1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
Our school's computer lab has 12 Gateway PC's with internet access, 2 printers and 1 scanner. In our 5th grade classroom we have a Gateway PC with internet access and an Apple Macintosh. The software used for our Web site was Microsoft Explorer, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word and Word Pad. We also used a Kodak DC280 digital camera, JamCam digital cameras, and our personal 35mm cameras. Other tools we used were books and magazines from our school library and homes, and handbooks from local volunteer organizations. We'll be using a projector and laptop to share our Web site at an assembly.
The local people that we interviewed were the most valuable. They knew a lot! It was fun talking with them, and they let us take pictures of them and their things. They shared a lot of information about Uzbek culture that we could not find other places.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
When we first started our project, we wrote an article for our school newsletter telling about our project, asking our school community for their ideas about what makes Uzbekistan special to them. Once we started our project, we had many oral interviews with people at our school, neighbors, and other community members. (We didn't write letters or make many phone calls because those systems are not developed here.) We told them about our project, they were excited.
We will be able to share our project most effectively online. We're sharing it with our families and friends, many who live in other parts of the world, and also with our e-pals and other cyber friends. Our class of 11 has family and close friends that we have or will contact in Canada, China, Egypt, England, France, Korea, Indonesia, Israel, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Morocco, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and in 15 states of the U.S.A. Also, our CyberFair project is linked to our school Web site, so people visiting our school's site can see our project. We're adding our site to the indexes of search pages on the World Wide Web, and we'll continue telling people about it through e-mail.
We are making posters to hang in our school telling about our site so students in other grades will be able to see it and share it with their families and friends, many who live in other countries. We will write another article for our school newsletter after we finished the project, inviting the school community to visit our Web site and telling them about our presentation. We are sharing our project at a school assembly for kids, parents, and people we interviewed. Many people have already looked at our site and are telling others about it.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
The people we interviewed were proud to share their culture. Interviewing them and taking pictures of them and their things strengthened our friendships. This project has also strengthened our school community by working together. We hope that by sharing our CyberFair project at an assembly we will build pride for the Uzbek culture in our school community. This was the first Web site created at T.I.S. using HTML. With this experience, our next step is to developing our school Web site.
This project is uniting our global community by helping us share our experiences living in Uzbekistan with our families and friends who are living in other parts of the world. We've received e-mail messages with positive feedback- people are curious about Uzbekistan.
We've heard from a variety of people. The national Peace Corps office in D.C. is mentioning our site in their literature, and Cyber Uzbekistan is listing us in their collection of best Web sites related to Uzbekistan. The deputy head of mission of the Aral Sea Programme contacted us. We're learning more about their program and we'll be adding their site to our additional links page.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
We'd like to give a huge thanks to our families, school community, neighbors, and other community members who helped us. They helped us with ideas for our site, and they also provided support. We received technical support from Mr. Galligan (physical education teacher), Mrs. Thomas (computer teacher) and Mrs. McCleave (computer teacher's aide). Katya and Maria (12th graders) helped us with basic HTML. Photographs were contributed by the Gal Gendler, Hoq, Pak, Tyson and Dietz-Galligan families. Bakhridden (T.I.S.ís general service officer) helped us with editing.
We interviewed a lot of people who talked with us and let us take pictures. Thanks to the following people: Abdulla (Uzbek candy seller and sheep owner), Abdurakhman (Uzbek driver), Anvar (Uzbek driver), Armina's parents, Bakhridden (general service officer), Margarita's grandfather and grandmother, Ms. Hartman (Peace Corps Uzbekistan) Ms. Idinaeva (Russian teacher), Jasuar (Uzbek driver), Kahim (Uzbek bread maker) Mr. Leahy (Peace Corps Uzbekistan director), Lena (nurse), Margarita's neighbor, Menuar (Uzbek tailor), Miya (Russian teacher), Muhabat (Uzbek neighbor and university professor), Natasha (Russian domestic helper), Samita (office manager), Sammat (Uzbek bread maker), Shovkat (Uzbek bread maker), Sofia's family (Uzbek friends), Sveta (Russian babysitter), Mr. Tyson (father of student), Ulugbek (Uzbek chicken owner) Ms. Valaria (Uzbek university student), and Ms. Valeria (Russian tutor).
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
Reflecting on our project, we had a variety of thoughts.
Abhimanyu: "This was the first time I made a Web site. It gave me an idea to make my own Web site."
Armina: "I learned a lot about Uzbek culture and noticed similarities and differences between my culture and Uzbek people's. I liked going around Uzbekistan taking pictures. As I take pictures I learn different things."
Kara: "We're teaching people about Uzbekistan, but also we learned a lot from the people we interviewed. It's fun learning new things. This was an adventure!"
Katya: "I discovered that working together is more interesting than working alone."
Ke: "A lesson I learned was you must explore everything before you give a decision."
Liz: "I learned that gathering information, in my opinion, is the hardest thing to do in making a Web site. Sharing ideas in class was my favorite thing. We would talk a lot and decide things together."
Margarita: "I discovered my grandfather knows a lot. My favorite thing was to interview my grandfather."
Mo Jung: "I discovered many treasures of Uzbekistan. It surprised me that our class maked our Web site. It was great to me!"
Ofek: "I never knew that you do HTML on Web sites. I liked making a Web site because it teaches people and I learn some things that I didn't know."
Sin Woo: "This was fun."
Yakub: "When I come 2 1/2 months ago I didn't know anything about Uzbekistan. I discovered Uzbekistan is the 3rd biggest producer of cotton and that the Aral Sea is getting smaller and smaller."
Ms. Dietz: "I learned as much about Uzbekistan and developing a Web site as the kids did, I enjoyed being involved in the learning process. Internet-based Learning helped us become involved in both our local and global community."