1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
We used several information tools and technologies: (1)Information tools- 1. google apps for education: Our school uses the Google Apps for Education service, the core foundation of which being the Google Docs suite, which allows us to create word processing documents, slideshow presentations, and spreadsheets. 2. Email: we used email to communicate, share, and exchange the data and photos we found. 3. Books from the county library: we also relied on of a couple of books from the county library collection that provided introductions to as well as maps of Changhua in the past so as to gain a more detailed comparative understanding of Xiaoxi then and now. (2)Technologies- 1.Digital camera: for each outing we would always split into three groups, and be it during interviews, surveys, or guidance, we would always use the digital camera to take photos of each other to use as record; our teacher would also take photos of us. 2.Pen recorder: we chose to use a pen recorder to take down the entirety of our interviews, which we would process after we returned to the computer lab in school.
Out of all the tools we used the most invaluable is Google Apps for Education, being entirely free and built in with a variety of features and fuctions. Documents in Google Docs enables online file sharing, by which all group members could simultaneously edit a given file online, whereas Form is used for making surveys, by which we were able to know in a week the general level of familiarity of students with Xiaoxi. We were able to quickly integrate data for our website thanks to Google Sites. We found the most useful technology to be the digital camera, which played an indispensable role in keeping records of our research process.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
Chung Shan Elementary School is a school with 115 years of history, one of the oldest elementary schools in Changhua, and one to whose attendance was once required of all the young boys of Changhua amongst the more senior generations. The store owners of Xiaoxi Street, the chairperson of Xiaoxi Cultural Association, and the mayor were all alumni of Chung Shan Elementary School, who were all supportive of our research and were glad to see us.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
1.We made presentation files and went to individual classes to give presentations and let more students learn about the history, culture, and cuisines of Xiaoxi Street. We learned that, after our presentation, there were in fact students who went to Xiaoxi Street for walk in its alleyways, and visited some of the renowned cuisine stores listed on our website. 2.The recommended routes for visit, the historical relics, and the delicacies on our website were organized for the purpose of providing tourists from out of town a reliable informational source by which they can know how to have fun in, to enjoy the foods of, and to experience the culture of Xiaoxi. 3.Conducting research on Xiaoxi, we often found ourselves freqenting the area, to such an extent that some of the store owners have even come to know us quite well. They knew that we embarked on the mission of propagating Xiaoxi, and were not only nice to us but fairly supportive of our efforts. 4.When giving guidance on Xiaoxi Street, we met university students from Hong Kong who wished to learn more about the history of Xiaoxi, and so we did our best to introduce them to Xiaoxi. We took them on a small tour of Xiaoxi, showing them the historical relics, the cuisines, and other significant cultural sites, and even took a souvenir photo with them in the end.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
We would like to thank many people, whose assistance not only helped us complete our project but moreover functioned as opportunities for us to learn how to properly negotiate with other people. We would first like to express our gratitude for the director of personnel, who helped to contact and arrange an appointment for interview with the mayor, and to allow us hear from the mayor first hand the various parties and efforts involved in the management of tourism resources and the future prospect of Xiaoxi. Thanks also goes to the chair of Xiaoxi Cultural Association Mr. Ying-hua Su, for bringing to our attention how there are indeed various forces working behind the preservation and propagation of Xiaoxi culture; to the retiree Meng-jun Wang for not only showing us how to make items for use as guides but also for introducing the founder of Bagua Salon, Mr. Yu-zheng Su, to us, allowing us to see how his innovation and passion Mr. Su is able to found a place to propagate Xiaoxi culture.
Also, we are greatly indebted to all the store owners who agreed to take our interview and the tourists who stopped to listen what we had to say. We usually make small thank-you cards to give as tokens of gratitude in advance to those who have taken our interview. The truth is, we believe that the best way of repaying their kindness is by effectuating our project to the fullest, so that their time and effort will not got to waste.
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
1.Discoveries- “Xiaoxi Street” cannot be found on the map, because this is a name by which the people back in the past referred to this area. Through this research project we were able to learn about the developmental history of Changhua City, and the once prosperous Xiaoxi.
2.Lessons- We learned during our interview the store owners and survey with tourists that when asking for help one must be polite. When we first begin our survey, we simply approached the tourists boldly and without any reserve, and surprised or scared some of the tourists. We then learned that we should introduce ourselves, and tell them what we wish to do; after we began doing so, those who were not in a hurry were much more willing to not only fill out our survey questions but moreover introduce other fellow tourists to fill them out as well. There were also tourists who treated us to snacks afterwards.
3.Surprises- After actually giving guidance and conducting interviews, we learned that A-chang Taiwanese Meatballs and Changhua Taiwanese Meatballs, stores which we all frequent, are right here on Xiaoxi Street, and that within the alleyways of Xiaoxi there’s a whole other world waiting to be explored: Red Leaf Hotel (Family Recreation Center), former Tipsy Tavern, former residence of Du, Doctor Lane, to name a few, are all hidden here, and only by walking the alleyways can one learn personally the stories of its glorious past.