August 17th, 2019
2:00 - 4:00P ET
Learning Lab @ Blount County Public Library
2:00 - 2:10: Welcome to “Off the [M]App-a-thon!
The point of today is to move your historical research and place-stories into a mobile app for others to use and contribute to. The long view is that Maryville and Alcoa will be able to archive and curate many places and tours so that residents, young and old, can learn about our histories.
During today’s session, consider joining a weekly, intergenerational group at the library to continue this work.
Go around room and say name, what school/institution you’re from, and why you’re there. OTM Alum briefly describe what they researched during the spring sessions.
2:10 - 2:25 Intro to Clio
Paraphrase the following description from website (also say that the app was created by David Trowbridge and team, faculty at Marshall University in West Virginia who has been super kind and helpful):
“Clio is an educational website and mobile application that guides the public to thousands of historical and cultural sites throughout the United States. Built by scholars for public benefit, each entry includes a concise summary and useful information about a historical site, museum, monument, landmark, or other site of cultural or historical significance. In addition, “time capsule” entries allow users to learn about historical events that occurred around them. Each entry offers turn-by-turn directions as well as links to relevant books, articles, videos, primary sources, and credible websites.
Clio offers a compelling intellectual challenge as professional historians work with local history experts to create and vet entries in an open digital environment. Ambitious in scope, Clio allows scholars and their students to publish humanities scholarship using an innovative digital format that will instantly reach a broad audience in ways that cannot be replicated by traditional forms of publishing. We believe that there is something powerful that occurs when our sense of the past connects with our sense of place. We hope that you will use Clio to connect with the history and culture that surrounds you.”
Show five minute video (make available other videos: Clio YouTube Channel)
Students to go Login/Register green button in top left → Classroom login green button on left → Select “University of Washington” in dropdown menu → Select “Off the Map” in dropdown menu for Classroom category (only one) and enter “OTM” in password field.
Start creating new locations by hitting green “Submit Location” button
Depending on who is there, students can choose the locations from the walking tour they created. This may be a solo endeavor if only one student rep is there from the former group.
2:25 - 3:30 Work Time
Don’t focus on the quantity of locations that you map but the quality of each place-story or entry. You want as many different kinds of artifacts (text, historical photos, links to video, sources) as possible per entry. This may mean you don’t have enough locations by the end of the day to connect them into a comprehensive walking tour. That’s OK.
If you need additional help with historical documentation, sourcing, photos, please consider heading back to the BCPL archives and asking the staff some pointed questions with which they can be helpful. Here are some other helpful links for historical images and info: Blount County Virtual Archives and Digital Photo Collections.
3:35 - 3:50 Share out
How did it go? Individual or group progress
What’s left to do?
Other places not yet considered that are highly important?
3:50 - 4:00 What’s next? and Closing
Weekly intergenerational meetings to continue the work. If interested, or know someone else who is, email Katie and/or Tom. Additional information on the Off the Map Website.
Tell your friends and family about this ongoing project and have them look at Clio.
Contact Katie, Tom, Mr. Mark White, Mr. Ken Brown with follow-up questions and opportunities.
Off the Map wins the 2019 Award of Excellence for Community History from the East Tennessee Historical Society!
Dear Mr. Clowney,
Thank you for taking time to speak with us as part of the Off the Map education research project. From my conversation with you, I learned about your experience in the Negro Leagues prior to the integration of professional baseball and your courage in the face of hate and prejudice during the era of Jim Crow, particularly the act of terroristic arson that destroyed your grade school in West Tennessee. I hope to use this knowledge to preserve the memory of trailblazers like you who overcame all odds in the fight for civil rights. With hateful ideology on the move yet again in this country, stories such as yours are more valuable than ever in reminding us not just of potential dangers but of the possibility for resilience in the face of those dangers. Thank you for your time and your lifelong struggle for justice.
Dear Ms. Porter,
Thank you for taking time to speak with us as part of the Off the Map education research project. We really appreciated you coming and sharing your story. The courage and bravery it takes to not only survive such treatment but educate youth about the horrors of the past is inspiring.
From our conversation with you, I learned that….
Such horrific events that we usually associate with distant history are not so distant. It was eye-opening to think that my peers’ grandparents and all of our bosses and leaders were in high school during a time of such intense racism.
I hope to use this knowledge to….
Educate others about Maryville’s history of segregation.
Off the Map student
Dear Ms. Clowney,
Thank you for taking time to speak with me as part of the Off the Map education research project. From my conversation with you, I learned about the struggles of being an African American female student at a majority white and male institution during the 1950s as well as what life was like in general in Maryville and Alcoa at the time. Your courage and determination are absolutely invaluable to the struggle for justice in Tennessee and the nation as a whole, and I was humbled and honored to have the opportunity to hear you tell your story. I hope to help bring the heroic story of the Maryville Six to the light through this project, and your eager cooperation was integral to this process. Thank you again, immeasurably, for your time and most importantly your contribution to the betterment of this community.
Dear Mr. Morton,
Thank you for taking time to speak with us as part of the Off the Map education research project. We enjoyed talking to you and hearing about the history of Maryville and Founder’s Square.
From our conversation with you, I learned that the Founder’s Square area served as a hub of activity because of the businesses that were there. I also learned how the area changed over time when it became a parking lot and the reasons why many businesses shifted towards Midland Plaza. The pictures and records you shared with us were very helpful in getting an idea of how Founder’s Square actually looked and just how vibrant the area was at the time.
I hope to use this knowledge to accurately represent Founder’s Square so that others can imagine it how it was and understand how important it was for Maryville’s development. I also am excited to be able to tell family and friends about it anytime we are in the downtown area.
Student report, Kaleb Davenport, brought the Off the Map project to the Blount County Daily Times accompanied by some beautiful photos by Brianna Bivens. Please check us out and get involved in future work!
Katherine is a high school student thinking about learning local history as a way to be civically engaged.
When I was first introduced to the Off the Map project, all I knew was that we would be “creating app content” for a historical map. I have always loved history and felt a close connection to my community, so I thought it would be an amazing experience and something I could be proud to have contributed to. Other than that, I didn’t know much about what I was getting into.
My optimism about the future of the project was heightened after session one, when I picked Founders Square as my topic and was able to experience Maryville’s history in a more vivid way during our community walk. Based on the knowledge I gained of my area during the walk, however, I knew it would be a particular challenge to research. Founders Square, historically a bustling hub of town full of vibrant stories, was now a parking lot that I wouldn’t look twice at in passing!
If we were going to represent this area and tell its story, the app would have to do some pretty special things. After brainstorming with our app developer, Garrett, during session two, the other designers and I came up with some ideas for the app. I then began to see the reality of what this project could be.
The first thing we all agreed on was that it should be accessible to everyone and available for educational purposes. It should be intergenerational and dynamic. I picture this app used in classrooms; teachers could assign their students a project to learn about our town and its special history as they walk through it. Eventually, students could even contribute to the app’s historical content. I also think it is very important that the app include lots of visuals. It would be difficult, I believe, to picture Founders Square without historical documents and images, and the same is true for many other students’ topics. If the app is going to feel like an experience of significance to its users, it needs to be immersive, engaging, and visual, and I think images of our history can accomplish that.
These are only a few things that could be featured on the app, and the possibilities are really limitless: timelines, social groups, historian chats, guided audio tours, and the list goes on. They are, however, a place to start when thinking of how the app should reach across generations to achieve its storytelling purpose and to make historical Blount County come alive again.
Session 2 was a day of archival research in the morning; students worked with Blount County Public Library staff and Blount County Genealogical and Historical Society volunteers. We then moved to a working lunch where Garrett Smith led an app design feedback session. Students and teachers contributed ideas about who should use the mobile app and it's ultimate function. In the afternoon, pairs or individual students conducted oral history interviews with local experts. Finally, students summarized what they learned over the course of the day's work, how that place-story should be represented in the app (e.g., archival photos, audio of oral histories), and what missing pieces of information they needed to track down before the final session on March 23rd.