Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Timelines.com - Multimedia Timelines, Wiki-style

Creating and studying timelines is one of the fundamental activities of history classes. I've written about a few different tools for creating online timelines, but none have been quite like Timelines.com. Timelines.com uses crowd-sourcing to generate a gallery of multimedia timelines. Each event is accompanied by text, video, and still images. You can see an example here featuring content about the Iran Hostage Crisis which began in 1979.

Timelines.com is arranged in lists of dates, topics, and events. Select any item on any of the lists to view the content that other users have added. If you have more information to add about a particular event, topic, or date you can add it. If a topic or date is not listed, you can add it to the database. I found the easiest way to browse information on Timelines.com is to select the "What Happened On..." option.

Applications for Education
Timelines.com is crowd-sourced so you will have to teach your students to be good consumers of information if you do use it in your classroom. If students register to use Timelines.com (must be 13+) they can make their edits to any of the events on the website. A good exercise for history students might be to locate information that they question the reliability of and then edit that information with justification for their edits.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
TimeRime Multimedia Timeline Builder
Great Timeline Builders