Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Great Timeline Builders

Timelines are standard in the history teacher's playback. Timelines have uses in other content areas too, but I don't know history a teacher that doesn't use timelines at some point in their curriculum. The following are three good timeline building tools. Timelines built with any of these three services, X Timeline, Mnemograph, or Time Toast, can be shared and embedded into wikis and blogs.

I've written about X Timeline and mentioned it on my podcast in the past because I find it be a great service that is very accessible to high school students. Using X Timeline students can collaborate, just as they would when making a wiki, to build a multimedia timeline. Timelines built using X Timeline can include text, images, and video. X Timeline will accept dates in A.D./B.C. format.

Mnemograph is a new timeline service that is still in beta. Mnemograph offers some very nice layout features over X Timline, but is not quite as intuitive to use as X Timeline. The layout features that I like about Mnemograph is the ability to stagger or indent events below each other in a sequence. Mnemograph also makes it easy to display the relative importance of an event by increasing its size in comparison to other events on the timeline. Like X Timeline, Mnemograph accepts dates in A.D./B.C. format.

Time Toast is the simplest of these three timeline builders. Of these three timeline builders, Time Toast is the easiest to learn. To add events to a timeline simply click on the inconspicuous "add an event" button and a simple event box pops up in which you can enter enter text, place a link, or add a picture. Time Toast does not have the more advanced editing options that X Timeline and Mnemograph offer. What it offers instead is ease of use which makes it a suitable choice for students in elementary school or middle school.

Phishing Detection Education

This video from Consumer Reports Web Watch is featured as part of the Blog Herald's series on scam detection. This animated, music video provides viewers with a three minute lesson about detecting Internet scams.

Applications for Education
Gone Phishing is appropriate for use with any group of beginning Internet users. Whether those beginning Internet users are in elementary school or are adult learners, watching Gone Phishing is three minutes well spent.

Here are a couple of other Internet safety resources, Wired Safety and Common Sense Media.

Hulu to Stream Presidential Debate

Hulu, the web video service backed by News Corp and NBC, will be streaming tonight's US Presidential Debate. The debate scheduled for the 15th of October will also be streamed on Hulu. The two debate streams will become a part of Hulu's Election '08 center.

Hulu's video quality is generally better than that found on other video websites which is why I will be watching the debate on Hulu's stream tonight. (The cable is still out on my road).

Oceanography and Live Ocean Cams

Here's a good resource for science teachers. Protect Planet Ocean should be a good resource for anyone teaching marine biology. Protect Planet Ocean provides some good information about marine preservation. The information, though based on scientific research, is presented in language that the average high school student should be able to comprehend.

Protect Planet Ocean
, in conjunction with National Geographic and other sponsors, features links to a live ocean cam and a live aquarium cam.

According to Frank Taylor at the Google Earth Blog, Protect Planet Ocean is developing Google Earth files to represent protected marine areas and marine preservation efforts.

Applications for Education
Protect Planet Ocean's reports about marine preservation could be useful for high school classrooms. The live ocean cams could be used in classrooms from Kindergarten through high school.

Electoral Votes Prediction Map

As the 2008 Election Day approaches in the United States one of the topics sure to be discussed in civics and history classes is the Electoral College. One resources that will be of use to teachers discussing the Electoral College is the Electoral Votes Prediction map from Google Maps. Using this map students can click on each state and see how the overall election results will change based on how each state votes. As students click on each state the Electoral vote count changes at the bottom of the page.

If you're looking for more 2008 Election resources you may want to try the Common Craft explanation, C-Span's Election Resources, or Google's Election page.

The Electoral Votes Prediction map is embedded below.