Oklahoma educators in Howe Public Schools (as well as other schools around the globe) were highlighted in the print and web versions of today’s USA Today newspaper in the article, “No permission slip needed.” The article focused on schools and virtual field trips. Notable quotations from the article included:

“It’s just wonderful,” says Carol Ann Ford, coordinator of the gifted and talented program in Howe, population 700. “Your imagination is the only thing that limits what you’re interested in doing in the classroom.”


“Because we’re taking them everywhere, (students) are becoming little global citizens,” says Jody Kennedy, a teacher in White Plains. “They’re becoming leaders. These are all happy surprises we’ve never expected.”

Hopefully we’ll see a lot more videoconferencing between Oklahoma schools and from Oklahoma schools to other learners around the globe in the coming year, which is Oklahoma’s 100 year state centennial. I’m currently in Enid working with 12 other educators, training to be facilitators for the Oklahoma Digital Centennial Project. We are recording all our sessions during the 3 day workshop to a Tandberg Content Server, and will subsequently publish all sessions as both audio-only and video podcasts.

I’m learning a lot and I think the other teachers and administrators are too! Let the digital storytelling and collaborative project work begin! 🙂

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4 Responses to Oklahoma videoconferencing in USA Today

  1. Rob Sipes says:

    This article caught my eye because of the quote from the Oklahoma teacher:

    “Because we’re taking them everywhere, (students) are becoming little global citizens,” says Jody Kennedy, a teacher in White Plains. “They’re becoming leaders. These are all happy surprises we’ve never expected.”

    This seems like a great idea and according to them is accomplishing all that the American Democracy Project is aiming for, but at the elementary school level.

    One problem that I have is that the quote is from the ‘gifted and talented’ coordinator, which makes me think that ‘these’ students may be the only one involved in this project. And in a town of only 700 total, that is a very small population of students. I hope this is not another instance of taking the brilliant and pushing them further ahead of everyone else and leaving the ‘normal’ kids behind.

  2. Wesley Fryer says:

    I agree we definitely shouldn’t relegate these sorts of activities to just the “GT kids.” That does happen often. I don’t think it is the case in Howe, but I’m not sure. I’ll be working more with them in the coming months as we further develop our Oklahoma Digital Centennial Project, so I’ll see what I can learn on this and report back. 🙂

  3. Jan Zanetis says:

    Rob and Wesley, If you read the whole article the other two schools mentioned, White Plains and Stamford High School, are not G/T groups. Many, many K-12 schools are taking advantage of Virtual Fieldtrips, with varying groups of students. Here is a link to the full article:


  4. B Brown says:

    Rob and Wesley, I know some of the people at Howe and I can assure you that these activities are not limited to “GT kids”.

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