When I read this week’s assignment, I knew I was going to try Dipity. My fourth graders are working on a biography project and I was excited by the prospect of having them create a timeline of their person’s life.I’ve spent the better part of this afternoon experimenting with it and, while I like the end result, I don’t think Dipity will work for my purposes. It is very slow and there are frequent error messages, especially when trying to add pictures. I think just one of my pictures was added on the first try. Even text only entries often took 30 seconds or more to load. Kids just are not patient enough to deal with the wait. I am not patient enough to deal with the wait. I switched back and forth between Dipity and other tasks.
It’s too bad, because I can see a lot of potential for this. Not only for biographical timelines, but also for social studies, and even certain works of literature. There is the ability to narrow events down to the hour, so even one-day events could be summarized using Dipity.
I love the multiple ways that users can view the information as well. There is the traditional horizontal timeline view, but there is also a list option, and two less traditional views – flipbook and map. As the name implies, flipbook is presented like a digital scrapbook with each event highlighted on it’s own “page.” The map view shows pins on the locations of each event included in the timeline. This made me go back and add a couple of my Air Force highlights so I could have more pins.
I don’t think Dipity will work in my elementary school setting, but I may suggest it to my stronger 5th and 6th graders for use at home. I think they will like it as long as they have something else to do while waiting for it to load.
If you haven’t tried it, here’s the example I made.