Using pictures to enrich your timeline.

Have you ever seen a history book without pictures? Neither have we. In myHistro,  stories and pictures go hand is hand, just like in history books. Images are bound to provide information and clarity into your timeline. Whether you are creating a story about Napoleon Bonaparte, your recent journey to India or the Beatles, in this post you’ll find some tips how to make your timeline more dynamic.

In myHistro pictures are one of the main component of your timeline. They add depth and colour to your story. You might think, well what does ‘colour’ stand for? In this case ‘colour’ signifies a meaning and embodies a context in relation to you story. Check out this nice story about Renaissance cultural movement. Could you imagine this without images? It wouldn’t be the same, would it? The portraits and pictures of paintings do add additional value to the timeline.

The Renaissance

The Renaissance

From history projects to biographies, most commonly 2-3 images are used in a event. You can add more or less, that’s entirely up to you. Focus on the relevance rather than the number.  Napoleon Bonaparte, the emperor of France, is still widely quoted today for his famous saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Having eye catching photos in your story will most definitely attract more attention amongst your readers than not having photos at all. This is why we encourage you to use myHistro as a creative platform for digital storytellers like yourself.

thousand_words

Napoleon Bonaparte

So how to get started? As a first example we’ve got a timeline about the journey of the Beatles. You might want to approach it by thinking about the keywords that describe the story. The Beatles – it’s a band, they make music, sell records and perform at concerts.  Already, we got some strong ideas what kind of images we could add into the timeline. Plus portraits and images of the concerts.

The journey of the Beatles

Perhaps you were given an assignment to create a chronological timeline about  the Pope at school. Similarly, let’s start with some of the keywords that are characteristic to the era, like religion, art, location – and much more! If you are struggling you can always take a peak in Google. We won’t mind! In historical timelines pictures are especially popular because history is such a fascinating and engaging subject, which without visuals would probably be unrealistic.

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Papacy in the Middle Ages

Land of Hope

Land of Hope

We also spotted some good examples of photo composition in this personal story ‘Land of Hope’.  There are compositions that are always a safe choice such as simplicity, the golden rule, the rule of thirds, symmetry and patterns, leading lines. Click the following image to check out some more examples. But as they say there aren’t any rules just basic guidelines! Fire away, experiment with different techniques and let your creativity shine!

winding-mountain-road

Leading lines by Pierre Metivier

What did you find most helpful in this post? Share your tips and comments in the section below.

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myHistro Extended, a new platform for web-based assessments.

myhistroEXT_edmodoApp_Large

myHistro is excited to introduce a new possibility integrating technology into the curriculum. Since the beginning, our aim has been visualising and mapping storytelling, whether it’s about historical events, influential figures or personal stories. But this is something unique.

Our latest feature for Edmodo users is a timeline based platform for generating tests! In contract to typical Q & A answers and tick/untick quizzes, this fresh addition provides a dynamic and functional way to conducting online assessments.

Teachers have a choice to either use timelines from the myHistro site, or create a brand new one, and convert it into a test with just a few simple steps! In myHistro we believe a timeline type of assessment encourages students to construct their answers. It also enhances their way of thinking about the context when writing down the answers.

An example page in the testStudent's view

Here are some of the key features we’re excited to highlight:

– Devise groundwork for tests by removing data from titles to event descriptions.
– Access to a comprehensive archive collection of timelines created by historians.
– Analyse results, add comments and compare with the original test on a summary chart view.

Chart view of students' work

You have the option to create a test of a timeline that consists 20 events and more, or create a simple quiz with a few events only. You choose the end result. This versatile way of testing students’ knowledge it’s far from just ticking the right answers. We wanted to introduce a completely new way assessing students’ understanding of History, Geography and Social Studies. For instance, you might have used a timeline about the history of American Civil War to present it to your class. Now you can use the same timeline for creating a test with multiple answers.

There are two ways you can do it. One way is to let students create a brand new timeline for example about Richard III or the American Civil War. Another way is to create a test by unticking all the required information on the timeline, whether its the location, description, date or the title. For instance, you might want to leave pictures in, because are a great source for sparking imagination. And once submitted, students will be able to access the same timeline with added comments and the final grade.

Adding a new test

myHistro Exteded app is available from the Edmodo store for 9USD per year.

For step by step guidelines check out our Prezis.

How to create a test on myHistro Extended http://prezi.com/gdeuplyxx1w0/how-to-create-a-test-on-myhistro-extended/

How to edit a test on myHistro Extended http://prezi.com/4xcfpfx8ry1b/how-to-edit-a-test-on-myhistro-extended/

How to review and grade tests using myHistro Extended http://prezi.com/96t-wjdxvm_r/how-to-review-and-grade-tests-on-myhistro-extended/

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Where do we come from?

I remember sitting next to my great auntie listening to her talking about dad’s side of the family. At the time she was 75 and was the only person in my hometown who had the most vivid memory of our relatives. But somehow today I still tend to mix up most of their names and faces. Until recently, when I discovered how popular, Geni, an online family tree creator, is among my relatives.

Just as I did, some of you might wonder, is it even possible to find information about your family and ancestors online? And what is it that drives people to search for their ancestors? Since Geni MyHeritage acquired Geni, a site dedicated to passionate genealogists, your chances to trace down your family history just got bigger. And if you are looking for advice or tips their blog is packed with interesting posts!

As they say two heads are better than one. If your project seems quite ambitious, why not invite your family to join myHistro and assign them as your story’s co-authors? This way they can contribute to your story. Once you start importing data from Geni, you can choose whether you would like to create a story of your family history or your spouse’s. At the moment you can add data of up to 100 relatives and a separate event per person. Not to worry if you haven’t quite figured out the end result. You can make additional changes later as well!

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There are different ways to approach writing a story of your family’s history. You can pick something that characterizes each of your relative: a passion, a favourite dish, something they were really good at, where did they hang out or with whom? Often it’s the moments we remember and cherish the most, rather than someone’s whole life story.

Journals, articles, photographs, and other records can all be helpful with dates and especially visual records. You might find out that someone from you family might have left a journal behind. Their writing could be helpful in the sense of giving a greater visual description of the surroundings and society at the time.

Cherish your ancestors and their role in your life today! In case you might be worried about making your story public, you have the option to limit access to friends only.

Happy storytelling!

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Make geography a fun class with myHistro’s geolocated timelines.

Geography is about the Earth and the Planet we live on. Its about where farmers grow crops, why rain forests produce oxygen and how natural forces destroy and create. This is where a man meets the land in agriculture. It’s as much about the climate as about geological position and society’s politics and economics.

One way of studying geography with myHistro is to break it down in to chapters. For example, focus on one location or environmental issue/cause at a time. When talking about global food crises, then we can either begin our geological journey from the issue or location.

Asking questions is a great way to approach a task. How does a geographical location affect regions climate and agriculture? What are the environmental dangers that farmers face in Central America? In what conditions does the soil grow in Bangladesh? What are the natural factors or disasters that can ruin crops/harvest?

This is where geography gets interesting. The Earth is a magical place, where in different parts of the world farmers grow different goods. From Mexico you’ll get bananas, from India you’ll get rice and tea, from Africa you get coffee and cocoa beans for chocolate. But what if bananas, tea and coffee won’t grow because of unexpected natural disasters? Whether it’s a flood, drought or thunderstorm, wildfire.

Global food crisis affects us all. To understand geography enables us to appreciate nature and the conditions the food in our fridge has grown. Myhistro’s geolocated timeline makes it possible for viewers to connect locations, context and even the factors ruining the harvest.

Here’s a fun, simple and informative timeline of the global food crisis.

http://www.myhistro.com/story/the-global-food-crises/28167/1

Why not try making your own?

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Multimedia storytelling with myHistro

Bryan Alexander, an author of the New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives laid grounds with his book sharing his experience in blending personal life and digital technology. Nowadays technology is accessible for everyone. From mobile devices equipped with high-resolution cameras to videos every enthusiast can create their own digital story. He says: “It’s vital to realize that people tell stories with nearly every new piece of communication technology we invent.”

Some of you might think what is multimedia storytelling? And how could I use myHistro for telling stories in different mediums?

http://www.myhistro.com/story/the-brave-pakistani-campaigners-fight-for-girls-rights/13306/1

For those who are not familiar with myHistro, it is a visual memory bank where you can combine different mediums such as video and photography on a timeline. Here you can tell your story, draw your readers closer to your experience through text and mapping opportunities. Include videos and photographs to create an even more powerful digital narrative. Anyhow if you are not sure about videos, stick to what you like.

If you are fan of creating storyboards, why not start by organising your storyboard and thinking about what resources you will use for your project. Is it video? Photographs? Text? Maps? As they say the more the merrier! In myHistro you do have the opportunity to blend all the mediums together. If storyboards are not your cup of tea, then have a think what would like to say in your timeline, and which resources work best.

myHistro is a great tool for travelogues, an in depth history guide, also for journalists and multimedia writers to tell a story from a whole new perspective. As an interactive timeline it’s currently one of the most innovative and powerful tools in digital storytelling. No matter if you are a pro or a beginner, here you are in charge!

Share your latest explorations, whether in the city or out and about in the countryside, from investigate reports at protests to local parades surrounded by passionate. With current mobile as well as pro equipment you have the chance to capture the emotional moments on stills and bustling sounds around you on videos. Share your fascination about the event, person or journey with people around the world. As they say ‘sharing is caring’!

MyHistro is for personal as well as professional projects. For instance you can tell your experience as a teacher abroad, a travel writer on a literary trail or a volunteer helping out local suppliers in Columbia. Every experience is unique and here you have the opportunity to add as much colour and funny jokes in your the chronicle/narrative as you would like. Don’t feel that there’s a need to share all details, share the location of your favourite spot in the world as close as you would like. We don’t mind. We like a bit of mystery.

Happy storytelling!

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“myHistro: timeline/story/map/picture mashups created by you!” from iLearn Technology

“myHistro: timeline/story/map/picture mashups created by you!” from iLearn Technology.

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The increase of timeline used in teaching

Combining interactive timelines in classroom projects has never been so popular. Whether teachers are keen on engaging students in collaborative projects or analytical thinking, MyHistro is specifically designed for projects like this. As a tool its focus is on content creation and a more personalized style of learning.

This new approach to education simplifies complex topics taught in classrooms, illustrating important events visually on built-in maps. It features an interactive timeline where users can combine text and images whether in a classroom or at home. As an example the Israel-Palestine conflict is outlined below.

http://www.myhistro.com/story/cartographic-regression/8864/1

Especially subjects such as History, Geography and English Literature are excellent for illustrating events chronologically on a timeline. Mapping continuous events and linked stories present greater chances of student engagement in the classroom. As an interactive platform, MyHistro supports students to create their own content and have a go at co-authoring. It is also a great way to introduce children to use current technology and social media.

Teachers can also use MyHistro for preparing material for classes, tests and homework using simple functions. Whether focusing on in depth storytelling or simple visual projects, both teachers and students can create personalized stories. The site has a community feel, where users can share, review and comment each other’s work. MyHistro enables tutors and students to take studying from textbooks to a new level.

MyHistro helps students to understand and analyse complex content such as WWII or the Arab Spring through storytelling. An interactive timeline delivers a whole new approach in teaching. Seth Dixon, a Rhode Island College professor tweeted about MyHistro: “I love it when ancient history has modern implications.”

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myHistro and Education

We have worked with history for years and created different ways how to organize and present historic events and to tell stories from the past (educational history, corporate history, personal memories, family history etc.). Our different services (www.myhistro.com and www.histrodamus.ee) have won several awards (incl. Science Popularization Grand Award, World Summit Award and Best Estonian e-service) and it is said in media: “Histrodamus has made a gigantic step for introducing complicated history, making a dry history (lesson) interactive and visually attractive.”

We believe that myHistro is a great teaching tool which supports learning (of history, geography, biology) in several ways:

                  General /timelines
o   Our tools allow students to study history interactively and on the Web, making history learning more appealing to digital natives.
o   myHistro visualizes historic processes and events in map and timeline, allows to understand simultaneously all three dimensions of a story: where, when, and how.
o   Allows to better understand the whole narrative and how different historic events influence each other.

In the Classroom

o   Teacher can easily prepare interactive materials for every lesson,
o   Interactive learning by watching and commenting stories,
o   Can be used for grading and testing very easily;

At Home

o   Ideal for creating independent projects (homeworks) in history or geography. It is a great tool to asses a student’s understanding of a specific subject and be sure that the student is not just memorizing dates and names but is actually connecting the dots,
o   Students can use the timelines created by the teacher to study at home and prepare for tests,
o   Well suited for group assignments due to various collaboration tools (co-authors, exporting information into CSV or KML, commenting, Follow this story etc.),
o   On Myhistro, students never stop learning. Thanks to “Today in History“ notifications they can recall something they already learned or even learn something new.
Here are some sample views/options below:

1.       Map&timelineview (history class project about Civil War),
2.       Story summary view (History of the sports league),
3.       Read more view (Geopolitical events of the past decade),

and

4.       Embedded sample story of modern Olympic Games.

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Write for us: the first timelines created

On August 1, 2012 we launched a “write for us” program to increase the number of timelines in our database. These are the first timelines that have been created.


Since we launched our program, several people have successfully joined our team of writers. We´ll introduce you some of them.

Naomi:

Naomi has been the very first person to answer our call. She saw our post on a popular writing forum and decided to give it a try. She signed up, created her test timeline and when asked for feeback she had this to say about the program:

I think the payment scheme is fair and from what I can tell at this point seems inline with the amount of work needed to create the timelines. […] I found the creation process very easy and very straight forward. Actually it was quite enjoyable.

Her test timeline was a short biography of Douglas Adams, author of the science fiction comedy series “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” from where we get the famous quote “The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything is 42“.

The timeline is quite synthetic but well within our guidelines. The application was gladly accepted and she has since created a second timeline. She chose again from the list of topics suggested and created a timeline of the best speeches in American History. Very interesting indeed.

Henry:

Henry is our second writer. He hasn’t managed to answer our email yet so we don’t know much about him but his history of Starcraft themed timeline has been accepted and he will be earning money with it too.

 

Did you like their timelines? Then go show some appreciation. They are eager to receive your “likes”, “shares” and comments.

Do you think you can do better? Then joins us. Go to the write for us page and follow the instructions.

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Write for us!

MyHistro is looking for writers…

and will pay you to do what you already enjoy: creating timelines.

Create interesting and well-written timelines on different topics and get paid based on the attention they generate.

Sign up, submit your application and start writing right now.

To read more info about this go to the page www.myhistro.com/write-for-us or follow the instructions in your dashboard.

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