Imagine students getting out of the classroom and experiencing learning beyond the boundaries of four walls. This is exactly what twenty-five members of the Catholic High School class of 2012, beginning in the spring semester of our junior year and continuing through our senior year. As part of our Dual Enrollment English III, American History, English IV, and World History classes, we began a two-year project researching the historical, cultural, and architectural backgrounds of some of the intriguing buildings on New Iberia’s Main Street. The project was directed by our English and social studies teachers not only for us to learn historical research processes and a host of information about our home city, but to become involved in historical preservation and to share what we learned with others through our Phone Home Web site.
Once we were grouped and assigned buildings, our field studies began with visits on Main Street and the surrounding area. We learned and identified architectural details that make each building unique.
Our historical research started with the beginnings of each building, as we conducted extensive readings of conveyances at the Iberia Parish Clerk of Court’s Office where we followed trails to discover past owners of each property.
Part of the project required us to visit the Iberia Parish Main Street Library and explore past Weekly Iberian and Daily Iberian newspapers in micro-film in order to get a glimpse of each building’s era. We looked for articles that gave news of each building or its owner and advertisements promoting the building’s offerings.
Community members were true assets to the success of our project as they shared their expertise and their memories of each building.
We spent hours hard at work “in the field” compiling our descriptions and histories.
Back at school, we sorted through primary source documents, student taken and donated photos, interviews, and newspapers. We created a written snapshot of each building and placed our reports on individual Web pages.
But the project did not stop there! Each building’s online history was then linked to a student created QR code so that visitors to each building can scan the code with a smart phone reader and immediately be taken to the individual Web page.
The final phase of the project was conducted on our final exam day. We field tested the QR codes and made sure that links were in good working order and that information was clear.
We hope you enjoy the virtual tour we have provided for you. We would like to thank everyone who helps us complete this project. If you have any comments, corrections, or additions to our information, or if you have any photos you would like to share, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .