Friday, February 8, 2013

TimelineJS X Google Drive = Collaborative Timelines with iPads

These days I find myself searching for ways that allow for collaboration with iPads. In a recent piece I wrote for Edudemic I outlined 6 ways that students can currently collaborate using iPads and this afternoon another possibly crossed my mind.

TimelineJS is a web based timeline creator, that in my opinion is the best timeline creation tool on the web.  What I like most about this platform is that the creation process takes place in a google form.  There is a template that can be downloaded from the TimelineJS site that is automatically pulled into a users Google Drive account.  With the recent update to the Google Drive app for the iPad, this document can now be edited collaboratively.

The process:

1. Go to the TimelineJS site and download the Google Form template provided.

2. Make a copy / copies of their Google Form in your Drive account.  This allows you to preserve the original document & allow students to edit your copy.  I also suggest renaming the document.

3. Distribute an editable copy of the form to your students.  I suggest making multiple copies and having students work in small groups on the form.

4. Students open the TimelineJS Google form in the Google Drive app on their iPad and begin editing. As you can see in the screenshot below, multiple iPad users can edit the document at the same time.  Simply follow the template provided to fill in the timeline.  I was jumping between Safari and Drive to grab web links to resources that I wanted to include in the template.  

5. When the template is complete, return to a computer and publish the Google Form.  Then, copy the URL of the published form and return to the TimelineJS site.

6.  On the TimelineJS site, simply paste the URL of the published Google Form into the appropriate location and click on "Link to Preview".  What is particularly awesome about this tool is that the Google form can be updated at any point once it is published and the updates will show up in real time on the live or embedded timeline.

7.  Embed the timeline on any site by grabbing the embed code provided. 



  1. This is such a great instructional set! Thank you! I have struggled with implementing shared iPads and this is perfect!

  2. Thanks! I had seen this but had not thought about an iPad connection. Try using it to make a course timeline -