Teachers in Kansas, Oklahoma, participated in our phase 1 Celebrate Oklahoma Voices workshop this past week, and created some superb digital stories. These are five we’ve featured among the 431 videos now included in our online learning community.
The Five Fighting Starrs of Oklahoma tells the amazing story of Paul Starr’s grandfather and five of his sons who all fought in World War II. Each returned to the United States (most to Oklahoma) to raise families and enjoy the freedom they had fought to hard to give and preserve to/for others. This video reminds me of Hollywood movies “Saving Private Ryan” and the TV miniseries “Band of Brothers.” Remarkable stories like this are often right in our own neighborhoods and households. Paul did a great job sharing this tale, and is enthused to be able to share it with the two remaining Starr brothers who are still alive, as well as other members of his family at an upcoming family reunion this fall.
“Not that Depressing at All” is Jett Pilcher’s story of his relatives who chose to leave Oklahoma during the great depression and become labled as “Okies,” but returned to northeastern Oklahoma to get away from California city life and return to the land they knew and loved. Jett did a great job in this video interspersing his own narration with interview audio recorded with his mom. The use of original family photos really enhances the impact of Jett’s story and video.
“East meets West” is Christina Conley’s story of her mother from Taiwan who met and married her father, a full-blooded Cherokee Indian, when he was serving there during the 1950s in the U.S. Navy.
Christina brought an entire suitcase of old, family photos to our COV workshop on day 2, and found the family photos she used in her video among them!
“Our piece of the puzzle” by Danielle Williams tells the touching story of how her family has dealt with the diagnosis of autism. This video particularly struck a chord with me because of the continuing work my wife is doing with an autism support group for families in Edmond, where we live. Danielle did a great job sharing her story as well as her heart in this video. When teachers in our COV workshops share their videos at the end of the workshop, I think it often becomes a powerful time of bonding and sharing. It’s not every day we have opportunities to see deeply into the lives and hearts of our co-workers, and the COV project provides that opportunity in many cases when educators choose to share issues near and dear to them through media.
“From Fight To Flight” is another parent perspective story from educator Crystal Coppedge. The video is inspirational because of the way her son has dealt with Aspergers Syndrome and refused to let this diagnosis define him in the eyes of others or to himself. It is SO important we help students understand the importance of respecting others and seeing that everyone does not walk in the same footprints that we do ourselves. Digital video can be used powerfully to help us see the world through others’ eyes, and gain a bit more insight into worldviews as well as challenges which may be quite different from our own.
Great work, teachers in Kansas, Oklahoma!