Northwestern University’s Knight Lab provides a suite of free, easy-to-use tools to create multimedia-rich content.
Teaching with Knight Lab
Knight Lab offers open-source digital media tools that enable faculty and students to utilize data and other information to tell stories more effectively through maps, timelines, images, and sound. They provide opportunities for more student-centered assignments that help foster digital agency, moving them from being content consumers to knowledge producers.
*Note: Knight Lab tools are designed to be used with Google tools, such as Sheets and Slides.
The Knight Lab Storytelling Suite consists of several tools: Timeline, StoryMap, Storyline, Soundcite, Juxtapose, and Scene.
With Timeline, users can build visually rich, interactive timelines from a spreadsheet, creating a detailed timeline of events or highlighting someone’s life experiences. See an example of Timeline below.
With StoryMap, users can tell stories by highlighting locations on a web-based map, showing movements and progressions over time or highlighting locations of interest. The following example shows some locations and stories critical to the California Goldrush.
To see another example of StoryMap, check out our About Us page.
Storyline enables users to construct annotated and interactive line charts from spreadsheet information to easily show quantitative changes over time or see the effects of historical events through data. In the following example, a line chart shows the yearly Dow Jones Industrial average alongside key points in history.
With Soundcite, users can add in-line audio to written text so that viewers and listeners can hear sound clips of quoted speakers or listen to recorded sounds of the past come to life.
Juxtapose helps users create interactive images to compare and contrast then-and-now pictures and visually see changes over time. Below you will find then-and-now images of a Pomona College mainstay: Carnegie.
Scene enables users to turn panoramic and VR-ready images into a web-based narrative slideshow. Viewers engage with any location through captured images and written narrative or navigate panoramic and VR-ready images without special equipment.
Follow the designated link(s) below to get started with Knight Lab tools.
To learn more about using Knight Lab in your teaching, browse through the Knight Lab support resources.
If you need further assistance, ITS-RITG is available to answer your questions or meet you for a consultation. Contact us through the Online Service Desk.