Thanks to Mike for sharing this one with me today.
I’ve played around with many a Timeline creator, but this one truly seems to stand out. Dipity.com can serve as a traditional timeliner, and it will work well, but it can also become your FriendFeed with benefits.
The basic view is exactly what you’d expect. Click and scroll, zoom in and zoom out, click on an event to pop up more details. However, that’s only the first tab. Second tab is list view, which just lists everything out with thumbnails in chronological order. Very clean, very easy to read. Third tab is Flip book style. Think Apple’s Coverflow. Just click and flip through events visually. Finally, the last tab is map view. That’s right, if you geotag y our posts, it’ll map them all out.
Just think about how handy that last one would be for doing timelines of biographies or historical events. The revolutionary war, both as a a timeline and then with another click you can see a map of where all the events happened. Would certainly help put things in perspective for those students who are geographically challenged.
Of course, those are available for every timeline. Dipity goes the Web 2.0 route all the way, and allows a timeline to automatically import feeds from Flickr, YouTube, WordPress, Twitter, Picassa, and any other RSS feed you care to submit. Why’s that so significant? Because if your students are studying Mark Twain, they can do blogs about his various characters and import in the posts. It can include images of them re-enacting classic scenes from his stories. It can audio of students reading aloud or discussing the book, videos of them honing their acting skills, Tweets between @NotHuckFinn and @NotTomSawyer. And so on. Use the tools that make the most sense, and then use Dipity to aggregate them all together visually. Not bad at all!
Oh, and just to go all the way with the Web 2.0 features, it assigns each post a level of relevance, and the posts that are most relevant are displayed prominently. I’m not sure about the formula it uses, but any visitor can vote an item up or down by click on on a teeny thumb.
Of course, a timeline can have multiple editors and can even have multiple people contributing at the same time. You can also choose to keep things totally private or open to the world. Very minimal learning curve. It took me about 10 minutes to create the timeline below, which highlights blog entries from the DEN teams’ blogs as well as posts from the Leadership Councils.
Stretch your thinking, how could you use a flexible timeliner like this in your classroom?