1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
The advancement of IT has brought great convenience to field investigations for social science studies. For example, the invention of pen recorder helps record every single word during the interviews. To enhance the efficiency, we also used many other latest tools, including the digital camera, the digital camcorder, the pen recorder, the laptop, and the digital microscope. In addition, the software and websites applied in the project include Google search engine, Google Maps, Wikipedia, File Sharing FTP Server and Google Forum. Due to the limitation of space, the application of technology in the project will be detailed in Behind the Scene Section.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
When we set a topic, we contacted the local authorities and individuals about the interviews and made discussions with them. At first we thought it was not easy to settle the interviews; unexpectedly, as soon as they heard our plan, they were overjoyed. They not only settled the interviews with us, but actively taught children how to carve narcissus. They used the ecological park in our school as the observation base for water culture and taught children to change water, embellish and maintain narcissus. After finishing the works, they helped them send the works to Wu Temple for exhibitions. Therefore, during the project, the interaction of the local authorities and relevant individuals with us made us feel warm. When the project was conducted, the local people also provided us with all the assistance we needed, helping us contact the authorities concerned and provided us with clues. They not only expected that the children could pass on the craft, but also expected that there would be a website of narcissus carving belonging to Yanshuei only, enabling the whole world to enjoy the beauty of Yanshuei narcissus carving. Therefore, we felt the expectation the local people had for us and it seemed that the project was regarded as a big event for the local arts. Seriously, their enthusiasm moved us while our effort made them feel touched and look forward to it. Therefore, our research team also decided to make our school the center to pass on the skills in Yanshuei so that the tradition in Yanshuei can be passed on from one generation to another. We used the internet to introduce the local arts to people all over the world in an effort to promote local culture. At the same time, we shared the results we’ve gained from the research with people in the community and the authorities concerned involved in the project. After establishing the website, we will inform them of the website by e-mail and give them a VCD. We also welcome any advice and opinions.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
There are many skills worth promoting in different parts of Taiwan, but the skills do not necessarily flourish; instead, they gradually fade away. The only reason for this is that information doesn’t circulate and only few people know it, so it’s difficult to attract people’s attention or arouse echo. Consequently, when local people knew that we wanted to use the internet to promote narcissus carving to the international community, everyone was looking forward to it and was greatly expecting that it could work. We hope to make an introduction of narcissus via the website, making everyone know every aspect of narcissus carving completely in order to facilitate teaching and promotion, and even to make everyone feel the strong artistic atmosphere in Yanshuei Township. We want to show all the people that besides exciting firecrackers and delicious snacks in Yanshuei, there is also art here. Besides, we introduced local arts by researching and tried our best to completely introduce the information related. Therefore, the contents of the website include thirty thousand words and hundreds of photos. We made efforts to produce rich content which is different from common field trips or results of visits. Therefore, local people were glad to help us. Besides taking our website as a window for contacting the whole world, they can know much new information from our web pages. Through the research, we have established a good interaction with local people. Gradually, everyone knows that the internet is free from borders and that the combination of school and community produces great power, which makes it possible for us to share with the world the relevant information concerning local people, local culture, local places and local scenery in the form of the web pages. We believe that in the near future, Yan Shuei Elementary School will be likely to be the local Digital Opportunity Center (DOC) which promotes the place and becomes the window that leads the local place to the world.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
In the era of information technology, all kinds of materials can be obtained anytime in our daily lives, and therefore, it highlights the importance of intellectual property rights which is the important issue pertaining to the effort made by individuals or a team. Therefore, when our team uses the information related, we will mark out the sources, such as the internet we use, the text and the photos, and only when we are authorized can we use the information. We often remind the students to respect the importance of information sources because intellectual property rights of the authors are the most important. Meanwhile, as the project mostly include the interviews of the professionals, we would like to thank Master Chen, Master Yan, Chairman, Mr. Lin and narcissus carving lovers from the Group of Narcissus Lovers for providing their own painstaking efforts to our team for the project of narcissus carving.
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
Research is actually a kind of exploration. When you explore deeply, there is always unexpected discovery. We found that children had unlimited potentials. As long as we instruct them appropriately, they must have unexpected and good performances. Besides, through the hands-on research, many students developed great interest in narcissus carving. It seems that the craft can be expected to be passed on. During the process of conducting the research, we also learned quite a few lessons. For example, the plan of interviews and water culture process of narcissus carving were somewhat hasty, and there was some negligence concerning the contact with relevant people and the care of narcissus carving. We deeply realized the true meaning of carefulness, patience and care. Besides, we didn’t have many reports about the results of the research project. But we just didn’t expect that when we wanted to look for the detailed information, there were endless things to explore. Furthermore, there is so much to say when we are explaining the skills of narcissus carving and the changes of the works in a short time. You can seek knowledge everywhere but you can never finish searching for it. No wonder people always say, “Knowledge, like a sea, is boundless.”