Images are not Illustrations they are ILMs

An explanation of the Cytoskeleton

Learning is all about the students. Teachers need to move along a Continuum of Shift. They need to move from content-centred teaching to activity-centred and from teacher-centred to student-centred.  21st century teaching is about interactivity and student engagement.

I have been working with two colleagues here at the University of Adelaide, Ms Sophie Karanicholas and Ms Cathy Snelling who are prize winning teachers in Oral Health. Sophie and Cathy do some creative and different pedagogy which usually takes place in an on-campus coffee shop …. my sort of classroom.  Students have to create posters or illustrations to interpret an aspect of biology or a concept of their discipline.  When they first started doing this a few  years ago, they put this student work up on the walls near their office and some other colleagues asked them to take them down as they were unprofessional….. they just didn’t get it!  These posters are all about engagement and the student experience, they are where the learning takes place.

I have included above a photo of a recent poster and from the course blog a student says:

“I am so proud of us girls!! From having a very basic understanding of what a cytoskelaton is to knowing it’s function, the elements involved and their structure and function! I think the posters were a great idea. We needed to research the topic ourselves and we had a chance to talk and discuss it over with each other which gave me a much better understanding of the cytoskelaton! It’s a good feeling not just text book learning but having a hands on way to learn and actually understand what you have learnt and therefore I am actually going to remember it!  I’m very proud of our teamwork in this poster and really happy with the way it turned out and our presentation :)”

Thanks to some Apple Distinguished Educator colleagues, I have just discovered Thinglink a slick new way of turning images into Interactive Learning Modules (ILMs) or objects. ThingLink’s exclusive Rich Media Tags feature popular media players and apps from YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, Google Maps, Spotify, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, iTunes, Etsy, Mailchimp and FanBridge.

The possibilities for teachers wanting to use images as interactive content is exciting and I know Sophie and Cathy will dive on this to take the posters to new online heights of interactive student engagement .  If you are interested in using Thinglink for learning and teaching, then please contact me using the email link at the bottom of this blog page, as there is a significant educational discount available.


  1. Sophie

    Hey Allan
    I love what you have done to the image of the students work. The students will be so excited to see this great stuff on the content that they created themselves.! I so posting this on their blog. I can see how valuable this “thinglink’ is. Trust you to find such an innovative tool! Thanks for sharing.

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