1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
1) 5 computers 2) 6 cellular telephones, as well as our home phones 3) one scanner, used it with materials we got from the city library and museums 4) tape recorders, to record our meetings and the interviews we conducted 5) Adobe Photoshop CS, for image editing, Open Office for word-processing, MS Office, for the same purpose, Opera Internet Browser, Internet Explorer, Trillian, ICQ, Skype, AOL Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Windows XP SP 2, Macromedia Flash MX 6) The school library at the First Language School Varna, the City Library 7) Online editions of Enyclopaedia Britannica 1911, New Scientist Magazine (SEE BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR MORE) 8) Varna Archeological Museum, Varna Ethnographic Museum, Varna City Gallery, Sofia National Museum 9) Interviewed several pupils prior to choosing topic so as to ensure that the topic would be of interest to people of our age; invited ex-mayor of Varna to attend one of our history classes so as to give a speech on the matter of international relations, especially the ones related to the history of our region
Following completion of the main part of the project, we decided to give out a presentation to our class in order to acquaint them with the project’s goals and the history of its creation. The ex-mayor of Varna aided us greatly in our attempts to find the equipment necessary for the presentation.
Our most useful tools were the word-processing programmes, since they served as a basic fundament to our task. The copies of Abode Photoshop had been donated to our school by the City Council. We also relied on freeware software.
In terms of technologies, we found that using a tape recorder during our meetings was extremely productive since it saved us the time-consuming labour of recording our thoughts and ideas in writing.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
Upon completion of our work on this project, we decided to introduce our classmates to the subject matter covered in our site, i.e. international relations and multicultural co-existence and awareness. For this purpose we decided to create a presentation (using Presentation™) with the help of government officials. We believe that the presentation had the desired effect. We contacted museum directors and officials who aided us immensely by providing us with insight into the events covered, as well as materials and visual aids. Furthermore, we decided to conduct a survey among members of the minority groups in our town so as to determine their attitude towards the problems covered. Our plan also included creating a blog on the subject, but, as we discovered that most members of minority groups do not have access to the Internet, we abandoned this idea. Instead, we decided to contact officials on a higher level. We sent enquiries over the Internet to the Ministry of Culture and the National Institute of Statistics, as well as the Ministry of Education and Science. We were assured that measures will be taken towards providing minority groups with computers and Internet access. Furthermore, we were given additional insight on Bulgaria’s positive experience in the field of multicultural co-existence. We found this information really useful and included it in our presentation. As a matter of fact, the presentation was so well-accepted that we were asked to carry it out one more time, with students and teachers from other schools in town having been invited.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
We were astonished at the positive effect our site had on both our classmates, our parents and the community as a whole. Our peers started appreciating the practical applications of history as a science that not only teaches about the past, but as one that explains many aspects of modern life. On a grander scale, people from our community enjoyed the way information was presented – our site is based on a subject matter that is taught in classrooms, but, according to viewers, it presents it in a much clearer and coherent way, making use of the modern technologies that allow for the employment of visual aid that would not find a place in a normal class.
Men and women of different backgrounds looked at our page, and most of them reacted positively, stating that they had understood how exactly the Internet could help promote the values of learning and knowledge. Furthermore, people who were into web design pointed out some of the site’s disadvantages and were of great help, whereas amateur historians aided us in our quest to form a coherent exposition on the topic.
To sum up, our site has helped viewers grasp the forces that shaped the microcosm of the area around the straits, as well as to understand the way the Internet will influence classical methods of teaching in the foreseeable future.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
During our work on this project we enlisted the help of many volunteers and officials. Firstly, we enlisted the help of municipality officials, including the ex-mayor of Varna and many others. Our History teacher also aided us immensely by guiding us through all the information we had gathered. I would also like to mention our English teacher – her help was really useful when we had to translate an intricate piece of information we had found in Bulgarian. As far as distant helpers are concerned, we would like to thank all the officials in the Ministry of Culture, the National Institute of Statistics and the Ministry of Education and Science who were very helpful indeed. And, of course, let’s not forget our classmates who also helped us greatly by participating in the interviews we conducted and by evaluating our presentation