Visualizing Media via Interactive Timeline

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 Click Image Above to Access My Interactive Timeline!!

Visualization in science serves to be one of the most useful tools to get students to learn through different engagement in the content knowledge. Some options to enhance learning through visualization include things like infographics, interactive timelines, screen casts and digital storytelling. With an ever-growing technological age, the importance for a teacher to learn these techniques and incorporate them into his or her classroom will allow them to stay at the forefront of education. These tools can be shared with students to allow them to look at a project already made or even better allow them to create their own and really cement in the concepts they are learning.

The topic I choose to investigate for my visualization project was chemists who made large contributions to determining molecular synthesis, bonding, and structures. This topic was of interest to me because chemistry functions around the formation and breaking of elements into different molecules. These molecules undergo chemical interactions that allow the physical world to function. I know why compounds form from previous chemistry courses, but now I wanted to humanize this knowledge and see who made these revolutionary chemical discoveries.

When thinking about creating a visualization for the history of chemistry, I initially was captivated by the uniqueness and creativity involved in an infographic. I stumbled through the different websites and had difficulty with the templates provided or lack of image banks provided. I eventually landed on the infographic website Piktochart. This one seemed to have nice usable templates and the option to upload your own images. As I began designing my infographic I discovered, due to the nature of the material I choose to include, my project was turning into a pictured timeline. It was chaotic to follow and would not provide an outsider looking at it with a clear picture of the knowledge.

During that reflection, I realized that an interactive timeline was the best tool to convey different chemical researchers at specific points throughout history. I choose Capzles as the platform to create my timeline because it provided the option to have a free-floating timeline with just images. This eliminated the traditional 2D timeline with an actual line and dates popping up that are so often depicted in textbooks. This was important to me because it truly made the timeline more interactive and visually appealing to a learner.

Through the creation of this visualization project, I gained a much deeper understanding of the content knowledge I was using. In order to create the timeline, I needed to sift through historical information on each of these chemists and pick out their most important achievements. Through this, I was able to learn more than just what is showed on the timeline through this investigative research. It was a personal decision on what information or text to include in my timeline. A task such as this can provide insight to a teacher about what a student may seem as important and potential things you may need to emphasize later in class because they were missed. Additionally, I was able to connect discoveries and chemists with specific pictures that I felt best depicted their findings to someone who may not be familiar with chemistry. I will not highlight the information I discovered here so I encourage my readers to click the image above and explore my timeline to learn more about the chemists that made crucial discoveries in the field of molecular synthesis, bonding and structure.

In future visualization adventures, I plan on exploring more into the world of infographics and visual storytelling. Infographics can be used in my chemistry classroom to convey properties of a specific element or the theory of conservation of mass. I plan to learn how I can use visual storytelling to have my students create a stoichiometry problem to solve or to predict the outcome of a chemical reaction. The possibilities are endless for the utilization of visualization in the classroom. Incorporating tools such as these will provide students with the motivation to investigate and explore a topic all on their own. Visualization projects can also provide them with a new, unique outlet for studying and completing practice problems in a mode other than a worksheet.

 

Sources and Sources for Chemistry Examples to Use in the Classroom for later Dates:

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 11.00.09 AM              http://www.compoundchem.com/infographics/

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http://blog.waterfilters.net/blog/infographic-breaking-bad-drinking-water/

http://www.chemheritage.org/discover/online-resources/chemistry-in-history/themes/molecular-synthesis-structure-and-bonding/index.aspx

 

 

 

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