Audio Review #33 |Chronozoom


Chronozoom is a timeline creation and sharing resource that is exquisitely suited for use in Big History classrooms, and also works well for teachers and students with some technical knowledge and willingness to build timelines. Alternatively, you can simply access timelines already populating the site. Just watch the introductory tour to completely “get” what Chronozoom is all about. The zoom-ability and scale of Big History’s timeline is simply breathtaking. UC Berkeley, Microsoft, and The University of Washington have done a real service for all history teachers and lifelong learners in general.


The website needs fast Internet to work at its best, and is best as a resource for pre-built timelines. Clearly, engineers put this site together. To build your own timeline requires downloading no less than fourteen (14) software packets, including license agreements and policy guidelines. Yes, it is powerful. Yes, it is more complex than the drag-and-drop usability that we have come to hope for (expect) from online learning resources. That being said, Chronozoom will reward the diligent student of history who take the time to play with it. It does not have the snappy 3D views of BeeDocs Timeline, but that ability to zoom, and imbed video, audio, etc., make Chronozoom worth the techie’s efforts.

Sample Uses

Chronozoom is at its simplest (and best?) when used for Big History. The Big History timeline is the best that I have seen for getting at the sheer scale of time from the Big Bang to today.

Do I plan to use it?

I would use Chronozoom on Day 1 of big History, and revisit it with each new unit, which are conveniently broken into scales of time. I would also use Chronozoom for my other History subjects s the site becomes populated with additional timelines. The World War One timeline is fantastic!

Commitment and Learning Curve

Low to use the Big History timeline and premade timelines available for viewing on the site. High learning curve if you wish to actually make a timeline using Chronozoom’s software.

Best for ES MS or HS?

Big History is a HS subject, but some timelines are well suited to MS as well. When it comes to building timelines, only HS students should attempt it.



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About miles.mei

Technology Multimedia Specialist

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