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Tools for Exploring and Making Interactive Timelines

Timelines are important tools for exploring a brief period of time or a topic that spans centuries. Students will learn the chronology of historical events and begin to see the cause-and-effect relationships between time periods. The interactive timelines on this list cover everything from the American Revolution to the concept of freedom in the U.S. to art history. As they gain insight and perspective into the curriculum by interacting with the timelines, students can use the creation tools to make their own. 

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Creation Tools

ReadWriteThink

Excellent free resource for all things reading and writing

Bottom Line: A language arts teacher's dream; lesson plans, professional development, and all-around quality support.

RWT Timeline

Simple timeline creation tool for a variety of purposes

Bottom Line: Easy-to-use tool lets students create simple, boilerplate timelines.

Sutori

A slick way to share knowledge via interactive timelines and stories

Bottom Line: With a super simple design, interactive features, and an imaginative personal approach, it's an easy and flexible tool for all kinds of classrooms.

Tiki-Toki

Create eye-catching multimedia timelines for any purpose

Bottom Line: Multimedia timelines connect events visually, creating pathways for deeper analysis of any chronological story.

Prezi Classic

Stylish presentation creator with a unique 3D zooming effect

Bottom Line: An elegant, flexible alternative to other online slide software tools, but it requires some finesse to make the effective use of the features and infinite canvas.

TimeToast

Simple timeline creator could use more features and options

Bottom Line: An easy to use timeline tool for one-off projects, but for sustained use teachers will need to upgrade, and ultimately the features might not be robust enough.

Capzles

Dynamic slideshows combine photos, videos, text, and music

Bottom Line: Slideshows can enliven history lessons and book reports, but Capzles could use more high-quality examples and guided instruction.

Interactive Multimedia

American Revolution Interactive Timeline for iPad

Give students up-close, detailed access to rare objects and artifacts

Bottom Line: A great companion to a real-life museum visit, and a neat resource for exploration in a history class.

American Panorama

Interactive atlas magnifies events in United States history

Bottom Line: With layers of learning opportunities, this is a unique interactive resource to supplement curriculum.

The Knotted Line

Unique, artistic timeline lets kids explore freedom in U.S. history

Bottom Line: Students will benefit from this eye-opening and interactive approach to studying history.

Timeline World War 2 with Robert MacNeil

Vast interactive multimedia resource makes history come alive

Bottom Line: Forgo the textbook -- students will find the same information and more as they scroll through the timeline and access the multitude of resources.

Smarthistory

Bring traditional art education to life with fresh, interactive multimedia

Bottom Line: A worthy supplement to an art history or humanities class.

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

History and art intersect on the Met's vast, reading-centric site

Bottom Line: This resource from the Metropolitan Museum of Art beautifully illustrates art's evolution and is great for research, but more interactivity would help balance out the text-heavy content.

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