Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dipity-More than a Timeline (or how social networks work)

This summer I found out about a great online interactive timeline named Dipity. My original thought was that Dipity would be a cool tool to have students work collaboratively on timelines. Pretty cool stuff. Well, a few weeks ago I read a tweet from Vicki Davis, of the Coolcatteacher Blog, about a post entitled Dipity Do Da--An Interactive Collaborative Timeline To Track Wiki Contributions from Beth Kanter's Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media. What I found out was that Dipity was a whole lot more than just an interactive collaborative timeline. It also had the capability to track your personal contributions on wikis, blogs, Flickr, Twitter, and other web 2.0 sites.

I then created a timeline of my Tweets from Twitter (I know for you non Twitterers out there that sounds utterly ridiculous) and my American Cultures 2.0 blog posts. It provides me with another way to view my online posting habits. Take a look:

Of course, I love Dipity for the potential it creates in collaborating on class material. Here's a timeline I just began creating for topics we will be studying this year. The timeline is very incomplete because my plan is to have the students fill it in as we progress throughout the school year.

Finally, besides sharing the possibilities of Dipity, my intention is also to show those who are unfamiliar with the learning potential of social networks how they can be used for good, and not evil. I monitor Twitter most days. Usually it takes no longer than a minute or two, but on some days I find nuggets of great information that take me to other places on the web. This happens because I choose to follow people on Twitter that share interesting resources and information. For example, I know that Vicki Davis is a minefield of great resources so, of course, I follow her. On August 9th she simply shared an interesting post she read about Dipity and linked to the post. Since Vicki's tweet interested me I clicked on the link and found Beth Kanter's blog post about using Dipity to track wiki contributions. The rest is history, and now you are learning about Dipity, Twitter, Vicki Davis, and Beth Kanter. Talk about virtual networking!


Jim Gates said...

Nice post. I knew about the website of dipity (I think I may have even blogged about it, too) but I did NOT know about the collaborative aspects of it. I just had time to pass it along, not work on it. But I WILL now.

Thanks again!

bob said...

Dipity is a very useful tool. Another good tool is LifeSnapz.com (www.lifesnapz.com). LifeSnapz provides a free way to capture, share and explore historical or life events with classmates, friends and/or family. Timelines and maps provide fun way to explore events and create an ongoing life record.