Projects and Courses

A Connected Classrooms Project: Transoceanic Experiences of Indenture

Dr. Anita Baksh (LaGuardia Community College) and Dr. Laëtitia Saint-Loubert (Université de la Réunion)

Students will study experiences of indentured labor in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature from a transoceanic perspective and work together with an international partner to analyze, interpret and produce a translation of a literary text related to Indian indentureship writing.

Project Goals

  • For five weeks, students will develop projects with international partners using a variety of digital tools and platforms as part of a Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) model.
  • Focuses on narratives of indenture in Indo-Caribbean, Indo-Mauritian and Indo-Reuinionese writing.
  • Each week, students will learn key terms and themes related to experiences of indenture such as working conditions, inter-ethnic relationships, gendered experiences, languages, and Indian culinary and cultural traditions.
  • Students will be exposed to French and English languages through project literature as well as introduced words and expressions from various Creoles, Hindi, and Bhojpuri.

Outcomes & Deliverables

The project encourages digital engagement between institutions with various linguistic backgrounds to learn about indentured labor from a transoceanic perspective and further decolonize curricula. Students will submit final translation projects and a reflection.


Project Lesson Plan

Schedule with descriptions of assignments and suggested bibliography (Shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license.)

“Coolies: How Britain Re-invented Slavery”

A video that helps introduce key themes in the project’s first week.

Institute Reflection

Laëtitia’s perspective on the institute experience.

Projects and Courses

Storytelling through Oral History & Digital Timelines in a High School English Class

Dr. Erin Zavitz
(Bosque School)

We’re focusing on learning more about ordinary people’s lives and understanding how everyone has a story to tell even if it’s not one that makes it in a book.

Project Overview: Oral History

  • 10th Grade (private High School) English course project
  • Conduct an oral history interview with an individual of your choosing
  • Create an interview plan, including description of the narrator, interview location, interview technology, letter to the narrator, and questions
  • Obtain informed consent
  • Complete a video reflection in which you reflect on your experience and what you learned through the oral history interview

Outcomes & Deliverables

Students reflect on the importance of storytelling in the context of the texts they read in class, and acknowledge the importance of how we tell stories as well as how those stories get told.

In the past I have had students make their own timelines, but I’ve found that having too many people on one spreadsheet is a disaster. This time, I entered their data in Timeline JS and shared the versions with them for a peer review. . . By having them work in groups and share their work, they were more engaged with the entire process.

Project Overview: Timeline Biography

  • Group activity in which students create a timeline of William Shakespeare’s life in preparation for reading The Tempest
  • Conduct biographical research and compare important life events and their relevance
  • Data is entered in Timeline JS and reviewed by class

Outcomes & Deliverables

Students learn about Shakespeare’s life and the historical context when he lived, better understanding how he may have been influenced when writing The Tempest.


Oral History Assignment

Rationale and instructions for oral history assignment (Shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license.)

Shakespeare Timeline Assignment

Complete instructions for timeline assignment (Shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license.)

Tools & Topics: Oral History

Learn more about the oral history presentations from the 2019 institute, and find relevant resources