Friday, July 26, 2013

Creating Electronic Timelines for High School

As I prepare for my first semester tutoring Classical Conversations' Challenge II program (what appears to be an amazingly interesting course in British Literature and Western Cultural History), I see that one of the assignments will be to compile a comprehensive timeline of history events, composers, artists, and authors and their works.  It does not sound like a small project.

Ben and I created a handwritten timeline using Sonlight's Timeline Book a long, long time ago.  Because of the nature of this timeline I'll be tutoring my students to create (I've decided to make one myself), I've been encouraged to make an electronic timeline.

There are a lot of options for creating timelines using computers!  Since this is all new to me, I thought I'd share some of what I've learned to help others find ways to create them for their classes:

Two online programs I've found (free!) are Tiki Toki and Dipity. Both of these can be used to make more than historical timelines (you can import social media into Dipity, for example).

If you are wanting an offline tool, Excel seems to be one of the easiest tools to be able to add more information.  I found this Excel Template (for both a historical timeline and a project-based timeline) which you can rename, delete the cell contents (there is a sample timeline of Benjamin Franklin's life), and expand.  Here's the website:

Timelines look like this:
This template uses the XY graph to create a horizontal timeline.  If you want more information about how to create this type of timeline, I suggest you watch this video from a LDS genealogist  (fast forward to about 8:30 minutes into the video and watch the section called "Graphical Timelines").

You can view YouTube videos to create more basic timelines using Excel

and I don't want to forget to Knowledge Quest's  app, which I reviewed a few months ago.  There are a lot of good things about this app, but I'm not wanting to have to bring my laptop and iPad to class, so that is why I'm looking for a different electronic tool.

Finally, some people are successful making timelines with PowerPoint.  I've done only a quick search, but these timelines seem to better for more discrete, shorter timelines.  I'm not sure a 2000 year timeline is going to work on PowerPoint!

What resources have you used to make a timeline?  Have you make a vertical timeline in Excel (I haven't seen this type yet)?

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