Common Sense Review
Updated September 2013

myHistro

Make multimedia history with map-based timelines
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Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 2
Pros
This versatile site makes complicated historical events easier to understand.
Cons
Some of the English isn't perfect, and the design isn't that appealing for younger students.
Bottom Line
Kids will enjoy creating their own location-based timelines here, while teachers will find lots of inspiration for history lessons.
Polly Conway
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Kids will have fun plotting out the locations and events of summer vacations and personal events, and the site enlivens historical content that can sometimes be hard to visualize.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Kids can comment on their peers' stories, asking questions or sharing support. They'll learn to tell a story both visually and with words, skills they'll be able to use in future multimedia projects.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

An FAQ list covers the basic questions, and there are Facebook and Twitter pages where you can get updates. Data is safely saved as well as shareable through social media.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Some of the site's preexisting timelines are pretty dry, but others do a fantastic job of telling historical stories. You can mine these to use in the classroom, or you can spend a little time creating your own timelines, tailoring them to meet your class needs. The quiz function is new and a great way to make material interactive; you can choose which pieces of information you want to remove from a timeline, and kids have to fill in the blanks. By inviting students over email, you'll get their responses directly and can even create a due date.

The presentations are very map-oriented, so young geography lovers will have fun organizing the information. Most of the browsable stories are pretty serious, and younger kids may glaze over when they read some of the titles, such as "Papacy in the Middle Ages" or "Cuban Missile Crisis." But they should enjoy creating simpler personal stories. MyHistro presentations could also be very helpful for students with different learning styles; while they can include a lot of text, they're also very visual, and the multimedia options give you a lot of freedom.

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What's It Like?

MyHistro is a website that combines maps and timelines into multimedia representations of personal or historical events. After creating an account with an email and password, you can start creating a story and timeline. By adding "event" details such as text, photos, and video, plus the locations they were taken, you create a slide with all of the information you just entered. Events can stand alone or become part of a bigger story, like "France Vacation 2011." You can label events by type; some of the categories to choose from are Family, Learning, Travel, and Good Times. Timelines can be shared through social media channels or embedded.

There are lots of timelines created by other people to look at, and it's cool to see certain stories in a visual format. For example, you can observe the progression of the Black Death pandemic, watching as it jumps from Asia, where it began, to Europe, while info bubbles pop up to explain what happened in each location. MyHistro is serious about history, and it offers a lot of informative, detailed timelines of historical events.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Students can learn about historical events ranging from the founding of Islam to the Battle of Falkirk. They can also add their own tales to the mix. In creating their own events, they'll learn to gather and organize the multimedia content they've selected. Maps are prominent here, and students will gain a sense of place as well as a solid knowledge of geography. They'll also learn how to present a story, whether their own or one drawn from history, in a way that is clear and easy for an audience to understand. MyHistro is a unique way to present information, and its versatility should make it useful in any context. It's also collaborative; students can work as teams to create a timeline and can comment on each other's presentations. 

The 3D Battles are an interesting idea; these re-creations of historic battles are 3D views of the actual battles, with detailed close-ups of the armor and weapons used. Done in the style of video games, they're a little gruesome, but they're probably historically accurate. As of this review, only two 3D Battles are available on the site. Do you want to see the Battle of 1812? There's a spot to send in your battle requests. In terms of using the site to create your own story, myHistro isn't quite as slick as some of its competitors, like Historypin. With a team hailing from Estonia, the site has some slightly distracting English errors, and the design could be better.

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Teacher Reviews

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  • Fun history
    1
    Peter B.
    Los Angeles Academy of Arts & Enterprise Charter
    Los Angeles, CA
    2
    October 30, 2013