It’s Friday and time to salute the best of your Twitter friends with a #FollowFriday shoutout. I did a little creative, constructive work with a couple of websites to pull off my tribute this week.
http://www.whendidyoujointwitter.com/ is a neat little website for some data digging. Enter a user’s Twitter name and it returns the date that a person joined the micro-blogging service. I had to check the truth of @benhazzard’s claim that I was the godfather of Ontario Connected users. I checked him out and found that he pre-dated me by five months!
The next step was to take a look at http://www.timetoast.com which creates an interactive Flash timeline based upon data that you provide. Put them together with a little time and you have an interactive timeline of Ontario educators! So, yesterday, as Ontario educators tweeted, I added them to this timeline. The complete list of Ontario Educators is at: http://twitter.com/#!/list/dougpete/ontario-educators
Unfortunately, WordPress.com doesn’t allow for the embedding of your own created Flash objects, but PBWorks does. The best I can do here is give you a static screen shot.
As you mouse over the little dots, a popup flag provides details about the individual entry. To get the full effect though, please visit the object live at: http://dougpete.pbworks.com/w/page/Ontario-PLN-Timeline
There are two different ways to visualise your data. The traditional timeline approach shown above does a great job and the website provides a copy/paste approach to embedding it.
Alternatively, there is a list view where the results are displayed in table form.
You can see that Ben and I are in great company with fabulous Ontario educators in Joan, Doug, and Rodd.
But, this is just a small sample of the power of timelines in the classroom. Timelines are graphic organizers that allow for the creation, understanding and visualization of data.
We normally think of timelines as a way to show things like the provinces entering the Dominion or a chronology of Prime Ministers but it can be much more.
- sequence of steps as you solve a problem;
- outline the plot of a novel;
- life cycle of an animal.
In true analytical fashion, the individual datum is just as important as the final product. Click the + sign on any item on the timeline for an expanded zoom view.
Timetoast is a very powerful utility that gets the job done efficiently and attractively. Next time you need to analyze data in this manner, give it a shot.