Susan Riley | December 2014

STEAM Goes Interactive

Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite tools for use in and out of the classroom.

ThingLink offers the ability to take any static image and transform it into an interactive, vibrant learning experience.  I love having students use it to document their discovery process. I have them use their own journal pages as the background image – and as a way to authentically assess their learning.  As a teacher, this becomes a way to collect all of my resources and materials in an integrated unit. In addition to, capturing them in one interactive map.  This is truly an exciting (and easy!) online resource.

Below, you’ll find a short video that shows you how I create my “hook” for an Arts Integration/STEAM lesson on the intersection of math, science and art using the work of Alexander Calder.  I vary how I use this – sometimes it’s as an introduction for whole-group and sometimes it’s homework.  Either way, I show you the resources I include, as well as how simple it is to create a map like this in ThingLink.

By the way – this is just the tip of the iceberg when using ThingLink.  Be sure to sign up for this winter’s online STEAM conference where I’ll be sharing how I use ThingLink for assessments, student growth objectives, and curriculum planning. 

Here’s a list of the websites I used in the video:

ThingLink image

Mobiles, Stabiles and Sculptures by Alexander Calder

Interactive Mobile Maker from NGA Kids

NGA Calder Virtual Exhibition

Sandy’s Circus Video

and here’s a great lesson for grades 6-8 that could be used during or after this interactive segment: Lesson Plan: Math 6-8 Balance That – ProQuest

About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan