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Submitted work by Jaimie Vela

Module 1

Have you taken an online class before?: No
Are you available from 7 pm to 9 pm EDT, Tuesdays (5/26/20; 6/9/20; 7/14/20)?: Yes
Do you have regular access to a computer?: Yes
Do you have regular access to a reliable Internet connection?: Yes
Are you able to devote six to nine hours a week on each course in the certificate.: Yes
Are you motivated and self-reliant? Are you able to complete assignments without reminders?: Yes
Do you enjoy learning new skills through online tutorials?: Yes
Does the instructor have permission to share your Mason email with classmates?: Yes
On any given day which of the following devices do you use? (check all that apply):
  • Laptop
  • Smartphone
Which of the following do you use in academic work? (check all that apply):
  • Email
  • Google Docs
  • MS Office (Word, Excel, etc.)
  • Skype/Google Hangouts
  • PowerPoint
What digital resources do you consult for research? (check all that apply):
  • Google Search
  • Google Scholar
  • Library Catalog
  • Library Subscription Databases
  • WorldCat
What common services do you use for non-academic work? (check all that apply):
  • Text Messaging
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Amazon Prime or Netflix
  • Zoom
Do you have any digital maker skills?: None
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Module 2

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Module 3

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Module 4

First - Write everything you know for sure about what you see in this image.:
I know for sure this image contains eight men, all wearing dark business suits. Three are seated, five are standing. The men all appear to be in the same relative age range, Caucasian and wearing the same style of suit. The seated men all have their hands in the same pose (separated on the top of their legs) and the standing men all have their arms at their sides. They appear to be posed in a non descript room that has some sort of block style bench. The back of the image has a label from Kalen's Picture and Frame Shop in Trenton, NJ.
Second- Write everything you suspect about this image:
I suspect this image is a group of professional business men, perhaps an official work place portrait. Because the back of the photograph has a professional photography studio label, it suggests this was a planned and scheduled photo session. The men, based on their attire, appear to be white collar workers in the same profession. This group of eight could be the more advanced members of the professional group; such as board members, chairmen or owners/presidents/CEO, etc.
Third- Write the questions you have about the image at this first viewing:
My first question are about the three seated. The man on the left appears shorter than the others; is that why he is seated? Or are the three seated because they are of greater significance than the five behind them? I also wonder if it was their decision to all not smile (to appear more serious?) or was that just a style trend of the time? Was this created for display in their work place, as the photo has no indication of the workplace or what kind of group this is. Therefore the image is not being taken for marketing or advertising purposes. Because the image has no indication of where or why, this then leaves room for it be interpreted as potentially a group of men in a club, for example Masons, or another type of social club. However, I'd think if that were the case, there would be some identifying element, such as clothing, hat, sign, etc as a sign of pride.
First - Write everything you know for sure about what you see in this image.:
I know for sure there are eight men in this image. Three are seated in the front, five are standing. The men all appear to be in the same relative age group, Caucasian and wearing the same style of suit. The three men in the front all have their hands in the same pose; on the tops of the their legs, while the men standing have they hands down at their sides. There are no identifying factors as to location or environment in the photograph. The back of the image has a label from Kalen's Picture Shop, in Trenton, NJ.
Second- Write everything you suspect about this image:
I suspect this a planned and posed group photo for their place of employment. Because there are no indications as to the type of company or business this is, I believe it was probably taken for internal purposes and not for marketing or advertising. This group could also be "higher-up" members of the company, based on the fact they are being photographed. For example, board members, chairmen, law firm partners, etc.
Third- Write the questions you have about the image at this first viewing:
My first question is about the three seated in the front. The man on the left appears to be shorter than the others- is this why he is seated? Or are the three have a higher significance than the standing men? Notably, the men are all not smiling. Is this to appear more serious, or just the trend at this time? As I wrote above, there are no identifying elements as to what type of group this is. That leaves the door open for the this gathering to not necessarily be an employment based group, but maybe a social one; such as Masons or social club members. However, I'd think if it were more of a social group, there would be some type of identifiers, such as signs, clothing or hats.
Student Comment:
This photograph of eight men feature politicians, most likely state representatives from New Jersey. These men would have traveled extensively to Washington DC, where this photo was purchased in 1988 at an antique store. As was this case with politicians for much of the early 20th century, there is little variation in terms of age, sex and race between the group of eight. The men posed for this photo in Trenton, the state capital, and the photograph was mounted and framed by Kalen's Picture and Frame Shop, a well-established company since the later part of the 19th century. This official portrait was intended as an official documentation of the group.
Student Response:
Winslow Homer vs. Matthew Brady: A Lesson on Documenting the Civil War
The Civil War in the United States (1861-1865) saw a shift in the way it was presented to the American people. Notably, this was the first war to utilize photography to capture images. Also worth mentioning was the fact that artists captured daily life in war camps, as opposed to only depicting crucial battle scenes or regal portraits of notable military figures.
Homer Winslow and Matthew Brady were both working during the Civil War to document what they saw and present it to the public. Below are statements about each person followed by assumptions/suspicions, and then questions in regards to how their work can be interpreted.

Winslow Homer:
-An artist who started creating illustrations and then moved on to oil painting.
-From Massachusetts
-Was hired by the publication Harper’s Weekly and sent to battlefield camps to document what he saw on the front lines, for the American public to view in the magazine.
-Homer exhibited his Civil War illustrations and paintings at the National Academy of Design as fine art work, with some images selling to private individuals.
-Post Civil War, Homer continued to see commercial success as an artist, primarily with his land and seascape paintings.

Matthew Brady:
-A photographer who familiarized himself with the daguerreotype method of creating photographs; he trained other photographers who then worked for him.
-From New York
-Invested his own money and requested permission for himself and his associates to document the war using photography.
-Brady and associates produced over 10,000 photographs covering the war, mostly under Matthew Brady’s name and he encouraged visitors to view the pictures at his gallery.
-Post Civil War, these types of photographs fell out of favor and Brady never received any profits from his work. Because he had to finance this project himself, he died penniless.

Are we able to surmise the following?…
-Painting, especially oil painting, is time consuming; therefore Homer could take creative liberties in his work, as he was not painting a live subject, but from sketch.
-Photographs at this time required bulky equipment and long exposure times. Therefore, Brady had to forgo capturing action scenes and was left to document the aftermath of the battle. Because of this, Brady could take the time to set up and manipulate the scene as he saw fit.
-With both men hailing from the northern part of the United States, they could have chosen to show the Union army in a different tone than the Confederate army.

1. Can either Brady’s or Homer’s work be viewed as a primary source for understanding the Civil War?
2. Because Homer was documenting the war as a paid illustrator, could Harper’s Weekly mandate what he created and edit those works deemed appropriate for the public?
3. By Brady displaying his photographs in a gallery, does that make them works of art?
4. Does the fact that Homer went on to seek success as an artist, while Brady, a photographer, died a “starving artist”, does that mean Homer’s Civil War paintings have more validity?
5. Does a painting provide the same emotional involvement from the viewer as a photograph?
6. Do either depict a realistic portrayal of the Civil War?
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Module 5

Film Metadata:
Movie: Gone With the Wind (might as well for a doozy of a "historical" film!)
Year: 1939
Producer: Victor Fleming, Selznick Pictures and MGM Studios
Based on the 1936 fiction novel by Margaret Mitchell, "Gone With the Wind", which is a story that takes place in the years before and after the Civil War.
Big Themes:
While this movie does not pertain to my final project, it does relate to another area of focus for me, and that is the Civil War. GWTW portrays the main themes of Civil War, including slavery, war and reconstruction.
Historically Accurate: This is tough, as this movie was produced 81 years ago! I think it is safe to say the movie got the general timeline of antebellum, Civil War and Reconstruction accurate. I believe it captured (to a very general point) life in the South during antebellum, with the exception of slavery.
Historically Inaccurate: I've always wondered with a movie this old, were the inaccuracies known by production but for the sake of the audience, ignored? Or was the point of view of the movie generally regarded as truth? I also wonder how many read Mitchell's book to compare it to the movie version, as the book is so much more detailed and a little more "dark" than the movie. I believe the main, glaring inaccuracy is how slavery is portrayed. GWTW uses the slave figure as a family member, companions to the O'Hara's, rather than forced slave labor to maintain their plantation.
Key Moments:
(Instead of a time stamp, I included You Tube links for the two scenes below).

The first key moment which highlights the inaccuracy of slavery, or perhaps completely glosses over the concept, is when a former O'Hara slave named "Big Sam" saves Scarlett as she is being attacked in her carriage. He, the slave, who was owned by the O'Hara family and forced to work and live in what we have come to know as horrific conditions, comes to his former owner's rescue and a wonderful reunion occurs. This scene ultimately gives the impression slaves were treated as equal family members. Now, perhaps there were very rare instances of relationships like this, but the overwhelming general narrative as we now know, this was not the case.

The second key moment is when Rhett Butler confronts the men at the BBQ as war is announced- he informs them how ill equipped the South is to fight this war, with no one believing him. This part rings especially true, as it was the fact; the south was no where prepared to fight this war, but they believed that their honor and gentlemanly ways will overcome this. A lesser common, historically accurate moment in the movie.
Student Response:
Unfortunately, I was not able to locate the gallery of student film reviews to read what the students had written about their approach. However, I did watch two student films, “Finding Kate” by Sara Collini and “The Displaced People of Shenandoah Valley” by Mary Lee Clark and will share my feedback!
I loved Sara’s story about Kate, the possible mid-wife at Mount Vernon. What I found appealing was how Sara combined the use of documents, illustrations/paintings and her own narration. She was able to create an air of mystery as she sort of “unpeeled” each layer, to make it a cohesive and compelling story, while making it easy to follow. If this story was in a simple essay form, it would have been difficult to follow, or at the very least, a lot less interesting. The maps showing the farmland at Mount Vernon, as well as the images of the ledgers, really helped pull the story together.

Mary Lee’s story about the people of Shenandoah was very interesting, as I had no idea this happened! So that in of itself was interesting to learn. As this story took place in the early 20th century, photographs were available to highlight the facts Mary Lee was discussing. However, this goes back to our module on the use of images in history. Mary Lee’s video makes sure to point out the fact the photos were manipulated to create a specific narrative about the people of the Shenandoah Mountains. She effectively created a story with two purposes; providing a historical background of an event in American history, as well as creating a bit of empathy for these displaced folks.
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Module 6

Student Response:
There is a reason conducting a Google search can be referred to as “going down the rabbit hole” Often times you have no idea where you might end up in the world wide web- hours later you might find yourself completely off subject from your initial Google search! I believe being a historian is about doing detective work and this applies to researching online. And especially crucial when conducting research online, is to keep an open mind and not necessarily rely entirely on the content of the results of the Google search. This was evident in this week’s module reading, Google is Finally Admitting it has a Filter- Bubble Problem. So how can students apply themselves like a historian when Googling? Revert back to the 5 “W’s”: Who, What, Where, When and Why.
Who: Who is the author of the article? Are they an expert in their field? Are they a journalist? A scientist?
What: What is the website? Is it an educational site? An opinion piece or blog? Is it from a news site? If it is a new site, is it one with a certain slant on their views? Is it one that is for entertainment purposes only?
Where: Where is the source? Is it relevant to your intended Google search? If you are Googling about an event in Australia, is the source Australian? Will that matter if it is not?
When: When was the source written? If you are looking for up-to-date statistics on the number of visitors to Disneyworld, will it help if the article was written in 2011? Probably not.
The same 5 W’s can be applied when visiting a museum or historic site. However, in place of Google releasing information it believes we are searching for, we instead look to the museum curator to essentially provide the results of what we view in the museum.
Your Comment:
This was so extremely thought out and well organized! After reading this project, I clearly see how students can navigate from part one, down to part two and three with the anticipated outcome of building historical thinking skills while practicing various search strategies. I really appreciate the step by step process and feel it is a more detailed and organized method than what I suggested of asking oneself a formula of easy to remember questions- I wonder if simply asking questions misses out on the analysis component that is so well detailed above? Wonderful project and on a personal note, this was so helpful for me to read!!
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Module 7

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Blog Post URL (Be sure to include http://):

Module 8

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Module 9

Project Title: The Curse of the Hope Diamond
Project Title: The Curse of the Hope Diamond
Student Response:
I find it really fascinating that the largest word in Wineburg's Word Art is "students" and Levesque's is "History". While they both write about teaching history, my takeaway was Wineburg's focus was student centric; how students can best learn history, including the "uncomfortable" parts of history. Levesque seemed to focus on the concept of studying history and processing historical context.
While both provide valuable aspects on teaching history, I feel that I identified with Wineburg. He acknowledges that historical thinking requires us to tackle two tough issues: our established modes of thinking as well as if no attempt is made to "slough them off, we are doomed to a mind-numbing presentation that reads the present onto the past". This seems so simple, but is such an important part of studying history and especially relevant for me when studying art history. A large component of art history is learning NOT to apply our everyday beliefs and thoughts to works of art. A common example is when looking at female nudes from different time periods. Understanding today's ideals of beauty were not the same as the ideals in 17th century Italy, will help us understand the big picture, so to say!
Both Wineburg and Levesque provided necessary and informative concepts on studying and teaching history, helping to set the tone for me for this course!
Upload File of Word Cloud: Velawordart.png
Your Feedback:
Video Feedback:
Your video very clearly explained your final project in terms of your intended audience, website organization and desired goals for the students. I also really appreciated you explaining the fact that it is condensed due to teachers tight time constraints. As a non-teacher, that didn’t occur to me, so I really like that you mentioned that you designed the site with that important fact in mind.

Website Feedback:
I honestly loved everything about this website! The home page sets the tone with how history is normally taught, with a teacher lecturing and students left to memorize facts, which really does not allow for any type of historical thinking approach. The breakdown of the four skills of sourcing, close reading, corroboration and contextualization are not just incredibly helpful, but also demonstrate how students can apply these useful skills in other subjects and aspects of life. I believe stating this allows for students to see the value in the exercise.

The summary on the story of Sumio Doi on the homepage is a helpful introduction, along with the timeline. Equally as important is how you explained both parts of the module with clear and concise instructions of what the student will be doing as they proceed through the website.
So admittedly as I went to the primary reading page, and saw quite a few articles, my first thought was ok, time for a lot of reading. BUT as I navigated through each link, following your directions, I found each article’s take on the event fascinating! And reading each article was a good start for your next activity of sourcing and corroboration where the assignment was broken down further to include primary sources from two different viewpoints. Even more helpful was that you had chosen some to compare and contrast.
What struck me from the “for teachers” page is how you mention this would be a good activity for studying an event in the US during WWII, and I thought how true- studying WWII almost always focuses on Europe and Asia with little discussion of what was going on in the states.

What I found really successful was not just that I learned about an event in history which I had no prior knowledge of, but that I also felt I exercised historical thinking skills. Think of how different the module would be if just posed articles about the Doi event without any instructions as to how to read them.

Just two nitpicky grammar items: On your homepage in the second bullet point, “focusing” should be changed to “focus” and on the sourcing/corroboration page, the second paragraph, pluralize “newspaper”. Also, the visual person in me is wondering if the questions on the sourcing/collaboration activity could either be broken up on the page to allow for a little more differentiation?

I think your website is awesome!!! Thank you for sharing! - Jaimie
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Video Feedback:
Your video clearly explained the “Education” activities you added for this class assignment. As I wasn’t in the previous classes, your entire website was new to me, so I was excited to explore!

Website Feedback: What a cool project! And so necessary. I’d have to think a lot of people just think of the Salem Witch Trials as a strange event where women were accused of witchcraft and executed and centuries later you can visit Salem and buy some witch themed souvenirs. But as you clearly pointed out, there is so much more to this series of events, and equally important is how we think of the trials has changed over time, based on trends in research and history.
All that said, I started at the beginning of your website and was captivated not just by the story, but also by your attention to detail with supplemental documentation for teachers to use. I’m sure you have said this before, but what is the age range of students this is geared towards?
As your project is based on the Education section, that is where I really focused and my first impression is how you effectively organized the historiography through the decades. I found it very helpful you included a definition of each decade’s school of thought with an easy to understand Wikipedia entry. The inclusion of each new secondary source with accompanying peer reviews provides a great insight into how history can change over time. And the fact that the Salem Witch Trials really doesn’t have a clear explanation of what exactly happened, means that it can get reinterpreted as schools of thought change over time.
Your Teacher’s Guide is also very organized and broken down in a user-friendly format. I really like your video explaining the activity!! The inclusion of your questions also provide a clear conclusion of the project, in terms of how students will process the provided information.
A few nitpicky things: On the Teacher’s Guide, under the Unit Overview, in the 1990’s the word mseum should be changed to Museum and on the 1970’s page, the word libraary should be library. I think I had about a 100 spelling/grammar errors on my site!
I really loved exploring your website and learning more about the Salem Witch Trials, especially the historiography- I really liked delving into how the history has changed based on social influences over each decade. Great Job!!!- Jaimie
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Module 10

Final Essay Upload: Reflection Paper.docx