Timeline JS is an open source tool which allows you to create visual timelines. It is pretty simple to use, and basically requires entering data into a Google spreadsheet which is then published online. You can also input pictures, videos, audio clips, Tweets, and Google maps to enhance the timeline. Material can be pulled from Wikipedia, YouTube, Google Maps, Twitter, Flickr, and other sources. It is a nice visual tool to enhance a PowerPoint lecture, or to serve as a piece in a student project. Below is a screen shot from a timeline I created using this program.
While it is easy to see how Timeline serves as a simple substitution, standing in for a written timeline on a chalkboard, there could concievably be more advanced purposes for it as well. Alluding to the SAMR model, students could augment their timeline with more rich media, including audio clips, videos, and maps. They could also modify it by creating a larger, multimedia presentation, integrating it into a slideshow with narration. Finally, students could redefine it by sharing their respective timelines with each other online, where they could take notes and leave comments. Timeline could be a useful tool for visual learners, as well as students who are afraid of speaking up in front of the class.
A brief introduction to using Timeline:
Here is a video of a more detailed walk-through tutorial.
Here is a review of Timeline JS:
Here is a link with more detailed ways to use Timeline JS along with some other timeline programs: