CyberFair Project ID: 1857

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Echoes of Cannelton
Category: 2. Community Groups and Special Populations
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Cannelton Elementary School
    Cannelton, Indiana, United States

10 students, ages from 8 to 12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 28, 2002. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2

Classes and Teachers: Mrs. Joan Goble's Media Club

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Cannelton is a small and very historical town located on the banks of the Ohio River in southern Indiana, USA. It has a rich heritage which dates back to 1837 with the founding of the American Cannel Coal Company. It now has about 2000 residents, many of whom have lived here all of their lives. Cannelton has seen many hardships and many triumphs throughout the years and it is still going strong. Cannelton residents want to keep our town alive and prosperous, as well as preserve its heritage.

2. Summary of Our Project

We feel that our elders, who love and care for us, have a lot to teach us as well. Our project is a study of the past of Cannelton, using the stories of those who lived it. We have interviewed our parents and grandparents, as well as other longtime residents, about what life was like in Cannelton when they were young. We learned from each other and from our elders about things like the Great Depression and World War II, along with what kinds of games our grandparents liked to play when they were children. We also learned about what it was like at our school and more! We wish to share the history of our town as told by those who lived it. Come join us on a journey back in time.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:21-50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:4-6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

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

At our school we have a T1 line to the Internet.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

This project was a labor of love for all the students involved along with the grandparents, parents, and others interviewed. Some of the problems we had to overcome included: We needed to learn how to conduct good interviews. We invited Ms. Erin Roth, from the Indiana Traditional Arts Council, into our school to show us how to conduct interviews. She told us about using a good microphone and to watch out for background noise, along with having our questions ready ahead of time to give to the people so they could prepare their answers before the interview. Who to interview was another problem. We invited all of our parents and grandparents who lived in Cannelton when they were younger to come in. We also had an Echoes of Cannelton Day at school...and conducted a forum so that anyone who wanted to come in and tell a story about Cannelton history could. That was fun! Time was another problem. We needed lots of time to transcribe the many interviews that we had in order to place them on the website. We stayed after school many, many days in order to do this. Several students who had computers at home also took the tapes home to transcribe. A couple of interviews were even conducted in the homes of the interviewed because they were unable to come to our school during the day.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Our Cyberfair 2002 project,Echoes of Cannelton, was a great experience for all involved because, while working on this project, we realized that when we study the past and present, we are learning for the future.

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

Echoes of Cannelton is about our community's history. Indiana Social Studies standards for grades 3-4 are a study of Indiana history and of community(Standard 1, 2, 5). Language Arts standards are also addressed including vocabulary and concept development (Standard 1), reading comprehension (Standard 2), writing for meaning and clarity (Standard 3),and the transcribing made editing for mistakes a must (Standard 4 and 6). Along with this, our students presented this project in front of many audiences, including our school board and community members, as well as judges at the district Media Fair. This gave them a chance to work on Language Arts Standard 7 on speaking skills - oral presentations. The students learned how to work as a team, as well as collaborating and communicating with other people from the community. The students had to learn more about using educational technology tools, such as the keyboard, and how to use programs like Microsoft Windows and Works.

Project Elements

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

We unitlized many different tools and technologies for our project:

Cassette tape recorders, microphones, pens, and notepaper for our interviews. Telephones to call and make our appointments for the interviews. Mavica Camera to take photos from our interviews Scanners to scan old photos loaned to us by our interviewees. Our classroom computers to transcribe the interviews and also to make the webpages. Microsoft Front Page for building the website. Microsoft Image Composer for image enhancements and to make our panorama. The Internet for publishing our website. Most of these tools we had available at our school. The digital camera was bought with a Youth As Resources grant. The most valuable tools included the tape recorders and microphones because they helped us to save the history, the real voices of our elders.

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

As ambassadors for our school our students contacted and interviewed many people about what it was like growing up in Cannelton during the period of 1920-1960's. As we worked on this site we were able to share it with these community members as it progressed. They gave us added information or gave us advice on what else might be good to add. Also, we showed the site to our school board and community members which also spread the word about our project. More people called the school wanting to add details or give an interview. We have many more interviews now we can add when we have time because of this. The students also took this project to the Indiana Student Media Festival in Evansville, Indiana. It placed Best of Category in websites. It has given these students a chance to showcase their work to many audiences and gain more interest in finding out more on their own. Entering Echoes of Cannelton in Cyberfair allows us to share with an even larger audience, a worldwide audience about how special our town is.

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

When the project was first started our school hosted an Echoes of Cannelton Day. That day we invited the whole community to come in and share their stories of Cannelton's past with us and with each other. We taped that day and we plan to add the transcription of that day to our site as soon as we can. There were reporters there, as well as members from the Buddy Project ( ) a statewide project for schools to help make the home/school connection, Indiana Traditional Arts Council, and Indiana Humanities Council. The project was very well received! Many people gave us items and stories to include. Our site guestbook has received emails from a few past Canneltonians who have said how much they like the project. We feel it is worthy and we will continue to add to it as much as we can. The Echoes of Cannelton are the voices of our past teaching us so we can learn from them and be ready for our future!

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

As mentioned above, many community members volunteered to tell us their stories about what it was like to grow up in Cannelton from the period of 1920 up to 1960's. They not only brought their stories with them, but they also brought in artifacts such as photographs and postcards. The students who brought the interview tapes home to transcribe got help from their parents with this as well. We owe all of these people great thanks for their help and advice! Also, as mentioned above, we had help with the interview process from Erin Roth of the Indiana Traditional Arts Council, and help with our Echoes of Cannelton Day from the Buddy Project of Indiana. It has been a very rewarding experience because of how the whole community came together to share their stories with us and each other!

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We learned that there are so many wonderful stories to hear from longtime Cannelton residents...our parents, grandparents, and others about what life was like growing up here. We learned how to conduct good interviews and how to transcribe them. We learned how to work in teams, where everyone has a job to do and that we each depend on each other. We also learned that we can ask for advice from many sources, not just our teacher...such as our parents, our grandparents, and other community members...along with asking for help from Indiana programs like Traditional Arts and Humanities. This became a team that spanned many ages and interests. It was also surprising to find out things about our interviewees that we did not know at first...such as that Mr. Rutherford, the Perry County Historian, can play the fiddle! We had lots of fun working on this project and we look forward to hearing and publishing more stories, more Echoes of Cannelton!


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 1857)

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