Exploring Social Justice with Thinglink

This term, I assigned a short mini assignment for my students to play with some technologies that can be easily used in Digital Storytelling, working with English Language Learners, and in exploring topics of Social Justice.  We have also been talking about the power of visuals and video.  They had several choices, but most of them chose Thinglink, Storybird, or Tagxedo.  This is the first in two posts that will highlight these sites, showcase student creations, and look at potential uses.  (Access post two about Storybird here.)

Here is a past post I wrote about Thinglink that discusses what it is.  Be sure to move your mouse over the picture and click on the dots to discover the links.  Explore some of my students' creations and read their reflections.

“Once we saw the example in class, I had a ton of ideas in my head of what I wanted to do. I chose to do child poverty because it is an issue that cannot be brought up enough. I focused a lot on the United States because most people don't realize how bad this issue really is.  Children deserve better than what we are doing, and it needs to be brought to the attention of others. I chose to do five different links on the picture of a child who is clearly struggling. One link that I chose to use was the NCCP website, which has state information, data tools, and news about child poverty. The second I used was a link to a Youtube video that gives some basic information and then had a very sad piece of children talking about what it is like to be hungry. The third link is the No Kid Hungry site. It discusses the problem, solution, and how to take action. The forth is a made of 35 countries and shows the poverty rate in each country. The fifth is a link to the Voices site which has articles and facts about child poverty. This was a really fun assignment and I thought it was a great way to learn about some new technologies! Some of these sites could be used to talk to older grades about this issue and what we can do to help make a change. This site could be very fun for students to make their own with many different topics. I plan on using this again in the future!” KW

Positive Body Image
“I decided to create a story about positive body image because I really enjoy talking about body image and find it very interesting to learn about. I think that it is important for students to know what positive body image is and that every individual is beautiful no matter who they are. Talking about this topic can be applied to any grade level and can open up the door to talking about how the media's representation of beauty is distorted because of the use of Photoshop. Teachers can also talk about how society creates this notion of beauty that is unrealistic as well as talking about stereotypes that are associated with body image. The goal is to give students the resources to have a positive body image of themselves and teach them not to base judgment on how another person looks.“ LW 
“Using this tool would be easy for any subject. I think that students would find this useful for research projects. I think that I may use this as a resource in student teaching, as well as my remaining college courses!!” MF

Lyndon Johnson
“I used Thinglink because it is a very interesting concept and has so much potential for all grades. I love history, especially the Kennedys, and so I decided to use a picture taken after JFK was assassinated and LBJ was being sworn in. I can see how this would be interesting for students because they can easily find out additional information just by following the links on the picture.”   KC

Thanks to my students for their creativeness and willingness to share!

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