Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Knight Lab Timeline Project

Northwestern University has come out with this amazing timeline application called Timeline JS, or Knight Lab Timeline as I refer to it.  Northwestern has this "Knight Lab" that "advances news media innovation and education.  Developing ideas from experimentation through adoption, the Lab makes technology that aims to help make information meaningful and promotes quality storytelling on the Internet."

After I came across Knight Lab's timeline, I immediately wanted my Advanced Computer Application students to dabble in it and create their own interactive (and beautifully looking!) timelines.

After a few requirements from me (at least 20 events, must have a start date, must have multi-sentence text accompanying the event, must have a media item and credit, etc...), students headed over to http://timeline.knightlab.com/ and grabbed the Google Spreadsheet template that they would then use to build their timeline.  This is a feature I really loved--that the entire timeline was built using a Google Doc!!  How cool is that?!!  Hello auto-save, and syncing with Google Drive!

The goal was to have students embed their timelines on their Google Sites they created earlier in the semester, but that was one hiccup of the Timeline's embed feature: it wouldn't allow for embedding on Google Sites (which I actually think is on Google's end, not Knight Lab's).  I did find a work around to this, but it was super complicated and wayyyyy more steps than I wanted to roll out, so instead I just had students share their timeline preview links with me, and that worked just fine!

I wanted to share a few of these timelines my students made.  They got to choose what person/idea/event they were going to document on a timeline, so their timelines are very varied, yet all unique and well-created.  Enjoy!

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