Primary School’s values that put impactful young voices at the heart of the values.
4. Accessible Curriculum Content
Teachers and administrators can create interactive resources that can be immediately updated and published to provide students (and their families) with access to up-to-date resources and lessons. These resources provide better transparency and accessibility to your students and families. See these examples:
Develop virtual classroom resource toolboxes that allow students and parents to know what is happening and expected. Create class-based resource guides to share ideas, tips, tricks and best practices that can be shared with students and parents. Simulate the real classroom with a Bitmoji version – ideal for younger learners who need simplicity and familiarity.
Weekly planners with tasks for organizing home learning, including Universal Design of Learning (UDL) principles with color-coded assignments for ‘choice and style’ of the task. See an example of an interactive choice board here.
Like a learning journey or walkthrough of the curriculum, it sets learners’ goals, milestones and helps to enable them to visualize the path ahead in the weeks or months. Here’s an example.
5. Virtual Experiments and Simulations
The DICE (Dangerous, Impossible, Counterproductive, or Expensive) can help quantify the types of projects the ThingLink (in or out of VR ) can help schools explore more effectively. Oftentimes trips and experiences are not easily accessible but with ThingLink, you can explore locations and even 3D models. See these examples:
Develop walkthroughs or experiences in a real-life yet digital context with 360 media and 3D models. Here’s a 3D example in ThingLink.
Complex or Dangerous Environments
Explore multistep processes and experiences by layering multiple digital assets and instructions, explore interactive manuals rather than heavy text-based alternatives.
- Explore this virtual workshop for college students.
- A real-life crime scene (well as near as!) Are you a forensic scientist!? Learners plan and create the scenes as well as execute the final digital experience!
In summary, these examples demonstrate that planning deeper learning experiences can be easy for educators with the right digital tools and the results are more impactful for learners! With ThingLink in your teacher toolbox, you have the ability to create interactive learning resources that engage learners in a way that is current and in context for today.
ThingLink has three easy-to-use plans as well as training and support to get your teachers, schools, and district up and running in minutes. To help manage the sign-in and account creation process we integrate with Google, MS 365, and Clever.
Read more of our curated articles on ThingLink in education below!