Friday, April 25, 2008

The family that social networks together...

I was directed to a website today called it's our tree. I'm impressed. It's not quite powerful enough for a serious genealogist (for example, although it allows the export of data in GEDCOM format, it doesn't look like you can import GEDCOM data)... or at least not yet but it is just at the beta testing stage, so it may get more powerful.

However, as you can see from the screenshot above, it looks very child friendly and I can imagine all sorts of educational uses. For examnple, the family tree of the royal family, or the characters in a book. Also, it is available in a variety of languages so you could switch into French to do family relationships - "votre arbre généalogique" as the site says!

What I really like about it though is you can invite your family members to join and work on the tree with you. Now, if for "family", you substitute "class" you have the makings of a great collaborative project. By way of experiment, I started a tree for James I and VI (see the screenshot above). If you want to see it and help add more information/people, let me know and I'll invite you to join my family. :-)

Technorati Tags: , , , ,


N Winton said...

David, thanks for this one!

I'm already thinking of uses for it thanks to your suggestions. It's the sort of tool that I would normally discount, I hadn't thought of applying it to literature... Clever!

Ruby said...

nice idea - and a friendly screen. Of course, one of your characters should read "James VI and I ..."

David said...

Hello Mr W

There's certainly loads of fields in the it's our tree site where all sorts of biographical data on the book characters could be stored and I like the idea of different children working independently on different characters but all contributing to the same family tree. However, I don't know if the tree structure is always helpful - a more general online database might be better at times. For example, I recently read Crime and Punishment and found all the Russian names a bit of a struggle to keep up with and seriously considered noting them down along with their variations and relationships! However, for some stories, a family tree (or trees) could be useful. Let us know if you have a go at this.

Hello Ruby

You are quite right. Shame on me. I have now fixed it on the site.

Any thoughts on its value in language teaching?