CyberFair Project ID: 4944

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Homeland under the Clouds – Good-bye Paiwan
Category: 2. Community Groups and Special Populations

School: Jiayi Elementary School
    Pingtung, Taiwan, R.o.c

7 students, ages 11-12 years old worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 14, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2005

Classes and Teachers: Yi-fang Tsai, Shih-chi Shih, Chi-chang Cho

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

The Expressway 185 that links five tribal townships in north and central Pingtung County. The express way brings convenience as well as numerous vehicles passing by. It has been 30 and some years since our grandparents moved to Majia Township in the central part of Yanshan Highway. The township looks no more different than any other townships, except for a tribal styled name plate at the town entrance, some totems in the town center, and a bunch of friendly dark-skinned people. Some people might wonder whether there is an association between the name of the township “Paiwan Village” and “Paiwan Tribe”. The township has entered its third generation, and the town is losing its mother language, traditional skills, and the mythical tales and legends. The remote original tribal town has become an honorable memory of our ancestors. The slate houses, slate stairs, pottery pots, the beautiful tribal costumes, the natural forests, and wild animals have all become mere memories. We still have the boldness, generosity and innocence in our blood; however, the ancestors’ wisdom, the history and the culture are yet to be restored. It is with hope that through the project, we would be able to sew a seed in our children’s heart, and one day the seed will grow and bring us back to the honorable past of the tribe

2. Summary of Our Project

Paiwan Village is in our school district. It approximately 5km to the school, and is on everyone’s way to the school. The village is no different from an ordinary aboriginal tribe, with one town center that has a steel roof, and Fawan Elementary School. There are currently 60 students from the tribe studying in the school. I often hear many students say that their grandparents go back to Old Paiwan to work on the field and look after the old houses in the holiday, but only few of the students actually visit the old tribal site with the grandparents. And very few of them know the location and the history of Old Paiwan. In a teachers’ trip to the historical site of Paiwan, the teachers found the place picturesque and full of history, and it is a shame that students don’t know about it. It would be the teachers’ fault to not teach the students about the historical meaning and the glorious past of the elders. Therefore, we selected students who are connected to or have expressed the desire of learning about Paiwan Tribe, and some willing teachers to form a project team. We aim to explore the history of Paiwan tribe starting from Paiwan Village, and follow the elders’ footsteps to re-visit Old Paiwan.

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:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:1

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

The internet connection of our school is provided by the ADSL connection of Pingtung County Network Center, and we also have a computer room with 18 computers with new P-IV motherboard and new screens. Apart from the computer class, the students are also allowed to use the computers during other class times and lunch breaks. During the period of preparing for the Cyberfair, the team members all made good use of their lunch break and worked on the project.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

(1) Lack of computer software: After having sought for assistance, the motherboards of the computers had been renewed, however, the computers all had no software but the basic word-processing software. Thus it was difficult to modify pictures, video clips and websites. Eventually, the teachers of the school provided the team with their personal software and a volunteer helper provided his personal computer to complete the task. We give them our sincere gratitude for their kindness. (2) Learning how to do the project: This is third time our school entered the competition. Although many of the teachers have the experience of entering the competition twice before, it is the first time for all the student team members. For them, it was a brand new experience. They decided on the topic after many meetings and reviewing past projects. The project was able to progress smoothly with the teachers’ assistance in contacting tribal chiefs, elders, historians, the village head, and church workers. Many efforts have been put in the audio recording, translating, video taping, photo taking, visiting, making notes, correcting the information, and many interviews had been done with the tribal chiefs, in the old tribal site, and on tribal legends. All the information we’ve got is the result of careful and repeated corrections.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Once again we have participated in the Cyberfair. After winning in the last years’ fair, the thought of winning had faded. To take the students to the tribe site for information gathering, we drove under the excavator, brushed pass huge falling rocks, and slowly drove on a narrow and winding path. Despite the potential dangers lying outside the car, the students were happily talking about the project. It was a wonderful memory. After three years of basing the project on Taiwanese aboriginal tribes, I found that it is really embarrassing to refer to oneself as from the ethnicity of “Taiwanese”. Taiwanese’ history of fighting over power for four hundred years seems inadequate compared to the aboriginal history that is of over a thousand year. Through doing the project I have also realized my own ignorance in geography and history. The learning of aboriginal culture humbles myself. Teaching the students also makes me feel young, and I am very honored to be able to learn with the students through the project.

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

1. Merging the social and multi-faced education: During the course of doing the project, we visited various parts of the village and the old tribal site for photo shooting and information gathering on Wednesdays and weekends. We shared the things we learned from those outings with students who were not involved in the project, and by showing them photos they were able to take the journey with us. Students were often surprised that there were so many interesting stories in the community they live in, and as a consequence of being intrigued by the stories, they would often went home and asked their parents things like: “what is our family tribal name?”, “where were we from”, and “where did we live?”. Every Wednesday afternoon the students would watch the project team went out for interviews with envious eyes, and asked us to tell the teachers that they would also like to join us. Unfortunately the students were not able to join us because there was not enough room in the cars. Nonetheless they would still bombard us with all sorts of questions regarding the project, it was really a task for us to answer them all! 2.Ccultivating the love we have for our home town: While doing the project, we stepped out of the school and went into our tribe. Through the website, we hope to introduce people the beauty of our community, and to bring a piece of hometown for those who moved from the tribe to other parts of Taiwan, so that they would be proud of the remote Paiwan Village. We all worked really hard for achieving these goals, and we encouraged each other throughout the process. It is with hope that in the boundless world of the internet, the small Paiwan Tribe, the beauty of the deep mountain forest, and the old tribe full of legendary tales would be known by everyone. 3.Our journey of growth: We aimed to help every student to shift from passive executor to someone who is active in asking questions, planning and organizing; from a listener to a presenter; from a reader to a writer. Knowing how to ask questions, make notes, and analyze information in a way that makes sense to ourselves. We know that if we don’t do it now, we will lose more and more cultural history, and we will forever stay at the stage that we only speculate based on legends but not facts. The project also helped us improve our ability in using the mother tongue.

Project Elements

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

Digital camera It is the most important thing for taking photos during interviews and for capturing sceneries in various places. Digital video camera When it was difficult to capture special moments with photo cameras, we were taught to use digital video camera during the interviews. We were able to show other students what we got with the video camera, for it was the truest presentation of what we actually experienced during our outings. Scanner,Audio recorder,CD-Rom burner,Computer software,The internet,Telephone,Books,Field trips.

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

With the starting point of cultural history, we visited the tribe’s elders and chiefs, who told us about the history. The information they gave us were translated by teachers or tribesmen fluent in the mother tongue, and they asked the elders and chiefs questions for us, in order to find some tracks to the past. We also visited historians of the tribe, who knew much about the history of Paiwan Tribe. Then we visited houses of the chiefs, in order to obtain more detailed information, as well as for the opportunity of seeing more exquisite historical articles in their houses. With so many visits, we hope to let people get to know more about the ordinary-looking Paiwan Tribe at the roadside of Yan-shan Highway. Although the village does not have dashing appearances, it is a place full of history, culture, natural features, and art. It is a place deserves your visit.

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

1.The project’s effect on tourism: We often met some tourists on our outings. At first they were not sure what we were doing, but then with more understanding, they would show their admiration and appraisal for what we were trying to do. We hope that through the project tourists would be more interested in digging deeper for the tribe’s history. By knowing Paiwan Village, they would develop a love for old tribal sites, and would then grow to love tribal arts, history and culture. Moreover, we hope that by introducing Paiwan Village, people would have more understanding and become more interested in the tribe. Here in the village we have culture, history, natural scenery, Paiwan art, and it is also a good place for mountain hiking. The project could work together with the tourist bands of Maulin National Scenic Area, and attract more tourists. 2.The project’s effect on educational resources: The project could serve as an educational example, as well as the best resource for outdoor education. During the process of doing field trips, we learned that beautiful sceneries were just right next to us, and historical information was almost ubiquitous, all we needed to do was explore. We also hope that our passion could be delivered and touch more people.

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

• Students 1. Conducting interviews 2. Taking photos 3. Taking interviewing contents 4. Editing written information 5. Planning interviewing outlines 6. Keeping a progress log 7. Information gathering 8. Illustrations • Teachers 1. Holding meetings 2. Organizing and analyzing information 3. Instructing and checking the website construction 4. Deciding on the project name and plan 5. Assistance for computer skills 6. Providing transportation and keeping everyone safe • Parents 1. Contacting interviewees 2. Plan consultations • Community residents 1. Providing information 2. Guiding 3. Translation • Volunteer 1. Website construction 2. Program designing 3. Website teaching

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Getting to know the history of Paiwan Village was the most overwhelming thing for us. We learned that our village has a history of over a thousand year, and is one of the origins of Paiwan Tribe. The village has the art and culture of Paiwan Tribe, and many people have worked very hard for passing down Paiwan Tribe to the next generation. Through the process of working on the project, the teachers, team members and community residents all learned the beauty of this land, and how to treasure it. Although this land has no sky-scrapers and trains of cars, we have the simple and honest spirit that others don’t have, and the fresh air and the greens that everyone is after. We would like to tell everyone that we love living here; it is a place that we are proud of, and deserves a visit from you.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4944)

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