A few days ago I participated in a Google video chat during my history class. My classmates and I got the opportunity to learn about the mill industry by getting a virtual tour of the MOSI Museum in Manchester, England. Our tour guide was Jamie, a man with extensive knowledge of the mills and a superb British accent. Another man named Darren also helped Jamie give us a tour. In order to prep for our tour we had to learn the basics about the mills. We started by visiting to the MOSI museum website and reading about Richard Arkwright and some of the textile designers in Manchester. We then watched a brief video where Jamie showed us some of the machines and items that were used in the mills. While watching we wrote down key terms, which we later defined. Some of the words that I wrote down include sliver, carding engine, and speed frames. While looking for definitions I had to use my Google keyword search skills, which I learned at the very beginning of the school year. Knowing what these things meant helped me further comprehend Jamie when we video chatted. Lastly, we brainstormed questions that we could ask Jamie during the chat. Going into the video chat with basic knowledge of the mill industry really helped me learn the most from Jamie.
|Jamie the tour guide|
The video chat was really cool! Jamie was very nice and he seemed to know everything about the mills. The only downside to the video chat was that the audio and video were a little choppy at times, but otherwise it was a really fun and informative experience. Although it was interesting to read about the machines that were used it was so much better to be able to learn about them with Jamie. My favorite part of the video chat was when Jamie threaded a piece of thread thru a small hole in one of the shuttles in order to get it ready to be used in a machine. He showed us how the mill girls would inhale thru the hole to get the thread through. Inhaling through the hole exposed the girls to unhealthy amounts of chemicals that were in the oil that was on the hole. After Jamie was done telling us about how the shuttle was threaded he did it himself. It was pretty gross, and he said that the thread went down the back of his throat. I got the opportunity to ask Jamie about how the machines held up over time, and if they broke down very often. He told me that the machines held up very well, and that some of the old machines are still being used today in factories in developing countries because they were built so well. Being able to talk to Jamie was strange because I had never video chatted before, but it was also exciting and informative.
|One of the shuttles that Jamie threaded|
This video chat with Jamie and Darren was the coolest thing that we have done all year in history class. I learned a lot more about the mills in the video chat than I could have learned from any other format. I liked how I could ask a question and get an answer from an expert, and how different this class was. The only thing that I didn’t like was the choppy video and audio. I would really like to do this with other experts later in the year!