Archive for November, 2008

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Master the Technology and Share the Cookies

November 12, 2008

Our resource partners at Buddy2 have helpfully passed along the Indiana Department of Education’s K-8 Technology Skill Benchmarks. If you have a kindergartner at home, it’s time to make sure your young person can “identify digital tools by name” – scanner, cell phone, MP3 player, etc. Your 2nd grader should be able to “cite sources of information, print and non-print, for class projects.” Good, because then they’ll be ready for grad school.

Of course, many parents are way behind their kids technologically and need their offspring’s help to log onto secure networks and so on.

What, then, is the pinnacle of this K-8 pyramid of tech skills? The effective 8th grader should be able to:

  • Plan, design, and develop a digital product.
  • Explore technology use in real world applications in a global society.
  • Demonstrate effective use of the Internet and exhibit digital citizenship.

The global society is no problem — one can hardly get involved in any online discussion without Finns, Italians, Australians, Taiwanese, and others putting their 2 euro-cents in. Digital citizenship, though, would definitely take a few weeks to learn, for it is “a complex set of behaviors that define the appropriate use of technology, including the areas of safety, rights, communications, etiquette, education, access, commerce, responsibility, and security.”

In fact, the threads woven through the K-8 benchmarks are these three — productivity, communication, and digital citizenship. Only one of them is concerned solely with the child/machine relationship. The other two have to do with the child/world and child/society interface, still the crucial application where education needs to ensure a higher level of functionality.

This entry was posted by: Nancy
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A Note for the Hoosier History Live! Blogger

November 7, 2008

Hello I am Heather Kaufman-McKivigan, the webmaster for Hoosier History Live! who also will be blogging at Hooserati for HHL!

A little bit about myself. I received an M.A. in Sociology from Indiana University Purdue University – Indianapolis and  am currently working for the Frederick Douglass Papers at the Institute for American Thought. I’m also a co-editor of the upcoming Encyclopedia of American Reform Movements published by Facts on File.

I love learning about Hoosier History and look forward to Saturday mornings, when I can listen to Nelson Price’s weekly show on 88.7 FM the Diamond, broadcasting from the University of Indianapolis Campus on Saturday mornings at 11:30.  Hope you’ll be tuned in too.

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Our Land: Contemporary Art from the Arctic at the Eiteljorg

November 6, 2008

Back in September the Indiana Humanities Council made the final round of grand awards for 2008 (Don’t worry, 2009 is just around the corner and more grants are on their way. Start your application early.) Humanities Initiative Grants are awarded on a competitive basis three times per year and are judged on a variety characteristics. We receive a lot of grant applications and make a lot of awards. Helping so many projects from all over Indiana go from plans to reality is one of the cooler aspects of working here. (Truth be told, I have very little to do with the grants program. Fellow Hoosierati blogger, Nancy Conner is the workhorse of that operation and she does a phenomenal job.)

All of the grants awarded go toward programs in the public humanities and all of them are interesting and important. While I was away, two programs we gave grants to already happened. We awarded a grant to the Asian Help Services to host an Asian Festival back at the beginning of October. And we also gave a grant for a civic discussion on immigration hosted by IUPU-Columbus.

Now that I’m back from Texas and have more-or-less gathered my wits about me, I would like to tell about the next event we helped to fund before it happens.

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is opening a new exhibit, Our Land: Contemporary Art from the Arctic which is sponsored by Barnes and Thornburg and Dorit and Gerald Paul. There are two days of scheduled events planned to mark the exhibit’s opening and as part of those opening ceremonies the Eiteljorg is bringing in Kendra Tagoona and Charlotte Qamaniq to perform katajjaq, or Inuit Throat Singing.

This will truly be a unique experience for anyone that gets to enjoy it. Throat singing is a very old art and the Inuit variety is unique among cultures that practice throat singing. The IHC awarded the Eiteljorg funds for this part of their opening ceremonies and the accompanying talk where Kendra and Charlotte will talk about their culture and their own relationship with this part of their cultural heritage.

The full schedule of the two days of events is:

Schedule of events
November 15
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sale of Inuit art
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Family Activities:  Finger Puppets and Animal Carvings
10 a.m.                Lecture: The Evolution of Canadian Contemporary Inuit Art
Lorne Balshine, President of the Arctic Art Museum Society
Noon                    Peter Irniq builds an Inuksuk on the museum’s front lawn
1 p.m.                  Tour of Our Land: Contemporary Art from the Arctic
Ashley Holland, assistant curator of contemporary art
1 p.m.                  100 Days on Baffin Island: My Experiences with Inuit Culture, Craft and Charisma
John Huston, Arctic explorer
2:30 p.m.             Throat singers performance
November 16
1 p.m.                  Public tour of Our Land: Contemporary Art from the Arctic
2 p.m.                  Indianapolis Women’s Chorus Concert: Sound Sport

7 p.m.                  Indianapolis Women’s Chorus Concert: Sound Sport

Or go to the Eiteljorg website to read more about the exhibit (including a video of a throat singing duo.

For a little bit more on throat singing and it’s role in modern Arctic cultures, NPR did a story earlier this year.

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Meandering Indiana – 9

November 5, 2008

Today seems like a particularly good day to write a “Meander” about Lake County, which once again made it into the national news spotlight last night.

Sometimes called “The Region,” the northwest corner of Indiana is its own place, holding special meaning for our state’s ethnic history, labor history, religious history, and women’s history.

For example, Lake County has the highest percentage of Latinos in the state, roughly 14%. This ethnic community dates back to 1919 when U.S. Steel in Gary and Inland Steel in East Chicago imported Mexican laborers to help break the Great Steel Strike of 1919 (as told by Edward J. Escobar in Forging a Community: The Latino Experience in Northwest Indiana). Women workers from the city contributed to the steel industry during WWII; their Rosie the Riveter was Mela, Queen of the 12-Inch (Bar Mill). East Chicago remains a strong Hispanic center, with its historic Our Lady of Guadalupe parish.

African American workers came to the steel region as part of the Great Migration from the South in the early twentieth century. The community centered around the Midtown District, where Gary Roosevelt, one of the state’s newly built segregated high schools, opened in the 1920s.

Like nearby Chicago, the Region also has many ethnic groups from Eastern and Southern Europe. IHC recently funded a project to trace the Serbian community of northwest Indiana, one among many. In common with other groups in the Region, the “Serbs of Steel” look with pride to their military service in World War II and other American conflicts.

Quite a lot of these stories are preserved in the Calumet Regional Archives at Indiana University Northwest. (See images from the collection). Steve McShane, the archivist, has lately been involved in adding photographs of Gary and its steelworkers to I.U.’s digital library.

My recollections of northwest Indiana include working with the Senoras of Yesteryear on their book about East Chicago, visiting Gary Westside High School one day when the students were trying out their language skills on a visiting group from Japan, and organizing a 1995 conference that brought all the different ethnicities together for exhibits and panel discussions.

And indeed, there are features that unite the Region. For many years those of us who live in central Indiana suffered under the cruel jibes of NBA fans there, all of whom were Bulls devotees in the Michael Jordan era. Perhaps I should compile a briefing sheet for political candidates on the subject of “who roots for whom where, or, my state but not my team.” It would still, I suspect, apply to northwest Indiana.

This entry was posted by: Nancy
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ELECTION DAY, NOVEMBER, 1884

November 4, 2008

By Walt Whitman

If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show,
‘Twould not be you, Niagara – nor you, ye limitless prairies – nor your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,
Nor you, Yosemite – nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyserloops ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing,
Nor Oregon’s white cones – nor Huron’s belt of mighty lakes – nor Mississippi’s stream:
This seething hemisphere’s humanity, as now, I’d name – the still small voice vibrating -America’s hoosing day,
(The heart of it not in the chosen – the act itself the main, the quadrennial choosing,)
The stretch of North and South arous’d – sea-board and inland – Texas to Maine – the Prairie States – ermont, Virginia, California,
The final ballot-shower from East to West – the paradox and conflict,
The countless snow-flakes falling – (a swordless conflict,
Yet more than all Rome’s wars of old, or modern Napoleon’s): the peaceful choice of all,
Or good or ill humanity – welcoming the darker odds, the dross:
– Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to purify – while the heart pants, life glows:
These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships,
Swell’d Washington’s, Jefferson’s, Lincoln’s sails.

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I’m Back and Welcoming a New Hoosierati Blogger

November 4, 2008

Well, after two weeks out of state and then two more weeks out of my mind I’m finally settling back into the routine and hope to be back over here blogging more regularly. The election being over sometime tonight/early tomorrow morning will be a huge help. It would be a horrible understatement to say that I’ve been “distracted” by the events culminating today.

But enough about me; I have great Hoosierati/IHC news.

It is my hope for this blog, among other things, that we can get some actual humanists in here blogging in addition to me. Not that I am not a humanist of some degree but actual practitioners–people out there doing the work of the public humanities. That’s the kind of information I think the IHC should be in the business of spreading around because I think that’s the kind of information I think you want to read.

Which is why I am delighted to say that two local radio shows coming off WICR (on the campus of the University of Indianapolis) will be popping up here occassionally to share some things with us. One of the two shows is Hoosier History Live, hosted by historian Nelson Price (also an author and “connoisseur of all things Hoosier”).

The other show is Too Many Cooks, “a whimsical yet informative public radio program about cooking, cuisine, and entertainment featuring the Midwest’s consummate food journalist Patti Denton, and the international Gala Award winning special events designer Gary Bravard.”

So there you have it, not only is the IHC now officially a “group blog” and all that entails, but its on the verge of going multimedia! You have been warned.These are indeed, my friends, exciting times.