Category Archives: Twitter

Using Twitter as a Critical Thinking Tool

Let’s pause in the research process to appreciate cross-referencing skills and harvest great sources, key players, and important narratives. Now let’s move forward with more research and curating. Onward #PBLResearch & #CrossReferencing!

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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?

Titus Kent-Middletown Investigation

My ProjectBase Learning Class has been researching 1774, regarding slavery and freedom. We have found information on Rose and her son Prince, slaves who came to Middletown on a Dutch Ship. Mr Phillips, of Middletown Connecticut, sold Rose and Prince to Reverend Ebenezer Gay, of Suffield Connecticut. After reading about your exhibition, we were wondering if you had any records of this. We do not have the exact dates to this sale, however, Reverend Ebenezer Gay was the Minister in Suffield from 1742-1796, and during this

Windsor.Locks.Journal.5.29.1885.pdf copy.jpg

Windsor Locks Journal, 1885. Written by trusted town historian, with first hand source from Ebenezer Gay’s Granddaughter

time he purchased his slaves. I am looking into where the Dutch ships originated from, especially trying to find the origin of Rose Gay, who had a tattoo on her back that suggested royalty. Rose Gay went on to marry Titus Kent, another slave belonging to the wealthy Kent family of Suffield. During our research we found, by looking through old war documents, monuments and lists, that Titus Kent fought in the Revolutionary War along with Elihu Kent and Elihu Kent Jr. We are still uncertain whether Titus got his freedom after the war, but we found records of applications for his pension. What is interesting about these documents is that they are not filed so that Titus himself could have retrieved his pension. They are filed so that other people could get his pension.  While we are very interested in your documentation regarding slaves sold in Middletown, we are also wondering if you came across and documents regarding slaves being granted their freedom after fighting in the Revolutionary War?

Twitter = Excellent #PBL Resource

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Last year’s class discovered this excellent resource online. How can we connect with this Yale scholar and map our important local history discoveries. Should we make our own digital map of Connecticut? Can we task students with this challenge? While sharing what we learn is an important aspect to having student reach the higher levels on the Blooms Taxonomy scale, it is also a crucial step to explaining Connecticut’s complex history. As historians of Connecticut agree, there are many different enclaves and communities inside our complex state that make writing “general” history of our 17th- to present day events daunting. Thus, students writing (or “doing”) history from the local level and making connections to the state level will compose a more enriched account of our national historical tends.

Our Press Release: The Other Underground Railroad

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACTS & CALENDAR LISTINGS: Click SA.Presentation.4.19.2016

Bill Sullivan, American Studies Teacher, Suffield Academy bsullivan@suffieldacademy.org

Title: The Other Underground Railroad

A Free Lecture from 7:00-8:00pm on April 19th at Suffield’s Senior Center, 145 Bridge Street. Suffield Academy Students present 18th Century Kidnapping Case During Suffield Historical Society Meeting.

In 1845 Reverend Daniel Hemenway, a West Suffield minister and school teacher, wrote a letter to John Hooker, our state’s leading abolitionist, to enlist his help for freeing certain slaves in Virginia. They were descendants of Flora, an eighteenth century free African-American woman from West Suffield. Hooker and Hemenway then argued that Captain Hanchett, a Revolutionary War Hero and tavern owner in West Suffield, kidnapped Flora and her two children, transported them down the Hudson River, and sold them into slavery. The American Studies class of Suffield Academy will present information from new research about this complex case: this includes kidnapping, the “other” direction of the Underground Railroad, Flora and Exeter’s colonial life, recently discovered documents relating to Reverend Hemenway and his Select School in Suffield, as well as additional implications concerning the nineteenth century Underground Railroad in our town.

Come out and learn the fate of the four sets of Flora’s 19th century children and grandchildren whose fight for freedom involved seven county trials as well as a culminating case heard by Virginia’s Supreme Court. All Society meetings are open to the public, and newcomers are most welcome.

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“Kidnapping” by Alexander Rider

Delineating the learning process about Vicky Chen’s art work for out flyer, she juxtaposed this image of a nineteenth century kidnapping with some of the text from the nineteenth century depositions that described Hanchett and another man forceably taking Flora away. We have some of the depositions on our blog, and the State Library of Virginia as well as the Rockbridge Advocate newspaper have other documents. The most interesting discovery we had as a class was to learn more about early nineteenth century Philadelphia physician, Jesse Torrey, who researched and compiled a book on narratives in his area. Click here to learn more: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part3/3h324.html

Looking for Aid from the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

hbsc icon.gifHooker mentions Hemengway’s letter in his memoir. Do you have this or other similar letters?

During our early researches, the class found out that John Hooker (1816-1901), as an abolitionist, served a vital role with Reverend Hemengway in the case. After some brief online research, I found out his relations with Thomas Hooker, the founder of Hartford, and that indeed John is the grandson of him. Also, he worked as a lawyer and judge in Farmington, a significant stop for the underground railroad, and as an advantage for his abolitionist activities. Significantly, a breakthrough came when we learnt about Isabella Beecher Hooker, a women suffragist, who was indeed his wife. We went on from that direction and learnt much more information of Hooker, including from Susan Campbell’s book, Tempest-Tossed: The Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker.

After that, the class focused on the book Love of Freedom, so we changed directions on finding sources relating to Oliver Hanchett, Flora’s owner and Exeter, Flora’s husband’s court cases. Recently, we brought our attention back to Hooker and found out more about him. We contacted Susan Campbell on Twitter and she suggested us to make use your organization in digging out Hooker’s history. The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center’s website indeed aided a lot on our research. First, we get to know a lot more about Hooker in his career being a judge from hyperlinking to the CT State Library page. Then, we connected the dates to branch out much more data regarding his family and life. For example, I found a book written by Thomas Hooker that recorded all descendants of him including John, as well as notes John wrote about his father Edward, and properties of the Hooker family passed on to John. Despite all information found, realizing the center is keeping over 1000 letters of John Hooker’s from a manuscript collection guide became the biggest breakthrough throughout our research on him.

This project requires lots of research skills and critical thinking skills, and it’s hard to find and see original paper form documents. It had taken us a good deal of effort to be in the position we stand right now, and we hope the center will be able to provide the letters or just any clues of John Hooker relating to our case, especially the conversations between Hooker and Reverend Hemengway. We believe any documents relating their partnership will bring us a big step forward.