1. Description of Our Team
Five most active students of school#9 got together to conduct this research project because we knew from our born times that the famous Margilan silk and all the history behind it was very important for people not only of our city but the region and even the country and beyond it. Also through our work we wanted to share the learnt knowledge to all interested people who value and appreciate arts and culture and strongly believe that it can play a significant role in developing international ties which can lead to long lasting friendship and cooperation. When we got together with the close help of our class mentor and history teacher Ismoilova Kanoathon, we decided that all of us had one goal which was to create something powerful that would show the uniqueness of our city to the world and prove that it can serve as a tool to establish friendship bridge between other countries as well as in the past, present and future. Dilshoda (16), a team leader was in charge of developing the main action plan for our activities in the project framework. Shokir (15), was an active searcher in Internet for more information necessary to improve the project and create ideas for the further work. Shohsanam (13) was responsible for collecting information for the site’s section on the “History of Silk”. Dildora (12), the youngest of all was given one of the main tasks - to investigate the influence of silk to the local and international culture. Malohat (13) helped to set up interviews and made the planning for trips to the places to collect information for the project. The coach Kanoat, our history teacher helped us greatly to organize our thoughts and supported through providing necessary guidelines how to approach to the project goals. Another coach, Mikhail – the Regional Educator of the partner organization with our school, supported us technically by assisting in creating a web site and turning it into a Web Project.
2. Summary of Our Project
The web project’s main goal is to show the world community and especially young people about the impact of the local art and culture pieces to the lives of people and teach them to appreciate it. Through this project we aimed to demonstrate that although being young, we can do great things together to explore the unknown things about our own community and share it with the rest of the world. Although we mainly discuss the great Margilan Silk and its impact to the development of the uniqueness of the city and turning it to one of the main gateways for the cultural exchange in the whole country, underneath it lays the long history and creation of traditions, customs around it and its impact to the lifestyles of both local and foreign people. Each section of the web project describes Margilan silk impact to different aspects of lives of local people and how it brought them closer to the world community. The section on silk history aimed to describe the long road of a little cocoon on its way from the far away China to a small city of Uzbekistan leaving behind many other ancient places, cultures and bringing such experiences to Margilan. The section on culture shows how once silk production settled and started flourishing and how it became a reason for amazing cultural and arts activities. The section on international partnership emphasizes the developed and on-going cooperation due to the silk and how it served as a tool to promote the little cozy city’s name to the world and how its fascinating history and developing process day-to-day amazes many more people both locally and abroad. The interviews emphasize the hard work which lays behind producing one baboon of the silk thread and serve to help people to understand and appreciate the value of the art piece. Towards completion of the web project, the whole team understood that indeed this project not only brought this team members closer to the local community but also opened the doors of the community to the world!
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:less than 20
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dial-up modem
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:1
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
Since our school became a finalist of the School Connectivity for Uzbekistan Program (IREX) both the students and teachers have become heavily involved with learning and exploring the advantages of IT and its use in the educational process. Although the school has a dial-up connection to Internet and considering the poor quality of phone cables, the Educational Internet Center users always try to make the best out of the provided resources.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
The biggest challenge was to dig into the ideas while explaining the project ideas to people who were involved in the project outside of the group. The example can be the interviews taken from the Silk Factory employees who first were not willing to discuss openly their working conditions due to the fear a punishment from administration. But as it was a new developing concept for the project team members as well as other people involved, throughout the project all sides learnt to use and improve their critical thinking skills. Since the team aimed not only show the fascinating art of one of the ancient cities of Uzbekistan but also describe its impact to the local and world community, it was important to collect variety of information from different sources so that there would be a chance to compare them. The team members reached this goal by conducting both online and offline search successfully.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Through the whole project, our main goal was to show the fact that as young ambassadors of our country we can assist the world community in exploring the undiscovered unique features about Uzbek culture and its way towards integration with other world cultures and finding its place among them.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Since one of our coaches was a history teacher she taught us about the historical aspects of silk production and development of arts related to it. As a part of the state curriculum we need to search for information on local historical and cultural sites as an additional element of the taught subjects andthis project served well in the ways of accomplishing this task as well. Also our city schools conduct various activities on local arts, culture and history especially related with the national holiday themes. We will be using the learnt experience and materials to take an active part in such events as well, especially in approaching Navruz (Asian New Year’s Day) holiday celebrations. The project discoveries fit very well to the school and class requirements. Because we were able to organize the work not as an extra separate activity but integrate it to the general academic learning process. Also we received much experience in writing projects for other classes due to what we learnt from each project activity, for example for our English class (Internet sources and notes of the foreign tourists), Law subject (learning in-depth the rights of labor, local and foreign policies on labor force), Economics (how production plays role in developing the economy of the region/country). Such independently taken but group works help in advancing far more skills in the students rather than sitting and receiving lots of theory but not practical, analytical assignments in the classrooms. Also it helped us to realize that by taking initiative we take much responsibility but later when made efforts and reached the goal we can become role models for the rest community. Over the course of the project, we efficiently used various sources of information. Among them were Internet resources without which it would be impossible to quickly access the great volume of information from variety of sources and which proved the obvious advantage of IT over the traditional teaching.