Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Across the Map Stories Are Told

When three educators, who I consider experts in integrating technology into the classroom, bring notice to a new application, I listen, read and explore.  Last week Larry Ferlazzo, blogger at Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... , Richard Byrne, blogger at Free Technology for Teachers, and Joyce Valenza, blogger at NeverEndingSearch, spoke of a recently released (from beta) web based application, Meograph.  On the home page under the button, What is Meograph?, readers see:

Meograph helps easily create, watch and share interactive stories.  Our first product combines maps, timelines, links and multimedia to tell stories in context of where and when.

In addition to reading about the services offered at Meograph, a previously created story (demo) is available for viewing, you can immediately create your own story (by answering three questions), login or sign up.  To start I filled in the boxes for the three questions of what, when and where.  Answers need to be 140 characters or less, a la Twitter.

After clicking the create button another window appears, an introduction of sorts.  I decided to take the four step tour.  In step one you are asked to add moments to your story by clicking on the timeline including when and where. 

Step two asks you to state what happened and invites you to add pictures by uploading or providing a link or perhaps linking to a video which best describes this moment.  You are reminded to click on the timeline or the "add moment" button to continue your story in step three.  Step four advises you to click the done editing button when you story is completed.

Once a video has been linked the user can select what portion will appear in the story by dragging the bar; clips last 15 seconds.  You can select the add more button to include an article, video, gallery, etc. to a specific moment.   The narration tab allows you to record on the spot or upload a file for the duration of ten seconds.  After clicking the done editing button your story is ready to view and share.

Venues for sharing are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Reddit, Digg, Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, via email  or by embedding using HTML code.  From this final screen editing can be done, comments can be made using Facebook, Yahoo, AOL or Hotmail, a running tally of views and likes is shown, and a new Meograph can be designed.

Here is my simple three question exploratory Meograph that I generated without even signing up.  I did register so I could save this.  To use this free application enter in a username (which gives you a unique URL), email address, and password.  The Terms of Service and Privacy Policy must be read and agreed to prior to use. No one under the age of 13 is permitted to use this site.  Users under the age of 18 must have parent/guardian approval.

The obvious use of tracking historical or current events using this tool allows for a fresh presentation easily and quickly.  Users could research valid information prior to generating their story keeping track in one of the many online post-it boards; process first, product second.  I thought it would be a ideal tool to use when doing an author study; inserting pertinent information about their personal lives, their road to publication, and the release dates of their books.  Students could track their reading year entering in dates of book completion, the residence of the author/illustrator, a video or image relative to the book, fashioning an interactive journal.

With the 75th  anniversary of the Caldecott Medal approaching it might be interesting to track the birth dates and birthplaces of the winners inserting book trailers, interviews or links to book covers or author images.  Students could research the winner and honor awards for a specific year making a story of them alone.  I started an example of how this might appear beginning in 2000.

Meograph is another great application to place in your virtual toolbox, preferably close to the top. It works best in Google Chrome.  There is a download called Google Chrome Frame which can be added to Internet Explorer.

No comments:

Post a Comment