Friday Meanderings: two timeline apps and a nice frog dissection story

I am attempting to develop an information literacy session for the Grade 9 class to compliment their reading of To Kill a Mockingbird (confession here- I’ve never read it. Maybe I should get on that…) I already have a game that I played with last year’s Grade 9s called “Old School Research Quest” but I thought it would be fun for Old School to meet new school in the form of the ipad lab.

Here are my challenges:
1. The students will still have to find books on the shelves.
2. Once they find the information to a certain question in the book, to use that information to create a movie with it on the ipad.
3. Use QR codes to send them to complimentary sites.
3. Use at least one app for this project (besides imovie and qrafter).

Of course, that is a lot for just one session with them. I talked to Ms. Young English Teacher and we narrowed down the questions to about three or four key concepts she wants them to know about. The idea will be that it won’t be just about finding the information -but also using it.

Although the process has just begun, I’ve downloaded two timeline apps with the idea that maybe I could use it in my quest. Here is a quick review of the two:

Timeline eons:

PRICE: Free

Although it seems fancy at first, the timeline eons shows you where a certain event is placed within history and other events. For example, I was searching for The Great Depression. It gave me this result:

I clicked on Wall Street Crash and this is what I saw:

Although it is cool to see what was happening at the same time, there are no links to more information.

Still, the searchability is pretty easy, the interface simple and elegant and the instructions detailed and easy to follow and find.

It also begins with the Big Bang, which is about as far as we can go in time (that we know of, of course).

LineTime:

PRICE: 2.99$

LineTime takes you through 2000 years of history. It works primarily by pinching the screen to either span out or zoom in. You can go day by day or span centuries (you can go as far as milleniums, but they only cover two of those).

If your finger is tired from all that pinching, you can also search by keyword, which is what I did. I typed Great depression and it took me here:

I was searching in Decades mode

If you click on the image, you get a brief article with links to external sites. WARNING: some of the links lead you to the wikipedia page. Not there is necessarily anything wrong with that- just buyer beware.
(I just realised something- the new ios now allows me to take horizontal photos and not just vertical photos-Yay!)

Searchability? Pretty easy although I got confused with which way I had to pinch to span out. But that is because my brain has been put on backwards.

Interface: Again, simple and elegant. Easy to use.

Instructions? What Instructions? I have to find them… Let me see if I am successful… Nope. Couldn’t find them. I guess they think their app is so intuitive they don’t need a basic guide.

A little arrogant, LineTime, a little arrogant.

Nice Frog Dissection story:

Last Wednesday we had our third round of girls come in for the QR Code Scavenger hunt. I was a little confues with our schedule so we ended up having a few minutes left at the end of the session. We let the girls explore the ipad and all the ipads that our tech guru has installed on them. About half of them beelined directly to Frog Dissection where they slit the forgs open and perused with glee its internal organs.

If ever there was an argument for the ipad, I think that was it.

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