In the classroom, more interactive content is often better. Nowadays, there are websites which make every small aspect of the classroom interactive. Examples of content which can be made interactive with the help of websites are pictures, maps, presentations, and timelines. This last example is the element the Dipity website makes interactive.
Dipity is a website on which you can create interactive timelines. You can put images, videos, links to websites, and others at any place on the Dipity Timeline. Next to each item you can write a small description of the item. People can also comment on each small item individually. A small point about Dipity, however, is that if you want to input an element efficiently, you need the day, month, and year this event happened (you can always approximate a date if there is no real date.)
Here is an example of a Dipity timeline on the life of Steve Jobs.
You can join Dipity for free. However, there is a limitation the number of Dipity timelines you can create. With the free account, you can only create 3 timelines. However, if you want to, you can update to the Premium account, but it costs 5$ a month. Even if you can only create 3 timelines, you still have access to most of the basic editing features.
In an ESL class, you can use Dipity for a lot of things. You can, for example, ask your students to create autobiographical timelines, or create a timeline about yourself (both in English of course). You could also ask the students to create a timeline about an aspect of an English speaking country’s culture (these ideas were found on the Teacher Technology Resource blog). You can also have your students create a timeline for a project in class. For example, you could have them do a timeline on a reading they have to do, or a movie they have to watch.
A good point of the Dipity website is that while it is simple, you still have to enter the info manually. This means that students will have to spend some time on the website, which will help them learn better (info found here.) Also, doing a timeline about something can help students learn more about it, since they have to do a bit of research. This website gives good comments about Dipity, saying that it is a good way to increase the students’ comprehension.
Personally, I would maybe use Dipity. However, I am not so sure I would regularly use sit in a classroom, because while it is quite simple, it is expensive if you want to make more than three timelines. I still think that, in some cases, it is a website that can be useful.