1. Description of Our Community
Romania is a country of outstanding natural beauty. It is world-famous for: its wide variety of scenery (plains, hills, majestic mountains and fine beaches), its rich flora and fauna in the Danube Delta, its Northern Moldavia with the well-known painted monasteries, the beauty, originality and variety of its regional folk costumes, music and dances. The Romanians are also famous for their hospitality and friendliness. Since the revolutionary movement of 1989 many things have changed in our country. The most important of all is that we have become a democratic state.
Bucharest, the capital of Romania and our hometown is the major centre of culture, industry and trade. It is located in southern Romania on the Dambovita River. Many of its buildings which are reminiscent of Paris and other Western capitals have maintained till today the seduction of a long and rich history. Since its foundation (in the 14th century) Bucharest has gone through many unhappy events, such as earthquakes, great fires, bomb attacks and a revolutionary movement (in 1989). Although it was badly damaged, there are still many old and nice buildings which are worth visiting indeed.
Built in 1965, our school has about 500 pupils aged 7 to 15 and 27 teachers who are well-qualified and very committed to their job. Since January 2003, thanks to our parents’ financial efforts we have had an IT Lab with 20 computers, a printer and a digital camera. Every year we do our best to get good results at the contests organised at different school subjects. All our achievements have brought us a very good reputation among the schools in Bucharest and not only. Besides, we regularly take part in charity activities such as gathering clothes and toys for the poor children or visiting old and sick people.
2. Summary of Our Project
Our project Discover Bucharest focuses on providing information about the natural and man made attractions in our hometown. Bucharest has so much history and culture to share that we wanted to showcase it as completely as possible. We have created this travel guide which is both child and adult friendly in order to promote our city and persuade people to visit it and discover its beauty and rich culture. Old churches and monasteries, art galleries, parks and gardens, heritage attractions, entertainment places, shopping centres, traditional restaurants and quality hotels are all waiting to be discovered! Apart from photos and information about the sights in Bucharest, we have also included some tips for tourists, a language section (where you can hear the Romanian pronunciation), an interactive quiz about Bucharest and some interviews. There are also the results of a poll. For more information about our poll, see the Interview section of our web site.
Thanks to this web-based project we had the opportunity to enrich our cultural knowledge, get to know our community better and improve our communication skills. It also gave us self-confidence in our computer and writing skills as well as meaningful practice. Besides, this project provided opportunities for us to use the knowledge we gained in other school subjects. Moreover, by working together (students, teachers, parents, grandparents and local members) we all improved our social skills: sharing, learning etc. Groups of children from each class have collected information about natural and man made attractions (in their local or wider community) by: visiting different places (together with their teachers and parents), interviewing many people, sending and receiving e-mails, reading brochures, leaflets, newspapers, magazines, books. We have also searched the Internet or different CD-Roms for relevant information about our hometown. For more information, see the Bibliography section of our project.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:21-50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:not sure
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):
Since January 2003, thanks to our parents’ financial efforts and our teachers’ involvement we have had an IT Lab with 20 computers, a printer and a digital camera. We really love working on our computers and getting involved in web-based collaborative projects.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
Our slow dial-up Internet connection was one of our problems. However, some of us have worked on the project from our own home Internet connection (which is quite fast).
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Learning by doing.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
We have chosen to work on this International Schools CyberFair project as it is very much in tune with modern views about the purpose and nature of education. Our recent school curricula require all subjects to encourage the development of useful research skills, initiative, co-operation, communicative skills, creativity, imagination and self-discipline. We do think that the International Schools CyberFair project helped us to turn such general aims into practical classroom activity. Cross-curricular approaches are also encouraged by the Romanian curricula for different subjects and the International Schools CyberFair project required us knowledge of History, Geography, Social Studies, English, Romanian, Computer Science and even Maths (see our poll). By creating this web-based project we also contributed to achieving two of our institution's policy objectives, namely implementing New Technologies in the teaching-learning process in order to prepare our students for their future careers and collaborating with our local and wider community. Besides, our school also promotes group projects and projects involving IT. We mainly worked on our project during the optional English course. Its curriculum has been drawn up (by the Department of English in collaboration with the other departments from our school) according to our school's demands and approved by our school's advisory board and the Ministry of Education. While working on this project we learned how to collaborate with fellow students and our community, to conduct research, to create a web project, to be ambassadors to showcase our work and to evaluate our own work and the work of others. We also learned about other communities around the world. We found the International Schools CyberFair project a very rich and rewarding learning activity.