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App Smash with Storyboard That and ThingLink

App Smashing Success

Make your storyboards interactive by app smashing with ThingLink! ThingLink is a website and tablet app that lets you add audio, video, and text to images, videos, and 360° images. You can upload your own tags or search through their media library! ThingLink also allows students to view classmates' work as well, so they can interact with and learn from each other!

We made a test project to see what sorts of things you could do by starting with Storyboard That, and it was really fun. Here are just a few of the ideas we came up with:


  • Language comprehension
  • Dialogue/speaking practice
  • Science reports
  • Historical research projects
  • Cumulative/Summative projects

Depending on the type of project your students are completing, you'll probably need additional apps to add to your fun! Photos for Class is a great place to get cited images to add to tags, and you might consider audio recording software for any voice components, as you can't record audio on ThingLink. If you've recorded audio for your storyboard on Storyboard That, you can download the file directly from the view page!

Getting the Project Started

So, how do you get started? Our project started with a completed storyboard we have on the website, and is demonstrating language comprehension by an ESL student! You and your students will start by creating a storyboard and downloading it. We found that for this particular project, the high-resolution image download option was the best! Of course the storyboard will depend on the type of project your students are completing, so this part of the project might take a few days to complete.

Creating on ThingLink

Once you're logged in to ThingLink, you can start the next phase by clicking "Create" and uploading your storyboard from your device. Here you'll see our finished comic, just waiting to be enhanced.


Storyboard on ThingLink Upload

Adding Audio

We knew audio would be a big component of this project, and chose to record the text for each speech bubble. It was easy to click the image where we wanted to place the icon, upload the audio, and hit save! For additional depth, students can also add an image or text to the "tag", which is what ThingLink calls the little popup that appears when you hover over the icons. The left-hand menu is also where you can change the way the icon looks. We selected the speaker icon since we added audio, but there are tons of other options!


Storyboard That and ThingLink Menu

Once the audio was added, the tag appeared above the speaker icon. The icon can be dragged and resized so its location won't block any important information and will make sense for the type of tag that is created. For example, if the speaker was on the tree, it would be difficult to figure out which speech bubble it was associated with, so we put the speaker icons on the speech bubbles they corresponded with. When you're done editing that particular tag, just click "Save" and start a new tag!


Using ThingLink with Storyboard That

Adding Text

Next, we wanted to add some explanations to the image. ThingLink lets you add text, which is great for definitions or information about what the audience is seeing! The first image shows the definition or explanation of pollution. This is especially helpful for defining new vocabulary words! The second image explains why the characters are displaying a certain emotion. This sort of thing is great for students learning to understand different emotions, and it also gives students the ability to explain why they chose that emotion.


Adding Definitions to Storyboards on ThingLink

Once we added all of the audio we wanted (we skipped video this time around, but would absolutely use it for a different project!), we saved the project. When the cursor hovered over the image, all the different tags appeared. Moving the cursor over a tag brings up the bubble, and audio begins to play automatically (you can pause or restart if needed).


Finished Product Enhanced Storyboard


We're pretty sure we would get an A on this project, and we're pretty sure your students will too.

All you need to successfully smash Storyboard That with ThingLink is your Storyboard That account, a device with internet, and your ThingLink account! Using additional apps is optional. And for a bonus addition, have students create GIFs on Storyboard That with our animated GIF export option and upload them to their final projects. GIFs can be used as the background of the project itself, or in one of the image tags. It'll add a little extra pizazz to the project.


Curious about other ways you can use Storyboard That as part of your app smashing? Check out our app smashing overview article for more ideas!

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