ChronoFlo timeline maker – Review

To check out my sample timeline click this link.

https://www.chronoflotimeline.com/timeline/shared/4076/IT-Babble-Rocks/

I have to admit I am a sucker for a good timeline maker. Way back in 2011 Omar Ghosn (the co-founder) and myself decided to review a bunch of timeline generators to find the best one (at the time). You can find all those articles here.

Sadly many of those are no longer (RIP Dipity and TimeGlider) but now there is a new contender:

ChronoFlo Timeline Maker

This review will take a look at this new site and see if it is worth your time.

Signing up

This is pretty easy, but it will require you to create a username, give an email address and create a password. There is no SSO for Google Microsoft or other social media accounts. Once you give them that information it will take you to their dashboard

Dashboard

The dashboard is very straight forward. If you have any timelines, you can find them here. If you want to start a new timeline, again you’re in the right place.

You can also update your profile such as your password and email.

Pricing

Finally you get to the pricing. The free account will allow you to make a single fully functional timeline, but you cannot embed it into a website or upload your own videos or images. You can add photos that are already hosted someplace on the web and videos (YouTube, Vimeo) already hosted on the web.

I know this is a new company and maybe there are educational pricing but I couldn’t find any on the website. For $120 a year I would expect to be able to make more than 5 total timelines. The Silver account will run you $354 a year and a limit of only 25.

It just seems a little steep for students/schools/teachers right now.

Creating a Timeline

This is obviously why we’re all here. What can you do with this tool? To get started, name your timeline and pick a theme. There are only 8 themes to chose from but they all look nice. Here is what they offer:

  • Standard timeline – The timeline is at the bottom of the page and all the events are above it.
  • Split timeline – The timeline is in the middle of the page and the events are above and below it.
  • Vertical timeline – The timeline goes up and down and they offer a standard and a split timeline.
  • 3D timeline – The event cards and timeline are staged a little to make it appear 3-D.
  • Snake timeline – The timeline looks like a snake instead of a straight line.

I picked the split time line theme and named it IT Babble Rocks.

Note, I didn’t see a way to rename a timeline or to change the theme. This can be changed! I found it in the Options menu on the right hand side of the screen and it is very easy to make those changes.

When working on your Timeline here is the workspace.

Before we get to adding an event, let’s talk about this time scaler tool. Click the magnify glass and you can change the span of what you are viewing, increase or decrease the time (I’ll let you decide what that all means and more.

To see this in action check out my super cool GIF below.

Adding an event is all pretty straightforward. Just click that + sign in the bottom left hand corner. From here you the even will appear on the timeline and a new side menu will slide out from the right hand side.

As you can see you can add the basic information such as the title of the event, a description of said event and date. Then there are some nice features below that. You have the ability to categorize the event. When people think category, they think of some text tag that is applied to that content.

Not in ChronoFlo folks!

You get a tremendous amount of customization. You can change the accent color, is above or below the timeline, they style of the card and more.

What this means is that when you add an event, just categorize it and ChronoFlo will go ahead and do all the formatting for you. AWESOME!

This is also a good lesson for students about presenting data and how to work smarter, not harder and to introduce them into CSS, it is a little similar.

Episode 187 – Snow Days

On this episode we talk snow days, football (RIP OSU) and quite a few other topics. Check out the agenda below and as always you can subscribe to us on Apple Music or your favorite podcasting app.

  1. Snow day and football
  2. How can we be independent from big tech companies?
    1. Independent hosting services
    2. GoDaddy, Blue Host
  3. Teachers teaching from home
    1. What they wanted vs what they got
  4. Blue Yeti Microphone
  5. YouTube Playlist
    1. Great for collecting, sharing and collaborating on resources
    2. https://itbabble.com/2021/01/11/youtube-how-to-make-a-playlist/

You can download the episode here

YouTube – How to make a playlist

This is pretty easy and certainly not a new topic but YouTube does change a bit over time so I thought I would put together this hand dandy little guide (with beautiful pics) to help you out.

Keep in mind you must be logged into YouTube in order to create your own playlists to share with your students or to to keep for your own teaching (or personal enjoyment) needs.

Why make a playlist

If you’re big into lesson/unit planning this is a great way to organize these resources and have them on hand year after year. It’ll save you a bunch of time so you won’t be scrambling around for the last minute. I’ve perused YouTube plenty of times, stumbled across a great video that would assist my class and just dropped it into a playlist and keep on perusing.

Step 1 – Go to YouTube and get saving

So head over to YouTube and start looking for some of those videos. When you find a video there are a couple of ways to add it to a playlist. You will see an icon with three lines and a plus sign along the same row as the title of the video. Go ahead and click that.

When you do a small window will pop up asking you which of your playlists you would like to save it to. Everyone has a playlist called Watch later, but you will most likely want to create a playlist. So you will select + Create new playlist.

When you do that you will get the option of naming the playlist (don’t worry you can rename it later if you’d like) and then you get the option of how public it can be.

Here are your three choices:

  • Private – Only you can view it on your account
  • Unlisted – Anyone can view it if you give them the link
  • Public – Anyone can search for the playlist and watch your curated video selections

Then click CREATE and you’ve got a playlist!

When you find another video, just follow the same procedure as above but instead of creating the playlist you will see your playlist as a choice.

You will notice that there is no Save button. That is correct. Just click the X to close this little window and you’ll be good to go.

Step 1 – Alternative ways to add videos to your playlist

There are other ways to add videos to playlists. If you see a thumbnail of a video and you are like “Oh yeah – my class needs that one” you can add that video without having to open it up and start playing it.

From any thumbnail, you will see three dots in the top right hand corner. Click those to bring up your options. Then select Save to playlist, select your playlist and Bob’s your uncle.

Step 2 – Where is my playlist?

Now that you’ve scoured all of YouTube and found all the perfect resources to aide your teaching you may be thinking to yourself “OK – now where is my playlist? Where does it live?”

That is an excellent question and lucky for us it is an easy answer.

No matter where you are on YouTube you will see these three lines in the top left hand corner of the screen. Click on those a menu will slide you. You will see your playlists on that menu.

When you select your playlist, it will take you to a new place. Here you can rename your playlist, add a description (if you’d like it’s not required), change how public it is or reorder your videos.

Of course you will need the actual link to the playlist and guess what? It is right there in your address bar (URL bar, Omni bar, whatever you want to call it).

So you can take that link and drop it into Google Classroom, Canvas, Edmodo, Schoology, email, whatever you use to communicate with your students.

If you want to reorder your videos all you have to do is click and drag them to the order you want. Pretty straight forward.

Step 3 – Playlist options

As time goes on you may want to remove some videos from your playlist. Maybe they are not relevant, maybe the creator deleted her/his channel and the video just doesn’t exist anymore. At any rate this is pretty easy to do. From your playlist you will three dots by the video (on the right hand side of the screen). Click that and you will see a bunch of options.

You can also add those videos to other playlists as well which makes it handy.

If you want to delete your playlist all together you certainly can do this too! From your playlist page you will see these three dots. They are kinda hidden near the middle of the page. Check out the image below to see where to find them.

When you click those three dots here will be your options. You can do quite a bit here. You can add all the videos to another playlist, delete your playlist, add a contributor (team teaching anyone) so they can add videos to the playlist and some more options.

So there you have it!

That’s playlists in a nutshell.

Funny spam comment

We use wordpress.com for IT Babble and have from the start. It’s solid, reliable and they block a bunch of spam comments from finding their way onto our posts. Every now and again I like to go in and just take a look at what these say and usually I can find some funny. ones (like the one above).

I’ve grabbed just the comment and pasted it below for easier reading.

Enjoy and happy Friday everyone.

Mic Tests!

We have some teachers who need to teach from home even though we are teaching in person. So I worked with them and worked out a solution with the devices we currently have on hand. The teachers will want to Zoom in to do their instruction so the students need to see and hear them and the teacher also needs to see and hear the students. Seeing isn’t too difficult with built in webcams but hearing the students is a different problem, so I tested a few mic options. In this test I test the following mics:

You can check out the results in the video below. I read the same description of a book around the room in a normal speaking voice to make sure the test is pretty fair. You can also check out Tony’s post about his Hi-Flex iPad option.

Continue reading “Mic Tests!”

Episode 186 – Impressive – most impressive

Tony and Patrick are back at it again for the last episode before our winter breaks. Check out all the goodness below and if you’re worthy enough. You will learn the true power of streaming (that’s a bad Star Wars joke) 🙂

As always you can find us on Apple Music or your favorite podcasting app.

  1. Happy holidays
    1. Tony’s advice – Unplug from the media/social networks
    2. Read eBooks on your smartphone
  2. Covid updates
    1. Back to SCHOOL in Indy!
  3. Adios Adobe Flash by Patrick Cauley
    1. https://itbabble.com/2020/12/07/adios-adobe-flash/
    2. Patrick’s trip into Flash gaming 
  4. Apple’s new MacBooks with the M1
    1. Why shouldn’t schools go this route?
    2. Apple has better updates
  5. Streaming to the next level!
    1. Klips

You can download the episode here

 

Google Classroom and Multiple Accounts

There are a lot of people out there using the Google Classroom app. We have encouraged our parents to log into the app as their child. That way they can see what their kid sees and have a real understanding of what is happening in the classroom.

A question we have received is “What do I do if I have more than one child?” or “How can I view all of my children’s Google Classroom assignments and materials? These are good questions and while it is pretty easy, it may not be the most obvious thing. Continue reading “Google Classroom and Multiple Accounts”

Zoom issues on a Chromebook

Good day! We, like most of the world, are distance learning. We also use Chromebooks and Zoom. Early on we had reports from our families that they would continually get the wrong Zoom meeting over and over and over again.

After a short and furious investigation we discovered the problem and the fast solution. But first let’s talk about our set up and what had. Our teachers are great and made a schedule for all of their students to follow and embedded the Zoom links in this schedule. Check out the screenshot below to see what I’m talking about.

Pretty great huh? Yep we think so too.

So what if a student accidentally clicks/taps the wrong link. Well a new tab opens that proceeds to open up the Zoom app. Pretty standard actually. Then you see that you’re in the wrong meeting so you try to close the Zoom app by clicking the “X” in the top right hand corner of the window, but that does nothing.

So if you try to click another Zoom link, it will just take you back to that original meeting. So what do you have to do? You need to close the app by moving your mouse down to the shelf and then two fingers tap (or right click if you are using a mouse) and close the app that way.

Once Zoom closes, when you click on the correct Zoom link you will be able to join that meeting!

Adios Adobe Flash

It was announced back in July of 2017. Adobe and all the tech giants all agreed to end Flash by the end of 2020. Guess what? We are at the end of 2020. I wrote about this earlier, but now it is truly the eleventh hour.

Apple has already killed off support for Flash back in September but that still leaves Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge and maybe a few other stragglers, but the short story is, if you use a website that uses Flash – you need to find an alternative right away.

Back in the day the BBC made a bunch of Flash based content. They have archived all of that but it is still accessible if you know where to dig. None of that stuff is going to work after this month. There are still some websites out there (I’m looking at you scholastic.com) that have had nearly three years to convert their content to HTML 5 and are just getting around to it now (if at all).

So what’s the work around?

That’s the bad news – there is no work around. There is not really a process that you can conveniently implement to use that content. It’s just going to be inaccessible.

So plan ahead, find alternatives or make sure that the webmasters have updated it for 2020 and beyond and move on.

How long do I have?

Not long. While I can’t seem to find a specific date, I believe that December 20, 2020 is the date for Chrome users. As for the others, they will stop supporting it by the end of the year for sure. It will not matter what device you have, a Windows computer, an Apple computer, a mobile device, I don’t think there will be much you can do.

I wouldn’t hold my breath for a reprieve for Adobe Flash. Like I wrote earlier, this has been a long time coming and while it was certainly very important for the development of the Internet, it’s time has come.

Word of warning

One thing to keep an eye out for are dubious websites that ask for Adobe Flash access after this date. These websites should just be closed and not trusted. I can see a scam forming where they will take you to another website and try phishing important information from you.

Be cautious out there good reader!