1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
Project Plan and Implementation- whiteboard and lots of student interaction and collaboration and skill sharing. *Telephone call interviews - past students, teachers, local identities and experts.(The classroom has two phones connected via PABX) *Video and Audio recording (standard formats) of visiting speakers and of "face to face" interviews. (later encoded onto the web pages in Real Media format) *Visiting local Museum, Returned Armed Services Centre, Historical Society and other key community locations. *One real highlight of the project was with guest speakers who were invited to talk of their experiences - …see site - one was local aboriginal identity - Murrindindi - great great grandson of the famous King of Wurrinjeri who spent the whole day at school - another was Graham Legge, the Mayor of our regional Council, local historian and a past student, teacher, and principal of our school! *Taking digital photos of locations, landmarks, historical buildings, personalities. (Sony Mavica, Kodak Digicam, Sanyo Digicam) *Scanning old photos of locations, landmarks, historical buildings, old newspaper clippings, newletter items, even historical items (HP Scanner - Paper Port Software) *Sometimes the images were inappropriate for their purpose, ie, foolscap size, containing irrelevant detail. It wasn't long before students saw the need to learn to crop, resize and make the images webfriendly. No more words left!! :-) *Image manipulation by using MS Image Composer *Webpage construction using MS Front Page 98, (just the editor section.) *Survey data manipulation and graphs using Excel 97 *Word Art headings and some text components originally completed using Word utilizing its "save for web feature". *Using school and local libraries to source printed material and photographs relating to Emerald in the "old days". We found a huge collection of material at the local Historical Association who were more than happy for us to have a loan.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
Students were able to act as Ambassadors for the project and for their school when- Visited the local lawyer's office (a past student) for interviews Spoke on the phone to incapacitated or distant past students or local identities. Contacted via snail mail and the managers of famous past students Visited the local museum and historical society Visited the local Returned Armed Services Club to discuss the significance behind the naming of Heroes Ave (the street where our school is located) and the meaning of various war memorials around the town. Made contact with significant community members and asked them to visit the school speak to the classes. Prepared reports for, and were interviewed by, local and state newspaper journalists. Emailed various individuals with survey questions etc. When they presented the site to the school community on Open Night. Overall reponse from anyone who has seen the site has been overwhelming positive….eg…. "Congratulations to those who compiled this web site. We enjoyed it immensely and feel secure in the knowledge that our grandchildren are receiving the best that education has to offer. "
"Hi, was interested to read about your web-site in the Herald/Sun (Melbourne daily newspaper) today. Emerald Primary School was my first teaching post way back in 1967. What made it really special was that my grandmother had taught there also, soon after they came out from England back in the late 20's. I ended up teaching in the very same room where my grandmother had taught my mother so long ago!!!! Interested to hear about your centenary, and most impressed with your web-site. Regards, Chris Douglas.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
We could understand if students' parents and friedns have heard enough of this website! The kids were so motivated by what they were discovering about their local community that couldn't help giving their parents daily updates!
Parental (and grandparental!) response to the completed project has been full of praise and pride. ("you mean my child did that?? WOW!"). Although early days since completing the project, comments from teachers, community members, media and "edweb experts" have also been very positive. Nothing this comprehensive on the Emerald Community has ever been created on the web. On their recent visits, journalists from local and state newspapers have been very impressed and full of questions. We're sure their stories will reflect this.
The local Emerald Village Website (business/community) has already commended and linked to the site. The local Historical Society has donated old framed photographs to the school and rekindled interest.
This site will become a great resource for other students/teachers in the school especially as we study and celebrate the school's centenary later in the year. The "then and now" section has already been used by junior grades
It is also already proving popular with past students who have settled from Emerald to every corner of the globe. Recently old class photos were emailed from a past student now living in the UK! Due to this interest it planned to add an "archive" section to the website - containing class photos from each year and contact email addresses of relevant students.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
Students contacted many visiting speakers from the community to help contribute information for the site. Two of the highlights were… *local aboriginal identity - Murrindindi - He spoke of the sadness of his people losing their land, the poverty and cruelty he had to endure as a child, but finished the day with an uplifting display of aboriginal culture including teaching student boomerang throwing skills. see http://www.eps.vic.edu.au/history/Murrundidi%20Page.htm - *Graham Legge -Regional Mayor, local historian and a past student, teacher, and past principal of our school. He talked to the students about the history of the area - the Wurrinjeri tribe lifestyle and culture, the Gold Mining days, the arrival of Puffing Billy at the turn of the century (our famous steam train), logging, farming etc. He had many humourous anecdotes to tell of his days at our School - both as a student and an adult! http://www.eps.vic.edu.au/history/leggestory.htm Students were very moved by both these speakers and the information they gained for themselves and the website was invaluable.
Students also contacted some famous past students who were happy to make valuable contributions to the website. Two were - Vanessa Amorosi (famous Australian Singer -sang at opening/closing of Olympics 2000) and Justin Huber (rookie for USA - New York Mets) . As mentioned in other sections many other past students happily and freely donated their time and information for the website. Our school volunteer IT technician (also a past student from the 60's) was also very motivated by the project. He was not only interviewed by students but spent days, if not weeks, assisting students compile their work.. Ex students from as far away as England, USA and Hong Kong made contributions via email. THANKS EVERYONE!
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
Even though the website was the main focus it was not the only end product. One of the most benificial things students gained from participation in the project was sense of belonging to a team, and a vastly improved self belief and confidence. Students improved their self esteem by being able to be resident "experts" and happily and proudly teach their skills to others - there was a great team feeling to be involved in this project! eg "As the term went by I learnt about scanning pictures and scanning photos. I have learnt so much this term it is the best school term I have ever been in. We also learnt about old Emerald town and Aborigines. We even made a school web site. by Jess " " I found it was very excellent experience.We learnt heaps. I liked it how everyone helped everyone else. by Cory" Involvement of so many members of the local community was beyond wildest expectations - see http://www.eps.vic.edu.au/history/credits.htm for more evidence of students thoughts of the project and community involvement.