Category Archives: Collaboration

How Can We Teach Innovation Skills?

how-I-built-this.jpghttps://www.npr.org/player/embed/562887933/563105739

Let’s have fun learning about this now ubiquitous App Instagram evolved, and then we will examine how we can adopt elements of their success story as we begin our first steps in our own project-based learning journey. So how can we use this Instagram’s story to teach the dynamic disposition and positive attitude a student needs to cultivate in a project-based learning classroom?

It is very fascinating to hear the early iterations of Instagram (see more here: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/07/instagram-used-to-be-called-brbn/373815/) and then realize all the changes they made to make the app what it is as a working app today. That process that is narrated here is design thinking, which is a process we will explore more this year. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design-based_learning

Perhaps an important moment in their start-up was when they followed the advice to ask their users about what they enjoyed about their app rather than investing time into wondering what others who are not using the app would want. What did they learn from this part of the process?

(Podcast Time: 6:30) Isn’t it fascinating that the best thing for any entrepreneurial is failure? The founders of Instagram cite Eric Ries and his ideas about the process of a lean startup. “Don’t ask why people don’t sue your startup. Ask why people who continue to use your start up use your startup.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lean_startup 

(Podcast Time: 8:00) One of the founders tells a story of being burnt out and going on a break. Does he really take a break? Why type of thinking does he do on this “break” and how does it help the next iteration of the product of Instagram?

(Podcast Time: 9:00) Style topic. Did you notice how the music delivers a great downbeat when the divergent thinking that one of the founders has when his then girlfriend and now wife provides an insight while walking on the beach?

(Podcast Time 12:00) Just appreciate this moment. No response necessary. This is my hook for our audience!. “It was trial by fire; so many chances to fail. Kept working; all nighters. The amount we learned in that first year was crazy. It was fives years of college in one.” I would make this the hook because I’m an educator, and the producer here chose a more entertaining hook.

(Podcast Time: 17:30) There is a great conversation about how the story of success is never linear. It’s always dynamic, an up-and-down journey. Reflect on this moment and also reflect on how the founders keep their eye on the experience of the user. Do you have a personal success story that was not linear and had several “false starts” along the way before you achieve a degree of success? Write a 3-6 sentences here about that experience. We’ll share these moments in class and expand more on them.

(Podcast Time: 23:00) Around minute 23 they discuss the currency that feeds an entrepreneur. Explain in your own words this experience and its value. Then reflect on our course description and explain what experience will make our experience valuable.

(Podcast Time: 24:00) They reveal another great moment where they learned a lot through failure. This moment had to do with a mistake. What was the mistake? Could the mistake been avoidable? What else did they learn about the relationship they had with her users?

What do you think of the founders’ thesis about luck and talent? What role do resilience, grit, and optimism play in capitalizing on luck?

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What Happened in Your Town During WWI?

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What was the home front experience of your town during WWI?

How can we imagine daily life in Suffield during WWI? The state-wide commemorative process for the 100th anniversary of WWI provides #CAISCT students and teachers  an opportunity to investigate the local history in their area. There is also an opportunity to connect with local historical societies who are already geared up to curate information for the anniversary. Moreover, looking into home front conditions will naturally network  #CAISCT students and teachers with other Connecticut historians to discover the best historical methods to uncover more original history. So connect with us on this #CAISCT #PBL blog and start “doing history” in your community. Consider this another form of service learning if you share what you learn with your community. This year’s investigation about life one hundred years ago in your town will also help you appreciate how this global event propelled our region and nation into the modern era.

Bill Sullivan’s American Studies class, which is a winter/spring trimesters project-based learning elective to seniors, will share everything they learn about the home front in Suffield on this blog and invite other Connecticut students to do the same about their town! Let’s together create Connecticut history on this great collaborative platform (blog) and “do original” history story about this complex topic!

#PBL Mantra: Share what you learn and show how you learned it.

The Suffield Academy American Studies class will present their findings at the April meeting of the Suffield Historical Society. Click here for more: http://www.suffieldhistoricalsociety.org/activities

Stay tune for more!

 

Digging into Richard Fortune’s Whole Story Part II

Ancestry.com, 1 of 3 Images

Ancestry.com 2 of 3

Researching history about slavery and freedom in Suffield Connecticut has evolved into a powerful and important partnership of public history. With help from an independent genealogist from the Suffield Historical Society combined with help from the National Mall Liberty Fund in Washington, DC, I was able to examine more information about Richard Fortune. The National Mall Liberty Fund DC sent us a URL of an amazing and far-reaching text, Forgotten Patriots, published by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution in 2008. Here’s a URL for the text; wait a few moments for the URL to load on your computer. You can then perform searches of key words. Searching Suffield will help you find the information about Richard Fortune as well as a “Titus” from Suffield as well as two other African-American soldiers we know more information about, Cesar Negro and Titus Kent. http://www.dar.org/sites/default/files/media/library/xpublications/Forgotten_Patriots_ISBN-978-1-892237-10-1.pdf

Click here for a pdf that shows the DAR Sources for Richard Fortune in the important text, Forgotten Patriots.

Simultaneously, a member from the Suffield Historical Society, sent us a most important clue about a letter written by General Israel Putnam’s son who testified to Richard Fortune’s long service, which included Fortune signing up again for service.

Again, below is  from a classmate who found the National Mall Liberty Fund link that my classmate discovered in the winter: http://libertyfunddc.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/HARTFORD-COUNTY-BACKGROUND-AFRICAN-AMERICAN-REVOLUTIONARY-WAR-RESOLUTION.pdf  See page 5 of 5 of this pdf published by the Liberty Fund organization.

The genealogist from the Suffield Historical Society clues also lead us more to the eastern Connecticut story of Richard Fortune. Our initial search discovered his alias as well as someone from eastern Connecticut writing a letter on his behalf when Richard Fortune sought his pension in 1818. Our slide show presents that information: https://caisctpbl.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/suffield-academy-students-present-at-suffield-historical-society-meeting-on-april-18th/

If any reader knows more about Richard Fortune or has a suggestion for a source that will help our research, please leave a comment on this post. I will get an email notifying me of your comment and look forward to learning more.

Below is my first attempt at transcribing the letter; please comment any suggestions where I have a question mark by a word or let me know if I made a mistake with a word.

Jabez CLARK, esquire Brooklyn 1818
Sir I received a line from you on Saturday last request on info regarding the services of Richard fortune, a black man in the army of the Revolution. This man has the commencement of the war was slave, belonging to general Putnam. In December 1775 he was ordered by his master ??? And entered as a soldier in Durkus(?) Regiment as that time ??? For the continental? He was taken from the regiment into the family of his master as a servant and continued with him until April 1777 remaining in the Munster rolls, and drawing pay as a soldier in that regiment. Some time in April 1777 under the promise of freedom as the close of the war he enlisted again in the same regiment and continued as a servant in general Putnam’s (family?) till about the first of April 1779 when he was discharged from service. When I state his services in General Putnam’s family it is to be understood his military family in Corps where he served with such fidelity and good conduct as to obtain?? An honorable discharge from the army had also from (?) Claims of his master.
I state these facts from my own knowledge having hear myself an aide de camp to (?) General Putnam and services in his family most of the (?)(?) In service in the time of the Revolution
I am respectfully (?)
Your servant (?)
David Putnam

Digging into Richard Fortune’s Whole Story

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Richard Fortune Record in Ancestry.com

Researching history about slavery and freedom in Suffield Connecticut, I was able to come across Richard Fortune from a classmate who found this source: http://libertyfunddc.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/HARTFORD-COUNTY-BACKGROUND-AFRICAN-AMERICAN-REVOLUTIONARY-WAR-RESOLUTION.pdf  See page 5 of 5 of this pdf published by the Liberty Fund organization.

While we have no other source that proves Richard Fortune was from Suffield in 1774 or prior to 1774, he is clearly listed on this source. We are in the process of verifying with the research that places Richard Fortune in Suffield, Ct.

Nevertheless, we discovered a great deal about Richard Fortune’s life during and after the Revolutionary War. He entered into the army at the age of around 18. Below are bullet points on more information we have on Richard Fortune.

  •      Was Born in 1747
  •      Fought in Revolutionary War
  •      African American soldier that lived in Suffield
  •      Lived in Berlin CT as well
  •      Wrote a petition for pension on April 8th 1818
  •      Was a Private in the War
  •      Married Dinah Fortune
  •      Died at the age of 88
  •      Death date April 7th 1835
  •      Died in Hampton, CT

This is all the info we have on him but it seems to be after the war. Do you have any information on him before, during or after the Revolutionary War?

#PBL Opportunity For CAIS Learners

On April 18th Suffield Academy American Studies class gave a presentation to Connecticut Historical Society during its April meeting. Students reflected on questions that were asked, and some things that did not go as smooth as we wanted them to go. Here are some of the thoughts the group shared between each other after presentation was done.

During our presentation every student knew what he or she were doing and talking about. We all have mastered our topic and new every little part of our slides. On the other side we were not very familiar with topics that did not touch our area of research – that could have resulted in a problem if someone would not show up due to any possible circumstances. Presentation was done very well, and each of us had spent good time and effort in order to finish it.

Still we had some problems with the slides on the day of presentation – I think for future it would be better to practice giving presentation at least once in the facility we are going to present it. Also to make presentation more neat I think each student needs to keep a list of websites/books he or she had used to make their slides. After everyone is done with their part, we all could compose a big bibliography of material we have used. Bibliography will help us navigate in our sources and anyone who would look at our presentation can find them useful in order to check our information, or to use it for their purposes.

 

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The Other Leg of the Triangle Trade

Our project base learning class is investigating freedom slavery in Suffield Connecticut during the pivotal year of 1774. In this project my goal is to investigate deeper the slave movement of the Caribbean as well as Suffield trading relationship to the Caribbean. This topic is very broad but I am focusing on the reason of slavery throughout the Caribbean, mostly my home island, and relate it back to Suffield, Connecticut if possible. Though my research so far and looking at fellow classmates and their findings, I can correlate some of the information I have found with theirs. For example, Harry is looking into a dock in Suffield, Connecticut where cargo was transported to the Caribbean.

An estimated 12 million Africans were transported across the Atlantic to the Western Hemisphere from 1450 to 1850. Brazil and the Caribbean had the largest number of imports and for the longest period of time, until the 1880s.

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The Other Leg of the Triangular Trade, from Complicity

Most people know about the triangular trade, but some don’t know about the food, livestock, lumber route from Connecticut to the Caribbean. In return for, sugar, molasses, coin, and bills of exchange from the Caribbean.

So far for my research, I visited different websites and learned more about the famine in the Bahamas during the Revolutionary War. Because the British blockaded trade from Connecticut to the Caribbean slave plantations. The information I have found helped me further understand this other leg of the triangular trade. This has also introduced me to new and interesting leads for my topic. For example, I am now interested in the postwar Loyalist migration during 1785. It was interesting during this research to learn where slaves and migrants left southern colonies after the Revolutionary War and migrated to the Bahamas and other Caribbean island. Along with researching this topic on the internet, I visited the Pompey Museum in The Bahamas, where I found out that the building was where they used to auction off slaves; however, I could not get any information if they had any documents relating to the other leg of the triangular trade–any documents on cargo or trading evidence with Connecticut or other New England colonies.

 

 

Complicity: Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery: Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, Jenifer Frank: 9780345467836: Amazon.com: Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.

“Slavery in the Caribbean – Caribbean History.” Slavery in the Caribbean – Caribbean History. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.

Sources: “Washington State University.” Fall 2014 The Effects of Slavery on the Caribbean Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.

“African Slave Trade, 1788.” African Slave Trade, 1788. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.

 

 

 

 

What Happened in Your Town During The Pivotal Year of 1774?

Freedom, Slavery, and the Complexities of 1774

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Sheffield Resolves in the newspaper Massachusetts Spy

In response to the Boston Tea Party (1773), Parliament drafted the the Coercive Acts in 1774, and residents throughout the thirteen colonies protested these acts in various ways. For instance, in the western town of Sheffield, Massachusetts, Colonel Ashley hosted citizens at his house, and that group composed the Sheffield Resolves. Interestingly, one of his slaves, Elizabeth Freeman, also known as Mum Bett, was inspired by these conversations of protest and later sued successfully for her own freedom, Brom and Bett v. Ashley (1781). What happened in your Connecticut town during the pivotal year of 1774? What part of the population supported the growing patriot cause in Boston? What portion of citizens accepted the dictates of the British Parliament and refused to petition King George III? Who was neutral? The year 1774 also marked the highest recorded number of Africans in Connecticut, 6,464. What effect did these turbulent times have on enslaved Africans? Beginning with an excellent primary source document, such as the Colony of Connecticut Census, find the number of Africans who lived in your town and start investigating.

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Elizabeth Freeman aka Mum Bett

Bill Sullivan’s American Studies class, which is a winter/spring trimesters project-based learning elective to seniors, will share everything they learn about the year 1774 in Suffield on this blog and invite other Connecticut students to do the same about their town! Let’s together create Connecticut history on this great collaborative platform (blog) and “do original” history story about the the complex topics of freedom and slavery during this important year in American history. And like all great history projects, we should focus our general question about slavery, freedom, and the complexities onto one primary source that we will serve our local and regional aims simultaneously, The Colony of Connecticut Census of 1774.

 

 

 

Click on the Colony of Connecticut Census from 1774, pp. 484-492. Look up your town and begin investigating. https://archive.org/stream/publicrecordsofc014conn#page/492/mode/2up  There will be more information about project-based learning as well as important primary source investigating tips.

#PBL Mantra: Share what you learn and show how you learned it.

The Suffield Academy American Studies class will present their findings at the April meeting of the Suffield Historical Society. Other schools should consider what is the best format in their respective communities to share their important community information. Interestingly, once students get deeply involved into “doing” this important history, they will also understand how this is an important type of “service” learning.

Digital platforms for #CAISCT #PBL Colleagues. Along with adding important content to our CAIS PBL blog, students can also add to this important information to these sites:

#PBL Field Trip and Resources

  • Ashley House & Sheffield Historical Society: this exhibit might be a good place for #CAISCT teachers to meet for summer inspiration; likewise, visiting the exhibit and viewing the Ashley House would be equally inspiring for #PBL investigators (students). Here’s a link to a story from the Albany Public Radio station, WAMC, that highlights the impact of the Sheffield Resolves; we should also find out if the exhibit will still be on display after early September dates and accessible for a school group: http://wamc.org/post/exhibit-resolves-sheffield-s-role-history#stream/0

Stay tune for more!