Whenever I start a literature study I like to have the kids make a simple timeline of one kind or another, just to put the things in historical context. But, I’ve never liked how much time it takes students to draw, cut and paste, whether on paper or in a drawing or charting program–all we need is a quick picture. BeeDocs (Mac only) handles all that grunt work and automatically creates high quality timelines with a novel 3D interface that combines both context and detail (see their promo video). All the students have to do is drag & drop an image, write a few notes and add a reference URL. It’s the sort of thing a class tutorial team can master with just minimal instruction from the teacher. Best of all, the timelines can be exported as video for iPods and iPhones so kids can take the timelines with them.
Here’s are two samples:
Early development of empiricism & rationalism in Western philosophy, created by my Grade 9 philosophy students last year:
Comparison of ancient Egyptian, ancient Greek and medieval Christian European civilizations, created by this year’s Grade 7 tutorial team: