Review of Preceden time line tool
Preceden is a time line tool released in beta last February. It’s very easy to use and has a decent feature set. You simply create a new time line and add events. A key feature is the ability to create and arrange layers to group events horizontally. You can even have a numeric layer that plots points on a line. The tool is not overloaded with functionality, although that can be a blessing. There is very little help — the FAQ page is practically non-existent. I did not feel I needed many explanations, but other folks may want to wait until the support pages are fleshed out.
After you create a time line, it can be accessed by a web address or embedded into a website or a page in Concourse (Blackboard Vista). There are three options for privacy: 1) only you see the time line, 2) everyone can see it, and 3) viewers must enter a password that you specify. That’s not exactly high security, but should be adequate for most needs.
I created a demo time line called “Gas Prices and Modern History” that shows the cost of gasoline in USD (corrected for inflation) over the last 35 years, with selected world events and indicators of party power in separate layers. Please don’t use it as a teaching tool, as I can’t vouch for the accuracy. This and other examples available at the site provide useful ideas of ways time lines could be used in a course.