Using and Managing ThingLink
Getting started with ThingLink and guidance on creating interactive content.
ThingLink can be assessed in a browser or through the ThingLink app which can be downloaded from App Store or Play store. On your ThingLink My content page, you will find sample ThingLinks that you can clone and use. You can also click on the Explore tab in the top right of your dashboard to find ThingLink curated images and those shared.
Your Account Settings are accessed through your Profile Picture. Here you will find statistics, billing, profile, and settings to configure how you would like to use ThingLink. Available accounts include Teacher, Student, or User. If you need to change your account type or a student account for instance, please get in touch with the Online Course Production Team (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This is your main dashboard. Create new ThingLinks and manage all your existing content here. To create a new ThingLink, simply click the blue 'Create' button.
Tip: Use Folders to arrange and share content with co-editors.
Media management options
You can also select multiple files to apply bulk actions such as changing visibility settings, move to another location or delete. Hover over media and click on the three dots button for a number of options:
- 'Share' - share your content via a link or using the embed code. See this article for more information.
- 'Edit' (pen icon) - opens the editor mode for this scene.
- 'Privacy settings' (eye icon) - control who can access this scene. See this article for more information.
- 'Move to folder' - allows you to move content between folders if you have access to this feature.
- 'Statistics' - shows the content engagement statistics for this scene.
- 'Clone' - creates a copy of this scene. Please see this article for more information.
- 'Replace background' (images & 360 images) - replaces the background image without removing the tags. See here for more information.
- 'Replace thumbnail' (videos & 360 videos) - replaces the thumbnail for your video.
- 'Download' - shows the token you can use to download this scene for offline viewing. Please see this article for more details.
- 'Delete' - permanently deletes this media. It is not possible to recover any content once it's been deleted.
Folders allow members of your team to access and edit the same media. You can share a folder with all members of your organisation, specific users, or groups. In addition, you can use Folders to organise your own content if you choose to keep it private. Visit the ThinkLink support pages for information on managing folders.
There are four different visibility settings available in ThingLink which can help you determine appropriate permissions to assign to your content.
- My Organisation - available only to signed-in members of your organisation on ThingLink.
- Public - available to everyone and can be found via web search engines. This setting is not available to students.
- Unlisted - available to everyone who has a link.
- Private - available only to you and members of a private folder.
The service and your data are hosted within the EEA, however, the following parts of the service use 3rd party tools based in the US which if used will store any supplied data in the US.
- ThingLink Support (Zendesk): user needs to manually enter an email address to access support.
- Newsletter (HubSpot Inc): when teachers (only) create an account we advise users to opt-out of the newsletter due to the sharing of your email address (not an option for students) with HubSpot which is used to manage the ThingLink newsletter. If a user has already created an account they can check newsletter status by logging into ThingLink > select profile (top right) > select Account Settings > Allow Newsletter > select Disable > any data shared will be deleted 30 days after the change.
You can view statistics for all content that you own. Simply click on the three dots next to any content then click 'Statistics' in the pop-up menu.
ThingLink’s statistics track 4 types of interaction between viewers and your ThingLinks:
- Number of views
- Number of clicks
- Number of actions (clicks on the link buttons inside the tag)
- Approximate time viewers spent on the media
More information and illustrations are available on the ThingLink support pages for statistics.
ThingLink is compatible with all major browsers. However, we strongly recommend keeping your browser updated as using old versions of browsers will likely result in technical issues. ThinkLink does not support Internet Explorer 11.
ThingLink supports the following desktop browsers:
- Mozilla Firefox
- Google Chrome
- Microsoft Edge (version 44 and newer)
Creating and Sourcing Digital Assets
The University has a variety of resources and guidance to support staff with creating content that complies with UK copyright laws. We highly recommend exploring the Copyright in Teaching web pages for a steer on things to consider when creating different types of materials. The University also has an Open Educational Resources (OER) policy and OER Service with comprehensive resources and training opportunities to help you embed open approaches into your teaching practice.
Please see the Accessibility tab for tips on how to make your ThingLinks accessible.
To begin creating a ThingLink, you will need a base image or video. You will find samples and templates in Explore pages that you can clone and reuse. Visit ThingLink's support page for ThingLink upload specifications.
Types of images you can use choose:
- Images - screenshots, posters, infographics, photos, etc.
- 360-degree shots
The University maintains a bank of images that staff can use within teaching, learning, recruitment, or marketing activities. These images remain the copyright of the University of Edinburgh. Other uses will be considered on an individual basis. There are also many image sites, libraries, and museums making their collections accessible to educators. Here are a few to get you started. If you find a collection that you would like to highlight, please let us know at email@example.com.
University of Edinburgh sources
- OER channels - Access quality resources created by the University's staff and students.
- Image bank - These images are freely available to members of staff of the University of Edinburgh. University login required.
- Centre of Research Collections - This collection contains digitised images of items held in the University's cultural and heritage collections.
Help and Support
We have a custom user guide available to support you in creating, developing and sharing content with ThingLink. You can also visit ThingLink's own support pages, which you can search by topic to find the most relevant information.
We have created a custom ThingLink User Guide, which we urge you to review and consult when using the ThingLink platform. It covers key information, step-by-step guidance and examples currently being used in courses across the University.
- What is ThingLink?
- Key benefits to educators
- What can I create?
- ThingLink types
- Set up an account
Create and customise
- What types of content can I add?
- Create a ThingLink in 6 steps
- Customise your ThingLink
Open licensing and accessibility
- Copyright and open licensing
- Where to find content (OER channels)
- Tips for creating engaging, accessible content
- Immersive Reader
- Accessibility menu
Manage and share
- Manage existing ThingLinks
- Ways to share your ThingLink
For additional support with ThingLink, you may find the ThingLink support pages helpful, especially for illustrations of how to create and edit content.
If you would like more information about the support we can provide, please get in touch. We are also keen to hear about the creative ways staff are using ThingLink, so please reach out with your feedback, ideas, and suggestions.