1. Description of Our Community
Jiancing Village is located in the center of Wanrung, Hualien County, with Silin Village in the north, Wanrung Village in the south, Nanping Village, Fenglin Township in the east, and Central Mountain Range in the west. Jiancing Village is the smallest village in the township where residents are unsophisticated and hospitable. Approximately more than 90% of the residents in the village are Truku people. The Truku people are now highly populated in Sioulin Township and Wanrung Township in Hualien County, and a few of them reside in other villages, Lishan Village in Chuosi Township and three villages in Jian Township – Chingfeng, Nanhua, and Fusing. In terms of the labor structure in Jiancing Community, most of the residents engage in agricultural, industrial, and service industries. There is no specific industrial operation in the community, and the labor forces have to look for working opportunities outside the community. As a result, the family functions in the community are incomplete, resulting in many educational problems and the population’s sense of loss. Therefore, the role and status of our school are particularly important. In addition to taking into account the physical and psychological development of children in the community, our school should also attach importance to the thematic courses of local culture and cooperate with private and government units, in order to systemically preserve the culture of Truku people. Our school established a cultural club to explore and investigate the culture, and the research projects of many themes have been completed and published, including Truku weaving, Truku rituals, Truku hunting, and Truku facial tattoo. Our school instructs students in basic academic abilities through education process, which also enables them to indirectly obtain abundant cultural intelligence.
2. Summary of Our Project
This project introduced the cuisine culture of Truku people and conveyed the Truku culture through the sharing of respondents and the text or image records of the knowledge and cooking skills of Truku cuisine culture. In recent years, because in-depth tourism and healthy food are quite popular in Taiwan, Truku people have started to think about how to bring tourism into their tribe. With the assistance from public departments and enthusiasts in the tribe, the cultural ecology and industry of the tribe have been activated and put into marketing. Although there isn’t any natural and ecological landscape in Jiancing Village and its economic value of sporadic industries is limited, there are diversified cultural ecology and valuable industries in the areas where the Truku people reside. This year, our school selected traditional cuisine of the tribe as the research theme to provide courses where students can experience local cuisines and to conduct interviews. The sharing of female community volunteers and the person in charge of local cuisine enabled all the students to understand the traditional food in the past and creative cuisines in modern days. Moreover, the introduction to the tribe’s cuisine restaurants also enabled them to better understand the history and ecological landscape. More importantly, all the text or image records were transformed into knowledge and posted on the information platform to be shared with the world. More people can understand the cultural insights into Truku people from the perspectives of conveyance, respect, education and affection.
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:2-3
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
Our school supports wireless Internet access, and the computer classroom is equipped with high speed fiber broadband. In Taiwan, which is now a country with advanced information technology, most Internet access problems have been solved. Our school upgraded the computer information technology equipment in 2011, and purchased equipment for interviews, such as video cameras, sound recorders, and digital cameras. Students have a complete set of interview tools in groups.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
(1) Technical difficulties: 1. Problem: there are numerous files on the sound recorder and video camera after the interviews that need to be transferred to the computer, organized, and converted. These works require more time than the class sessions. 2. Solution: the course content strengthens the instruction on the use of video camera, digital camera, and sound recorders, as well as file transmission.If these works cannot be arranged into hands-on courses, the teachers and students would share the workload. The teachers would transfer the files to the computer, and organize and convert the files, whereas the students are responsible for transcribing the interviews. (2) Interview outlines: 1. Problem: the interview outlines must match the research theme, while the theme is determined based on a large amount of reference materials. Students have insufficient data collection and organization ability. Finding answers would be easy for them, but transforming the data collected into interview outlines is difficult for them. 2. Solution: the guidance of the teacher is very important. When search for information on the Internet, the information must be read carefully, in order to ensure that the information matches the research theme, and facilitate the interviews. (3) Language and expression: 1. Problem: The students had problems in questioning the interviewees during the interviews. The poor expression would make the interviewees unable to answer the questions. During the transcribing process, as the vocabulary of the students is limited, the transcripts contain many errors, which causing problems in the subsequent works. 2. Solution: the teachers served at the interviewees for practice, and instructions were given afterwards. If the students still had problems during the actual interviews, guidance was given immediately, and the teachers would explain the students’ situations to the interviewees. The transcripts would be reviewed and corrected by the teachers.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
As the Chinese saying goes, “It is better to travel far than to read voluminously”. At every performance or field visit, I see smiles on students’ faces that I don’t see in school. Field trips can cultivate good learning atmosphere, and I enjoy leading the teachers and students to research trips. I also work my colleagues to design courses, especially meaning and goal-oriented activities. The students have learned how to develop interview outlines, how to conduct interviews, how to operate equipment (video camera, digital camera), how to communicate with others, as well as transcribing, software use, community website management, writing reports, at Sinbaiyang Cultural Club. I really envy them having the chance to be exposed to the course contents that are only offered in university.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
(1)Language areas: The team members raised their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills when the students collected information on the internet and organized them into the mental maps of the interview outline and when participating in actual interview written documentation. (2)Social fields and combined activities: In this Cyberfair project the students, through the internet and interviews, can simply describe the living environment from past to present and the migration of the Sinbaiyang Tribe. Students can also describe the food ingredients’ name and location of the restaurants in Truku areas and in the vicinity near the school. From the records of the interviewer, we better understand each village’s unique cuisine and the relationship of community interaction, and the background and causes for prosperity and decline. (3)Information Education: Each club member has been trained in small group cooperation to find the suitable website sources, audio and video recording files of completed interviews, downloading and reading files, and transfer or establish simple a file library and manage information. Members can fully understand network use and basic internet operation (including operating the Facebook community, send and receive email, navigate browser, using ftp). (4)Family education: Students participating in Cyberfair project can get to know common traditional foods, ingredients, and make simple meals and arrange extra-curricular activities to share with others their favorite foods. From the interview process with food and beverage operators, they got to know traditional Truku holiday meals and food culture. These operators also use their knowledge of cuisine and tourism to affirm and express themselves, and to develop even more creative career development.