Google Search Stories are some of the best examples of concise digital storytelling available. Please take two minutes and watch the latest Google Search Story published this month: “Cheryl and Morgan: Learning Independence.” This video will help you connect with many of the things which are MOST important in education and schools: Relationships between students, teachers and parents… the drive to differentiate learning experiences to meet individual student needs… and the vital importance of helping others see POSSIBILITIES when some only see limitations.

This story is more powerful for me personally since I happen to know one of the stars of the tale. Cheryl Oakes (@cheryloakes50 on Twitter) is the teacher from Wells, Maine, featured in the video with her student, Morgan, as well as Morgan’s mom. In Cheryl’s post today, “You just never know…..” she shared what happened after she blogged about her experiences helping Morgan use Google’s voice search features:

A couple producers and film crew [from Google] came to our school, for a week. They saw, they participated, they filmed. They put together an amazing visual story, and now we in turn are amazed at our story.

It takes a village, and our ‘village’ is getting smaller all the time. It takes all of us to tell the story, and now that the story is out, we welcome the transparency, we welcome the questions and we will help with continuing the learning for all. We are very humbled by this opportunity and want to emphasize that you just never know.

Never underestimate your importance and power as teacher, educator, parent and leader. Your passion, your words, your kindness and your dedication to children make a HUGE difference. Cheryl and Morgan’s story is a powerful example, and it is masterfully told in this short video.

Pass it on.

Cheryl Oakes, Wesley Fryer, Alice Barr, Sarah Fryer, and Bob Sprankle

Hat tip to Alice Barr for letting me know this Search Story is finally online / published. Woo hoo!

Did you know you can search Google with your voice from any microphone-equipped computer connected to the Internet? Now you do.

Search on, and search out loud.

'Google Sputnik' photo (c) 2007, Danny Sullivan - license:

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5 Responses to A Heartwarming Google Search Story of Education at Its Best in Maine

  1. Alice Barr says:

    Thanks for sharing this Wes!! 

  2. Alice Barr says:

    Thanks for sharing this Wes!! 

  3. Cheryl Oakes says:

    Wes, thanks for the heartfelt post. I hope to leave the message that we never know who will be reading our posts. I hope many students will learn from Morgan and I. Morgan is the one doing the most work. She has really gained with all these tools. Shout out to her Mom, the best team member on my team!

  4. Stephanie Madlinger says:

    Wes, this is absolutely one of your best posts I have read! This is why we are educators, we share and learn from each other. This is why technology must be in the hands of EVERY child, BYOD in schools has to happen sooner! This is why we don’t give up, anything can happen with creativity, motivation and the right tools. Kudos to Megan and Cheryl and THANK YOU for doing what you do!

  5. Erica Roush says:

    Wow, what an inspiring story! I am  a student at the University of South Alabama and I am currently taking Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class. I plan to be a special ed. teacher so this story really speaks volumes to me. This story really shows me the potential in technology today, if you look for it,to be used as a tool for those with special needs and how it can be used to make a difficult job for those who already struggle day to day more manageable while allowing independence. That is so important for building abilities and confidence to succeed outside of the classroom as well as in. When I was first told about google voice search it didn’t really interest me, which shows my level of inexperience, thanks for helping me to see the great potential in technology-especially within the field of special education. I will carry this great bit of information with me and hopefully I will be able to make a difference in someones life like Cheryl has for Morgan. Something else tells me that the mom here, Pauline, is playing a vital role in Morgan’s confidence and attitude. Teachers can only take a student so far, it has to be reinforced at home that no matter what obstacles may stand in your way to accomplishing your goals and dreams, if you believe-you can achieve. This is the motto/attitude that will guide me through my career as an educator. Thanks for sharing:)
    I will be giving a summary of my findings on your blog this week. Feel free to visit my blog, Erica Roush EDM310 Blog

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