Teaching in the times of the corona

How can I continue to manage distance learning when I can't catch up much anymore?


Distance teaching with a timeline in the corona times

Are you already overwhelmed by inventing tasks, sending emails, jumping between Facebook and WhatsApp, uploading videos, evening chatting and endless corrections of scanned homework? Take a breath and let the machines work for you. Exactly, the technology.

A modern teacher should guide a student on the path thru the education. There are a lot of applications around for gaining information or achieving competencies. So it is about teaching students to orient themselves in the offer, to understand the context, to think independently. To know that the computing technology they use must work for them.

The coronavirus pandemic forced us to learn as we marched. We need technological aids that allow teachers to educate the students remotely (and not go crazy, if possible). Let's cut to the chase - we'll show it with a tool for distance teaching, our timeline maker.

Edupunk   Send students just a topic + web address of the application. They can create a chronology timeline even without your detailed instructions.



So how about distance teaching with a timeline of chronology?

As a teacher, you don't need the much courage to choose a topic and send it to your students with the application's web address. Is it enough. Many colleagues before you have done it this way. Believe me, the best part of secondary (high) school students can handle the application despite low guidance. Your students live with technologies since their children's years.

However, if you're just a little more careful, there's 7 big clues how to easy assign a new chronology timeline to your students.


1.   Educational theme   American revolution, French presidents, social networks, personalities of physics or mathematics, popular musicians, Star Wars movies, notable inventions - anything you need to practice with your students.

our suggestion   You'll find historical milestones, events and personalities in all school subjects, just reach for them. The timeline isn't just a tool for history teachers - in each subject it will help students to compare time relations and background. As a primary resource recommend a chapter in a workbook, select a topic on Wikipedia or highlight a case in newspaper.


2.   Type of timeline   The standard timeline uses a calendar date (a specific point in time in the historical calendar). The special type of chronology timeline - time distance - works with the time flow (time duration such as 2 weeks, 3 months, 4 days) - the life of a bee, the circulation of planets, the growth of a human individual.

our suggestion   The calendar type of the timeline covers the vast majority of topics. Used data can be both the year 1848 and the extinction of the dinosaurs over 60 million years ago. You can input millennia, year, day or hour - there are dozens of variants to choose from.



3.   Timeline event   Basic element of the timeline. An event denotes a historical moment, determined by a date. In some cases, it is handy to include also the “date until” in one event (eg WW2 1939-1945).

our suggestion   The number of inserted events required by the teacher is an important part of the assignment. An indefinite number (eg "about 15 events in the timeline") will allow students to identify the scope of their work. In contrast, the exact requirement (eg "use just 10 events") is far more demanding - students have to study the material carefully to select all the major milestones while adhering to the required number of events.


4.   Timeline view   Creating a timeline from the entered dates is surprisingly the simplest part of the task: just press the “Show the timeline” button.

our suggestion   Remind students that the timeline view is an opportunity to explore all of the time relations on the timeline - what happened in a short time slot, what is remarkably distant, which events overlap, what preceded the milestone.


5.   Knowledge quiz   Whether the teacher considers it as a game or as a serious test, the quiz gives the student immediate feedback. Of course, the quiz doesn't avoid questions about the knowledge of specific dates, but many questions also examine the awareness of the events' time order and their time context. The quiz helps to clarify the relationships with the events during the testing, too.

our suggestion   The student solving the quiz doesn't have to wait for the teacher's reaction and can repeat and practice the material himself (each running of the quiz generate the differently composed questions). The knowledge quiz also has a paper form.



6.   Cooperative sharing   The educator should request the sharing of the finished chronology timeline to confirm the completion of the task. It depends on whether he wants to review each timeline (then he will advise the students of Sharing with the Edit rights), or just to check the work (Sharing with the View rights) and generalize his recommendations for the students group.

our suggestion   The teacher can just follow the students' creation. Timeline elaboration is a complex task and its making basically means that the learner has study his theme. General instructions for creating the timeline or information about the most common errors for the whole course or class should be enough, because the teacher's intention is fulfilled by the processing of the timeline itself.


7.   Timeline finalization   The timeline for quick display can be created easily. However, getting it into a completely compiled topic will take some effort. Thus, while the entry barrier for weaker students is very low, there remains enough space for ambitious students who wouldn't be satisfied with the basic design of the timeline.

our suggestion   A detailed description of the timeline as well as wording of every events' title require careful treating information. Inserting images to the timeline, in turn, is a matter of choosing photos (with respect to copyright) and compose the suited captions. A well done timeline should also be equipped with a list of resources used (literature, credits). The possibility of creating a timeline translation opens then the door for confirm the language competency.


A lot of other spells can be performed with timelines to support your teaching when schools are in lockdown. Try to create your first timeline, or you may look for some magic in our articles or find couple of inspiration in our sample chronology timelines. And you can also ask us.


Honza Brich


Article imagery by freepik


Published: 05/26/2020

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