Investigating Interactive Journalism Tools

This week for Teaching Multimedia, we got to experiment with three different interactive elements: maps, polls/surveys, and timelines.  For yearbook, we are always brainstorming creative ways to present information in a more visually appealing way than writing.  Typically, students will immediately think of using graphs of some sort – bar graphs, or even worse, pie graphs.  There are only so many times you can use these elements before they look outdated or tired.  I am excited to be able to offer up suggestions such as the tools that I worked with below.

The first tool I worked with was Google Maps.  Using Google Maps, I created a map of the Lindbergh School District, creating a marker for each school in the district.  It was relatively simple and intuitive.  I was able to rename each school and change the color of each marker.  I can see students using this perhaps on a cross country spread to show where different meets are held.  See the map below.

The second tool I worked with was Polldaddy.  This was a very simple tool to use to create surveys.  Currently, we use Google Forms to take surveys of the student body.  While Google Forms have very many options, it does not have the matrix option, which I could see students using to survey students on marketing/sales questions (such as: do you buy a yearbook, why or why not, rate the quality of the yearbook, etc.).  I created a poll for seniors – we could use this sort of information on a senior spread or for the senior issue of the newsmagazine.  Giving multiple choice options would enable students to create graphs of information.  Using free answer questions gives students beginning information and they can then go gather more information in an interview. See my survey below.

The last tool I experimented with was Tiki-Toki for creating timelines.  This application was the most confusing of the three, and I am not sure that I would use it with students.  While there are many options, it seems like the design was pretty limited.  Additionally, with the free account, you did not have the option to embed the timeline online.  The Tiki-Toki application allows for many entries, which is a positive.  I have screenshotted my timeline below.  



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