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Digital Fridays!

Published on Tue, 03/12/2013

In today’s world, technology moves at the speed of light. There are programs and websites created every day that promise to make your life easier/faster/more entertaining. But how can you tell what’s out there when everything is moving at the speed of light? “Digital Friday” is a new feature on the blog. One Friday a month, we will introduce a free online tool that is being used by history and social studies teachers to deepen students understanding of primary sources. Of course, we all understand that it’s not the tool that is most important - it’s the teaching. The tools we feature are carefully selected, tested and recommended by teachers to provide fun new ways to engage with primary sources. This week, we’re talking about ThingLink. This web-based online tool allows you to upload your own images and make them interactive. Are you familiar with how one might go to Google Maps when you want to find a restaurant in a new area, and as the cursor hovers over a spot on the map, a small information window will pop up? ThingLink allows you to create the same kind of pop-up windows on images that you upload to their website. You could use the windows to ask students critical questions about a particular part of a document. You could draw students’ attention to a particular point on a map. Or you could provide additional background information about someone who appears in a historic photograph. The possibilities are endless. Here is a ThingLink we created of an image we often use in our workshops. Move your cursor over the image and see what pops up. How might you use ThingLink in YOUR classroom? Want to know more about how to use ThingLink? Check out this video on YouTube.

Rich Cairn

Civics and Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction Specialist, Collaborative for Educational Services
Rich Cairn founded Emerging America in 2006, which features the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program at the Collaborative for Educational Services, and the National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History program, "Forge of Innovation: The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry." The Accessing Inquiry clearinghouse, supported by the Library of Congress TPS program promotes full inclusion of students with disabilities and English Learners in civics and social studies education.