Systems of Support Supporting Educator Excellence through Technology and Strategy

Interactive Timelines

The use of graphic organizers in classrooms have been shown to be an effective practice for some time now.  Graphic organizers can be anything from a Venn diagram or KWL chart to an interactive web based support.  These types of supports help students make previously invisible connections visible.  Now before you get too excited, there isn’t any evidence that I am aware of that says if you walk into a classroom, hand out a “graphic organizer” worksheet and walk away that you will see a bump in achievement.  The goal here is to increase engagement, not bore kids to death.

So keeping engagement in mind, there is a particular type of graphic organizer that you may find beneficial: Time-lines.  Commonplace in many classrooms, time lines are created to show events, outline a story, develop a family tree and much more.  While this can all be done with paper and pencil or arts and crafts, web based software now allows students to not only add much more information to time lines, but also collaborate on them with other students, embed in blogs and forward out to others.

A few sites to check out that allow you to develop these types of time lines for free include:

As with most web based software, you can create a limited number of items for free with these sites, then opt to pay for premium features.  Consider creating a time line to use for teaching content to your students, or allowing your students to demonstrate their knowledge of content.

About Jason Carroll

Jason has trained thousands on Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning concepts throughout the United States and beyond. His focus is on integrating research based practices into the work he does and helping others ensure that what they are doing works. He specializes in assisting people to bridge the gap between operation of technology and actual implementation. Jason is a published author, has taught Instructional Technology and Universal Design for Learning at the University level, and spends a significant amount of time on e-Learning and blended learning initiatives. He is a graduate of the Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program (ATACP) from California State University at Northridge and holds a Masters in Business Administration. Currently Jason serves as Product Marketing Manager for North America at Texthelp Inc. where he oversees new product launches and speaks nationally on a variety of Assistive Technology topics.

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