Tool Reviews



Watch overview videoThingLink – An Overview (3:11)


ThingLink  is a Finnish-American developer and pioneer of interactive image and video technology that lets users create and share dynamic rich media images, videos, and virtual tours containing various media or 3rd party web content. The purpose of ThingLink is to allow photos and videos to be made into interactive navigation spaces, mainly for the purpose of education and online publishing.

Justification for Using this Tool

There are at least 3 good reasons why ThingLink should be used in educational contexts.  Firstly, from an Elaboration Theory perspective (introduced by Charles Reigeluth), instruction should be delivered by starting with simple foundational concepts and then followed by more specific and complex ideas. Information should also be chunked and sequenced to allow learners to connect the content.  ThingLink creates conditions for this to happen by presenting an overall view of the information and providing learners with the choice to zoom in on more specific information related to the topic, image, etc. to acquire a deeper understanding of the subject.

Secondly, ThingLink is a good example of the multimedia principle in action. The multimedia principle states that text and images are superior to just text or graphics in isolation. Research consistently demonstrates that courses with words and graphics are better received and people learn more deeply than just words alone. By tagging images with links to further resources (webpages, pop-up boxes, and maps for e.g.) learners are able to tap into a rich variety of information.

Finally, ThingLink provides learners with Learner Control. As mentioned by Clark & Mayer (2008) “Given the high levels of control inherent on the Internet, it is likely that learners will expect the same kind of freedom in e-learning courses.” In the process of linking images to other resources, students are making decisions and exercising judgment. This provides them with a sense of authorship and they will subsequently be more engaged in the learning process.

Strategies for Use

Strategy 1 – Projects

Watch overview videoThingLink for Projects (2:15)

ThingLink can be used by middle and high school students collaboratively when working on projects.

Strategy 2 – Adult Education

Watch overview videoThingLink for Adult Education (2:59)

ThingLink can be used in online adult training modules to explore work spaces.

Helpful Resources

Resource 1 – ThingLink Education Blog

This blog encourages both educators and students to sign up and take advantage of the different insights from contributors as well as to share information and participate in webinars etc.

Resource 2 – 5+ Ways to Use ThingLink for Teaching and Learning

An online article providing readers with a list of useful ways to integrate ThingLink into your teaching practice.


Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (20). E-Learning and the science of instruction (3rd ed.). USA: Phieffer.


Submitted by: Tobie Pilloy
Twitter: @PilloyTobie
Bio: Professional working in the adult educational industry for over a decade. Specialising in online education and professional development.


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E-Learning Essentials 2020 Copyright © 2020 by Power Learning Solutions is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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