Common Sense Review
Updated February 2013

Tiki-Toki

Create stunning multimedia timelines for any project or purpose
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Common Sense Rating 4
  • A help menu is available for each admin panel item.
  • Adding a story is very straightforward.
  • There are three ways to add images, although only the URL feature works with a free account.
  • Each timeline can be customized with a variety of settings.
Pros
Timelines are sleek are professional-looking, and help kids experience history through multimedia channels.
Cons
All the best features require a paid subscription.
Bottom Line
It's easy to build timelines that connect events visually, creating pathways for deeper analysis of any chronological story.
Mary Beth Hertz
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

Tiki-Toki is slick and eye-catching, though some students may find its many features overwhelming at first. Kids will be drawn to the multimedia options like video and images.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 5

Kids can create professional and clean-looking multimedia timelines. Through the process of creating a timeline, students can tie dates, images, and text together to create meaning out of historical events, people, or even their own lives.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

The admin panel has a built-in Help tab that explains the tool. There are also FAQs and links to sample timelines. However, all the supports are text-heavy, and there's no video demo available for ELL students or low-level readers.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

For a teacher struggling to make an historical period's various events flow and connect, a Tiki-Toki timeline could be a wonderful study guide for students. And with the collaborative editing features, student teams could create timelines as a group. Additionally, kids could add to a timeline you create to show their understanding of events in an historical time period or novel, or even use a timeline to report their current status on a project they're working on. It's a versatile tool that just requires a little legwork on your part.

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What's It Like?

Tiki-Toki is an online, interactive timeline creator (also available as a Chrome app). With lots of comparable sites out there, what sets Tiki-Toki apart is its ability to blend traditional chronological mapping with multimedia and text in a slick, professional-looking layout. Students add events with text, images, and even videos and can print, embed, or share their timelines. With a paid teacher account, timelines can be embedded in a class or teacher website. Along with the teacher account, students can create accounts using a class code and can collaborate.

To create a timeline, students first indicate the start and end dates. They can choose a featured image or a background image by copying/pasting the link to an image (which must be copyright-free). Students then add events to specific dates and can add text and media. With a free account, all media must be linked from elsewhere on the Internet. Paid accounts allow students and teachers to upload their own images. As students add to the timeline, they can scroll horizontally to view events, or they can view a list of the events in their admin area. Kids can share with others by sending their timeline's unique URL, printing, or saving as a PDF.

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Is It Good For Learning?

While Tiki-Toki is easy to use and visually appealing, most of the desirable features require at least $100 per year to use. For instance, teachers can’t upload their own media, create class codes for group editing, or embed timelines without a paid account. In addition, there seems to be a problem with the site’s Flickr integration, which makes adding copyright-free or Creative Commons licensed images nearly impossible to do. Also, while the site is pretty intuitive, most of the support documents are text-based, which makes them hard to access for ELL students or others who struggle with reading. That said, Tiki-Toki has a lot of potential for facilitating projects and discussion around history, novels, and current events.

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