CyberFair Project ID: 4007

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Last Home
Category: 3. Business and Community Organizations

School: Sanjhih Elementary School
    Taipei county, Taiwan, Taiwan

11 students, ages 11 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 28, 2005. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2005

Classes and Teachers: Zi-miao Ye

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

San-zhi village is located at the northwest of Taiwan, the northwest of Datun volcanos, next to Taiwan Strait; it is a beautiful village which faces the mountains and the sea, and it’s been a great tourism place for the residents in Taipei county due to the convenient communications. Because of its great geography and communications, San-zhi village is always the favor to the people who care about funerals and the locations of graves. Many public, private cinerary-casket pagodas and graveyards kept being built in the village; currently there’re five graveyards and three cinerary-casket pagodas, where are the important places that allow the residents in the north of Taiwan to express their respects to the gone families.

2. Summary of Our Project

There’s a special kind of industry in San-zhi village; we would like to know more about the native environments and local industry via this case study project in order to understand the current funeral industry in Taiwan. This project can allow us to think over the questions about life and death, and let us face the life with active, positive attitudes. Our research methods include data collection, interviews with figures, visits to cinerary-casket pagodas, and investigation on the neighbors; we collect opinions of residents in the village on this industry, which increase our knowledge and reinforce our recognition of the home town after the discussion and thinking among the teams.

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:none

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):

There're two computer classrooms in our school, which totally have 82 computers available to students. Besides, there're computers in each classroom, which allow us to get online with FTTS, discuss with others, look up information, and print out the documents in school.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Sensitive topic which needed to be communicated with parents: In our case study project, the main and most essential part is to visit cinerary-casket pagodas , which is usually a taboo to the public. Hence we did hesitate a while as we decided the topic, yet we finally determined to do this topic. We knew that we must communicate with parents first; so teachers sent out the admission notices of team members and the network fair instructions in advance. They also convened meetings with parents to explain the spirit of the network fair and the meaning of the research topic, so that we could gain parents' assistance and support.

- The network environments in team members' homes: Not every team member has computers at home, and some team members can't get online at home; thus we can only carry out the project in school, or make drafts at home and produce the electronic files with the computers in classrooms, computer classrooms in the school.

- Insufficient experience of interviews: We barely had experience of interviewing other people; before the interviews, each team drafted and printed out the interview outlines. A copy was given to the interviewed subject, and we had another copy; this way could prevent the tension and errors. Sometimes we had to listen to the recording files if we couldn't understand the interviewed subjects.

- Cooperation among teams: In the beginning, we didn't know one another very well, so most members didn't express their opinions and did their own work instead; however, teachers found that lots of work was repeated. Afterward, we learned to discuss, draft the outlines and structures first, and then assigned the work to different members; this allowed the project to be completed successfully.

- Difficulty in making webpages: Because of our inexperience and insufficient skills, we had difficulty in making webpages and animation; the problems were solved after we asked for the guidance and assistance from informatics teachers, teacher Ye and teacher Huang.

- Difficulty in arranging research schedules: We only had the time at noon to do the research; many members sacrificed their time for other activities. The schedules of visits and interviews had to be planned in advance; most of them are arranged during the weekends. Even so, some members had to take lessons after school; it seemed that the time for research was always insufficient.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

There’s only a thin line between life and death; so we ought to treasure every moment in our lives and face our final homes with positive attitudes.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

- The importance of “life education” is actively emphasized by nine-year consistent education nowadays.

- The network technology is well used during the case study project; we usually communicate and cooperate via computer network, network disc drive, e-mails, instant messages, and etc. We try to research and share data with more efficient, no time-limit methods.

- Integrated study project: we learned through interviews, visits, discussion, drawing structure plans, and other activities; our skills in webpage production, data processing, and computer application are more proficient. In addition, we are better at team cooperation and communication.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

Telephones Contact team members and interviewed subjects Computers Data processing storage, webpage production Scanners File reference information Printers Print questionnaires and research data Digital cameras Visit, interview, and record activities Digital recorders Record interviews, tape activities Macromedia DreamweaverMX 2004 Edit and manage webpages Macromedia Flash MX 2004 Produce animation Ulead PhotoImpact 8.0 Process images Acdsee Manage digital photos SwishMax Produce written animation Microsoft PowerPoint Produce briefs Microsoft Word Writing information processing Internet Explorer Browse webpages, information inquiry, upload and download MSN, Yahoo instant message Contact team members, communicate matters

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

Arouse the concerns of the residents in San-zhi regarding local industries.

Our case study project is supported by parents; however, more time is needed for discussion since this topic is still very sensitive for the public in Taiwan . Yet the concerns of the residents and students in San-zhi regarding the funeral industry were aroused more or less. Combine life education and teaching; allow students and parents to re-examine the meaning of life.

In the process of the project, a team member came across the incident of family member's accidental death, which allowed all team members, teachers, and parents to face life's final test more seriously and to revalue the meaning of life.

Understand Taiwan 's funeral culture

As we went to visit the cinerary-casket pagodas , students were very surprised; what they discovered was quite different from what they originally imagined. We were deeply moved by each customer representative's enthusiasm, sincerity, and responsible attitudes; we all agreed that the funeral industry in Taiwan should focus more on humanity and respect for life. * Writing information We quote some materials, which are all annotated with sources , from Lungyen Group's website; other data are collected from the websites or reference books, whose titles are listed under the references. As to the visits, the processes of questionnaire investigation are covered and recorded by ourselves. Photos

We had all the pictures taken using digital cameras, and then apply them to the website.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Allow the public to understand the funeral industry in Taiwan

In order to understand the real situations of the funeral industry in San-zhi, we interviewed parents, teachers, students, and related personages on the spot. Through our case study project, students and the nearby residents can value their local industry even more. Transmit the local cultural features via webpages

We'll do our best to complete the project, so the foreigners can also know the cultural development and features of the funeral industry in Taiwan . Arouse the concerns of the residents in San-zhi regarding local industries.

Our case study project is supported by parents; however, more time is needed for discussion since this topic is still very sensitive for the public in Taiwan . Yet the concerns of the residents and students in San-zhi regarding the funeral industry were aroused more or less.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4007)

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