Six Multimedia Timeline Creation Tools for Students

This week I ran a workshop on mind mapping, brainstorming, and timeline creation. These are the timeline creation tools that I included in the workshop.

Meograph offers a nice way to create narrated map-based and timeline-based stories. Much of what Meograph offers can be accomplished in Google Earth. However, Meograph is browser-based so that students can create stories even if they cannot install Google Earth on their computers.

Dipity is a great timeline creation tool that allows users to incorporate text, images, and videos into each entry on their timeline. Like most good web tools, Dipity has a collaboration option and has multiple options for sharing your timelines publicly or privately. Each entry to a Dipity timeline can include multiple types of media which allows users to add more detail and information than can be included in a traditional timeline. If you want to import Tweets and other social media messages, you can do that too on Dipity. Dipity will work on your iPad.

myHistro is a timeline builder and map creation tool rolled into one nice package. On myHistro you can build a personal timeline or build a timeline about a theme or event in history. Each event that you place on your timeline can be geolocated using Google Maps. myHistro timelines can be created online or you can use the free iPad app to create events on your timeline.

I like XTimeline because I find it to be a great service that is very accessible to high school students. Using XTimeline students can collaborate, just as they would when making a wiki, to build a multimedia timeline. Timelines built using XTimeline can include text, images, and video.XTimeline will accept dates in A.D./B.C. format.

TimeGlider offers some nicer layout features compared to XTimeline, but is not quite as intuitive to use as XTimeline. The layout features that I like about TimeGlider is the ability to stagger or indent events below each other in a sequence. TimeGlider also makes it easy to display the relative importance of an event by increasing its size in comparison to other events on the timeline. Like XTimeline, TimeGlider accepts dates in A.D./B.C. format.

Time Toast is easy to learn to use. To add events to a timeline simply click on the inconspicuous “add an event” button and a simple event box pops up in which you can enter enter text, place a link, or add a picture. Time Toast does not have the more advanced editing options that XTimeline and TimeGlider offer.


Online History Timelines

Why Online History Timelines?

History teachers have always used timelines to allow students to visualize a series of events and ideas that happen in a given era of the past. Students can visualize the sequence of events of a given topic or time period, identify cause and effect relationships, gain a sense of scale in comparing different eras, and summarize a topic or period of time.

Online timelines allow students to create content for others to use and learn and also provide the possibility of collaboration. While traditional paper timelines were confined to the classroom, online timelines can be published, embedded and linked within a class blog or website, allowing students to view and learn from each others creation.

Select Online History Timelines

Here are some specific tools for the creation of an online timeline:

A digital timeline platform, Dipity allows users to enter events, descriptions, images, embedded video, and locations. The resulting timeline can be viewed as a linear display, a flipbook of events, a list of titles of entries, or geographically through a Google map application. Dipity timelines are embeddable and also allow for the integration of social media. In addition, Dipity timelines may be made collaborative through making a timeline public or creating a group login. Dipity requires a login with an active email account.

Students can create digital timelines with both individual events and spans of time. Timeline entries can include short and long descriptions, images, links, and embedded video. TimeRime timelines are embeddable in other Web sites. TimeRime requires a login with an active email account. Other users can collaborate on a TimeRime timeline through invitation by email or by creating a group login. Timeline entries can be printed as well.

As with most timeline platforms, Timetoast allows users to create linear timelines of events, including descriptions, images, and links. Events are presented as points on a continuum, and the timeline can also be viewed as a vertical list. Viewers can comment on Timetoast timelines, and individual timelines are embeddable. Timetoast requires a login with an active email account. Other users can collaborate on a Timetoast timeline through invitation by email or by creating a group login.

This may be the most attractive platform for creating timelines, though perhaps one of the more difficult ones for younger students. As with other platforms, events can contain images and descriptions, and Capzles allows for files and media to be added to the timeline. The background of the timeline can be customized, and a music playlist can be added. Capzles requires a login with an active email account. Other users can collaborate on a Capzles timeline with a public setting, inviting friends, or by creating a group login.

A popular timeline creation tool with teachers, with Xtimeline a permanent URL is created for each timeline. There are three privacy settings and also a discussion area below each timeline. One of the unique features of Xtimeline is that events can be tagged and a source url can be added.

This is an impressive new tool, still in beta. With Timeglider you can add images and links for each event, timelines can be embedded. Unique feature: new events can be added to multiple timelines & timelines are printable. Outstanding interface, visually appealing to use.

Examples of Online Timelines

Here are examples of online timelines created with tools featured in this section:

For video tutorials go to



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