CyberFair Project ID: 4864

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Racial Harmony - It's the cohesion in our community
Category: 2. Community Groups and Special Populations

School: Raffles Institution
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

17 students, ages 14-16 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 8, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006

Classes and Teachers: Mrs Aileen Chor, Ms Sharon Xu, Mr Soon Yinjie, Raffles Institution Infocomm Club

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our community consists of the people that live or work in our area of residence or our school.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our Cyberfair project is about Racial Harmony in our country. In our multi-racial society, we must know and recognize each race’s practices, beliefs and background in order to promote inter-racial harmony and peace. Our project takes the visitor through a tour of the history, implementation and current state of affairs of racial harmony in Singapore.

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:2-3

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

Instead of workstations in the classroom, teachers bring their own laptops or tablet PCs for their own use or for project work. There are Ethernet sockets in the classrooms that provide internet access. There are also computer labs with internet connectivity.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

One of the first problems that we encountered in our project was coordinating with our group members to convey information and conduct meetings. As the members of our group are each involved in many other activities and have commitments of their own. Communications through email also proved to be unreliable, since some members of our group did not check their email frequently or provided a non-working address.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Our participation in Cyberfair has allowed us to more intrinsically understand racial harmony in the context of Singapore, where previously it was only something we accepted at face value, without examining and reflecting upon its true significance in our racially varied community. Also, it has given us another opportunity to experience project management and the difficulties and challenges we face, while letting us explore ways to get around these adversities and issues. At the very end of the day, while the outcome of our Cyberfair in terms of results is unknown, we can very proudly say at the least that we have done our best, and that it was a fun and enriching experience for all of us.

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

Our participation in this International Schools Cyberfair project has helped us understand more about other races’ practices and beliefs, and the way Singapore implements and has implemented racial harmony. We have discovered knowledge that we did not possess prior to this project, and reaffirmed the importance of racial harmony in Singapore. All this ties in with Social Studies, History and National Education that we learn in school, where these things are much stressed. We have also been exposed to the experience of researching, writing and publishing a web site, which could prove very useful in our future endeavours.

Project Elements

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

We completed most of the project in our institution. To complete our project, we had to use the following IT resources ? 30 PCs in our school. All were Pentium 4 2.8 GHz or Pentium 4 3.0 GHz (HT) with 512 MB RAM running Windows XP. Quite average, by Singapore standards. ? Personal hand phones were used to contact most people that we could not interact with personally. This made it even more convenient, and allowed us to get a lot more work done. ? We had, at our disposal, a few digital cameras that our school’s photography club did not need, but we did not use them a lot. ? Office 2007, Office 2003, Macromedia Flash MX as well as Dreamweaver MX ? Most ‘interviews’ we took were also informal conversations that had some interesting statements or elements in them.

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

We, during our project, contacted quite a few people. We always tried to meet them personally, as this was a better way to make the other party feel more comfortable about talking. We always sent a note to the other party, in advance, to request the interview. When we had to meet online, we ensured that the person had no other pressing engagements, and that he/she was free. Normally, we called the person so that we could talk and complete the interview as quickly as possible. We also sent a thank-you email/letter after the interview. Most people that we contacted are teachers in our school or parents of our friends. A few of them were impressed with our work, but in one case we did have a parent give us a box of pineapple tarts, to show her appreciation.

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

Despite our site not being public until recently, there are definitely some possible impacts on our community that we can anticipate. Many Singaporeans today take racial harmony at its face value; there is an absence into the true understanding and comprehending of its significance. Our site explores the deeper side of racial harmony, and through this, it helps to inculcate a more intrinsic understanding and acceptance of the presence and necessity of such a feature in our society. With said understanding and acceptance, the community exposed to our website will be more sensitive than it is at present to racial matters. While that is not to say that our present state is one of tension and bordering on racial discord, it is perhaps right to say that our actions in the context of racial harmony and supporting it is superficial at best. And to ensure that nothing is harmed through the superficiality of our actions, as faux racial harmony with superficiality is almost as dangerous as the absence thereof of racial harmony, by inculcating in society the true and deeper understanding of racial harmony, we prevent any potential faux pas in racial harmony from taking place. At the very end of the day, what we achieve is a deeper understanding of racial harmony, and its impact thereof, and with this understanding, Singapore will be more stable, and maybe even the jewel in the sea of the racially harmonious states in this world.

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

We needed quite a bit of advice from our teachers and peers. There were two main groups of people we contacted, other than our friends and interviewees. Firstly, the past Cyberfair groups from our schools. They helped us a lot with our project. From HTML debugging and layout ideas to read proofing and grammar checking, they helped us with everything. We really could not have done it without their countless hours of sacrifice. The other group is our teachers. They taught us a lot about browser compatibility and content writing. We would still be learning HTML, if it wasn’t for them. There is, of course, one last group to thank, our parents. We thank them for understanding the long hours we would spend at school trying to finish this project, for putting up with our absence and for encouraging us.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

The biggest discovery we made was that tea does a better job of keeping you awake past 3 A.M. than coffee. But on a more serious note, we also learned that: 1. Relevant photos to brighten our site are hard to come by, so in future we should have more manpower dedicated to taking photographs, especially if they are involved in the school’s photography club. 2. Articles, once edited and modified should just be inserted as soon as possible. We faced a situation of where the articles kept on being tossed back and forth and the authors were not responsive to change. In order to minimize the effect this would have on the promptness of our submission, we should speed it up by editing less and trying to achieve more with each edit process. 3. “Just as plays have scripts, Cyberfair websites have articles, both also need the actors to be the medium of conveyance, be they man or machine. Shakespeare had to have actors too.” adapted quote from Chan Wei Jian, in reference to Marshall McLuhan’s “The Medium is the Message”.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4864)

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