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Tess Porter

Digital Content Producer
Smithsonian Office of Educational Technology
Smithsonian Staff

I'm the Digital Content Producer at the Smithsonian Office of Educational Technology. Here, I focus on the use of digital museum resources to support teaching and learning.  I train educators on using digital museum resources and the Smithsonian Learning Lab to support student learning, research and develop learning experiences in collaboration with educators at the Smithsonian and other cultural institutions, and support the development of new tools and features to improve the Lab.  I hold a B.A. in Anthropology and a B.A. in Art History from University Colorado Boulder, and am currently pursuing an M.S. in Museums and Digital Culture with an Advanced Certificate in User Experience at Pratt Institute. 

learninglab@si.edutwitter.com/smithsonianlab

Tess Porter's collections

 

Supporting Civic Investigations with the Smithsonian Learning Lab

<p>Created to support the 2022 <em>Smithsonian Summer Sessions</em> workshop, “Supporting Civic Investigations with the Smithsonian Learning Lab,” this collection gathers resources and pedagogical approaches to investigate "the people" as a political concept with students. This collection is inspired by Educating for American Democracy's content theme, <a href="https://www.educatingforamericandemocracy.org/the-roadmap/7themes/#we-the-people" target="_blank">We the People</a>.</p> <p>The 2022 <em></em><em>Smithsonian Summer Sessions: Inspiring Civic Engagement </em>is a virtual professional development opportunity. Held synchronously in late June 2022, it will be made available as a free, asynchronous virtual course in Fall 2022. </p> <p>#SummerSessions</p>
Tess Porter
26
 

Investigating Tribal Sovereignty through Objects

<p>This collection was created to accompany the live session <em>Cultivating Learning: Investigating Tribal Sovereignty through Objects,</em> hosted with guest educator Renée Gokey from the <a href="https://americanindian.si.edu/" target="_blank">National Museum of the American Indian</a>, which focuses on transferrable, inquiry-based techniques to help students explore and understand tribal sovereignty through cultural objects. Tribal sovereignty is the authority of Native nations to self-govern, and it impacts how Native nations operate their own governmental systems, manage tribal lands, build economic strength, and facilitate complex relationships with local, state, and federal governments. This collection includes digital museum resources and standards-based approaches discussed during the session. </p> <p>This session aired live on June 13, 2022 at 4:00 PM ET; <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX7k1_pWa00" target="_blank">click here to view on YouTube</a>. </p>
Tess Porter
30
 

Tennessee Williams: Examining Portraiture

<p>This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Tennessee Williams, an American playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner. Includes the video "Defining Portraiture: How are portraits both fact and fiction?" and the National Portrait Gallery's "<em>Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators, </em>both of which provide suggestions and questions for analyzing portraiture.  </p> <p>Consider:</p><p></p><p></p><ul><li>What do these portraits have in common? How are they different?</li><li>How are these portraits both fact and fiction?</li><li>How do these portraits reflect how they wanted to be seen, or how others wanted them to be seen? Consider for what purpose these portraits were created (such as Time Magazine, stamp, etc.).</li><li>Having read one of his plays, does the portrait capture your image of Tennessee Williams? Why, or why not?</li><li>If you were creating your own portrait of Tennessee Williams, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?</li></ul><p></p><p></p><p>Keywords: mississippi, ms, play, author, streetcar named desire, writer</p>
Tess Porter
7
 

William Faulkner: Examining Portraiture

<p>This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of William Faulkner, an American author and Nobel Prize laureate. Includes the video "Defining Portraiture: How are portraits both fact and fiction?" and the National Portrait Gallery's "<em>Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators, </em>both of which provide suggestions and questions for analyzing portraiture.  </p> <p>Consider:</p> <ul><li>What do these portraits have in common? How are they different?</li><li>How are these portraits both fact and fiction?</li><li>How do these portraits reflect how they wanted to be seen, or how others wanted them to be seen? Consider for what purpose these portraits were created (such as the caricature, stamp, etc.).</li><li>Having read one of his stories, does the portrait capture your image of William Faulkner? Why, or why not?</li><li>If you were creating your own portrait of William Faulkner, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?</li></ul><p>Keywords: mississippi, ms, the sound and the fury, writer</p>
Tess Porter
6
 

Asian Pacific Americans in Sports

<p>This topical collection about important Asian Pacific American athletes and sports innovators includes portraits, artifacts, blog posts, and a video. <br /></p> <p>Teachers and students may use this collection as a springboard for classroom discussions about Asian Pacific American representation in sports. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study. </p> <p><em>This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.  </em></p> <p>Keywords: Duke Kahanamoku, Hawaiian, Pedro Flores, Filipino American, Philippines, Apolo Ohno, Japanese American, Kristi Yamaguchi, Craig Beardsley, Chinese American,  Darsh Singh, Indian American, Sikh, Olympics, surfing, surfer, swimmer, swimming, yo-yo, yo-yoing, speed skating, ice skating, 9-man volleyball, rowing, baseball, basketball</p> <p>#APA2018<br /></p>
Tess Porter
20
 

American Ingenuity, Innovation, and Enterprise: Opening Seminar Resources

<p>This collection previews the opening panel of the 2016 Montgomery College / Smithsonian Institution Fellowship seminar series. Three Smithsonian staff members will speak at this event: Tricia Edwards of the National Museum of American History, Doug Herman of the National Museum of the American Indian, and Josh Bell of the National Museum of Natural History.</p> <p>Included in this collection: presenter bios, presentation titles and descriptions, and resources chosen by presenters for attendees to explore before attending the session. These resources are not required readings - instead, they provide guiding questions and background information to help prepare for discussion the day of the seminar.</p><p>#MCteach</p>
Tess Porter
12
 

Eudora Welty: Examining Portraiture

<p>This teacher's guide provides a portrait and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Eudora Welty, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author known for her evocative novels and short stories set in the American South. Includes the video "Defining Portraiture: How are portraits both fact and fiction?" and the National Portrait Gallery's "<em>Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators, </em>both of which provide suggestions and questions for analyzing portraiture.  Also includes a video and blog post that look closely at this portrait, as well as a related article about Mississippi's new writers trail that may be used as a lesson extension.</p> <p>Consider:</p> <ul><li>How is this portrait both fact and fiction?</li><li>How does this portrait reflect how Eudora Welty wanted to be seen, or how others wanted her to be seen? Consider for what purpose this portrait was created.</li><li>Having read one of her stories, does the portrait capture your image of Eudora Welty? Why, or why not?</li><li>If you were creating your own portrait of Eudora Welty, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?<em></em></li></ul><p>Keywords: mississippi, ms, story, optimist's daughter, writer, #BecauseOfHerStory</p>
Tess Porter
6
 

Hawaiian Monarchs

<p>This topical collection includes resources related to the eight monarchs of the Kingdom of Hawaii.  In order of succession, the monarchs are: Kamehameha I (r. 1810 - 1819); Kamehameha II (r. 1819 - 1824); Kamehameha III (r. 1825 -  1854); Kamehameha IV (r. 1855 - 1863); Kamehameha V (r. 1863 - 1872); Lunalilo (r. 1873 - 1874); Kalākaua (r. 1874 - 1891); and Liliʻuokalani (r. 1891 - 1893).  </p> <p>The Kingdom of Hawaii was established as a constitutional monarchy in 1810 by King Kamehameha I.  In 1893, a coup led by American businessmen driven by sugar and pineapple business interests in the Hawaiian islands overthrew Queen Lili'uokalani.  Despite native protests and Lili'uokalani's efforts to reclaim the throne, the United States annexed Hawaii as a territory in 1898.  Hawaii became an American state in 1959.</p> <p>This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for further research and study.</p> <p><em>This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. </em></p> <p>Keywords: Kamamalu, Emma, Kapi'olani, Kapiolani, Kalakaua, Liliuokalani, Hawaiian, royals, royalty</p> <p>#APA2018</p>
Tess Porter
37
 

Lalibela, Ethiopia: Teaching Resources

<p>This topical collection gathers teaching resources on Lalibela, a UNESCO site in Ethiopia famous for its rock-hewn churches built in the 12th and 13th centuries CE. Christianity was established early in Ethiopia, and orthodox Christianity became the official religion of the Axumite Kingdom in the 4th century CE. Includes a video, a website, objects, and a contemporary painting from the National Museum of African Art.</p> <p>Keywords: ethiopian, africa, african, christian</p>
Tess Porter
11
 

Flashcard Activity: Tools and Innovation

<p>This collection traces innovation in various types of tools over time.  Approach in small groups or as a classroom to have students explore the essential questions: What makes something innovative?  How do you define innovation? </p> <p>Supporting questions and activity implementation ideas are located under this collection's Information (i) button.  This activity works equally well online or using printed flashcards (see <a href="https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/flashcard-activity-tools-and-innovation/R998xYb5Lbjw4bHE#r/860422">the resource tile</a> at the end of this collection). <br></p> <p>Keywords: invention, flash cards, conceptual understanding</p>
Tess Porter
37
 

Immigration Policies and Legislation Affecting Asian Pacific Americans

<p>This topical collection includes resources about immigration policies and legislation that affected, or specifically targeted, immigrants and those with ancestry from Asia and the Pacific Islands.  The policies and legislation profiled in this collection are not the only ones that did so by any means, however, they are some of the most significant.  Collection includes newspapers, objects, portraits, articles, and more.</p> <p>Teachers and students may use this collection as a springboard for classroom discussions, such as those about immigration policy and/or discrimination. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study. </p> <p><em>This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. </em></p> <p>Keywords: chinese exclusion act, 1882, wong chin foo, immigration act of 1917, literacy act, asiatic barred zone act, angel island, japanese incarceration, japanese internment, executive order 9088, 1942, world war ii, world war 2, immigration and nationality act of 1965, hart-celler act, immigration act of 1990, h-1b visa</p> <p>#APA2018 #EthnicStudies</p> <p><br /></p>
Tess Porter
53
 

Flashcard Activity: Conflict, Identity, and Place in American Art

<p>This collection contains a selection of artworks related to the themes of conflict, identity, and place.  They may be used for a variety of purposes; here, we use them as a catalyst for discussion.  In small groups or as a classroom, have students select one artwork they find meaningful or interesting and discuss the following:</p> <ol><li>Why did you pick this artwork?  </li><li>What do you see?  Name specific aspects of the artwork you notice.</li><li>What do you think about what you see?</li><li>What does this artwork make you wonder? </li><li><em>Optional</em>: How might the artwork connect to the themes of conflict, identity, and place?</li></ol> <p> </p> <p>This activity works equally well online or using printed flashcards (see <a href="https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/flashcard-activity-conflict-identity-and-place-in-american-art/wCjeBXbgRgExR2Py#r/883001">the resource tile</a>).  You may also replace or pair the above activity with a Project Zero Thinking Routine found in the final section of the collection. </p> <p><em>This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection contains artwork selected by <a href="https://learninglab.si.edu/profile/666">Phoebe Hillemann</a>, Teacher Institutes Educator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, to be featured in the 2018 Smithsonian American Art Museum Summer Institute for Teachers, "Teaching the Humanities through Art."  The activity is adapted from Project Zero's See / Think / Wonder routine.</em></p> <p>Keywords: printable, flash card, project zero visible thinking routine, New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, NJPSA, saam</p>
Tess Porter
51