Online tools for creating interactive timelines

An interactive timeline built using Tiki-Toki.
An interactive timeline built using Tiki-Toki.
An interactive timeline built using Tiki-Toki.

Have your students needed a visually compelling way to present their research on key events involved in a complex issue? Have you needed to organize and display multimedia material to show how an issue developed over time?

In these kinds of situations, both teachers and students can benefit from using a simple intuitive tool to display information in a “timeline” layout. There are several free options online for building timelines.

  1. Tiki-Toki This site specializes in intuitive multimedia timelines that arrange a wide range of material in an easy-to-navigate format. It also allows timelines to be displayed in a 3D format, so information can be organized in either a linear layout or in a dynamic into-the-page layout. For example, the above picture is an example of a 2D timeline built using Tiki-Toki. Here is the same timeline in 3D:
    Timeline 3D
    Alternate 3D view of timeline built using Tiki-Toki.
  2. TimeGlider This site allows you or your students to create interactive multimedia timelines that can then be embedded or shared. The site has a special free plan specifically for students.
  3. Dipity:  This is a free site that features dynamic timelines while also providing for sharing on social networks. It offers the option for timelines to be embedded into other websites or blogs.
  4. TimeToast:  This is a free site that focuses on simplicity and easy sharing: students can create and publish timelines so that anyone can view and comment on the material.

For more options, here is a review article listing various timeline-building sites that are geared for educational purposes: