I haven’t had the need to use a timeline tool in my class, but after reviewing TimeGlider, I want to use it, if not for a class, as a planner for my larger projects. This thing, for lack of a better word, glides. It is silky smooth 🙂
Read beyond the break for a detailed review (tutorial of sorts), a link to a completed timeline and why it gets 3 DTs and a mouse from me
Having seen the other timelines, I really fancy TimeGlider due to its interface. It is very visually intensive and may not be as intuitive or easy to use as TimeLine. With that said, once you get your bearings straight, this thing is awesome.
I can see myself using it myself or with my IB Computer Science students who have a huge coding project that they undertake (the Internal Assessment that all IB students produce). The timeline would serve as a visual planner of sorts.
It took a few moments for me to figure out where to go to get started. There is a navigation bar at the top with “new timeline” and a timeline box that floats on the page (it can be moved or removed). If you already have multiple timelines, this box is very useful.
CREATE YOUR TIMELINE
Add a title and a description for your users and select the starting date, starting zoom level and whether you want this timeline to be public or not.
NOW ADD YOUR FIRST EVENT
Create an event, and provide a description, date or date span, link(s) and an image. Each even can also have an importance and can have one of several little icons to set it apart in the timeline (ie special events)
ADJUST THE VISUAL IMPORTANCE
By clicking on the event’s icon, you can select a level or size. Important events should be bigger to set them apart and you can easily adjust that without having to open up the event editor
MAKE PUBLIC/SHARE YOUR TIMELINE
You can get the link to the timeline, the code to embed it into your website and it gives you an easy way to invite someone to edit the timeline.
THE FINAL PRODUCT
This is what others see when they access the timeline via your link or embed code. There is a description pop-up and zoom bar on the left hand side. It fills your browser page and easy to browse and makes it even more impressive when the full screen is selected.
All in all, this tool is cool. It has a great gliding feature (Mac users will know this as inertia) so that when you slide your timeline left or right using the gray bar at the bottom, it glides naturally and smoothly. That is not a make or break feature but it shows that a great deal of thought went into this.
The cons that I can surmise is one of its big pros. It is visually intensive and the whole flash based design makes it difficult for people who are not comfortable with new user interfaces. Other timeline tools use the basic web page/form design that mimics emails and forms that people are accustomed to. So, the initial learning curve is higher than the basic timeline tool. The other issue related to its learning curve is that the navigation bar is not clear. It is small green links on black.
When you first open TimeGlider, there is no clear instruction as to what is your next step.