Sunday, October 19, 2014

ThingLink for Video Adds Interactivity

I'm taking a MOOC through Coursera and UC Irvine called Advanced Instructional Strategies in the Virtual Classroom. This week, we had to turn in an assignment. One of the options for the assignment was to make an introductory video for an online course. I've used several video creation apps and programs before, so I thought it would be easy. But not so fast. The video needed at least one interactive element! That's not something I've done before.

Enter ThingLink for Video, which was one of the recommendations for adding interactivity made by the course instructor. If you are familiar with ThingLink, you know it's a tool for adding clickable icons to graphics. Recently, they've added an option for adding clickable icons to videos.

The only catch is, if you want to try ThingLink for Video, you have to purchase ThingLink premium. A one year subscription for educators is $35. I got a slight discount as a member of the MOOC, so I went for it. Even though I'd never signed up for or used the original ThingLink before. Time to find out what all the fuss is about!

So, here's how I created the video below. It's a mashup recipe, for sure!
  • I used the free AdobeVoice app for iPad to create the original video, then uploaded it to the Adobe Voice website.
  • I used Camtasia Studio on my PC to record the uploaded video while playing it from the AdobeVoice website. Camtasia is not a free program, but there are other screencast recording tools out there that could probably be used. They need to be able to save into a format that can be uploaded to YouTube, though.
  • I saved the Camtasia video in mp4 format and uploaded it to YouTube.
  • I used ThingLink for Video to incorporate interactive elements in the video.
And there you go! ThingLink for Video was very self-explanatory. There aren't too many options on the interactive icons when you insert them, which made it easy for a newbie like me. The thing I had a little difficulty with was adjusting where the links appear and disappear in the video.

There isn't a timeline you can drag the links on to tweak their starts, so you basically have to delete the link and start again if you didn't get the timing just right. Not too cumbersome, but it would be nice if it could just be adjusted on a timeline. Additionally, there are only three options for how long the link displays in the video: short (5 secs), medium (10 secs), and long (15 secs). Perhaps in future versions, the ability to more finely tune link lengths will be added.

All in all, it was easy to use and I think the video does its job. I've embedded the video below. Let me know what you think! Also, please share other tools you've used to make videos interactive. Thanks!

All original work in this post by Sandy Kendell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Please see specifics on my re-use policy in the right-hand column of my blog before re-posting/re-using any of my blog content.