CyberFair Project ID: 1908

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Microsoft Giving
Category: 3. Business and Community Organizations
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Yungchi Municipal Junior high school
    Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.

9 students, ages from 12 to 13 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on January 31, 2002. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): first time

Classes and Teachers: Mr. Huang Chun-cheng, Mrs. Hsu Shu-mei, Mr. Chen Chun-cheng

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Taipei is an international city and many foreign companies find Taipei an attractive place to set up their branch offices. Microsoft is a key member of this community. Mayor Ma has promoted the concept of a "Cybercity Team" in the hopes of improving government efficiency. The idea is that the Internet saves city residents time and money on transportation by providing convenient services. In addition to Taipei's efficient rapid transit system. Internet services are another successful landmark achievement of Taipei' s City Hall.

2. Summary of Our Project

Microsoft is the largest software company in the world. Since the founding of Microsoft Taiwan, the company has continued to devote itself to making its influence felt 'locally' -- offering computer learning classes for teachers, advancing the computerization of Taiwan's non-profit organizations, creating e-Learning camps for the public, and promoting information education and activities in general throughout the island. The company recently donated software, hardware, and money worth over NT$100 million to underrepresented minority groups in Taiwan. The purpose of these donations is to narrow the 'technology gap' between these minority groups and Taiwan's urban residents. The purpose of this special research project is to understand and appreciate the results of Microsoft Taiwan's charity activities in the hopes that the "Technology Empowers Love" philosophy and its contributions can be felt throughout Taiwan.

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:2-3

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):

Yungchi municipal Junior High School uses China Telecom's ADSL to connect to Taiwan's academic websites. Our special research was conducted at Mrs. Wang's home, a teacher at Hsin-Ya Elementary School, using Dongsen broadband Internet connections. We used nine computers with simultaneous Internet connections. We also used these computers 24-hours a day, thus some computers crashed on us and had to be repaired.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Microsoft Taiwan's charity activities are truly diverse. Moreover, It is not always easy to measure the impact of all of its activities over a short period of time. In order to conduct this research we used our vacation time, divided ourselves into two groups, and went to Taichung, Nantou and Kaoshiung to conduct intensive interviews with e-Learning camps throughout Taiwan. It was not easy to trace the results of "Technology Empowers Love" activities by Microsoft Taiwan and Acer. However, we found some exceptional 'success stories' on the Internet. We also discovered that many organizations were not up to speed in terms of computerization. Therefore we proposed the "Digital Village for Public Welfare" idea to combine the two activities so as to achieve maximum results. HP wanted to sponsor some charities on an annual basis. They were able to get in touch with us through the advisors and volunteers of our "Cybercity Team" and ultimately agreed to our suggestions. They then contacted Microsoft, the Taipei City Government, The Institute for Information Industry and other enthusiastic volunteers. Through these combined efforts we were able to realize the dream of our "Digital Village for Public Welfare" idea. Our Vice Captain, Kao Ming Suo, attended many organizing meetings and was the first on site at the digital village. We realize that we may not be able to see the fruits of our digital village charity efforts by the end of this research project. However, the experiences we've had along the way are a reward in and of themselves. We already know that we were all part of a true 'success story' - a project where junior high school students connected with government, Institute for Information Industry, and computer companies to contribute something valuable to charities in Taiwan.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

As long as the resources are there, people can realize their dreams and achieve great things.

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

The schools offered computer classrooms and the principal whole-heartedly supported our participation. All these efforts helped to increase the reputation of our school.

Yu Chen Chang, a senior consultant at Microsoft, taught us to design web pages and to process images. In addition to collaboration among team members, we also had productive and valuable interactions and coordination with the Music Girls Team. Traditional learning methods are rigid. Learning through the Internet allowed us to experience the fact that learning can also be convenient. Conducting research, of course, requires collecting material, and this material can now be obtained from the Internet. This saved us a lot of time since we did not need to go to libraries to search for the information we needed. During the production process, we encountered some minor mistakes and frustrations along the way. In the end, we overcame these obstacles and produced great work.

Being a "The Heart of Technology, With Love From Microsoft" special student allowed us to learn so many things first hand. In particular, we learned things like thematic thinking, data collection, conducting effective interviews, communication through the Internet, problem analysis and problem solving, how to process results, and group learning techniques. These research skills just cannot be obtained in the same way though more traditional teaching methodologies.    We named ourselves the "Cybercity Team" because we all feel a connection with Mayor Ma. We support Internet learning and anxiously await the realization of the "Cybercity Team". This special research made the "Digital Village for Public Welfare" dream come true and helped to computerize non-profit organizations in this "Cybercity Team". Through caring and being united, we experienced the power and truth of the idea that technology gives more power to love.

Project Elements

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

The Internet Cybercity Teamconsists of nine student members, three advisors, and many other volunteers. We communicated by emails and used public telephones and mobile phones to discuss interview issues. Because the research process was so lengthy, we applied for one common email account so that we could retrieve information or articles, any time and any place. This saved a lot of communication expenses, especially when we did the interviews in Tai Zhong, Nantou, and Kaoshiung. The Internet Expo and the bulletin board were our progress report. Regarding the interviews with Microsoft and HP, many high-tech companies use emails for communication. This mode of communication can be even more efficient then using a telephone.

During the production of the special report web pages, Mrs. Wang Mei Lan, an elementary school teacher, offered her house for the Internet Cybercity Team and the Music Girls Team as a workshop for the project. The facilities offered computers, scanners, laser printers, digital cameras, and audio recorders for our use. We c broadband connections to the Internet. Participating in this project allowed us to witness first-hand just how the efficiency of the "Digital village" concept helps non-profit organization provide improved services to minorities.

Microsoft 's "Technology Empowers Love" program donated products and money to 82 non-profit organizations. We were able to search the Internet and find a host of real life cases where technology really did empower love and caring in our society. If we didn't have the Internet as a research tool, we couldn't have finished this project even if we had one or two years to spend on it.

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

We were really like the spokesmen for Microsoft's charity efforts in Taiwan. We were able to discover the groups that needed help most and make that help available. We not only facilitated Microsoft's public service efforts, but also made suggestions to the company directly. We also coordinated efforts between the Taipei City Government, Microsoft, and HP.

The head librarian of the Kaoshiung, Chianjen district put so much energy, day and night, into teaching people to use computers at the e-Learning camps, it even eventually negatively affected her health. It was nothing too serious; nevertheless, her selflessness moved us all.

The founder of the "Schoolnet of Taiwan", Ms. Hsing Yu Chien, invited educators and students to the Taipei Radio Station to share experience their experiences in these special studies. She also visited our workshop and offered up advice based on her own experience and thoughts on the international Cyber Fair. Her input was invaluable.

When the IT specialist at United Way R.O.C., Chen Yixun, heard of our "Digital Village for Public Welfare" from a manager at HP Taiwan, Liu Lu Xia, she thought it was a special study group consisting of college students. When she realized we were only 7th graders, she couldn't believe it possible.

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

During this research, we discovered that even though Microsoft and HP donated a lot of IT equipment, the lack of IT expertise at the recipient non-profit organizations meant that the equipment wasn't being used as well as it could have been. Thus, we proscribed two main themes for this special research project- The strengths and weakness of "Technology Empowers Love" and "e-Learning camps", and suggesting an idea of "Digital Village for Public Welfare." After providing introductions and explanations of our ideas, we received valuable feedback from the Taipei City Government, Microsoft Taiwan, HP, Institute for Information Industry、The United Way, etc. It may be that some of our regular school work was effected because of this three to four month project. Nevertheless, we can see the results of our efforts in Taipei and we strongly believe that the "Digital Village for Public Welfare" will continue to benefit more non-profit organizations and underrepresented minorities throughout Taiwan in the future. These are all important steps towards narrowing the "technology gap" that exists between different groups in Taiwan.

During the interviews, we put our IT power to work in the e-Learning camps in Taipei, Tai Zhong, Nantou, and Kaoshiung. We helped the elderly and children to operate their computers and fixed connection problems for them. When we interviewed for the year-end donation event at Microsoft, we also donated NT$3,000 to support the activity.

Our teachers, relatives, and friends have all said that after helping these charities and promoting the "Digital Village for Public Welfare" project, we all look more healthy and beautiful - in other words, it made our 'inner beauty' shine through!

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

There were three advisors, Music Girls Team, and many volunteers to guide and assist us in conducting this special research. They spent three or four months with us. We appreciate the social resources provided by Mrs. Wang Mei Lan and her husband even after we graduated. This project was truly the best learning experience any of us could have hoped for. We all pulled together, working all day and all night, to overcome all obstacles and produce the best for this special research.

We used our recess time at noon during the school year to work on the project. Our three advisors were always with us, by our sides guiding us and leading us through their advice. They shared with us all the best time-saving techniques so that our project could move ahead at the fastest pace possible.

During the web design stage of the project Mrs. Wang from Hsin Ya elementary school offered up her house to serve as a workshop, and provided a variety of essential equipment to Music Girls Team and Cybercity Team so that we could work together and exchange ideas. This helped both teams a lot and we learned a host of methods and techniques for designing web pages.

We received application software from Microsoft and Ulead System through Mrs. Wang and her husband's relationship with them. This meant that we could use legally licensed software to finish this special study. Atomic Energy Council's supervisor Mr. Yeh Chin Hsun heard of our special research from Mrs. Wang's husband and provided transportation and accommodation during the interviews in Kaoshiung. This generosity made a big contribution to keeping us within budget.

We really appreciate the assistance for the web page design provided by Mr. Chen Kuanling for the International Cyber Fair.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Just after graduating from elementary school, the vice group leader, Gao Min Shuo, and three other classmates participated in the Internet expo. They created a miracle by beating high school students in the expo competition. This time around, the same group of people united again after entering junior high school to complete this miraculous research project.

Without the more than NT$ 100 million in charity support from Microsoft and other computer companies, and without Mrs. Wang's relentless devotion and sacrifices, we could not have completed this project. Last but not least, we would like to conclude this special research with the title of this web page, "With Love From Microsoft; We Add Our Appreciation."


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 1908)

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