Since I’m way behind, I’m just going to copy and paste my paper (lame, I know!).
Here’s the paper, it explains the rationale.
The intended audience for my timeline would be anyone learning about social media. The intended use is to dispel the notion that individuals in their late teens and early twenties are “digital natives”. The term digital native is used to describe an individual who has always been exposed to digital technologies. The question is to which generation do digital natives belong? Some learning objectives would be:
- Describe major events in Internet, web, social networking, and web history
- State the dates that bound the generations called “Gen X” and “Digital Natives”
The lesson containing the timeline would be a historical lesson on digital technologies. The timeline would serve to put the technologies into perspective, and to show that the real beginning of what we are calling Web 2.0 began 40 years ago.
The bands on the timeline were constructed to reinforce the idea that many people that fit the description of Digital Native are Gen X’ers. The top band shows the dates where Gen X starts and ends, but continues to chunk time in 10 year increments. The bottom bands shows the dates where Digital Natives start and end. Important events about Internet history, web history, social networking history, and social media history are identified in the middle band. Even as the user scrolls to look at events that occurred at the beginning of the Digital Native timeline, you can see how the oldest Gen X’er is at that time.
I wrote the descriptions in the bubbles as I would a blog post. I used very little content to explain the event, but I hyperlinked to an article with more detailed information. I technically broke the Spatial Contiguity principle by linking out to more information, but that was by design. The lesson objective was to show that digital advances have been occurring since the late 1960s, not to teach complex technical innovations over the last forty years. The explanations of technical events on the timeline were short enough to satisfy the needs of novice learners, but links were provided for learners who wanted to dig deeper on the history of a particular technology.
Keeping to the Redundancy Principle, in most cases I used icons with the simple explanations. I chose icons because in the case of social media most people will have at least seen the icons before. With some of the older technologies, if it was not possible to find an appropriate graphic I did not include one.