The Battle of the Timelines “Timetoast vs. Xtimeline”

timeline

This past week I had my students use one of the following timeline creators,(Timetoast, Xtimeline) to discuss the major events leading up to the Declaration of Independence. Since both of these tools are free and simple to use I thought that they would be a great fit for my class.

Both tools required no instruction to use and my students found them easy to navigate. They do require the latest flash player and an updated web browser. As my students progressed with these tools I did notice that not having a spell checker was an issue. Since nothing was underlined red they assumed everything was spelled correctly, which was not the case. But as far as use and functionality they both seemed to work well for my students.

From a teachers perspective I found that timetoast was a bit friendlier to use. Timetoast has a text view option that allows you to see all of the content for each date so that you do not need to click on each event to read the student material. This was really helpful and saved time in the grading process.

Check both of these tools at the following addresses:

Here is a link to a previous post on “14 Ways For Students To Create Timeline

myHistro: A Great Teaching Timeline Tool

Tallinn, view

Tallinn, view (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the great things that I have enjoyed about blogging is communicating with people all over the world. Recently, I had a message from a reader  Valeria from Tallinn, Estonia who brought to my attention a great website called myHistro. This is a great site that combines maps, timelines, images, video and puts it all together in a presentation format. This is a great tool to teach students about a sequence of events like battles and other historical events.  Click the link below for an example of a basic myHistro presentation on the battles of the Civil War.

Click here to see a good basic example of a myHistro presentation.

This is a great tool to be used in the classroom. Check it out at www.myHistro.com and thanks again to Valeria for bringing it to my attention.

Click here to read about other great timeline tools.

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Spark Student Interest with Time Search

Spark Student Interest with Time Search

Time Search is a great resource that I came across near the end of this past school year. It is a great research tool to assist students looking for information about many different topics in a history course. The timeline approach is one students always seem to appreciate and often captivates their attention. The way that the information is displayed and linked together seemed to really interest students. I found my students often discovered topics that intrigued them and really seemed to captivate their attention. Many of the students who used this began asking me questions about a variety of history topics that we were not covering in class. This lead to a few of my students research and studying different events in history in addition to the topics covered in class. Anytime I find a resource that has this effect on students it is one I bookmark and use in future classes. If you teach history you need to have a look at this site along with their parent site History World. Check them out with the links below.

Click here to check out Time Search.

Click her to check out History World.

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Visual Search Engine: instaGrok

Over the course of the the last few days my students have begun to use instaGrok as a search engine in class. This site conducts searches in a very visual way that invokes students to explore and learn. Often times I see them digging deeper into a search due to the visual nature of the the search engine. The visual nature also seems to spark  the curiosity in students to explore and look deeper into a topic. Another great thing about this search engine is the layout which provides students immediately with key facts, videos, images and other resources. Saving students time in looking for these resources next which they often need to do for many assignments. I was very happy with how engaged my students were and how they seemed to really like to use this search engine.

Check it out for yourself at: http://www.instagrok.com/

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Visual Digital Library

WDL

So often my Jr. High students seem to lose interest in their research and begin to complain that they can not find any good information. Wikipedia and other informational websites by their nature are not designed for younger students. So after the first few minutes of searching student interest is lost and they are off task. So I began looking for another website that might hold their interest a bit longer and found one that seemed to fit the bill, “World Digital Library“. This site provides images and a timeline that students can use to search for information on historical topics world wide. The great thing about this site is that it is very visual and seemed to captivate and keep student attention. There was a good amount of information on the website and I found it be a great starting point for students with research projects.

Check it out at World Digital Library http://www.wdl.org/en/

Below are some resource for other historical resources.

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Making Citations A Breeze (Three Great Resources)

Cite This For Me

Helping students with their bibliography for their papers is always frustrating and confusing for my Junior High Students. So this year I had them use three great resources that helped them to create their bibliographies without all of the usual headaches. The three sites caught my eye this year they were CiteThisForME, Easybib and Bibme. Not only did these sites really seem to alleviate many of the citing issues for my students they were easy for them to use and created great bibliographies for my students. These sites makes it simple for students to select the correct source and enter needed information to create their citation. Then students just click on the copy and paste button and paste the citations into their works cited or bibliography page. Many of the students said that they will bookmark these sites and use them again in the future. These tools will be helpful to all students check them out at the following addresses:

  1. Cite this for ME: http://www.citethisforme.com/
  2. Easy bib: http://www.easybib.com/
  3. BibMe: http://www.bibme.org/
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Free Survey Creator “Obsurvey”

This past week as our semester came to a close I began looking to create a survey to see what my students are thinking about the year so far. I have always found these types of surveys to be very reveling and enlightening and because of this have made them a regular part of my classroom routine.

The issue every year is what service to use? Survey Monkey is the most well known but like many other survey creators they require a monthly fee and since I am only creating 3-4 surveys a year a monthly fee of $20.00 is just not worth it. Many of the survey sites do offer a free version but only allow a certain amount of questions or responses which will not work for me either since I have almost 200 students. So I began the search to find a survey creator that is simple to use and unlimited in it application for free.

The best thing was I found one “Obsurvey”. Obsurvey is a great survey creator. It is very simple to use and has a wide variety of questions types to ask such as multiple choice, short answer, essay and others. It provides many different ways to present your audience with the survey by providing code to embed the survey, a link or in a java application. It has many other options like pass wording your survey and a print version as well. You can also print your results in an organized easy to read PDF document. So if you are a teacher on a budget and looking to create a survey for your students at no cost check out “Obsurvey”.

Click here to take a look at their site.

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