Timelines aren’t simply for history class. In any lesson where change occurs in a somewhat organized sequence of events, a timeline can be implemented to make the student’s thinking incarnate/visible.
For example, in English Language Arts teachers can use timelines to see inside student’s heads concerning a story they are reading in class. Having students use one of the timeline sites below will allow a visual representation of how the students perceive the arch of action and character interaction. Even if they’re haven’t completed the book, they can use the latter parts of the timeline to make predictions.
Chemical reactions, cause and effect, predicting a response to a variable, water/life cycles (put in a linear form) and so many more instances of scientific inquiry can quickly be placed on a website based timeline for quick evaluation. Further, timelines can act as a review tool for students right before a test on the aforementioned topics.
I was inspired by Mrs. Saunders, our reigning Teacher of the Year at Byron Nelson HS, and her U.S. History classes. She instructed her students to flesh out an assignment where they will present a certain facet of the 1920s decade. I was called in to introduce some tech-tools and during our discussions the idea of layering timelines on top of each surfaced. Allowing students to see how seemingly separate events occurred simultaneously is a great way to study a decade from an interesting perspective.
For example, one group of students can do “Supreme Court Cases of the 1920s” another group can put together a “Women’s Rights Movement Timeline” and a final group of students can work on “Women’s Rights In Other Parts of the World in the 1920s” timeline. Once completed, students can present all three timelines to show the complexity of a single issue or time like the 1920s, gun rights, character development in play, weather systems, etc.
Here are some good online timelines:
1) www.tiki-toki.com – (featured above) This is my favorite timeline, by far. You have 2D and 3D options and the background looks like really nice. Uploading images and videos does time a little bit of time, but it’s totally worth it.
2) www.timetoast.com – It’s a nice basic timeline with a nice basic look. Very easy to use.
3) http://timeglider.com/ – Another free online timeline…but you only get to make 3.
4) www.dipity.com – Another basic timeline that’s quick and easy to use.