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:

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.

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:

Video Tutorials for Online Timelines

Here are select video tutorials to help you create an online Timeline:

How to Create a TimeRime Timeline:
Introduction to TimeToast

Timeglider – Creating and Setting Up a Timeline

Teacher Training Videos has a 14-part video series on using XTimelines, and you can find a Capzles tutorial onTeacherTube.

How to Integrate Online Timelines

Online timelines can be used in history classes in a variety of methods:

  • Through projection in a classroom setting, teachers can have students make generalizations about an era, identify cause and effect relationships, and determine if events are interrelated or isolated.
  • Timelines can also provide an excellent preview or review to a unit of study.
  • As a home processing assignment, student can be instructed to utilize an online timeline to make their own observations or respond to specific questions and prompts.
  • Student created timelines provide students with an opportunity to research, compile information, and present a summary of a historical event or idea. Students can be assigned specific timeline entries, or be challenged to determine the most important events of a topic or era.
  • Since online timelines can be developed by students asynchronously, they can be utilized as an in-class assignment or outside of school.
  • Select a timeline platform that students can use over the span of a year long history course to create an online timeline for the entire course. The final product can be shared as a demonstartion of mastery for the course and as a tool to review for a final exam.