MPO Educational Enterprises seeks to bring history to life by producing interactive, educational material using innovative technologies to enhance and enrich students’ learning experience.
One sunny morning in September 2015, I decided to embark on a quest to interest children more in learning about history. I asked myself, “How do we create an educational resource that would engage children and students?” I started by creating my first Social Science educational resource: a paper map with a timeline, and then produced two more. This activity showed me how important it was to link time and geographical space together for students to better understand history. However, this endeavor would take maybe millions of paper maps, and hence it was not feasible.
Then one day my friends, while looking at my map, suggested, “Would it not be cool to have this on an interactive map, where 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 that students learn and teachers teach history. They would be able to create millions of timelines with maps. They could interact with the events that they want to see and create animations of boats moving, link images, videos, write descriptive text and even links to other websites!
I searched online to see if such a system already existed and did not find anything. I spoke with people in the industry and most of them said that it was not possible and that some had already tried and failed. But I did not believe that it could not be done, so we decided to look into it and see if we could succeed where many have failed.
With new programming languages being released, my project seemed like it was within the realm of possibility. As time passed, there were many hurdles and problems. But one by one, week after week, we overcame them. Many times I said to myself and the team, “If it were easy everyone would have done it.”
By September of 2017 we had a good beta version of the program. But the problems were not over because many more corrections and changes were to be made. Then when teachers and students started using it, even more changes were needed to make it user-friendly.
We are now in the final phase of the project after 100,000 man hours have been put in. Many people from different fields of study — from programmers, geographers, archeologists, sociologists, anthropologists, lawyers, linguists, educators, students, graphic artists, historians, engineers, cartographer, etc — have worked worked together 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.
Finally, we are at the edge of launching GeoHistory Map on September 1, 2018. It now has the capability to help teachers and students not just learn about history, but to relive it — to make history something that is tangible to them. It helps students want to learn history in an EASY, INTERESTING and FUN way. A big thank you to everyone that has contributed in making GeoHistory Map possible.
Martin Plante CEO / Owner MPO Educational Enterprises
Co-Founder / CEO
Co-Founder / CFO