Jun 13 2011

5 Google Tools #2 – Timelines

2. View Timelines in search results

I chose this tool because it is one of those tools that falls into the category of “I knew it was there, but I never use it.” In my day-to-day life, I rarely have a need to view historical timelines for anything. However, I can see that they would have tremendous benefit to a teacher preparing lessons or students doing research. I decided to stay with the freshman English reading idea, and did a search for “The Scarlet Letter” (with the quotes to ensure searching the phrase), and then turned on the timeline view to produce the following results: http://goo.gl/F0VAa.

You can see from those results that there are spikes in activity for 1642 (the setting of the book), 1850 (the publication year), and 1999 (the year of the Demi Moore adaptation film). Right away, you can come up with three ideas for paper or research topics. Clicking on each of the segments of the timeline drills down to a narrower view of that time period, offering more detail and more search results.

An additional/alternate use of the timelines in Google search results is to use the “Realtime” view to see up-to-date current events about your search topic (sadly, “The Scarlet Letter” only yielded some quotes from the book on Twitter). Try “space shuttle” for a better example of Realtime search results.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.edtechfor.me/2011/06/google-tools-timelines/

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