Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Schoolhouse Review: TimeMaps

History can sometimes be hard to grasp.  Figuring out where and when all these people and places fit together can really get somewhat confusing.  Memorizing facts and dates does not necessarily mean a child understands history.  Knowledge Quest tries to help tie those people, places and dates together by using time lines and historical maps so that history makes more sense to your child.  TimeMaps is one of the ways they do that.

TimeMaps is an interactive combination of timelines, historical maps, and encyclopedic information that help make learning about history more engaging and fun.  These chronological maps follow history as it happened.  With each date cycle you are shown how these places were changed over time and what important events impacted those changes.  With TimeMaps you don't have to look at the map and then turn to a book to read what is happening.  The information is all there with the click of a button or the simple scroll over of a mouse. Let me show you how this works.

They have TimeMaps for several different topics.  You can purchase them individually or as a collection.  The topics available are Ancient China, The Rise of Rome, The Fall of Rome, The Rise of Islam, The Black Death, European Explorers, and The Atlantic Slave Trade.

When you open TimeMaps you are given a menu.  Clicking Start will make your TimeMaps topic begin.  Your map will open up to the beginning time frame of your topic.  In the right hand corner you are given the date of that particular starting point.  Here's the start page for the The Fall of Rome.


On the right of the date you will notice there is an arrow.  Clicking that will take you to your next map. Then you will have arrows on both sides of the date to allow you to explore the map forward and backwards.  Once you get to the end of the timeline you can now only go backward again. Here's the last page of The Rise of Islam.


Under the date are two boxes.  The one of the left has an i on it. When you click on the i it opens hotspots up on the map for you to explore.  Each hotspot has an i beside it where you can read information about that area or event.


The box on the right underneath the date has a Q on it and when you open it your student is given questions to answer from the information they just read.  There is also an area titled worksheets that offers questions to answer and activities to do.  The teacher notes help explain how to teach those activities and even provides some printable maps. Here Gess filled in the time line for the The Atlantic Slave Trade.




Another really cool feature that they offer for free is the Time Map of World History.
"The TimeMap of World History is an all inclusive look at world history. It combines maps, timelines and chron- ological narratives that work together to enhance historical understanding. New content added daily."

Because of our recent visit to Civil War Days where Gess experienced some hands on lesson about slavery we studied the The Atlantic Slave Trade first. Here is Gess exploring some of the maps.


Since I am a history buff and this is interactive I really thought it would work well with Gess who has special needs.  Unfortunately she did not really get into it but I can not assign blame to the product for that.  It was really well done and I personally enjoyed it myself.  (I would love to have some of these geared towards biblical studies. I get so confused about what historical events were happening during some of the prophets and Old Testament books.  It would be interesting to see a TimeMap for those events.)

Gess' only problem was with her ability to grasp history in the first place.  Abstract concepts are really hard for her and while she loves to see maps of places she knows, when it is geared toward an event she can not understand or has not experienced she just really is not interested.  That's not to say she did not study it some as you can see, it just was not something she spent a lot of time on.  However, her interest may change as she gets older.

TimeMaps can be purchased individually for $9.95 each or you can purchase The Collection of all 7 maps for $44.95 for the download or $49.95 for the CD-ROM.  I love that they let you buy them individually so that you only have the get the maps you would like, but offer a discount if you decide to purchase them all at once.  I think the price is reasonable for all that the map can do.  Your desk, table or wall would be so full showing all those maps, events and information at once. With TimeMaps everything is right at your fingertips up on your screen. This really is a handy tool for studying history.  To learn more about TimeMaps visit their website.  You can also see what members of the Schoolhouse Review thought about TimeMaps and the Knowledge Quest product MapTrek by clicking on the banner below.

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Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received a copy of TimeMaps:The Collection Download for giving my honest opinion and assessment of the product in my review.
Note: All pricing is current at the time of posting and is subject to change

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