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My Digital Footprint

John Seely Brown

The web has just begun to have an impact on our lives. As fascinated as we are with it today, we’re still seeing it in its early forms… My belief is that not only will the web be as fundamental to society as electrification but that it will be subject to many of the same diffusion and absorption dynamics as that earlier medium.


Most free timeline tools are not  specifically designed for classroom use.  The ones listed here are considered appropriate for K-12 students, however, teachers are advised to check them out before use to ensure students can be guided to the most appropriate content.

Easy timeline tool with text (for printing) or Flash output mode.  Insert hyperlinks for interactivitiy. Free account permits unlimited number of timelines and embed function, however, no option to add videos.  Once a timeline has been published, you will see the embed link when viewing it and be able to embed on own site.  Doesn't support BC Era dates.  Recommended for class use.

Read Write Think
Free Timeline 2 - An update on the popular RWT timeline interactive.  Timelines can be organized by time of day, date, or event, and the tool allows users to create a label with short or long descriptive text. Adding an image for each label makes a timeline more visually appealing. Add, drag, and rearrange items as needed. Saving capability allows students to return to their work and make revisions, and they can share their final work via e-mail.  Excellent timeline tool.  E.g. Lesson - Creating psychological profiles of the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird

Free web-based timeline. Easily create and share timelines with pictures and videos. Has built-in capabilities that allow you to conduct research, embed photos and videos, do group editing, and engage in social collaboration.  Simply log in and get started.  Save favourite timelines to your profile.  Multiple students can use the same account.  See Edutopia review and comments.  E.g. History of India

Create, share, embed and collaborate on interactive, visually engaging timelines that integrate video, audio, images, text, links, social media, location and timestamps.  Free accounts can create 3 timelines - paid options available. Account holders must be 13 years of age. Content is user-generated and owned. Easily deleted.  Print function coming.  Very clean 

Tiki Toki
Free account lets you create a fully-functional timeline that you can share with friends and colleagues.  Images, text and even videos (YouTube, Vimeo and AVIs) can be embedded.  Free account allows one timeline only and finished timeline cannot be embedded in another site.  Desktop version is available for Mac. Teacher subscription account with multiple, sharing and embed features available.

Create, collaborate, and publish zooming and panning interactive timelines. It's like Google Maps, but for time.  Free student account allows three timelines, 20 images and can be embedded.  Paid subscriptions provide extensive sharing and enhancement options.  Timelines are shared via a unique URL.  No print option.  

Popular mindmapping tool that can also be applied to creating timelines.  Subscription based product.  Can be school site licence or personal web tool.  Inspiration is a powerful tool for visualising thinking that is often underutilised by schools.  If you have a school licence, check out the templates.

Capzles - Pull media into an illustrative timeline - good unit introduction tool. E.g. To Kill a Mockingbird