Mini-Projects: Part Deux

28 Oct

For my mini-projects this time I chose to look at Google Lit Trips and TimeToast, one of the timeline sites. All three timeline sites were listed in our book, and Solomon and Schrum described Timetoast as, “an online interactive timeline creation tool with which you can design your own or search for others’ timelines on many topics. You can also publish these timelines on Twitter or other social networking sites” (Solomon & Schrum, 2013, p. 261). I liked Timetoast because it was very user-friendly- it was very easy to add and edit text along with pictures. While I think a timeline could be more useful for a history class, sometimes it is helpful for students in an English class to place events in a novel on a timeline, especially if the novel includes flashbacks. I was frustrated by the fact that the timeline required the time to be recorded in days, not hours or minutes. For example. I was using the events from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” but these events take place over one day. In order to put these events in chronological order, I had to list them as happening on different days. It’s a small issue, but it would have been helpful to have more choices about the time for the timeline.

Google Lit Trips was a bit more work than the other mini-projects I’ve done, but it also seemed to be a rewarding project. Solomon & Schrum say, with regards to Google Earth, that it may be “…limited in scope, yet [it] provide[s] capabilities that really make a difference in classrooms” (Solomon & Schrum, 2013, p. 13). There is a specific purpose for using Google Lit Trips, but I really think it would be useful, especially in a high school setting.

I used Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love because I knew the plot featured many different places around the world, which students may not be familiar with. These places in Indonesia, India and Rome are integral to the plot but also not popular destinations for today’s high schoolers. I liked that Google Lit Trips allow the teacher to add relevant websites, questions, information, etc. I think I would definitely use this in my classroom, especially for novels that take place in foreign countries. This is a great way connect the students to the novels they are reading.

 

Resources:

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2013).Web 2.0: how-to for educators. (1st ed.). Eugene, Oregon: International Society for Technology in Education.

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2 Responses

  1. samanthabrinkmann says:

    I think Lit trips is a really fascinating tool as well! I totally agree with you in that the program can either introduce, familiarize, or connect a real world location to texts learned and study in class. Not only does it connect the student to the text, it also fosters further learning as students are being introduced to geographical, historical, and sociological contexts. This program was my favorite out of all those we studied for our mini-projects. I appreciate hearing about your issue in regards to time (days as opposed to minutes), and also agree that it decreases its versatility to certain texts with plots that occur in a small amount of time. Hopefully, there are other tools out there that do take this issue into account!

  2. I used TimeToast as well and also found that the date choice was somewhat disappointing. I did mine on a historical figure so I did not need hours or minutes but the format required dates and months. Much of the information I found only listed the year or sometimes the year and month with the exception of maybe the dates of birth and death. When this occurred, I guessed at the month and made the date the 15th (middle of the road).

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