I haven’t had many nice things to say about Microsoft Office for Mac in the last few years two decades. Despite the suite’s power and the fact that it outstrips it competition in many different ways, I’ve used other software in preference to Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for many years, largely because right-to-left text processing in Office for Mac has been poor nonexistent since the 1980s, even after the advent and wide adoption of Unicode. I have consistently made sure to have legitimate access to the latest version of Office (currently as a personal subscriber to Office 365) for collaborative purposes, but I almost never use it for my own independent work.
I recently stumbled across a tool called ThingLink. It basically allows you to tag images with interactive pushpins. ThingLink’s use of the word “tag” is a little nonstandard here, as “tag” usually implies “keyword.” Here the tags are text and links that appear in pop-ups, like oversized tooltips.
Just at about the same time I learned of ThingLink’s existence, ThingLink launched its Teacher Summer Challenge for 2015, so I decided to give it a spin as a way to learn ThingLink. The specific task for Week 1 has been “design your digital self.” Follow the Summer Challenge link to read the full description. The result of Week 1 is supposed to be an annotated ThingLink image by which you introduce yourself to other Challenge participants (and the whole world, I guess). Here’s the result of my work.
By way of brief review, I’ll just say that ThingLink is fun, but funky (and mean that in the sense of “funky smell,” not “Funky Kong” or “Funky Town”). The biggest headache is aligning the tag boxes on the image. I would really appreciate some alignment/grid/snap tools in future updates.
I’ve been weighing the pros and cons of reskinning some of my assignments and classroom resources to feature fictional characters who would guide students through various activities. I “piloted” one such assignment in my first-year Old Testament course, and it seemed to go over well. But I’m curious as to what Higgaion readers might think.