On behalf of our non-profit Story Chasers Inc. I’m pleased to announce the start of the Celebrate Kansas Voices project. (CKV)

Celebrate Kansas Voices 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. Our project is starting in 2010, based on the successful Celebrate Oklahoma Voices project which started in 2006.

Visit Celebrate Kansas Voices

Cyndi Danner-Kuhn (K-State College of Education) and Dean Mantz (director of technology, Sterling, Kansas) presented this week at the Mid-America Association for Computers in Education (MACE) conference in Manhattan, Kansas, with me about CKV. The start of this pilot project, following the model of our successful (and ongoing) Celebrate Oklahoma Voices project, is well timed. In 2011, Kansas will celebrate its Sesquicentennial for 150 years of statehood. At MACE this year we were able to connect with Mary Madden, Director of Education and Outreach for the Kansas Historical Society, along with other staff members. Yesterday I heard KSHS staff member Michael Church present on “Kansas Memory: Real Stories, Real People” about their phenomenal Kansas Memory website.

The presentation we shared yesterday and today here at MACE is available as a Google presentation.

Dean also put together a great collection of digital storytelling links and resources using Livebinders, which is a free tool similar to ShareTabs.

We are tentatively (with 95% certainly) planning on conducting a 2.5 day Celebrate Kansas Voices workshop at the KSU College of Education in Manhattan this summer on August 4, 5 and 6, 2010. To stay updated about available workshops and the continuing development of this pilot initiative, please join our Celebrate Kansas Voices learning community.

Sharing the launch of this project at MACE has been wonderful not only to share this idea and opportunity with Kansas teachers, but also to learn about other oral history / community history champions in Kansas. Personal networking is SO important for facilitating projects like this. If you know of others interested in Kansas history, Kansas oral history, community history, etc. please share Celebrate Kansas Voices with them and encourage them to also join our learning community. This project is open to anyone, not just Kansas teachers.

It’s going to be exciting to share and extend the successful COV model we’ve developed in Oklahoma over the past three years here in Kansas!

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