1. Description of Our Community
Lodz, our home city, is situated in the very centre of Poland, Central Europe. It is very large, though the community is quite united. We all are strongly attached to Lodz and we feel true affection for it.
However, many people are unaware of the presence of some special groups within our community. One of these groups is the Germans, and it is this group we have decided to depict. The role they play in the life of our city has significantly diminished over recent decades. Nonetheless, we still deem them to be part of our community.
By "our community", we mean all those who live in Lodz and, what is more, are fond of it. Apart from this, they must have ties with other people living here. This is, in our opinion, enough to be regarded as a member of our community.
2. Summary of Our Project
For diverse reasons, for a very long time our country had been the destination of thousands of Germans seeking solace during the historical turmoils. Among other cities, Lodz was one of the most visited and this resulted in the fact that, during the interwar period, one-fifth of its citizens was of German nationality.
The memory of significiant members of the German community slowly dies out. This is why we have decided to focus on this community group in our project. We want to let other people know where Germans in Poland came from and what they did for our city. While developing our project, we have tried to gather as much original information as possible and therefore we hope that our site would be interesting to anyone wishing to learn something new about the community they live in.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:less than 20
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
Similarily to most CyberFair teams, our greatest enemy was time. We discovered that the deadline approaches very quickly, while the work moves on at a slow pace. We did our best to finish before the final deadline and include all the information we wanted, but this turned out to be too difficult and we actually had to leave out some of our materials.
Besides, it was reasonably difficult to properly organise the group work. We found it quite hard to assign particular tasks to adequate people. However, we had some experience from our previous CyberFair entries and that proved to be really important.
What's more, we found out that our subject itself is not well-documented. We had to overcome certain lack of information regarding the community group we were interested in. Fortunately, we have found some people who are familiar with this subject and they have helped us a lot.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
For a long time Lodz has been a multicultural city, but recently the role of other nations within our community has significantly diminished. Our aim was to present the role of the German people in the development of our city, to show their merits and and their contribution to our local community. Simply saying, to save them from oblivion.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
As a matter of fact, all the schools in our country follow generally the same curriculum guidelines. For this reason, students from Lodz do not actually have the opportunity of learning many interesting facts regarding specifically the region they live in. That is why we deem the CyberFair competition to be a great chance of better interaction with our community. While developing our project, we have given ourselves a great lesson about another nation within our community. Since we have covered the subject of the German nation's presence in Lodz during last century, this project was a great supplement to the knowledge of our home city. We have aquired a broader view on some matters. This has made us feel enriched in some way.
However, this was not the only way we have benefitted from our participation in the CyberFair. The organisation of the group work was a valuable experience. We found it very difficult and it has brought us a lot of problems. Nonetheless, we have managed to cope with it and put all the material together in an ordered way. But before it happened, we had had to learn how to share and publish materials in the Internet, how to request information on a specific subject, how to join ideas to form a whole - unite and logical, and many other skills. Probably these are the greatest benefits from the CyberFair competition.
We have also made some discoveries. One of them is the backwardness of our educational system. The power of the Internet has not been appreciated yet, the curriculum guidelines do not contain 'local subjects', students are supposed to learn facts instead of skills, schools do not take advantage of public facilities such as museums, libraries, theatres, etc. For this reason, the CyberFair competition has a great meaning to us. Not only does it support our curriculum requirements, but it also surpasses them and brings us new skills and experiences, new methods of learning. This is a great initiative.