Monday, November 18, 2013

My new project

What I really enjoy about my new job is the ability to take time to help people out and do all kinds of stuff. A lot of time it's getting kids on the network with their devices (bleh) or helping teachers out with little technical stuff, but yesterday a colleague approached me with my first big project planning idea.

She's a biology teacher and would like to have the kids research a scientist (she wants them to realize that these people were "real" people) and create a class timeline for them to put all of their scientists on.

My goal: Find a way for them to collaborate on an online timeline.

Here are the choices I've found so far:
1. - It's a really basic, boring option. Not a fan.
2. - This one looks pretty good and is pretty easy to set up. This may be my winner. Collaboration is iffy.
3. - I posted a query to google+ and someone suggested this. It's a really easy to use website but doesn't put dates or descriptions; it's pretty media based. Still in the running.
4. - I've played with this a little but need to come back to it
5. - Again, a suggestion from Google+. I don't think this fits the project, but it's a super cool website. It's a huge timeline that covers from the beginning of the universe until today; it's prepopulated with descriptions and videos and you get to zoom around until you find the time you want. Very neat. I forwarded this to some of the science and social studies teachers here in the building.

This last one is my winner for now, especially considering that the teacher would like to have students collaborate on the timeline.  It was sent to me by someone on Google+, and it uses information from a google spreadsheet to create the timeline... talk about a great way to have students collaborate!  I want to play with it some more, but it's one that I'll definitely forward on as an option. It's called Timeline JS.

If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to send them on!


  1. Hello. My name is William and I stumbled across your blog several weeks ago!

    I've used all of these options and Timeline JS is easily my favorite. Simple, clean, beautiful layout. Excellent collaborative potential. The downside is that it takes a good amount of work to set up compared to the others, but I think it's worth it.

    For an example, check this out:

    This page contains a lesson plan download that has sample Google spreadsheets that you can copy and adapt as needed:

  2. I've used/suggested Dipity ( in the past. Users can add video, audio, images, text, links, social media and more. It's easy to use and doesn't require a lot of set up time. Users can collaborate on the timelines too (not sure if there is a limit to number of collaborators).

    Looking forward to checking out Timeline JS!

  3. William -
    Thanks so much for your example! The Timeline JS output is just so sharp. What would you think about sharing the spreadsheet for students to input their data? Or I guess the teacher could just copy the resulting google form spreadsheet into one built for the timeline.

    Katie, it looks like dipity is a good option; I like that the Timeline JS doesn't require a new account for the kids to set up. We'll leave it as an option. :)