Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Remember what timelines used to be?

We all know the typical method of timeline creation in schools. "Draw a line, add some dates and document events in chronological order".  Students will typically use poster boards, markers and possibly cut out images. The students in Mr. Papa's grade 8 social studies class in our district are putting a new spin on the age old practice of timeline creation! They are utilizing a website called Capzles( . Capzles is a web 2.0 site built around a social networking framework. Users are provided with the ability to tell a story using pictures, video clips, audio tracks and text. Capzles refers to these items as "moments". The 'moments" are able to be placed together chronologically to develop an interactive timeline. The end result is what is referred to as a "Capzle".  

Capzles can be viewed online using a computer or on an Apple mobile device such as an Iphone or Ipad using their free app. Capzles replaces the age old practice of organizing timeline's on paper. It provides an interactive and engaging opportunity for students to organize content. Each multimedia file supplies an area for students to provide descriptions and further information. Information can be organized in a manner which delivers a truly interactive story.

Classroom Implementation

The ability to add audio provides an opportunity for students to put a voice to their presentation. This may be a useful feature in classrooms. By having students record their narration it eliminates the need to use valuable class time having students orally present their Capzles to the  entire class.

A teacher may want to provide an opportunity for peer review. Small groups of students may be supplied a rubric or questions to answer. They may be charged with reviewing a specific student made Capzle and then scoring the rubric or answering the questions. This type of peer review opportunity may spark a rich dialogue in your classrooms. It also does not require every student to have a computer to take part in this. Students may use their cell phone or ipod touch to view the capzles in the group using the free web app.

World Language classes may use Capzles to develop an intersciplinary project. Students may design a "moment" that represents a particular topic in science, social studies, current events or even mathematics. The audio narration my be recorded in the language the students are studying.

In language arts, students may design a Capzle that offers a review or insight into a novel, specific chapter or short story. The Capzle may also show the development of a character, events or story plot. Capzles may also be used to make a connection between a particular reading and events whether personal or current events in the world.

Although Capzles is free, it does require an email address to create an account. In Mr. Papa's class the students designed Capzles in groups. One member of each group used their email address to create the account.  The students were provided a rubric and a document that outlined the components that must be included in their Capzle.

Below are some links to some of our student work.



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