We are most excited to share more of the thought provoking material we have been building up through our storytelling adventures, via the new StoryToGo YouTube channel that we have just launched! This is for all Storyworld creators, whether you work in traditional, digital media, marketing, or education, and whether you are an at the forefront or a behind the scenes person. Or perhaps you are even someone who would just like to grab a story to go! Take a look at our teaser video of what’s to come, hosted by our very own Erica Hargreave.
It makes us so happy to be able to highlight a FREE App that is of great use to the global community of the visually impaired, and uplifting to its volunteers. This app is accessible in more than 150 countries and in over 180 languages. The resource App Be My Eyes provides a connection between its approximately 113,800 blind/low vision and 1,919,500 sighted members. The blind can activate a call within the App using the VoiceOver accessibility feature. The call rings on a randomly selected volunteer’s phone that is matched based on language and time zone. The two are then connected via live video for the volunteer to help with a variety of possible scenarios. It is completely anonymous and users have said they feel relief knowing they are not bothering the same person over and over again for help, encouraging them to use it more.
I myself (Lori) am a volunteer on the App and I recently answered a call where the visually impaired individual was about to put a big salmon in the oven, but couldn’t be sure that they had set the oven to the correct temperature. The individual held the phone up towards the oven where I was able to see that it read 420 degrees, instead of the 425 it was supposed to be. They adjusted the oven again and it was then 430 degrees. One more try and it was just right! The whole call took about 1 min and the individual on the other end was beyond grateful and thanked me for the work everyone is doing on Be My Eyes.
There are stories featured within the App each week, sharing the many different ways the blind have used Be My Eyes for assistance. Some great examples include: reading the numbers on a blood pressure monitor, checking the colour of a tie, a call from a video transcriber to get context of the footage, distinguishing between shampoo and conditioner, helping to convert a PDF file into Word format, enabling a download to a phone where VoiceOver could read the document later, finding dropped items, and many other conundrums that many of us might take for granted.
With so many volunteers a call gets answered within a maximum time range of 30 seconds. As a volunteer you will not receive a call very often. Please consider becoming a part of this loving helpful community, but more importantly, spread the word within the visually impaired communities as human connection is so very important.
Nothing is more exciting than seeing your students’ projects start from scratch and then reach great heights. Nicole Hunter from BCIT’s Building and Engaging Communities course is doing just that! Under the guidance of instructor Erica Hargreave, Nicole set out to build a platform to share her family’s travel adventures and tips. Nicole has traveled all around the world with her four children, making her stories quite intriguing. Soon after building her website Go Far Grow Close, Nicole was featured on a radio interview with Martin Strong on Roundhouse Radio 98.3 Vancouver.
Nicole’s interview stresses enjoying family trips, not surviving them. She gives great advice on different styles of vacations based on the ages of your children. It’s clear she has a wealth of knowledge to draw on and is eager for others to share the same rewards her family has enjoyed through travel.
Take a listen for yourself and be inspired to try something new: http://cirh.streamon.fm/listen-pl-7874
The title of Erica Hargreave‘s TEDx Warsaw talk, Permission to be the Other, couldn’t have been more perfect! She playfully spoke to a captivated audience about how to create immersive storyworlds by first allowing yourself to be creative and enter the minds of different characters. Take a glimpse into her brand of storytelling.
Erica is one of the World’s trailblazers in digital and transmedia storytellers, especially when it comes to bringing characters to life. She has been creating cross-platform media and immersive storyworlds before she knew there were terms for what she was doing. Currently her work is also directed at empowering students to create their own storyworlds at post-secondary schools in Canada. These courses are available online through BCIT to anyone in the World. You can learn more about them here: BCST 1193 – Social Media Storytelling and BCST 1073 – Building and Engaging Communities.
If you’d like to see more TEDx Talks from Erica, let TEDx know by filling in this form.
It goes without saying that technology plays a daily role in the lives of most people. It only makes sense then, that we have started incorporating it into our education system as part of a curriculum boost. What happens though, when technology receives too much enthusiasm and is overused within the system or is simply not implemented properly? You begin to have two schools of thought, those who think technology is THE way of the future, therefore THE solution, and those who have started to notice the detrimental effects within our classrooms and are striving to change the movement. One of our StoryToGo members, Lori Yearwood, was invited to participate in a fun, lively conversation about technology and education on The Peace Fund Radio Show.
The Peace Fund was founded by actor Adrian Paul, best known for his role of Duncan McCloud on the Highlander Series. The acronym ‘Peace’ stands for Protect, Educate, Aid Children Everywhere. Every Wednesday Adrian hosts a live radio show on LA Talk Radio to discuss relevant current issues. As Adrian has a very large heart, yet even bigger playful personality, his shows encourage a great banter that is humorous yet real and quite relatable to its listeners.
Since Lori has an educational background, is currently immersed in digital media, and has two kids of her own that have progressed through the school system into high school, she had a lot of insight to bring to this hour long radio broadcast. Listen to the full recording of the show here:
Also featured in this broadcast was 17 year old Michael Bervell who is the Executive Director of Hugs for Ghana. He spoke about his amazing organization which he runs together with his siblings and also commented on his take on the changes in education today. Michael feels that students are losing their ability to be creative within the methods of instruction now used.
We’d love to hear about your thoughts and experiences as they relate to the pros and cons of technology and education. One key opinion coming out of this radio show was that keeping a balance of a variety of teaching methods seems to be best.
There has been a fun, yet thought provoking campaign going on about happiness and it’s obstacles. Realwheels partnered with Ahimsa Media and OneStory in the hopes of finding different ways that people define their identity. Realwheels is a theatrical company in Vancouver with a strong presence in disability arts. They are especially interested in discovering the universal ideas we all have, regardless of physicality.
Using the OnceStory platform to collect and share the interviews, participants have been answering two questions:
1. What makes you happy?
2. Is there an obstacle to that happiness?
Some of the students from our Autumn Interactive Storytelling Course submitted short interviews of themselves and their acquaintances. Here is a OneStory interview Deborah Esseltine took of Adam Snow.
Although the campaign has ended, the topic What Makes You Happy will remain active in OneStory and we are looking to help make the collection of interviews grow. You can add your voice in a few simple steps.
To do this you simply need to download the OneStory App for free on your device. Once you open the App you will see different categories of interviews. Feel free to give a listen, people have some really interesting things to say! Our topic is found within the Featured interview topics, as well as within the Health related topics.
When you are ready to record your interview click on the red record button with an image of a camera on it in the top right corner of the screen. Scroll down and select ‘What Makes You Happy?’ Press Next in the top right corner and then enter the name of the person who will be speaking. Press Next again and then press the button that says ‘Record Answer’ when you are ready to answer the first prompt.
Share your story and see what others have to say by using the hashtag #Wheelvoices on your feeds. Your participation is ‘what makes us happy’!