George Lucas Educational Foundation

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Online Learning Resource

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Hi Everyone, I thought I'd take this opportunity to share this online resource for World History. Admittedly, I do work for this company so it's a bit of a (shameless) plug. If you're teaching History then it may be of some use to you, and if it isn't please tell us why so we can improve on it! is our website, and our Atlas of World History can be found at The Atlas is an interactive map showing the change of the world over time. It ranges back from 3500BC and is building up to modern day. It is not fully complete (it does take time to record all of history!). We have had some great feedback so far and we were even voted Number 1 Social Studies website of 2010: It comes with a set of Lesson plans to get you started, and best of all it is completely FREE. We would appreciate any time you have to take a look and feel free to email me with any feedback you have, patrick.mccourt AT timemaps DOT com Thanks again for any time you have to spare. Regards, Patrick

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Keith Heggart's picture
Keith Heggart
High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

Hi Patrick,
Free resources are always welcome! I had a quick look at the world history atlas - it looked excellent. I did notice that there didn't seem to be much mention of indigenous civilisations - like the Australian Aborigines?.

Patrick McCourt's picture

Thank you for the feedback Keith!

[quote] I did notice that there didn't seem to be much mention of indigenous civilisations - like the Australian Aborigines?.[/quote]

Unfortunately there is a lot we have yet to cover, History is a big place and it takes a lot of time to map all of it! We are researching and adding content as quickly as we can, but at some point we had to start telling people about it so that what we have done isn't going to waste. I do advise that you keep check up on our Atlas for new content. I'm not if there is an order to which content is being done in, (I'm a developer here, not a historian) but you can follow the Historian's progress on the blog if you like.

Any other feedback please let me know.


Gabe Diaz's picture
Gabe Diaz


I had a chance to look at your tool a bit. It's really gets interesting when I get to see the growth of civilization in Europe as time passes. The site is very clear in text what year it is. Might it not also be useful to have a mark on the timeline to show users where their current year is in relation to everything else?

At to moment to figure my year on the timeline I look at the year text then find the matching node on the timeline. However if the timeline node were highlighted (different from the others in some way) this process would require less effort.

When this tool was designed who was the target demographic?

I enjoyed it thanks for posting this. Your post inspired me to join the site.


Patrick McCourt's picture

Hi Gabe,

Glad to hear more opinons on the site. The site was originally designed 2 years ago to act as an online version of an old product of the company, called the Interactive Map of World History. They had that map and all it's content in a program which was sold to schools. However now we have started breaking that product apart, and deploying it on the web, for free.

I've only been working here 6 months or so and since the start of the new year we've begun a new push to get the website fully completed and improved in whatever way we can.

The target demographic for the tool is anyone who is interested. History is sometimes seen as an elite subject that you can only know about if you've studied it, or if you're Indiana Jones, which just simply isn't true. We wanted to make history accessible to as many interested people as possible. However we do provide lesson plans for teachers to use the site in classroom or to set as an activity for their pupils to work through.

Very interesting point on the timeline, unfortunately the site was designed by another company and our access to the code is limited, (otherwise I'd get right on it!) The timeline tool is supposed to give great navigation abilities however you've just proved that it's easy to overlook the simplest of things! We've just completed a video tour of the site so hopefully this will make it easier for people to navigate through the site once we get it uploaded. We will definitely keep this in mind for future updates.

Any other feedback, please do let me know.



Joe Carpenter's picture

Check out they are an online inovator that used the moodle platform. The content provides is engaging and rigorous, with writing across curricula. Teachers as well as students flourished the program gives you ability to really tailor instruction and add assessments, websites, assignments and multi media effortlessly.

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