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It is almost universally accepted that History is one of the core subjects taught at school. Studying and knowing history is often seen as a stepping point for getting into a more specialised Humanities courses at a university level. In many countries History is a compulsory exam for those who want to go into studying Law, Economics, Politics, International Relations, Sociology, Psychology, History of Art etc.
However, according to different studies only 7% of American school students age 13-17 and 12% of American high school students reported that History and Social Studies were their favourite subjects. This makes History approximately three times less popular among American students than Maths. In the UK, where school education is much more specialised than in the US, moderate love for History is illustrated by the percentage of sixth form students who choose to study this subject. Around 11% of British students took History A-levels in 2009-10, which made History the 6th most popular subject overall and the 3rd most popular humanities subject among British high school students.Although I do find this lack of interest in History striking, I realise that it is not lack of interest from students, but rather the way we teach History at school, that presents a real challenge. History can be extremely interesting, but it can also be extremely dull, especially when it is turned into the endless memorization of dates, that are often taken out of the wider historical context.
Here at Mozaik we are passionate about History and really want this wonderful subject to flourish in classrooms all over the world. One of the ways we are hoping our software can inspire students to learn history is our absolutely unique educational tool called “Time Machine”. Time Machine is designed to help students make connections between historical personalities according to their nationality, profession, date of birth and (in)famousness.Time machine includes a huge database of historical personalities that is not only regularly updated but is also customised for the local curriculum of your country. It also includes direct links to Wikipedia articles about every historical personality that is included into the database. As most of our educational tools, Time Machine has an inbuilt test function, that lets users test their knowledge of historical personalities. Users can choose from six different test modes that include a huge database of preset questions about chosen sets of historical personalities.The idea behind the Time Machine educational tool is simple. We wanted to create an interactive educational resource that would show that historical connections are built on much more than just dates. Studying history is one of the best ways to develop logical thinking and learn to build complex connections between separate blocks of information. Time Machine is one of the ways to illustrate this power of History.Register on mozaWeb to try Time Machine for yourself, or access the tool in mozaBook. If you'd like to know more about Mozaik's tools for history, read our post about “Hall of Fame,” another great tool in the mozaWeb and mozaBook library.