1. Description of Our Community
Uzbekistan is a desert area located in central Asia, just north of Afghanistan. It gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The two largest populations are ethnic Uzbeks (80%) and Russians (5%). Most Uzbeks are Muslim. Tashkent is the capital city, approximately 2.4 million people live here. Both Uzbek and Russian are common languages in Tashkent. Uzbekistan is a developing country-- in the cities people earn an average of $50 a month, and much of the countryside uses a barter system (source: Mayhem, 2000).
Soon after Uzbekistan gained its independence, United Nations volunteers came. Tashkent International School (TIS) was started to provide students an American-based education. In 1995 TIS became an independent school. We have 145 students in grades K-12, from 20 countries.
2. Summary of Our Project
Aika: We explored traditional musical instruments that are important to Uzbekistan. In this Website we will show and tell you about the Uzbek instruments. We hope you enjoy it!
Our idea started when we visited a school in Italy this past fall. There we met a teacher who gave us a great idea for our new Website! He said that he'd like to know about the musical instruments of Uzbekistan. We also met some other people who were interested in Uzbek national musical instruments. Then a funny thing happened. Someone in the U.S.A. saw “Treasures of Uzbekistan”, the Website kids at our school made two years ago. He e-mailed us and asked how an instrument in one of the photographs was made. We found the answer and thought it was very interesting. So, we thought that it would be a good idea to make a Website about Uzbek instruments because we were interested in them and we wanted to share Uzbek culture with people all over the world.
We started by choosing Uzbek instruments to research. As a group we wrote questions and listed ways we could find information. We interviewed musicians, searched Websites, visited a local Uzbek music school, attended an Uzbek concert, and used printed materials to answer our initial questions:
What musical category does the instrument belong to? What does it look like? What is the history of the instrument? How is it made? How is it played? How does it sound?
We thought of more questions after we started learning about instruments:
How is the name of the instrument pronounced? Is it usually played by men, women, or both? After we found our information, we learned HTML and made our Webpages. Now we are answering these project narrative questions together.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
Electricity is unreliable in Uzbekistan, which creates difficulties creating Websites. Also, visitors are not able to access our site when there is no electricity for our school’s server.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
Aika: We had a lot of problems to overcome through our project, but we didn't give up. Our first challenge was deciding what we would showcase on the Web. We had a lot of ideas. We chose our topic by telling our reasons and voting.
Another problem was how we would get the information because we couldn’t find much in books or on the Internet. We solved our problem by doing interviews.
Da Mee: As for me, I didn’t have photographs of instruments. So I tried to draw them so they look real. They were hard to color. First the color was too dark. But after that I added a little bit of white they looked better.
Seol Im: One big problem we had was adding the sound to our Website. We still haven't solved our problem yet. Some computers do not play the files. I think we can figure it out by looking at books and Internet sites, and e-mailing e-pals who use sound.
Gavhar: I had to draw a picture of a tanbur. Since we didn’t have any photo's of this instrument, Ms.Dietz told me to draw it myself. First we couldn't find a photo nor a drawing of this instrument. But then our music teacher told me that a tanbur is similar to dutar. She said that dutar has 4 fingerboards and two strings, and a tanbur has 2 fingerboards and 3 strings. So it was easy for me to draw it because I saw a dutar.
Avani: We had a problem understanding Russian and Uzbek when we visited the local music school. We solved our problem by asking a kid in our class to translate.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Our CyberFair project has created friendships with kids at a local music school and we look forward to involving the kids in international Internet projects and video conferences.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Our CyberFair project supported our school’s values, and it taught skills in many areas of our curriculum. It complimented our Language Arts, Music, Social Studies and Computer curriculum especially well. Our project also provided opportunities for enrichment.
Teamwork and respect are two of the values that our school encourages. Teamwork was seen throughout this project. We worked together with our classmates, students in other schools, families and community members. Respect is demonstrated as we share an appreciation for Uzbek culture.
In Language Arts, we used writing strategies (prewriting, drafting, revising, proofreading and publishing) and writing skills (grammar, mechanics and usage, and spelling and vocabulary). We also used study and research skills (choosing sources, comparing information across sources, formulating questions, interviewing, making and using a timeline, and using a variety of resource materials).
In Music we learned about different Uzbek instruments and their characteristics.
In Social Studies we used reference skills (using the community as a resource, selecting and using appropriate resources and using a computer to run reference software) and map skills. We also used thinking skills (summarizing information and synthesizing information) and interpersonal skills (accepting and giving constructive feedback and developing respect for others). It is also part of our social studies curriculum to learn about Uzbekistan.
In Computers we learned how to use digital cameras, critique Web sites, use HTML and design Web pages.
Our CyberFair project also provided opportunities for enrichment. We learned techniques for photography, communication skills for interviewing, how to convert colors to hexadecimals in math, and we were given the opportunity to collaborate with other classes.