Monday, October 12, 2009

Timeliner XE

I remember when I first came to the Tech Center three years ago. Most people didn't understand what technology could really be used at a technical school. When I would have computers reimaged, the technicians would almost automatically tell me that I didn't need any special instructional software pushed because that's what they were used to. Sadly, I started to agree with everyone; I couldn't see past those thoughts to envision what could really be done.

One program that I was pretty sure we would never use here is Timeliner XE. I couldn't fathom what on earth a technical school could use a timeliner program for. Luckily, I have been able to grow past those blind viewpoints to see the possibilities of the program. What is nice about Timeliner is the ability to create not only chronological timelines, but also sequences that can be enhanced with images and videos. Since our students learn process after process for tasks in their trades and programs, Timeliner has become a number one option to create sequences to learn and review the steps they need know. Even the timeline side of the program is going to be put to use in Early Childhood as they study child growth and development. Dental Assisting has already worked on arranging images and labeling the steps in amalgams with pictures that they took using their intraoral camera. See the image above for a sample of their work!
After these successes, I'm sure that many other instructors will be interested in trying this out in their classroom. I can see a use for it in Culinary Arts for steps in any task in the kitchen and bake shop. The trades classrooms could use it for reviewing steps in any of the processes that they put to use in building our Foundation House. The Practical Nursing students could use both sides of the program-- to create timelines for diseases/illnesses and sequences for caring for patients. Landscape Design could use it for the sequence and timeline for plant growth. And so much more, all across the building!

I spent quite a bit of time over the previous three school years feeling frustrated because I just was not sure what I could do here to help the teachers. For what reason, I won't question, but the veil has been lifted. I see endless possibilities for our teachers to improve and enhance instruction with technology that is available in our division. It is my hope that we can become pioneers in someway. I have to believe there are other technical schools out there who have been told or just believe there isn't a place for instructional technology in their curricula. It is my hope to take our division's newly implemented plan for PLCs in each building and expand ours to include teachers from other technical schools. There is so much out there that we can learn from each other, and it will all benefit the students!

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