1. Description of Our Community
The term 'community' actually has a dual meaning for this project. The first is our school family; the students, families and staff that make up St. Joseph's Episcopal School. We are a small private school with a very strong sense of family and connectedness. We support each other in times of pain as well as joy. The spiritual aspect of our school guides us in our interactions with each other as well with all whom we reach out to in sharing. The other part of 'community' is definitely the geographical community of Boynton Beach. This is a small coastal town which has maintained its own identity even while being amongst a line of coastal cities along South Florida. Boynton Beach still retains a small town atmosphere with a strong sense of history and togetherness. We have the advantage of small town friendliness combined with the cultural connections of the larger metropolitan area.
2. Summary of Our Project
St. Joseph's Community Service is a project designed to tell the story of students working together to connect with others. While the original intent was simply that: to tell the story; however, as the students became more involved there was a growing sense of pride as we realized the scope of what "Community Service" really means. We became much more aware of personal responsibility, sharing, and caring. Each student realized just how much each of us really does and how much it matters to the community as well as to ourselves. We have a new appreciation of the phrase “One person CAN make a difference”. Community Service has been a part of St. Joseph’s School for a very long time; we appreciate the opportunity to bring it all together and to proudly share it with others; both the local community and the world through the internet.
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: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
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
Technology at St. Joseph’s School has been growing at breakneck speeds. We are moving from being technologically literate to being a leader in the field. Our Board committed to putting our school on the cutting edge in order to have students capable of being leaders in the workplace in technology. Just a year ago we returned from Break to find our internet provider had gone out of business. This caused some frantic scurrying and jumped the learning curve of our Technology Team in order to truly understand what was needed. Eight months later, we were back on line with a reputable firm, we then became a fully networked campus. We have a newly remodeled lab with 22 stations. We also have at least one computer with network access in each classroom, pre-K through 8th grade. Every department utilizes the facilities for major projects as well as daily classroom activities.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
Our initial challenge was in deciding and agreeing upon our topic. Our brainstorming session brought up LOTS of cool ideas that we wanted to pursue. Once we made that decision we had to decide how to approach the topic and present it in an interesting manner. The prospect of interviewing teachers, then others in the community was a bit daunting to some of us. We worked together to come up with questions and went out armed with our notes. Once we started talking with others it became really exciting. Then came the task of compiling the information and writing it in a way to make it fun for others to read. We created everything on storyboards before we went to the computers in order to make best use of our limited time. Actually, limited time was truly our biggest challenge. The deadline came at the end of our Spring Break and we all felt the pressure of pulling it together in time.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Our participation in Cyberfair has been an exciting experience for all of us. We strengthened our ability to work together to complete a project, we increased our sense of pride in our school and, most importantly, now truly understand that each of us can and does make a difference in our world
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Our Board made a commitment this school year to bring our Science/Technology Departments to a higher standard. We adopted the International Technology Education Association’s Standards for Technological Literacy. The Cyberfair project helps us meet a large number of those standards: Understanding core concepts of technology, Understanding connections between technology and other fields of study, Understanding of cultural and social effects of technology, Understanding of the attributes of design, Ability to apply the design process, Ability to use and maintain technological products and systems, Abilities to assess the impact of products and systems, Understanding of and ability to select and use information and communication technologies. We developed and increased our skills in the interview process, and writing skills, We also practiced a number of technology skills-research, scanning, project writing. In our work with our groups, we learned to utilize each person’s special talents and skills to improve our project.