Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Four projects and 1 place to know about

I learned recently about an educator who is making a professional development journey across the United States to work with teachers and schools on using collaborative web 2.0 tools with students, and I sent her an email with the following information. These are collaborative projects I want to make sure she knows about, as well as the special place where I work now, and am sharing this here so you’ll know about these projects and place too!

1. Celebrate Oklahoma Voices (COV)

COV is a statewide digital storytelling project empowering learners to become digital witnesses, archiving local oral history and sharing that history safely on the global stage of the Internet. We have used grant funding from SBC and AT&T to provide “digital backpacks” of equipment for participating educators including a digital audio recorder, digital camera, headset with mic, and flash drive. We provide 2.5 day workshops in which educators learn how to use these technology tools to create digital stories, so they can return to their classrooms and help students create and share them. Our learning community is open, however, and we have approximately 80 digital stories there now which have been created by Oklahoma teachers and students. These can be used as great examples of local digital storytelling, and your workshop participants are welcome to contribute to our project as well. We will be migrating our website to a new learning community using Drupal later this fall, but all our stories will remain online and available. Our learning community is:

2. StoryChasers – empowering responsible digital citizenship

Storychasers is a new project I am just helping to organize currently, but will be supporting in 2007-2008 and beyond. I anticipate writing grants which will support StoryChasers as well, and this is a broader initiative which can include eduators and students across the nation. The description of the project we have now is:

Storychasers is a multi-state (and potentially multi-national) educational collaborative empowering students and teachers to responsibly record and share stories of local, regional and global interest as citizen journalists. Where STN (Student Television Network) participants may focus more narrowly on student broadcast news productions, Storychasers has a broader focus on not only student-created news broadcasts, but also student-created documentary films and live event coverage (webcasting). Storychaser media productions can be shared as live broadcast events or recorded, asynchronously shared audio and video files.

We have a meeting in Elluminate tonight at 7 pm central which you are welcome to join. That Elluminate link will be posted on:

3. K-12 Online Conference
The K-12 Online Conference is the best resource I know to share with teachers as we help them become more self-directed in their professional development and specifically focused on the use of interactive new-media technologies / web 2.0 tools for learning. The conference is all online, free, and takes place in October each year, although conference presentations are archived indefinitely. The official website description of K12online is:

information about web feeds The K-12 Online Conference invites participation from educators around the world interested in innovative ways Web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. This FREE conference is run by volunteers and open to everyone. The 2008 conference theme is “Amplifying Possibilities”. This year’s conference begins with a pre-conference keynote the week of October 13, 2008. The following two weeks, October 20-24 and October 27-31, forty presentations will be posted online to the conference blog (this website) for participants to download and view. Live Events in the form of three “Fireside Chats” and a culminating “When Night Falls” event will be announced. Everyone is encouraged to participate in both live events during the conference as well as asynchronous conversations.

4. Great Book Stories

Great Book Stories is a collaborative project with a simple premise using powerful technology: We encourage students to share short digital book reviews using VoiceThread about books they have enjoyed reading. The project website is a collaborative wiki, where teachers are welcome to add links to their students’ own VoiceThread examples. This project not only provides a great opportunity for teachers and students to learn how to use VoiceThread to create and share interactive digital stories safetly online, but it also provides a great opportunity for teachers to learn more about using a wiki in a collaborative project.

5. Oklahoma Heritage Association (OHA) and Gaylord-Pickens Museum

I’d like to invite you to the Oklahoma Heritage Association and Gaylord-Pickens Museum, where we are focused on preserving the unique history of Oklahoma while promoting pride in our great state. We honor our state’s rich tradition by telling Oklahoma’ story through its people. We have a beautiful museum in the heart of Oklahoma City that features thirty digital stories of famous Oklahomans, organized around five characteristics of an Oklahoman – perseverance, pioneer spirit, optimism, generosity and individualism. I’d love to give you a tour of the museum as well as meet you in person if you come through OKC, so please let me know if this can work out. More information about our museum is available.

Thanks to a recent, generous grant from Dell, field trips for many students in the Oklahoma City area to our museum are now completely free (bus gasoline and all is paid for!) More information about field trips as well as a scholarship application for metro-area schools is also available.

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On this day..


5 responses to “Four projects and 1 place to know about”

  1. Mark Carls Avatar

    Great resources here. I can’t wait for K12 online this year. I need to bookmark GreatBookStories and StoryChasers to share with our teachers. Thanks for popping in to Sheryl’s Elluminate session today, you answers hit right on what we were discussing!

  2. Wesley Fryer Avatar

    You are most welcome Mark! It was fun to join the conversation!

  3. Audrey Avatar

    Glad to hear about GreatBookStories.(We call them book trailers in my school) I’ll provide a link to GreatBookStories for ideas about where to publish work in the wiki we’re building for teachers who want to use book trailers as part of their reading program. My students began doing book trailers last year. You can click on our class blog portal to see examples of the great work they did.

    The wiki that we’re trying to build is not for publishing purposes but for sharing curriculum tools for this project. We’ve just begun to put it together. So, it’s not really up and ready. But, it’s a start. The goal is to help teachers to use book trailers in their reading program and across the curriculum by providing ideas, tools and support for teaching essential skills (such as literary analysis, visual communication and design, typography, film literacy, research skills, use of support and direct quotes, attribution, and technological tools) We’re hoping to get other teachers onboard to contribute content to the the wiki with their content making it easier for others to replicate. You can find the wiki at

  4. Brad Avatar


    This is my first response to your blog despite being a reader or “lurker” if you will for many months. Your feed pops up daily on my igoogle start page through the google reader widget. Thank you so much for all that you do for educational technology-it is inspiring! The reason I chose this post to finally introduce myself and leave a comment is because of the Great Book Stories wiki- what an awesome project! I consider myself somewhat of a VoiceThread junkie since I have been researching it for my graduate class this summer, and am thrilled when I see great ‘best practice’ ideas like this come up. The fact that Great Book Stories is a wiki is even better, because as we have seen with sites like Tim’s Mathcast 500 project and Colletes VoiceThread 4 Education- the results can be spectacular. So thanks again, and I plan to share Great Book Stories at a local tech conference I will be presenting at for VoiceThread this month.
    -Brad W. my ‘newbie’ blog is

  5. Wesley Fryer Avatar

    Thanks for commenting Brad, I’m delighted you like “Great Book Stories” and hope you help students to make contributions to the project! If you have any questions or run into any problems using the wiki site please let me know!