Microsoft ChronoZoom

ChronoZoom is another great free educational tool from Microsoft Research. It is an open source timeline tool that allows teachers and students to create interactive timelines.
It is an online tool and opens directly into the Cosmos timeline. As the user zooms inwards. we pass through Earth, Life, Prehistory and Humanity segments. Within ChronoZoom, these segments are labelled as “Regimes” and each regime covers a specific period of time.

Regimes graphic

Within each Regime are Timelines and these can also be divided into sub-timelines. Multimedia items (photographs, video and other artifacts) can be tied to a timeline; these multimedia items are labelled “Exhibits”. Timelines can be zoomed through from scales covering decades to ones covering billions of years. This zoom feature allows students to visualise the  incredible amount of time period that can be viewed.

Opening Screen
Humanity Zoom Screen


The familiar “Breadcrumbs” feature from the Web is used to great effect within ChronoZoom and allows students to track their journey.

Breadcrumb graphic
Breadcrumb navigation

The creation of “Exhibits” is quite straightforward and multimedia items can be imported from a wide variety of sources including SkyDrive.
In the example I created an Exhibit about Newgrange on a timeline called PIL.

Timeline 1 Graphic
Step 1


Timeline 3 graphic
Newgrange Media



Timeline 2 graphic
Media Exhibit from SkyDrive



Once the Exhibit has been created it becomes part of the timeline and can be viewed within the correct time frame.

PIL Timeline graphic
PIL Timeline



PIL Timeline graphic 2
PIL Exhibit

At the bottom of every Exhibit there’s a click link to enable the creation of a bibliography. This is an important step to verify the accuracy of information and to provide Academic credit to any source materials.
I think that ChronoZoom will be a great tool for teachers in senior Primary School classes; it will enable them to  create a timeline to capture their SESE History Scheme of work at the start of a school year. Pupils would then be able to gain an insight into the timeline sequence of each SESE topic and see these as a whole rather than individual events.

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