Story Telling and Timeline Presentation tools (for lecture support and for assignments/reports)

Looks like the "Presentation" Tool category is the most logical place to discuss this sort of thing, but I am surprised it doesn't have a category of it's own (since the Presentations topic seems to be rather broadly interpreted). Anyway, I think this is great a technology to tap into from an educational support perspective. There are so many tools out there that can be used to create audio-visual web based presentations which can be used to support lectures, to help in self-teaching situations, or to allow students to create fun, engaging "e-reports" for assignments. I checked out a few of these tools in a blog posting ( in Feburary, and plan on going back for a "deeper dive" before long, but would love to hear more from instructors who have used these. I would think there is a so much potential for fun, different kinds of approaches for presentations, both from the instruction side of things, and for creative ways to make "reports" or present class projects. So, have any of you used Vuvox, One True Media, Slideshare, or any other tools like these in instructional situations? If so, what are your observations?

Tags: Story, lecture, line, materials, presentations, reports, support, telling, time, timeline

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We used Mnemograph (now Timeglider) last year to do a timeline to enhance our study of the Titanic Disaster. (click on the timeline itself to be redirected) It was a real struggle, hopefully a year later the wrinkles have been ironed out. Loved the idea, hated the glitches.
Hadn't come across Mnemograph/Timeglider yet - thanks, Nancy (I'll add it to my list for follow-up - I intend to revisit each tool category a year or so out to keep up, and to inform my readers about developments in each area). I checked out the Titanic presentation - your students did real nice work! You might want to give Vuvox a peek for something like this in the future - in my testing it worked nicely. Thanks again for the feedback.
Thanks for glancing aroung the Titanic in the Classroom Project. The two things that stood out were the podcasts, done as passengers and crew on the Titanic and the interpretation of the data from the searchable databases.

BTW Today is the anniversary of the day the Titanic sunk April 15, 1912
My goodness, Nancy, your work with your students impresses me. I follow some of the things you do with them, and I am blown away by the quality of the products - good job!

The Titanic project... was that with your gifted students?
Pat, Thanks for stopping by. Yes, the project was done one day a week with 5th and 6th grade gifted ed students.
Have you ever heard of VoiceThread for presentations or group conversations?

VoiceThread allows users to create an interactive multimedia slide show using a combination of images, audio and video elements, and comments to the presentation can be added by viewers in several different ways (text, audio, video). The web link above gives a much better explanation of the tool.

But several faculty here have recently started using it in their classes, one example off the top of my head was in a distance learning course, where it was used for online student introductions versus just posting to the discussion board in the LMS.
Thanks Elisabeth - I took a quick look at the About page that you provided the link for. Looks like a real interesting low cost tool. I'll be checking it out further.
I just started using VoiceThread with a 100-level distance course I teach and am loving it. Instead of taking E-Live time to "stand and deliver" I've organized the course modules into mini lectures which students access prior to class. That way we can use our E-Live time for collaborative real time activities. I'm thinking next semester I may also look at posting some of my discussion board questions on VoiceThread. Students, even those in rural/remote areas can easily access the material and enjoy the flexibility the format offers. It's a great tool for distance ed.
Is it true that there is a limit to how many Voicethreads you can create unless you sign up for the paid account? Someone mentioned to me that there was a 3 Voicethread limit.

Along the lines of Voicethread I just came across this tool called Flowgram ( From what I can tell it is very similar to Voicethread, very easy to use, and it’s completely free (for the moment!).
Elisabeth - I see some info on the Voicethreads FAQ page that might help. There are a few places that the quantitiative different between free and paid accounts are stated, such as this re: invites - "Free accounts can send 50 per day, while VoiceThread Pro accounts can send 500", but I'm not sure if that specifically answers your question. You may want to peruse that page yourself to dig a little deeper.

Thanks for the mention of flowgram - hadn't come across that yet either. I'm putting it on my growing list of apps to take a look at!
I find most web presentation tools to be so vastly inferior to PowerPoint that I can't even bring myself to bother with them. PowerPoint can do anything I've ever imagined (and I've tried some crazy stuff!) so that is my go to, even with online stuff.

One thing that I do like a ton though is It won't help with the timeline side of things but as far as I've found there's no better reporting or storytelling tool out there. It is a very easy to use system to create animated videos.
Kev, I agree--many of tools I look at for my elementary students fall short. The kids might like something the first time but are done with it by the second. I don't like the need for individual accounts (too hard to keep track of and most the kid needs to lie about age to get an account), some of them look easy at first blush but are too hard for the kids to handle independently, what to do with the project when it's done? link to it? embed it?

We've looked at and used tools like glogster, toondoo, xtranormal, etc. and have been exposed to 'teen-adult' stuff. One of my 4th graders made an Obama cartoon on Toondoo and recieved some very inappropriate comments before we set the status as private (which kinda defeats the collaboration aspect of the site) Would it be more creative and thought provoking to draw your own characters on paper!! . Were the kids telling me the other day they were frustrated with xtranormal because you could only have two characters?

So far I've gotten the best work from class blog, floorplanner, Sketchup, Scratch and Alice. My co-teacher did a great project with Tikatok. I'm at the very beginnings of culling out the good stuff and putting together a menu Eventually the activities will be organized by approximate time the activity takes and category reading/math/science/technology/etc.. Thanks to Mr. Roughton for sharing and inspiring me to go back and rework an old site I had. Send any other 'must haves' my way.



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