Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Exemplary digital stories by educators in Stilwell, Oklahoma

Last week I helped facilitate a 2.5 day workshop on digital storytelling in Stilwell, Oklahoma, as part of our statewide Celebrate Oklahoma Voices project. Stilwell is located in Adair County, just seven miles from the Arkansas state line in extreme eastern Oklahoma. The following three videos were created by educators in the workshop, and are superb examples of the creativity as well as historical preservation which this oral history program empowers participants to share.

“Tragedy on the Tracks” by Tracy Kimbl relates the story of a terrible accident that happened near Stilwell in December of 1932. The dangers posed by people walking on a train track are well known, and stories like this one demonstrate why a healthy dose of concern, respect, and fear for the train tracks is warranted.

Find more videos like this on Celebrate Oklahoma Voices!

“Homemade Molasses” by Mae Beth Price tells the story of her grandpa and grandma making molasses in Westville, Oklahoma. People might not think of sugar cane and molasses when Oklahoma is mentioned, so this story may come as a surprise from our state.

Find more videos like this on Celebrate Oklahoma Voices!

“Picking Strawberries” by Christina Fuson tells the story of why Stilwell is known as the strawberry capital of the world! I love how Christina integrated audio from a recorded interview with her father to tell this story.

Find more videos like this on Celebrate Oklahoma Voices!

Christina was paid 10¢ per quart basket for picking strawberries in the field when she was growing up. Before leaving Stilwell last week, I stopped by Baird’s Farm and purchased a flat of fresh strawberries.

A flat of fresh strawberries at Baird's Farm outside Stilwell, Oklahoma

I asked how much pickers are paid now per quart for picking strawberries, and learned they now earn 50¢ per quart. The flat of eight quarts of strawberries I purchased cost $24. Compared to the “normal” price of strawberries in our local supermarket, this is a good deal! We gave away a bunch of the strawberries last week but still have three quarts left. I think we’re going to concoct a layered strawberry dessert and enjoy more of these tonight!

Fresh strawberries

Kudos to all the educators at Maryetta School and Rocky Mountain School in Stilwell for their hard work and excellent digital stories shared last week during our workshop. You can view these stories and more (227 different videos as of today) by clicking the link for “videos” on our Celebrate Oklahoma Voices learning community. This website was created using Ning. If you’re wanting to create a video sharing site like this one for your own school or distributed project, consider using Fliggo as well as Ning. Fliggo does not currently support “custom domains” (as Ning does, we use that feature to map our site to but that is an expected feature of Fliggo in the near term.

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2 responses to “Exemplary digital stories by educators in Stilwell, Oklahoma”

  1. Kim Avatar

    Wow! These video stories are all so touching in their own unique ways! I am motivated to include more digital storytelling in my own classroom after watching them! Kudos to the teachers you worked with, and as always, keep up the great work, Wes! Wish you could travel to NC and work with some of us!

  2. Wesley Fryer Avatar

    Thanks Kim. I’d love to come to NC sometime and work with your teachers! 🙂