CyberFair Project ID: 5116

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Virtual Trip to International Plowing Match
Category: 2. Community Groups and Special Populations

School: Athens District High School
    Athens, Ontario, Canada

24 students, ages 16 - 18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 15, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 1996 - 2006

Classes and Teachers: Stephen MacKinnon

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

The village of Athens has a population of 1000. It is surround by rich farmland, woodlands and the beauty of nature. It is a great area for families. The people of Athens and surrounding area live close to the land and the community. People here are very community minded. Athens District High School is the center of the Athens community. Athens District High School is a small, rural high school of 280 students. Many of these students live and work on family farms.

2. Summary of Our Project

The International Plowing Match is an annual exposition celebrating farming, agricultural industry and rural lifestyle. This large fair and plowing competition draws participants and up to 100,000 visitors from a wide geographical area. The International Plowing Match was held close to Athens District High School.

A field trip to the event was organized for 100 students involved in various farming and rural projects. A team of 24 Information Technology students went on this field trip. Their project is a virtual field trip to the International Plowing Match 2006 held in Keene, Ontario, Canada. The team of students armed with digital cameras, video cameras and clipboards toured the plowing match and the tent city documenting everything that they discovered. They returned to their classroom and build a web site that re-creates their field trip. The site is organized into photo galleries and videos. The site is a celebration of what it is to be a farmer today.

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:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The biggest problem was the large quantity of information that the students came back with from their trip to the International Plowing Match. Two hours of videotape was shoot and had to be edited down to short videos for the web site. Close to a thousand photographs were taken. The photographs had to sorted, the best selected, resized and processed for the photo galleries. The students collect hundreds of flyers, booklets, pamphlets, CDs and informational material from the exhibitors. This material was filed, sorted and the best of the information was included in the bibliography. The students took many pages of hand written notes that later used in writing the photo captions. There was a lot of information.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

We had a great, fun, and interesting field trip and we hope our web site shows this.

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

The Ontario Ministry of Education guideline for the course requires it to be taught using the case study method. Our teacher selects real problems from the real world for case studies. Our class is run as a computer consulting firm, taking on real clients with real problems from Athens and the surrounding area. We relied on one another for the skills to complete different tasks instead of receiving instruction from our teacher, as would be the case in a normal classroom setting. In this project based learning environment we learned, by necessity, problem solving and team work. This CyberFair project fits perfectly with the course objectives. Building a community web site is a great activity for this class that closely simulates a real work environment.

Students relied on one another for the skills to complete different tasks instead of receiving instruction from our teacher. In this project-based learning environment we learned, by necessity, problem solving and team work. The team of students was lead by a student project manager who was in charge of the entire project. He organized the team and carefully tract the project's progress. We also set some very ambitious deadlines for completion of stages, which taught us about the importance of time management. Some of the work like the web design and research took much longer that we anticipated but in the end the whole team worked hard and the project was completed.

Project Elements

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

The software tools that we used were: - Microsoft Windows XP to run the computers - Adobe Photoshop Elements to process the photographs - Macromedia Dreamweaver MX to create and upload the web pages - Adobe Premiere to capture, edit and save the videos The hardware we used included: - Sony digital video camera - Canon digital video camera - Nikon digital still camera - Canon digital still camera The software Photoshop and Dreamweaver were licenced by the Province of Ontario Ministry of Education. All the other tools were provided by Athens District High School.

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

The students have acted as excellent ambassadors of their school and their class in 3 different situations.

On the field trip to the plowing match the students interacted with a large number of people including the exhibitors, the farmers who were plowing, the judges, the helicopter pilot and other visitors. The students explained their project to many people. Often they had to answer questions about their project, their equipment and their interest in farming.

On their return to school the students acted as ambassadors in our local community. They shared their experience in the project with their family, their class mates and their community. Other teachers at the school have drawn from the students’ experience at the plowing match in their other classes.

The result of the students work has been shared with the committee that is organizing next year’s International Plowing Match. The organizers were so impressed with this Virtual Trip to the International Plowing Match that they want to involve students in more projects next year.

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

This project has only been online from a few weeks. It has already had a significant positive impact within the community. The students have shared their work with family and community members. The web site is proving to be an excellent tool for sharing the virtual experience of the field trip. It has also allow the students to learn more about farming and rural life and share this knowledge with their community.

There has been a very positive reaction to the project from the committee who is organizing next fall’s International Plowing Match which is being held very close to Athens District High School. A very close relationship has developed between the school and the committee. The virtual field trip web site had a significant impact on the committee. They have had their eyes opened to the potential of hi-tech student projects centered around the International Plowing Match. A number of new projects are in the works. The team of Athens students will be back next year to do much more in-depth documentation of the event.

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

There are just far too many people who helped in some way with this project to start to name them all. Hundreds of people at the International Plowing Match co-operated with the students and assisted in many ways to make the project successful. These include the exhibitors, demonstrators, farmers, plowmen, judges, and other visitors. Every little bit helped.

The Athens students would especially like to thank the Education Committee of the International Plowing Match 2007 for their wonderful reaction to their site and the opportunity to take this project to a higher level next year.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Some of the students who do not live on a farm learned that farming is interesting. They did not expect the field trip and project to be nearly as interesting as it turned out to be.

The whole team learned the importance of sharing high standards for their work.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5116)

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