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Teach the past in a medium of the future: 5 timeline generator apps

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Feb 7, 2013 1:32:00 PM

Timelines have long been a popular visual tool for classroom presentations. But there are only so many Crayola-marker-on-poster-board timelines one teacher can take in a lifetime! We thought these five timeline generator apps were a great way to reinvent history by bringing technology into your classroom and providing a creative platform for students to present the past with the medium of the future.

Teach the past in a medium of the future: 5 timeline generator apps

timeline appsTimeglider. They advertise their program as the GoogleMaps for time because Timeglider allows you and your students to create pan-able and zoom-able timelines using pictures, data, and a variety of spiffy formatting tools. The results are professional quality products which will enhance learning for both the creators and their viewers. This is also a great collaborative learning tool as students can work together—from their own homes—and can't use the excuse that someone didn't show up for the scheduled meeting time.

timeline apps2Tiki-Toki. Besides its catchy name, Tiki-Toki is probably one of the more straight forward timeline apps for teachers we have seen. Plus, the multi-colored timeline dot visual is attractive and helps to keep  the information from appearing too scattered.

Some of features that helped get Tiki-Toki on this list: it's simple to use, you can pull pictures from ample photo-hosting sites, it's interactive, and students can beef up their timelines by adding additional information/links into interactive text-boxes that are activated when you click on a dot or scroll over a timeline marker.

timeline apps3TimeToast. TimeToast will be a favorite for those students who prefer things as basic as possible. While at first glance, the app resembles a more traditional timeline, students can add multiple dots for the same point in time. TimeToast stacks them up. Then the presenter or the participants can scroll over each dot in order to read the information connected to it. This information can include visuals in addition to text. It's a more organized way for students to summarize the history of a focused theme, such as the History of Baseball example on TimeToast's homepage, in which there are bound to be same date/different year crossovers.

timeline apps4StatSilk. Infographic apps for teachers are starting to populate the web. Many of them involve some form of timeline generator as well—and StatSilk is one of them.

Formerly called StatWorld, we suggested this app in another blog, 5 Interactive Map Generator Apps for Teachers. This app has built-in stats from all over the, well, map. Users are able to create interactive maps and graphs which are connected to a specific timeline. It creates a more powerful visual to show examples of population expansions, technology growth, etc. across various geographic areas, to name some examples.

timeline apps5Dipity. While teachers may have the most fun with StatSilk, students will probably gravitate towards Dipity. Perhaps it's their catchy youth-oriented appeal, or the fact that it resembles Facebook and other social media-based platforms in its aesthetic. In fact, there are social media buttons up in the top right so students can easily share their creations with their social network. Either way, it's a fun, visually appealing, and socially savvy timeline builder that will probably be used for more than just your classroom. 

Timelines used to be a two-dimensional event but today's timeline apps for teachers and students have revolutionized their presentation. Start using these timeline apps in the classroom, or begin teaching students how to use them for projects, and we bet some of your future presenters will be transporting the class into the fourth dimension.


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Tags: timeline generator apps, apps for educators, apps for teachers, Master in the Art of Teaching Degree, Marygrove Master in the Art of Teaching, technology in the classroom

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