Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Timeline = Understanding?

I was looking through some NC History information that involved lots of dates and events. I am also reading a novel that gives lots of dates, events, and information about Soviet Union history (that is another story that I am not really sure why I keep reading it, but I do). When I read information from either of these sources (or any type of information like that), I try to organize it in my mind, but don't do a very good job. Since I am a visual learner, I realized that I am trying to visualize a timeline in my head to organize and make sense of all that information.

Students could create timelines to organize events or events in a story. Now I remember turning my piece of paper sideways and attempting to draw a straight line to create a timeline. I like to add details, so my paper will fill up quickly, and then I would not know what to do if I came across more information that needed to be added in the middle of the timeline.

Luckily, technology can help students today create, compare, and view interactive timelines. I believe organization of ideas and information leads to better understanding, comprehension, and learning. I have found several online timeline creators that could be used on an interactive white board (IWB) for a group activity or even at computers for partner or individual work. I can see students coming up with all kinds of way to organize information. Please let me know if you have other tools to add to my list.

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