Timelines as Creative and Attractive Projects

We are all very familiar with the basic presentation tools and formats. Oftentimes, projects are envisioned as white papers, an  MS PowerPoint presentation, or an alternative, such as Prezi or Keynote, and a website project. Recently, we have been adding YouTube videos as either oral testimonials, “sales pitch” presentations for grants, or weekly video check-ins.

Sometimes the reasons behind these are using something different and more exciting, or providing the vehicle for collaboration and visual presentation.

Having just sent a number of timelines to instructors about the upcoming course refresh work, I came upon these two tools that I am going to pitch today. Fancy timelines!

One is HSTRY

HSTRY

Timeline of construction of EifelAs can be deduced from the title, it’s about history and timelines generally are appropriate in this subject (although plenty of ideas can be found, such as project management, or even life planning!).

Check out this example: Ancient Olympic Games | Hstry

Whether talking about a country’s policy timelines, history of women’s suffrage, or preventable disease battles, this offers an opportunity to put together something informative and visually appealing without the boring feel of PowerPoint slides. It’s not just about “less boring”, either. You can clearly see where this is a more appropriate tool than a trite slideshow.

The other one is Timeline JS

Timeline JS

typewriterA different look and feel for this interactive tool, which is a bit more involved, but also offers elegance and a friendly user interface. You can definitely do more with this tool. Ranging from Mandela’s Extraordinary Life Timeline from Time to the Evolution of User Interface, the tool will inspire you to create one of your own well-developed timelines. In fact, it would be absolutely amazing to try this ourselves and develop this as a resource for a course. Are you ready to have fun or are you ready to have fun?

This can add a variety and depth to your online projects and expand your resources.

As always, please let us know what you think in the comments below!

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Types of Cloud Storage Tools Pt. 2

(This is Part 2 of a 2-part survey of the various cloud storage tools you can utilize in the classroom. For Part 1, looking at Dropbox, Box and Copy, click here.)

Some cloud storage tools have evolved beyond offering storage on their own. The advantage of using the same tool to create your media as you use to store it is obvious, and has contributed to the success of such tools in the last few years – especially Drive.

Media-creation functionality adds a significant dimension for assessing which of these you’d prefer to use. Additionally, here at UNE we have accounts with both Microsoft and Google which should also be considered.

drive my

Google Drive is the most established of the tools covered here. OWL is utilizing Drive more and more within the courses we help design, and we find it incredibly useful as both a cloud storage and a media (documents, slideshows, spreadsheets, etc.) creation tool. Perhaps the greatest advantage of using Drive, though, is that UNE’s account with Drive gives each employee unlimited storage, highly customizable permissions (sharing media with only those in possession of @UNE accounts, for instance). All that, and the document/spreadsheet/slideshow editors are quite powerful.

office online

OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage tool, and it is integrated into a cloud variant of the Microsoft Office Suite called Office Online. If Microsoft Office is the only media creation suite you want to use, then this is something to consider. However, UNE’s contract with Microsoft only includes Outlook and Calendar for UNE employees, so using the others would be costly (to you) and the majority of your coworkers will not be able to collaborate with you (one of the major selling points of cloud-based media creation tools) unless they themselves opt into a personal Office Online plan. To make matters even more complicated, I’m not sure it’s possible to add licenses to  your existing UNE account. You would likely have to create a personal one in order to use these tools, and that gets messy quick.

icloudiCloud is Apple’s foray into cloud storage and cloud-based media creation tools; as you can see in the image above, however, the media creation tools are still in Beta. UNE has no license with iCloud, so there are no company-connected benefits to using the Apple option. However, if you really prefer to use Pages and Keynote, then this is also available. Just keep in mind: beta.