An Ontario PLN Timeline

It’s Friday and time to salute the best of your Twitter friends with a #FollowFriday shoutout.  I did a little creative, constructive work with a couple of websites to pull off my tribute this week. is a neat little website for some data digging.  Enter a user’s Twitter name and it returns the date that a person joined the micro-blogging service.  I had to check the truth of @benhazzard’s claim that I was the godfather of Ontario Connected users.  I checked him out  and found that he pre-dated me by five months!

The next step was to take a look at which creates an interactive Flash timeline based upon data that you provide.  Put them together with a little time and you have an interactive timeline of Ontario educators!  So, yesterday, as Ontario educators tweeted, I added them to this timeline.  The complete list of Ontario Educators is at:!/list/dougpete/ontario-educators

Unfortunately, doesn’t allow for the embedding of your own created Flash objects, but PBWorks does.  The best I can do here is give you a static screen shot.



As you mouse over the little dots, a popup flag provides details about the individual entry.  To get the full effect though, please visit the object live at:

There are two different ways to visualise your data.  The traditional timeline approach shown above does a great job and the website provides a copy/paste approach to embedding it.

Alternatively, there is a list view where the results are displayed in table form.


You can see that Ben and I are in great company with fabulous Ontario educators in Joan, Doug, and Rodd.

But, this is just a small sample of the power of timelines in the classroom.  Timelines are graphic organizers that allow for the creation, understanding and visualization of data.

We normally think of timelines as a way to show things like the provinces entering the Dominion or a chronology of Prime Ministers but it can be much more.

  • sequence of steps as you solve a problem;
  • outline the plot of a novel;
  • life cycle of an animal.

In true analytical fashion, the individual datum is just as important as the final product.  Click the + sign on any item on the timeline for an expanded zoom view.

Timetoast is a very powerful utility that gets the job done efficiently and attractively.  Next time you need to analyze data in this manner, give it a shot.


links for 2010-10-07