1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
During our project, we used the following tools: PC computer, Internet, email, printer, digital camera, software (MSWord, Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe GoLive), and some online web sites (some of these included Class Marker to make an online quiz/test, Son of Citation to help with our bibliography, Word Central to look up definitions, etc.).
Other 'tools' included information web sites, an email interview with someone who has genealogy experience, interviews with family members, and a field trip to the Franklin Institute. The trip was probably the most favorite activity among the students, but the interviews with family members was probably the most valuable (both for our project, and just opening discussion between students and family members).
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
Students had a variety of opportunities to act as ambassadors representing our school, including interviewing immediate and extended family, interviewing Jeff Saler about his work with genealogy, and visiting the Franklin Institute to see an exhibit on Identify. Students also wrote thank-you letters to Jeff Saler for agreeing to do an interview.
Students also had the chance to share and discuss their project with school peers, family and friends as the web pages were completed and uploaded. We also sent links to all our resource people. We've received some positive feedback already.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
Students learned new information about themselves and their families, so there has already been a personal impact. It was an emotional discussion when students shared some of their experiences about being disabled. Several people (family and education staff) were surprised to find out about the free online resources available to construct a family health history tree and chart.
We hope that when people see our project, they think about their own personal stories, get inspired to learn more about their family, use information about their family health history to stay healthy, and show more respect and acceptance for the stories of other people.
As with past CyberFair projects, this one also gave some people in the general community the chance to meet and interact with our students, all of whom have disabilities. This is an area of diversity. As our students' personal stories reveal, our community needs to continue to learn to accept people with disabilities. Although our students have special needs, they share concerns and interests in the world like everyone else. We hope our project makes a positive impact in this regard.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
The staff at the Franklin Institute were very accommodating during our field trip there. They reserved a special parking space for our van, and were helpful with any questions we had.
Most of our students had positive experiences interviewing family members and getting information to share about themselves. Many contributed recipes and photos.
Jeff Saler ws very agreeable to conduct an email interview about his experiences with genealogy. He also sent us a photo of himself, and several old photos of distant family members for us to use on our web pages.
Learning Consultant Susan Powell worked with four students preparing most of the photos for our web pages, as well as the title banner and rollover navigational elements. She constructed the web site pages using her home computer. Learning Consultant Sister Krista Mote worked with one student, involving him in some aspects of the project.
Greg Skoufalos, a Technical Support Specialist in our MIS Department, converted an MS Word document with a sample Family Health History tree ad chart into a PDF file.
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
Something totally new we all learned about was the information available through the US Surgeon General about family health history, how important it is to know this history and how easily it is to make your own tree and chart for free using this online resource.
Some students also learned new information about themselves, immediate family, and distant relatives.