1. Description of Our Community
Hong Kong, located on the southern coast of China with a population of nearly 7 million, is a dynamic financial centre of the world. The city is divided into 3 parts, namely Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories. The deep and wide Victoria Harbour allows the busy traffic of huge container ships and cargo ships. As a result, the British colonial government took over the rule of Hong Kong in 1842 for the expansion of trade in Southeast Asia. The border extended from the tiny Hong Kong Island to Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories. In 1997, the city was returned to China and was named HKSAR, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The handover did not prevent Hong Kong from becoming the most significant entrepot and financial heart of the country and also in Southeast Asia. The energetic and interactive nature of the city attracts all walks of life from all over the world and results in the unique mixture of cultures from both the east and the west. The majority of historical buildings owned by the five large clans are spread all over the New Territories. Traditional have been passed on and the activities from the old days are still being held. Through this project, we have examined the tranquil life in Hong Kong villages and get to know more about the artistic architecture in China.
2. Summary of Our Project
The project will focus on the history, structure and the craftsmanship of around 30 Chinese historical buildings in Hong Kong. Brief introduction on Chinese architecture history, the variations in styles, details of buildings and auspicious motifs will be included as well. Recommendations on the government’s policies regarding the conservation projects will be made. Interactive games with visual aids will be found on our webpage to give more details of different components in the buildings.
We carried out our research through the following process: 1. Gathering information from studying inscriptions on memorial tablets, plaques, couplets, the Internet and in reference books 2. Investigating the historical buildings and conduct interviews with experts, local residents and foreigners 3. Collecting data on the spots, i.e., taking photographs, videotaping, conducting interviews, jotting down details after observation, etc 4. Carrying out questionnaires to have an overall view on how much our teachers and fellow students know about declared monuments in Hong Kong and if they have any comments on the recent conservation policies 5. Arranging and analysing data, evaluating the results and also our own performance as well as making recommendations on the heritage preservation projects in Hong Kong 6. Constructing our webpage
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:1
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
We are linked to the outside world through the Internet within the area of our school. More than 300 computers are installed on the campus with 42 each in every computer laboratory. 14 basic classrooms contains a brand new machine enhancing interactive teaching and accessing to the Internet. Online discussion and information searching have been facilitated by the allocation of a laptop computer to every teacher. Intranet in school improves students’ ability of sharing photos and opinions online.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
1. Because of the time-consuming data collection process and also the late decision on joining the Cyberfair, there were only 4 months for us to complete the whole project. The school schedule is quite a packed one so we could only make use of our own leisure time, long holidays such as Christmas and Chinese New Year. We have learnt a lot from the project despite of the heavy workload. 2. Our skills of asking questions have been polished after the interviews. For data collection, we have met several learned experts, indigenous inhabitants of the area, passers-by and tourists. We were rather green at the beginning because of the lack of experience in interviewing strangers. The more we practiced, the more skillful we become. 3. The medium of teaching in our school is Chinese and results in our difficulties in writing all materials in English. Therefore, we nominated 4 group members to perform this essential task. We are also very grateful for the help kindly offered by the teachers and the other group members.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Hong Kong, faming for its diversion of culture, has actually got countless historical buildings. Through this project, we would like to encourage the admiration of Chinese historical buildings as well as the importance of conservation. Youngsters should shoulder the responsibility to protect our declared monuments and knowledge of Hong Kong history and the sense of belonging will be built up. Apart from preserving the ‘hardware’, i.e., the buildings , we should also protect and pass on the ‘software’ – cultures and traditions which we cannot touch. For instance, Poon Choi (the layers of food putting into a big bowl and served as buffet), lantern lighting ceremony (a lantern will be lit and hung in the ancestral hall if a son is born) and Tai Ping Ching Chiu (the parades of children in ancient Chinese costumes and the setting up of bun towers on Cheung Chau).
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Matching the school-based curriculum: The project matches the aims of General Studies and History and Culture in our school-based curriculum as the common goal is to examine lives in rural area through field trips. Students are encouraged to think independently and in a creative and critical way.
Associating the school policies on emphasis on learning activities: Our school outs lots of emphasis on learning through activities outside classrooms. From which, we can understand the interactive relationship with the community and even nature. Several activity days such as field trips to villages, hiking, exploring the nature and visiting the elderly centres will be carried out in the academic year. This is exactly what we are doing in the CyberFair project.
Training on project-learning Our school also devotes lots of resources on the diversity of teaching materials. We are not only given worksheets or exercise to do, but also very inspiring inter-subject projects. Cooperation and team spirit are the crucial elements we need for the project-based learning curriculum. Through the process, mature skills have been fostered and further developed.
Applying IT knowledge IT skills have played a very important role in the CyberFair project as we are presenting our product on the Internet. Construction of the webpage, graphic design, adding visual effects and video editing all require our IT knowledge.