ThingLink – Transforming Images and Videos into Interactive Media

-By Ashley Canning, Educational Technology Instructional Designer

thinglink logo

As mentioned in one of our earlier posts, An Infographic on Infographics, 65% of people are visual learners. Because many of our students benefit from visual cues, providing them with images can help them to make connections to course content. But usually, images are simply static photos on a screen that provide no interaction. ThingLink changes everything!

What is ThingLink?

ThingLink is a free online tool that allows you to turn images and videos into interactive media by adding notes, videos, and links. ThingLink offers education accounts that also provide capabilities to create classroom channels and manage students.


ThingLink allows you to:

  • Upload images to annotate from your computer or the web.
  • Use the image editor to add tags containing comments, clickable links, videos, and other images.
  • Search YouTube for videos to embed into your image.
  • Import videos to annotate from the web.
  • Add tags containing comments and clickable links to your annotated videos.
  • Share your annotated images and videos via a link or embed code.

For detailed instructions on using all of these features, view the ThingLink tutorials described below.

Help with ThingLink

Viewing this short video from ThingLink, which walks you through the basics of creating and sharing interactive media, is a great place to start. ThingLink also provides tutorials on the basic features of creating an interactive image or video along with instructor tutorials, which focus more on managing students and creating classroom channels.

An Example ThingLink Creation

Cell Diagram
Click the image above to interact!

Click on the image to the right to be taken to an interactive cell diagram that I created as an example using ThingLink. Notice that I’ve included a YouTube video on ribosomes, a comment about mitochondria, a close-up image of a centrosome, and a link to more information on lysosomes.

How Can You Use It?

ThingLink can be used in a variety of ways. Like the example above, instructors can add detailed information to a diagram or other image by adding interactive links, videos, and more. On the flipside, instructors could provide a blank image to their students and have them use ThingLink to label it.

Interested in more ideas? ThingLink has their own Education Blog with a variety of ideas on using the tool in education.

Getting Started

If you are interested in using ThingLink, begin by visiting and signing up for a free teacher account. Then, start creating your own interactive media!

Once you start using ThingLink, let us know what you think by leaving us a comment!

Bradford, W.C. (2004). Reaching the Visual Learner: Teaching Property Through Art. The Law Teacher, 11. Retrieved from

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s