Magazine article Technology & Learning

Chronos 1.1 (Tom Snyder Productions' Timeline and Presentation Tool) (Software Review) (Picks of the Month) (Evaluation)

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Chronos 1.1 (Tom Snyder Productions' Timeline and Presentation Tool) (Software Review) (Picks of the Month) (Evaluation)

Article excerpt

Hardware: Macintosh (512K); 1 Mb or more RAM plus a hard drive recommended; built-in Macintosh or third-party sound-input capabilities required to record sound; CD-ROM drive required for CD-audio playback.

Emphasis: Timeline and presentation tool.

Grade level: 6-12.

Publisher: Tom Snyder Productions, 80 Coolidge Hill Rd., Watertown, MA 02172-2718; (800) 342-0236.

Package includes: One floppy disk; User Guide with version 1.1 Addendum, 30-minute walkthrough tutorial guide.

Price: $149.95; ten-disk lab pack, $450; site licenses available.

Have you ever wondered who reigned in England when Bach was writing his cantatas? Would you like to be able to display a portrait of the English ruler, and play an example of a cantata once you found your answer? This is just the sort of comparative question and multimedia response that Chronos, new timeline software developed by Imaja and published by Tom Snyder Productions, lets you explore.

Unlike TomSnyder's TimeLiner, which provides banner-like timelines incorporating events and graphics, Chronos is actually a multimedia database, capable of displaying events with corresponding graphics, typed comments, and recorded sound segments available at a mouse-click. These "chronographs" can be printed out as timelines up to 50 pages long, or they can be run "live" from the computer as part of a multimedia presentation by students or teachers.

In its finished form, a chronograph consists of a background grid displaying the time units and intervals you have selected (centuries, decades, years, minutes, etc.), against which your events are displayed as individual lines of text, along with any or all of the following: dates, keywords, comments, pictures, and popup buttons. Color-coded or patterned horizontal bars or triangular "tick marks" correlate events to the time units at the top and bottom of the page. PICT images from other software applications or from a scanner may be pasted into a chronograph, then scaled, cropped, and repositioned. Pop-up buttons next to the events give you access to digitally recorded comments, further graphics, or CD-audio clips.

In addition to the main Graphic window, which displays the chronograph as it will look when printed or used for a presentation, there are two other windows for viewing or entering information into your chronograph. The List window is a database-like workspace that shows all your entries in an organized chart. And the Card window, which is similar to a card in a HyperCard stack, fury displays all information pertaining to a single selected entry.

Once your data are entered, Chronos allows you to group and rearrange entries according to a wide range of criteria, including keywords and priority numbers. For example, given a chronograph of Olympic Games medal winners over the years, you could easily group all winners by event, by nationality (all American winners, etc.), or by place (all gold medal winners, etc.).

Strengths

* Chronos lends itself exceptionally well to a classroom situation for a variety of reasons. …

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