Site URL: dipity.com
Content: Dipity is a timeline Web site where users can both create their own timelines and view other people’s created timelines. The timelines are often focused on major events or lives (for instance, a recent one focused on the life of Elizabeth Taylor). It’s very visual and has a great interactivity component to it (users can click on entries for more information, etc).
Design: With a basic navigation system, Dipity is easy to grasp and use. But overall, Dipity is anything but simple. After users input the information, the intricate creation system produces beautiful visual timelines, which can then be embedded or printed.
Review: One might think a site that creates timelines for free would make it ridiculously easy to just bang one out. It doesn’t, however, and that’s a good thing. If it was too easy to generate a timeline, the site would have limited usefulness as a classroom tool. Since timelines work best when users input the time and description information themselves (the search option pulls the latest 20 news stories, but seldom does that adequately develop a timeline), Dipity proves just challenging enough for student use.
Bottom Line: This site has great potential for classroom use. Students can research topics, events or people, create their own timelines, and print them out to hand in as assignments. Educators can also make timelines—or find existing timelines pertinent to classroom topics—and then either distribute as handouts or display on an interactive whiteboard.