ThingLink Education Spotlight: Choice Boards Help Students and Parents Organize Home Learning

Posted by Louise Jones on May 12, 2020 4:48:32 PM

We recently wrote about project ideas for developing students' creativity and digital storytelling skills at home and also ways that ThingLink is supporting flipped learning from across the globe. Our education community continues to impress us with new concepts and iterate on the examples. From the US to Scotland educators are sharing new home learning designs or 'choice boards' with differentiated activities and a less threatening approach for learners and their parents and carers. 

What has become apparent through all the examples we have recently shared is the importance of the social presence of the teacher and the relationships they continue to nurture with their learners. By adding multimedia messages to the choice boards (as well as activities), teachers are providing important personal touches and meaningful contact.

As the conditions continue for learning at home, we wanted to take a deeper dive into examples that are emerging, and zoom into one fantastic project from Austin, Texas, in a little more detail.

Weaving together a wealth of resources

Lorrie Salome, Teacher from Austin Independent School District needed to quickly devise solutions to help connect with her class who,  like most, are learning at home.

Using ThingLink, Lorrie and colleagues created ‘choice boards’, primarily to weave together a wealth of resources and simplify the visual presentation of these for students and their parents and carers.

"Using this choice board, families can access a variety of resource types (online, printable, etc) at a wide-range of levels for tailored, differentiated options within one landing page. It allows us to seamlessly weave together a massive amount of content into a format that was a simple, organized, visually-appealing (one-page!) landing page."

Image: Click the icons to explore Lorrie’s  playful home learning design

Smart icon design guides learner exploration

Another aspect of Lorrie's learning design is the use of icons as quick visual indicators of the type of content or resource they relate to.  For example, blue and red pens show the starter and advanced options. The stars are the problems of the day and the magnifying glasses are the solutions. Back arrows are weekly recaps, and the hearts are personal messages from teachers to students.

"The symbology of the hotspot icons allowed families to know without having to click what type of resource was “hiding” behind the hotspot reducing the need to wade through unnecessary information. During a time of stress & overwhelm, this feature proved to be a huge advantage. Families were able to “understand” the course organization with very little cognitive overload. In a fantastically short amount of time, the icon symbology became second-nature to users and students were able to find what they were looking for quickly, with little to no confusion" . 

Watch the ThingLink Spotlight interactive video interview 

Watch the Interview with Lorrie and hear all about why it worked for them, including some key concepts such as creating your base media for your ThingLink, custom icons and embedding on your platform of choice. 

We would love to hear your feedback on this format and also if you have any examples to share with us too! For a full demo, check our 'How to Create a ThingLink'. 

Get started today by heading over to thinglink.com/edu and signing up for your free teacher account. 

For more information please contact: Louise Jones, Director Education Community & Partnerships, Louise@thinglink.com,

Topics: How To, education, Spotlight, edtech, online learning, remote learning, creativity, teaching

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