Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Tools For Making Online Timelines

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Making timelines can be a useful learning activity for all students, including English Language Learners. I actually think students working in small groups to create a big timeline poster is a better overall learning experience. However, I can see the development of online timelines could be a good project in some situations — for example, in sharing information with others around the world in our International Sisters Classes Project.

There are many online timeline tools out there. But I’ve only found a few that are easily accessible to English Language Learners and non-tech-savvy students and teachers, free, and allow users to grab images off the web to add to their final product.

All three seem very similar. At least, I haven’t found much difference between them, but perhaps I’m missing something.

My picks for The Best Tools For Making Online Timelines are:

Dipity

Russell Stannard, the man behind Teacher Training Videos, has come-out with a  screencast on using XTimeline.

I wrote about Capzles about a year ago, and said it looked like a neat tool to make timelines, but since they didn’t allow you to grab images off the Web I didn’t think it was particularly useful for my students.  I just went back to visit the Capzles site, and was pleased to find that they had added that ability — along with other features.  Because of these changes, I’ve added Capzles to this list.

Timeglider lets you make online timelines. It looks pretty good, but you can only make five timelines on a free account.

When In Time is a new timeline creator that looks very easy to use.

Time Rime is a timeline maker that has been around for awhile, but seems to have made some nice improvements.

Hstry is a nice new online too for creating timelines. Richard Byrne just wrote a post about it, and I’d suggest just you visit his blog to learn more. As he points out, one of the particularly nice features of this free tool is that teachers can create virtual classrooms for their students.

Speaking of Richard, he also has created a chart comparing the different features of several timeline sites, and that’s certainly worth a visit.

You can find links to these three applications, as well as to the other timeline tools that didn’t make this list, on my website under Student Timelines.

If you found this list helpful, you might want to see the other over-ninety ones, too.

You might also want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

17 Comments

  1. Nice post. Timelines are becoming a popular way to visualize data and events on the internet.

    See LifeSnapz.com as a tool for chronicling and sharing events with trusted groups like classmates, family and friends.

    http://www.lifesnapz.com

    Thanks,
    Bob
    LifeSnapz

  2. I also like timetoast, but have used both xtimeline and timetoast with students.

  3. Here are links to a few others:

    Top 10 Sites for Creating Timelines by David Kapuler:
    http://www.techlearning.com/blogs/30300

    and one I’ve used for a long time:
    http://www.ourstory.com/

  4. I’ve used Timerime with my students.

    I liked the look and ease of use of Dipity, but I found that certain events disappeared from view as I zoomed in or out. I’m not sure if others have had that problem.

  5. Hey Larry, I just reviewed my top 10 as well. Hopefully, this will be a nice resource for our readers… http://cyber-kap.blogspot.com/2010/06/top-10-sites-for-creating-timelines.html

    It is on Technology & Learning’s online list as well.

    Keep up the great work!!

  6. This is a great list. I also like http://www.linethat.com as you can create photobooks from them as well. I think it’s a small company because they’re also really nice and responsive if you have troubles with anything.

  7. Hi, do you know of an online timeline that’s downloadable to a DVD? I’d like to be able to keep a copy for myself. I think the ourstory.com is one of these but would like a site that looks nicer. Tiki-toki looks great but i think it’s purely online.

  8. Hi Larry,

    There’s a Russell Stannard video on xtimeline here:

    http://www.teachertrainingvideos.com/timelines/index.html

    I guess that’s the one to which you were pointing at:

    http://trainingvideos.hscs.wmin.ac.uk/timelines/index.html

  9. Does anyone know where my students (who are under 13) can make a digital timeline without using an email address to register? You have to be 13 for a lot of these.
    Thanks!

  10. Larry, I am a 70-something woman who, with my husband, want to make a timeline of our 50-year marriage on a simple-to-use site. No need for web images, just an easy way to put each year, enter events, and be able to easily add to it later. Before I register with all these sites in order to see how they work, which one would you suggest? Many thanks, Judy White in Ohio

  11. Couldn’t find what I needed so I built a timeline tool for a project a while back and made it available to anyone. It doesn’t require anything to use it. Even if saving for later access, you can provide any username – no email needed.

    If helpful, you can find it here: http://www.free-timeline.com

    If skilled in some html at all, you can insert virtually anything (picture, videos, links, etc.) into the events. Hope it’s helpful.

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