A quick webinar / conference call with a ThingLink representative in the US to explain the benefits of verified account status, a new service they are offering for educational institutions. Obtaining this status is free and results in the creation of a single institutional group which can be easily controlled and administered. Students and other tutors are added to the group by means of an invitation code which automatically gives them the additional features of an educational account, though of course anyone can get this if they have a .ac or .edu email address.
I have a small concern that it could be a bit of a double-edged sword. With centralisation of control comes a possible issue with students seeing it as a University controlled space like the VLE, whereas I think it would be better if they saw it as something for themselves and which they had ownership over.
The big benefit that I can see is in terms of driving adoption. Once we have gone down this route, and we did decide to go for it, ThingLink will move into the realms of an officially sanctioned and supported tool, one we will be actively publicising and pushing in the new year.