thinglink NILEthinglink is a free picture annotation tool that allows content to be linked to external resources. YouTube/ Vimeo / Soundcloud clips are embedded directly inside the same window. ┬áIt is also possible to open a free teacher account which allows you to create logins for students so that they can share their work with you. While this isn’t the most intuitive process, it does generate a username and log in for them that does not require them to agree to any terms and conditions – their accounts are administered as part of yours. So – in theory – this could be used as part of an assignment, though administratively this isn’t really practical for more than a handful of students.

The thinglink editor includes a search facility to add ‘hot spots’ or they can be added manually. The free version only allows links (which are displayed intelligently when the are used to access sites with identifiable content: see the Wikipedia example below) and plain text.

Adding links to Kaltura video is not quite so simple as the direct URL link is not available from within NILE at present – you will have to contact learntech@northampton.ac.uk with details of your videos and they will be able to provide links for you.

Possible uses are as a ‘visual portal’ for students to access further or – if the thinglink is set to public – as an activity where students can add links and annotations to a shared picture as a class or within a group. The ‘Tank’ example below demonstrates this behaviour – no login is required to edit it. A modern browser is likely to be required though. In addition to the Web version, IOS and Android editing tools are also available and there is good integration into common social media tools to share results.

The paid version allows rich text to be added to pop-ups and video annotations are also possible.


These examples were created using the iframe embed code generated by ‘Share this image’ (image size can be set at the same time – 800 x 600 is probably best for NILE embedding). This iframe code will work correctly when embedded in a content item using the HTML editor.

This thinglink is publicly editable, without a login. It can’t be ‘Touched’ (or ‘Liked’) without one though.

This thinglink is private. There are colour coded links to parts on the left, external links on the right.


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