Annotate Photos with ThingLink

Note: The following was originally posted on Dec. 23, 2013.

Last week,our graphic designer, David, put together a fun-with-Photoshop holiday greeting featuring IDS members’ smiling faces digging into instructional technology, as we are wont to do on a Tuesday afternoon. (For the record, it wasn’t our goal to make it look like we were burying our boss, John. Promise.)

One of goals with this exercise was to demonstrate use of a great Free & Cool web tool: ThingLink.

ThingLink allows users to create and share rich images — think annotations like text comments, links and video embeds. It’s a tool for making interactivity easy, and it’s been used in some great explanatory contexts.

Check out this visual lesson plan, shown with comments on a photo of the instructor’s lab. This annotated political cartoon is more directly educational. It gives a historical document context by linking to explanations and avenues for further learning. Or if those examples don’t provide enough whimsy for you, here’s a step-by-step on how to crochet a beard hat.

To put our demonstration/card/blog header together, David first took photos of each of us with his iPad. We posed (Curtis had props, but the green shovel was added later) in front of a blank wall. David then created the final composite in Photoshop. We could have done some editing with freeware like PicMonkey, but Photoshop is in David’s toolbox.

ThingLink also provides for collaboration in making the annotated image. We uploaded our photo and then allowed for public editing, which meant that our department could add media to our visual story without any log in. On the upload side, an account to create the rich image is free. We uploaded from a hard drive, but upload from Flickr, Facebook and URL are also possible. After upload, click on “edit” to open a pop-up editor and then click anywhere on the image to add a tag and web content.

Check out our ThingLink holiday greeting.

IDS Quick Tech Academy Stats
Where : Thinglink.com

What: A site for adding rich media to photos
How much: Free
Why: Can be for collaborative explanatory work (a group presentation) or a visual aid

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