Documenting 2020: Quarantine Time Capsule and more…

I have been always intrigued with the notion of being a historian, a documenter of history. Capturing moments in time, to be able to reflect, and share forward to others who are yet to come and who can learn from their past (our current present).

We are in the Midst of Making History, so how can we paint a picture of what is going on with the pandemic, with self-isolation, mandatory quarantine, remote learning, emergency teaching, our social-emotional state of mind, etc. ?

In a recent post about a remote scavenger hunt, I had designed for my family, I shared several ideas how we can document this moment in time for our unique family history. I am extending that challenge to all of you, your families, your students and your schools.

How can we document this unique moment in history? What would you tell your children and grandchildren about 2020? What should be written in the history books? What will people in 2120 know about the year 2020? What artifacts would you contribute to a crowdsourced, curated collection about the story we are living right now? What story will you tell?

Here are some types of artifacts you can create to capture and document the daily life during the pandemic, social distancing, quarantine, teaching & learning in 2020.

Each one of these ideas can be captured with different forms (or combination) of media and on different social media platforms.

I have started exploring the social media platform TikTok. Obviously there is a lot of eyebrow raising, crazy, incromprehensible-that-someone-would-publish-this kind of content on the platform, but I was able to also see an amazing amount of content, that is incredibly creative! With my hat as teacher and life-long learner, I found crowdsourced content, that shares perspective, normalizing being different, raises awareness, defying stereotypes, encourages creativity, gives voice to minorities, ideas, and educates through tutorials and simply sharing random facts and opinions.

As I have been scrolling through short video clips on the platform, I am catching glimpses into the lives of others as they are passing the time in their homes during the quarantine, daily routines, , struggling, having fun, creating art work, sharing recipes, experimenting with home-cooked meals, being grateful, being scared & worried, being funny, singing, dancing, keeping active, entertaining their children and each other, documenting the emptiness of their usual busy cities. This in itself is an incredible crowdsourced documentation of this time in history.


Curbside pick up in neighborhoods with food trucks delivering
Community Playgrounds Closed

Libby Beaty shared the instructions for her students to create “virtual learning portraits, that had to include items that have been most important to them during our weeks of virtutal learning”

Karen Lirenman and her students are also documenting their 12 Quarantine Essentials from Home.


Journal/ Blogs/Tweets

Melissa Thompson involved her students in brainstorming what they would put into a virtual time capsule, organized and archived on their blog.

How would you document 2020? What story would you tell? How would you tell and capture your story to be able to archive and share it with the ones who will come after us?