Thursday, April 18, 2013

Get your Timeline OFF the Walls and IN your hands! :)

This next review item has been very engaging, and I can see a huge variety of ways to utilize it. "So what is it, already?" you're asking.  Well, I'm going to give you some hints... 

First, I have to be honest and tell you that I *own* two actual timeline books. I also need to mention that I have had good intentions, but... those poor books are sad and empty for the most part. And my walls are bare (of timelines, at any rate... no index card or paper strips going up and down my stairwell or through the hall). What a traditional homeschool-mom failure! Enter Terri Johnson and the TimelineBuilder iPad App from Knowledge Quest
In order to get a good look at the typical use, please *do*  take a few minutes to check out this video that Terri put together, and then I'll give you my personal input on this product. 

How *We* Used the TimelineBuilder App

I know that timelines are traditionally used as tools for heavy-duty history studies (And you can see an example at the link I mentioned above, as well as in the video), but I had a couple of other ideas that I wanted to try out. 

The first timeline I built was one that I could put together rather quickly on my iPad, as I was utilizing pictures that were already on my camera roll. See... this app lets you create a timeline (With any name and description and time-frame that you want to put in), and then you can add images either from your photo files, or from any other public domain image that you find on the web. There is even a quick-link to wikipedia so that you can search whoever/whatever you want to add as an event on your timeline. I'll mention a couple of things about that in a few minutes. 

Now that you have an idea of what the app is about, here is that timeline~ a fairly simple chronology of some of my youngest child's creative efforts~ He likes me to take pictures of various things, so I thought it would be fun to archive them a little more officially~ :) 

Next~ we had Soooooo much fun playing with this one, and I KNOW we aren't even close to being done ~ We decided to make a timeline of a bunch of my eldest's favorite authors~ I have a ton of images for this project, just because I wanted to showcase some of the things that can be done with this app. BTW, just making this Literary timeline turned into a bit of a history and geography lesson as well, as my eldest looked up the authors in order to get dates for their first published works, as well as images for each one. Some bits and pieces were very interesting to discover! 

What we started out with...
after adding in a ton of authors

This is a zoomed in screen~  you can see that
when you zoom in the events become more
spread out and easier to read
Notice the circled area~ very squishy, yes?
And say you don't care for those straight
up-and-down lines~ Check out what you can do!
Isn't this nifty? These are the same books 
that were circled in the shot above. 
I love having an "Array" of books that
look almost like a heart, because I LOVE reading! :) 
Well... we kept adding authors and we even ended up changing the title of the timeline, as you might notice below~
The Literary Dromedary (Do you see it?) :)
It's rather full, but very interesting to see what decades
had writers who were most interesting to her. 
 The next set of pictures were from those that I emailed to myself~ the events are spaced enough for reading that I could easily print them up if I wanted to have a physical timeline to lay out (Or tape up my stairwell... :D) (My apologies for the spacing~ the photos are right next to one another when I'm typing into my blog , but when I publish it goes all wonky on me, and I haven't figured it out just yet... ) :(

Hopefully this gives you a feel (In spite of the wonky spacing) for how nicely these would print out to putting in a notebook if you were so inclined, OR for a school portfolio or what-have you. Pretty nifty, no?

What We Thought
I had a few other less conventional ideas for which I would consider this app.There is the obvious idea of doing a family tree type of timeline~ that would be a fun project!

I have also thought of making a garden timeline, with photos/dates that each flower or tree begins to bud, and then when they bloom. Nice way to organize it all, and keep a record for your future garden designs.

A Couple of Technicalities or Tips: 

  • When grabbing pictures from Wikipedia, it is necessary to keep tapping on the picture until it is the only thing left on the page and the address is a jpg or gif-type file. THEN you can successfully copy it to your "pasteboard" to add to the timeline. 
  • Just a note that it is sometimes a little difficult to get the images for the events to resize, but keep with it, and you'll get it. This makes it possible to get rid of most "distortion" that shows up when you first paste the image in. Nice feature! 

Goodness~ what an amazing lot of fun we can have with this app! My only concern is that I will run out of space on my iPad(which seems to be a perpetual problem of mine), and won't be able to have too many timelines going at once. Because of that, I would surely love it if this eventually turned into a program or app I could use on my MAC laptop as well, since I have a LOT more storage space there. However, for the time being, I'm pretty happy with what I can do on the iPad~ Thank you, Terri! :)

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.


1 comment:

  1. That is so cool! I hate having to hand do timelines and thus never do it. Thanks for this!


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