Now that infographics have entered our consciousness, we no longer need to think of timelines as events placed on a generic horizontal arrow.
You probably have more photos than ever because of the ease and inexpensiveness of snapping them, but now they take up a lot less physical space. And unless you're a professional photographer, most of those memories are probably destined for the recycling bin the next time you need extra drive space. In the past, if you didn't live at your parents' house, you largely controlled their visibility in your public life. Traditionally, many people in the pocket protector set were too self-conscious to recognize flirtation signals from interested parties. One of the benefits of having a technology go mainstream is that the cost of ownership for related products drops dramatically. People used to rent scary movies to satisfy their morbid curiosity or their need for visceral shocks. I recently wrote an article about the visual language of timelines, which got me thinking about how we can use them effectively in adult learning.
Asking learners to build their own timeline or to drag and drop events on a timeline can make an effective online learning activity. Think in terms of sequence, progression, history or evolution of processes, ideas and events. This timeline shows depicts the history of California’s Proposition 8 by segmenting the information into a series of slides.


To show how technology has affected worker productivity, this timeline is based on an upward diagonal, representing the trend of increasing productivity in the US.
And thanks to Hulu and Netflix, we can go back and rewatch entire seasons that we may have missed the first time around--without buying any DVDs. Use of a theme board can be modeled for the student by pointing to a symbol and carrying out the action. A flip book consists of one vocabulary page consisting of high frequency words and phrases. Because events on a timeline occur at a point in time or during a segment of time, you’re residing in a chunking environment. Using a simple map and iconic graphics is an effective way to communicate the geographical aspect of the content.
This is another example of how the shape or orientation of a timeline adds another layer of information to the communication.
It is stated by Romski and Sevcik (2005) that it is critical that augmentative communication devices be introduced before communication failure occurs. Whether your timeline is horizontal, vertical, spiral or circular (as in the geological clock on the left), think of a timeline as the framework for your content. This could be an effective approach when you want your audience to focus on one point or event at a time. Before even looking at the numbers, the viewer can comprehend that productivity has increased.


A theme board is extremely beneficial for students who are beginning to learn how to use a communication device and students that have trouble managing more than one page of vocabulary. For example, the student can point to the symbol for "I want" on the main page and then find the symbol for ice cream on the food page. If your content consists of a progression in any way, see if you can creatively work it into this type of format. The type of symbol the student can recognize, the number of selections to be presented at one time and the size of selection must be taken into consideration when determining a low-tech communication system. A partner reads the symbol choices to the student and the student selects one through an action, such as nodding.
They then read and point to the symbols to provide suggestions such as, "I want" or"I have a question". Adapted Books: These books contain picture communication symbols placed onto the pages, as well as a communication board for additional vocabulary pertaining to the book.
Students can use the symbols to answer comprehension questions, retell parts of the story or make predictions. PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System): Introduces students to expressing their needs and wants through the use of picture symbols, and eventually learning to use these symbols to sentence build.




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