Story about MPO Educational Resources
I would like to share with you my passion for history and why it is so important that we teach it to our children. First is that if we don’t know where we come from, how will we know where we are going? Second, if we don’t know our past, how will we improve our future? These are some of the reasons why history is important and why we need to engage our children to want to learn about it.
About 2 years ago, I decide to embark on a quest to find a way to get children more interested in learning about history. So I asked myself the question, how do we create an educational resource that would engage children and students? So I started creating my first educational resource, a paper map with a timeline. Everything I saw did not link time and geographical space together that well and I realized that this was a major problem for students to understand history in time and space, which is why I started the map with timeline. However, as I created this educational resource map, I quickly realized another problem. Paper maps are not able to present all the historical events and movements on one map. So I had to create a series of map educational resources. This became 3 maps: One map was about the First Nations, another about New France and the third one was about the Birth of two Nations (Canada and the United States). These educational resource maps were amazing, interesting and well received, but they did not attract the interest of students as much as I would have liked.
Then one day my friends, looking at my map said: “Would it not be cool to have this on an interactive map, were you could click and see the boats move?” I realized then that if we could produce an educational tool that would let the user access a map and interact with directly with it, this would revolutionize the way students could learn and teacher could teach history! They could be able to create their own timeline with map, and they could interact with the events that they want to see, and there could be movements and images, with videos, descriptive text and even links!
I started to look on the internet to see if such a system existed and did not find anything. I spoke with people in the industry and most of them said it is impossible and that some had tried and failed. But I did not believe that it could not be possible, so we decided to look into it and see if we could succeed where many had failed. With new programmer languages just released, it seemed like it could be possible.
Well, many weeks passed and there were many hurdles and problems. But one by one, and week after week, we overcame them. Our team, consisting of programmer, geographers, historians and teachers working together, managed to overcome each issue. I believe that one day history will remember what we have accomplished here, and generations of teachers and students will eventually embrace this new way of learning.
This geospacial program we created is now a new platform that allows data to interact in a geospacial way with the user. We call this new platform Virtual Map or V3M! This V3M platform is what permits educationamaps.ca to run the resource tool about Canada’s history and soon, many other educational resources. With this platform, we can now easily input information, and our plan is that over time, to have 1000’s events about Canada and the United States. Each event would have an image or video, text and link, and animation if possible, all presented on a timeline and map that the user can interact with and modify. It will have everything in one place and it will be like having an interactive virtual textbook at your fingertips!
MPO Educational Enterprises