Here’s an idea from one of our Innovative Education Forum winners, Alessio Bernardelli who teaches in Cwmbran in South Wales.
“I am not a Historian, but I have always had a fascination for timelines, as I think they are a great way to visualize events and link cause and effect. So, my idea to use a great Plug-in for PowerPoint to make your timelines even more engaging, interactive and collaborative. All this is possible with PPTplex. You can download and install the Plug-at www.officelabs.com/.../default.aspx
PPTplex will let you arrange and see all your slides as if they were on a canvas. Then, with your mouse you can go around the canvas and zoom in and out to show the details of a particular period. You need to go to the "Overview" slide and draw the main structure of your timeline. Then, you can add and arrange the slides created in the main presentation to sit in the correct place on the timeline.
What's quite amazing in PPTplex is that you can add "live content". If you have a particular year on your timeline which was packed full of important events you could have a whole presentation associated with that year right on the timeline! And if you, like me, love to get your children involved and let them learn from each other, you could assign a year, or a series of events, to research and produce a PowerPoint presentation on to each group. Then, collect all the presentations from the groups and add them as "live content" in your PPTplex Timeline. This will make a rich content revision tool that your children will love!
The only limitation on PPTplex is that you lose the animations on your slides, but I think it is a good compromise to get really interactive timelines. Also, your children will concentrate more on the content, rather than on animations and other features that tend to distract them from the real focus of the task!
If you are a bit confused on how to use PPTplex, don't worry, because there are lots of video tutorials on the download page on how to use it. Otherwise, have a look at my Innovid on PPTplex http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1qBWoRnxYg
I hope you like the idea and that you will have a go at using this amazing tool in your History lessons. If only I were a History Teacher.”
Thanks Alessio for this great idea, a webcam is on its way to you.
If you want to explore timelines further you can find out how to make them using this Excel template or visit here to design your own.
We are putting subject snacks on hold over the summer holidays , we will be back with more great ideas at the end of August.