ThingLink: If you haven't tried it yet, you should. Bring online learning to life,

ThingLink: Lots of options to bring online content to life!

In a previous post, I stated I would do a blog post on ThingLink, so here it is. In 2023, ThingLink won the BETT Award for Best Digital Learning Product in Higher Education. The value of ThingLink in education spans across all sectors of education. Here is why! 

First up: What is ThingLink?

ThingLink is an innovative platform that allows educators to create more interactive and engaging learning materials by adding multimedia elements to images, videos, and virtual tours. ThingLink offers many features on a very intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Here are the ones that stand out to me

Interactive Images

Interactive images are at the heart of ThingLink’s capabilities. Educators can take any image, whether a diagram, photo, or infographic, and overlay it with interactive tags. These tags can contain text, links, videos, and more, turning a static image into an interactive learning experience.

So many relevant subjects and contexts can benefit from interactive images, from a biology teacher using it for a diagram of the human body with tags for different organs to maps of the world or scenarios or research visuals. The scope is honestly endless. To add to this, ThingLink has teamed up with Canva so you can create infographics or images straight from Canva in ThingLink. Each tag can contain links to short videos, articles, or audio files.  You can encapsulate a whole learning experience in one ThingLink interactive!

Tip: Creating visuals that represent the learning journey or timeline, complete with resources and tasks all seamlessly linked, is an excellent way to provide structure and direction, as well as presenting a learning journey that can be explored at the learner’s pace.

Interactive Videos

ThingLink also lets you create interactive videos. Similar to interactive images, educators can add clickable hotspots to videos that, when clicked, display text, links, images, or other videos. This feature is great for moving away from passive video-watching, making a more active learning experience.

Tip: Using these in short videos (under 1 minute) is possibly overkill unless it is really specific and the interactive is thoroughly thought through, but these are great for maintaining attention in longer videos by evoking critical thinking or helping learners connect to the content through the careful addition of points for reflection, maps, connected articles or polls. 

Virtual Tours

Has anyone used Google Earth Tours? I am also a fan of these (a topic for a future blog post), but ThingLink offers an even more versatile option for virtual tours. ThingLink lets you create immersive virtual tours by linking together images and videos. These tours can include interactive tags. 

Example uses: A geography teacher could create a virtual tour of the Amazon Rainforest, including panoramic images and videos. Interactive tags could be used to highlight specific wildlife, plant species, and conservation issues, providing students with an immersive learning experience that is as close to being there as possible! Get creative, there are lots of ways this feature could be used to create engaging content. 

360°/VR Content

This is one of the most versatile features that sets ThingLink aside for me. ThingLink supports 360° images and VR content, enabling educators to easily create and share fully immersive learning environments. Students can explore these environments on a computer, with a mobile device, or through a VR headset, making education an exciting, exploratory experience.

Example use: I have not personally tried this one, but I love the idea of bringing students on a 360° tour of the solar system, using tags for pop-up information on each planet. This could include 3D models, audio explanations, and links to NASA’s latest research. inspires curiosity and wonder. I have used ThingLink 360 with a 360 camera to create local 360 experiences of places in the area. You can even link these together with clues to create an escape room experience. Check out more on how to do this by clicking here: How to create escape rooms with ThingLink!


ThingLink also has the ability for educators to create scenarios of branching activities. Branching activities have been increasing in online learning experiences, and I deem them really effective. Unfortunately, scenarios can take time to create as you are often branching paths where each decision made by the learner can lead to different outcomes (sometimes it feels like tripling the workload, so my tip for these is to create them on scenarios and topics you know will not get outdated quickly or that can be used across various classes/years). ThingLink makes creating branching activities easier than other applications I have used, so this is another feature that is well worth checking out.

Ease of sharing with learners

This is another aspect I love about ThingLink, you have so much flexibility in how and where to share your ThinkLink resources, they can easily be added to existing learning management systems (LMS), websites, and presentations through links or embed codes (and all with accessibility viewing options for learners!) Oh, and they even offer statistics on how many times your resources have been viewed and how many times your tags have been clicked! 


In conclusion, ThingLink’s array of interactive features presents a wide range of opportunities for enhancing learning experiences. If you have yet to experiment with interactive images, videos, virtual tours, and 360°/VR content – now is the time and I recommend you do so with ThingLink’s intuitive interface, ease of sharing, accessibility features and overall versatility.

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