Storychasers Updates: October 2010

Exciting things for Storychasers are in the works! Here are a few updates.

We are anticipating scheduling additional Celebrate Oklahoma Voices 2.5 day workshops later in fall 2010, before the Christmas holidays. These workshops will most likely be grant-supported and therefore discounted, as grant funds will be used to offset participation costs. (Which will include “digital backpack” supplies, of course!) As soon as those dates and pricing information are available, we will notify all members of our Celebrate Oklahoma Voices learning community. If you want to stay updated and have not already, please join the COV Ning and also follow Storychasers on Twitter. 824 videos have been shared on “Celebrate Oklahoma Voices” to date, including over 65 student-created videos.

We want to schedule additional Celebrate Kansas Voices (CKV) workshops in 2011 to coincide with the celebration of Kansas’ Sesquicentennial. We hosted our first CKV workshop in Manhattan at Kansas State University this past summer, and it was a big success. To date as of this writing, 29 videos have been shared on our Celebrate Kansas Voices learning community. Several have been added in the last two weeks, so please check them out, rate them and leave comments. If you have not joined and are interested in Kansas oral history, please join the Celebrate Kansas Voices learning community.

To facilitate the scheduling of Storychasers workshops in Oklahoma as well as Kansas, we have created a new online request form. This is now linked from our main Storychasers’ project wiki, our “Attend a Workshop” wiki page, our COV wiki homepage, and the homepages of both Celebrate Oklahoma Voices and Celebrate Kansas Voices. Please share this link with others you know who are interested in our projects and work. Pricing information is included on that page, and will be updated as we develop new pricing models based on grants and other initiatives.

We’re the “Storychasers,” so we certainly need to be using multimedia and video to “tell our story” on our websites. To that end, we’ve installed the EmbedVideo extension on our main StoryChasers wiki. This permits us to embed video from a variety of hosting sites, including YouTube. The plugin does NOT currently support embedding from Ning. If you know how to embed Ning videos on MediaWiki sites, please let us know by commenting here! We’ve added videos to our our StoryChasers wiki “What is Storychasers?” About page, Attend a Workshop page, and “Become a Workshop Facilitator” page. These are all videos which have been cross-posted from COV and CKV to our Storychasers YouTube channel. If you have a Google account and use YouTube, please subscribe to us!

Our Storychasers board has been in conversations the past couple months about the possibility of starting a digital storytelling and oral history project in Texas. Those conversations are including discussions with TCEA representatives. We are currently outlining a “Storychasers Partner Proposal” which would apply to our current projects in Oklahoma and Kansas, as well as new projects potentially in Texas and elsewhere. Our goal is to complete that proposal in early November. With this document, we want to outline the roles, benefits, and points of potential collaboration for organizations interested in becoming formal “partners” with Story Chasers Inc.

We have a few more ideas and plans in the works, but that’s about all we can share publicly for now. Thanks for your interest in Storychasers! Together we’re going to keep doing GREAT things for our students, our communities, our families and our schools.

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