CyberFair Project ID: 5015

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Dancing in the Forest--Siraya Culture Association
Category: 2. Community Groups and Special Populations

School: Sin-hua Junior High School
    Tainan, Taiwan, ROC

14 students, ages 15~17 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 13, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2004,2005,2006

Classes and Teachers: Ms. Yi-ching Yeh, Ms. Jen-mei Jeng, Mr. Guey-ming Chou, and Class 912

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

The area where we conducted our research is Sin-hua Township and its neighborhood. Sin-hua Township, in the southern part of Taiwan, used to be called “Tavokan,” in Siraya Language, which means “the land of woods and hills.” It’s not only a place teeming with spectacular natural scenery, but also a place full of interesting cultures. It was once dwelled in by the Siraya people, Pepo Tribe; even now, a group of Siraya people remain here, and many of our schoolmates are Siraya descendants. Today, we would like to introduce to you – Siraya Culture Association, a local organization located right here in Sin-hua. The members of Siraya Culture Association have long-term dedicated themselves to the promotion, conservation, and restoration of their Siraya culture. It’s an ethnic group and an organization deserving of our respect.

2. Summary of Our Project

In Taiwan, the Siraya people have been so deeply influenced by the Chinese that many of their culture characteristics have disappeared. There are even no distinguished differences between these two cultures. However, thanks to a group of Siraya descendants, who were aware of their unique life style and had been searching for their ethnic identity, Siraya Culture Association was founded. These people manage to preserve their own culture. Our project aims at making their endeavors and their unique culture well known to more and more people. Work Assignation At first, all of our team members worked together to collect information, interview people, etc. But later, we found that it would be the most effective way if different groups were in charge of the different topics on the web pages of our project. So, the three groups came out as follows: First Episode ~ Hsiang-ya, Wan-ting, Hui-ting Second Episode ~ Hsiao-fen, Yueh-ju, Ssu-min Third Episode ~ Hsiao-fen, Yueh-ju, Ssu-min The Crew ~ Bai-qil, I-jou, Pei-rong Researchers’ Comments ~ all of us Web Page Editing ~ all of us In addition, have you listened to the songs or words on the web page? All of them were sung and said by our team members and some schoolmates of Siraya tribe. It is genuine. Isn’t it wonderful?

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:dial-up modem

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

1.School: T1

2.Home: ADSL

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

1.About Siraya Culture Association: Except for several of our team members who themselves were Siraya descendants, most of us had no idea about Siraya Culture, not to mention why Siraya Culture Association was founded. So, we had to learn everything about Siraya from scratch. This was our first challenge.

2.About Interviewing: Several of us had experience in interviewing people a year ago. But it didn’t help a lot. Feeling nervous was the first problem when we met our first interviewee. For the worse, we drew a blank after the interview. Fortunately, our teachers gave us some tips for interviewing after the first try. For example, we had better have a little chat with the interviewee before we started the main topics, and that would help us relax. And we had to think in advance what we wanted to know so that we could get to the points. Besides recording and filming, taking notes was also recommended. We made a lot of progress about interviewing afterwards.

3.About wage page editing: The program we enter is called “CyberFair.” Certainly we had to publish our project on the web. So, another big challenge came – building web pages. Honestly, it was a hard task since we were not so familiar with the web design. However, all of us found it so interesting, so we were determined to master it. With the instructions of the teachers and our self-learning, we really learned quite a few techniques of web design. And that is absolutely useful!

4.About material filing: At first, when arranging the materials we had gathered, we fail to arrange them precisely, and sometimes we even found that something was missed. Later, the teachers taught us to file them according to the topics on the web pages. This way, the material could be complemented immediately when there was something lost.

5.About recording typing out: After interviewing people, we had to write down what they said from the recording. However, all the people we interviewed spoke Taiwanese, sometimes a little Siraya language, and even some English words could be heard. For us, it’s like Greek! Therefore, we had to pay our utmost attention to listen to the recording, or ask our teachers or others who could understand these three languages to interpret it for us.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

A task always begins with difficulty. Just do your best, and chances are it will work out. Working on this project is a good example. We really appreciate this opportunity.

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

According to the principles of Grade 1-9 Curriculum, learning is not confined to the textbooks only. Also, we have to put what we learn in school into practice. Working on this project is exactly learning. We learned how to make the most use of the Internet and also learned the skills of building web pages. We learned how to analyze a problem and solve it step by step. We learned to cooperate with each other more carefully, diligently, and responsibly. All of these are learning far beyond the textbooks. And all we have learned is surely beneficial to our future applications in learning and in life.

Project Elements

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

1. DV ( source: school; function: filming)

2. phone, cell phone ( source: team members; function: communicating and discussing)

3. computer ( source: school team members; function: data input and Internet surfing web page building)

4. disk ( source: school team members; function: data storage)

5. flash drive ( source: teachers; function: data storage)

6. recorder ( source: school; function: meeting and interview recording)

7. scanner ( source: school; function: photo scanning)

8. digital camera ( source: school and team members; function: photo taking)

9. traditional camera ( source: school and team members; function: photo taking)

10. references books ( source: school; function: reference providing on computer software and web page design)

11. Software: Word, PhotoImpact, PhotoShop, Cute FTP, Flash, Dreamweaver Mx, ACDSee 3.0, FrontPage

12. Computer Systems: Windows 98, Windows XP, Windows 2000

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

To learn about Siraya Culture Association, we held interviews with people who could provide us information about it. The interviewees included members of Siraya Culture Association, such as Peijung’s mom, the mother of one of our team members, and Mr. Chenghsiung Wan, who was introduced to us by Peijung’s mom. Most of the interviews were carried on face to face. We compensated the interviews by talking to the interviewees on the phone when we found that some details were missed afterwards. As for certain interviewees living in foreign countries, who were introduced to us by the previous interviewees, the interviews were accomplished on line or by e-mail.

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

Because of this project, we got to have more opportunities to contact Siraya Culture Association. In the meanwhile, Siraya Culture Association came to realize that community culture education was adopted and emphasized at school today. So they were willing to support and help with our research without hesitation. Interestingly, some helpers and volunteers, who were involved in our research and web page translation, became interested in Siraya culture and actively inquired information about Siraya. Many of them even paid a visit to Siraya Green Valley to learn more about it. Definitely, they and their friends will make Siraya culture understood and appreciated by more and more people.

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

As we have mentioned, we did meet a lot of difficulty. Luckily, with the help of some people, we could complete this project. We are so grateful and appreciate that. Here, special thanks to: (1) Siraya Culture Association – providing the materials, briefing, VCD/DVD, and photos of their previous performances.

(2) Our parents – also providing information about Siraya, lending certain tools, driving us to the interviews, and their support.

(3) Teachers – their encouragement and instructions

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Siraya culture, an old but rich culture, has existed for long. The more we learn about it, the more amazing we find it. It is just waiting to be discovered more by their Siraya descendants, by scholars, or by anyone of us. Culture is not a slogan. It is the accumulation of the wisdom of ancestors. It should be valued, preserved, developed, and proud of. Siraya Culture Association has taken actions, hoping to pass along their own culture generation through generation. Hasn’t their spirit inspired us? Do we treasure our own culture? What have we done with our own culture?


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5015)

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