Tech and Ed Play with Web 2.0 Tools: Part 1 Timelines

Series Introduction to Tech and Ed Play with Web 2.0 Tools: I’m excited about this series of posts.  It started with this question that you may want to challenge yourself to answer as well: What ways do I currently use or have I used digital technology effectively in the classroom or in my personal life?  I’ve been contemplating how to answer this question on the blog for a long time, and I have put it off because it seems overwhelming. It also makes me feel vulnerable to show examples that are less than what I am capable of doing, but what I had time to do, the knowledge to do at any given time, etc. (The whole competence vs. performance thing my TCE 572 students discussed this week.) These experiences have spanned many classes and several years.   I will inevitably fall short here because I know there are so many more creative ideas and tools to explore, so I’d love to gather examples and ideas from our readers.  When I recall one of the main focuses of this blog, to play with technology and share, I’m going to go for it here! 

My first post here focuses on online timelines.  Upcoming posts will highlight online make-your-own comic strips and books, voicethreads, uses of screencasting tools in digital storytelling, and more.  A final post will be a screencast compilation of some of my own creations.


Description and My Example (When Tech): I became interested a few years ago in the possibility of online timelines, and dipity.com was the first one I explored.  Dipity states, “Users can create, share, embed and collaborate on interactive, visually engaging timelines that integrate video, audio, images, text, links, social media, location and timestamps.”  I used it in an intermediate adult ESOL Listening/Speaking/Vocabulary class as a simple model for students when doing a presentation on their past, present, and future.  My example is really basic, but it gives the general idea.  Watch this video that walks you through it.

Here’s another example on dipity entitled Steve Jobs Life and Career.  You may change the views in the upper right hand corner to see it as a timeline, flipbook, list, or map.  Happy exploring of dipity.com.

Possible Uses in Education (Met Ed): Several of my former college of education students have used and even presented their own dipity timelines when they reflected on their own language learning.  Online timelines can be used in all content areas.  Students or teachers can highlight any event(s) in a history timeline.  They can use them to document the steps of a scientific experiment.  They can use them to tell a story, outline the plot or characters in a story, etc.  Online timelines can also serve as an alternative to a Powerpoint or Prezi.  How can you use them?

I like how many of the timelines like Dipity can be embedded in a blog or website.  Most of them have the option to be either private or public.  More online timelines that I haven’t yet had the time to explore completely are listed in our web 2.0 tools page.  Some of them include LIFE Timeline, TimeToast, and Xtimeline.    LIFE Timeline contains ready to go timelines with some beautiful pictures as well as the option to make your own. Tiki Toki also looks especially engaging to me.

Additional sources:  If you are interested in exploring more student examples of media in education, check out Wes Fryer’s  Share: Playing With Media.  His site, book and podcast in part inspired me to get started on this series. 

Discussion:  How would you use or have you used online timelines?  Which timeline(s) have you found useful?  Feel free to share a link here or drop us a line via email.

Happy exploring and creating!

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