October 23, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
45°F

App class expands access to historical knowledge

MEDINA — A smart phone app, developed by Medina teacher Shannon Conley and her students, now has more than 80 historical places and people residents can learn about.

Conley’s history class uses an entire school year to research one aspect of Medina’s history for inclusion in the Medina Historical App.

Five of the students presented the app to Medina Kiwanis on Thursday and encouraged members to write down their memories about the city, which could be used for upcoming classes.

Edgardo Cruz, Andrew Delaat, Ryan Blake, Sofie Christensen and Katharina Nossa each gave a presentation on the year-long project.

“Every single day I left class a little smarter than the day before,” Ryan said during his presentation.

Students in the class interview local historians, make use of library resources, conduct research at the Medina Historical Society and even dig through The Gazette’s archives to tell the stories on the app.

Conley said her class is the only high school class in the nation that engages students with history in a way that digitizes the local record.

This year’s contributions include stories on former Mayor Fred Greenwood and lifelong Medina resident and World War II veteran Ralph Waite, for whom an elementary school is named, along with their contributions to the city.

Each story is accompanied by a wealth of multimedia features, such as photographs from the era and digitized audio clips.

Users of the app can learn about the history of the place where they are dining, shopping or visiting with the touch of the finger.

The app was developed by the Center for Public History & Digital Humanities at Cleveland State University.

Conley started the app as a two-week-long project in her AP U.S. history class in 2012 but developed the project into a year-long class after seeing the reactions of her students.

The app is free to download from the iPhone App store and Google Play. Search Medina Historical to find it.

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com. Follow him on Twitter @adavisreports.