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Tess Porter

Digital Content Producer
Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
Smithsonian Staff

I'm the Digital Content Producer at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access. 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 at Pratt Institute. 

learninglab@si.edutwitter.com/smithsonianlab

Tess Porter's collections

 

Portrait Analysis: Duke Kahanamoku

<p>In this activity, students will analyze a stamp depicting Duke Kahanamoku to explore his significance in American history and culture. Duke Kahanamoku (1890-1968) transformed the Polynesian pastime of surfing into a worldwide competitive sport.  He also won five Olympic medals in swimming, was an accomplished actor and businessman, and was re-elected sheriff of the city and county of Honolulu for thirteen consecutive terms.  Opportunities to learn more include a photograph of him with Amelia Earhart and her husband, a surfboard he carved, and a Google Doodle created for his 125th birthday.</p> <p>This activity can be used as an entry point into studying Duke Kahanamoku's life and achievements, Hawaiian history and culture, and more.  This activity opens with questions from the National Portrait Gallery's<em> "Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators</em> and ends with a Project Zero Think / Puzzle / Explore routine; the full portraiture guide and routine instructions are located at the end of the collection.</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: surfer, pacific islander, athlete, hawaii, hawai'i</p> <p>#APA2018</p><p><em>#visiblethinking</em><br /></p>
Tess Porter
11
 

Object Analysis: Hawaiian Flag Quilt

<p>This student activity explores a "Hawaiian Flag" quilt, a type of decorative object that became popular in Hawaii after the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown and the kingdom was annexed by the United States.  Symbols on this quilt, which include the Royal Coat of Arms, a quote from King Kamehameha III, and more, help reveal Hawaiian opinions about the state of their country during this tumultuous period in Hawaiian history.</p> <p>This collection can be used as an activity while studying the overthrowing of the Hawaiian monarchy, Hawaiian annexation, and United States foreign policy in the late 1800s.</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: Hawai'i, annexation, Lili'uokalani, Liliuokalani, 19th century, 1898</p> <p>#APA2018</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
 

Flashcard Activity: Asian Pacific American Resources

<p>This collection contains a diverse set of resources related to Asian Pacific Americans that may be used as an introductory activity to spark classroom discussion and prompt students to conduct research about how Asian Pacific American history is American history.  For discussion questions and activity implementation ideas, click "Read More."  A file to print these resources as flashcards is located at the end of the collection; please see the resource's Information (i) tab for printing instructions.</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: printable, flash card, think puzzle explore, project zero visible thinking routine, apa</p> <p>#APA2018</p>
Tess Porter
48
 

Understanding Ancient Civilizations through Artifacts

<p>Resources supporting the April 2016 Google Hangout facilitated by the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in coordination with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access.</p>
Tess Porter
22
 

Portrait Analysis: Long Tack Sam

<p>In this activity, students will analyze a poster of Long Tack Sam (1884-1961), an influential magician and acrobat who was once one of the most famous vaudevillian performers in the world. As a Chinese-American man competing against fake-Asian magicians in "yellow-face" who hoped to capitalize on Western ideas of "the mysterious orient," Long Tack Sam held a complicated and sometimes contradictory position.  He and his performance troupe wore elaborate embroidered costumes and used scenery depicting pagodas, but he also authored newspaper articles correcting Western misconceptions of China and refused roles in early Hollywood films that negatively stereotyped the Chinese as opium addicts, criminals, and laundry workers. Opportunities to learn more include <em>The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam</em> (2003), a documentary directed by his great-granddaughter.</p> <p>This activity can be used in studying Asian Pacific Americans in the early 1900s, Chinese-American experiences, and more. This activity opens with questions from the National Portrait Gallery's<em> "Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators </em>and ends with a Project Zero Think / Puzzle / Explore routine; the full portraiture guide and routine instructions are located at the end of the collection.</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: magic, entertainer, entertainment, immigrant, 20th century</p> <p>#APA2018</p>
Tess Porter
7
 

How Are Robots Changing Human Life?

<p>This collection explores the essential question: How are robots changing human life? Students will lead an inquiry into this question through a variety of resources - objects, videos, articles, and websites - examining the history of robotics from the 16th century to the present, the problems robot designers have attempted to address with their inventions, and how they try to address them. Supporting questions to scaffold students' inquiry include: What problems were these robots designed to address? Have these problems changed over time? Have strategies for addressing these problems changed over time?</p>
Tess Porter
22
 

Mummies: Teaching Resources

<p>This topical collection pulls together resources on mummification in multiple cultures. Resources cover reasons for mummification, different methods, and what can be learned by studying mummies. Includes Smithsonian Channel videos, fact sheets, objects, a student-targeted webcast, and articles. Areas explored include Ancient Egypt, South America, and Europe.</p><p>Keywords: egyptian, archaeology</p>
Tess Porter
18
 

Korean Art: Exploring Artistic Practices

<p>In this activity, students will explore the elements of art and principles of design used in celadon ceramics in order to understand the artistic practices and aesthetics of the Goryeo period (935-1392 CE), an era of great artistic and cultural achievement in Korea.  Many of the Goryeo celadons in the Freer|Sackler's collections originally adorned palaces, Buddhist temples, and private residences of the aristocracy.  Use this activity as an entry point into studying ceramics, Korean art, the Goryeo dynasty, and more.  Click the info button<em> </em>for ideas about how to prompt further inquiry using the Project Zero Visible Thinking Routine <em>"</em>Think / Puzzle / Explore" and resources on the elements of art and principles of design.</p> <p><a href="https://learninglab.si.edu/search?st=%23AsiaTeachers&st_op=and&item_type=collections" style="background-color:rgb(63,63,63);">#AsiaTeachers</a><br></p> <p>Keywords: clay, pottery, sculpture, vessel, cheongja</p>
Tess Porter
13