CyberFair Project ID: 1365

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: City Quest
Category: 6. Historical Landmarks
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Primary school De Wadden, Cannelton Elementary Sch
    Haarlem, The Netherlands; Cannelton, Indiana USA; , see above, The Netherlands, USA, Japan

75 students, ages from 6 to 12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 13, 2001. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 1998, 1999, 2000

Classes and Teachers: Rene de Vries, Joan Goble, and Hajime Yanase

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our community spands three continents! We are three Elementary Schools who have come together to work on this project: Primary School De Wadden in Haarlem, The Netherlands; Cannelton Elementary in Indiana USA, and Hiyoshi Elementary School in Mizunamishi, Gifuken in Japan. Our collaboration on this project has made it possible to learn about each others' communities, provinces, and countries. The task was made easy because of the Internet. Email contact, chats, and even video conferencing took away all the miles and allowed us to work "side-by-side" to develop our project. Haarlem is the capital city of the provence Noord Holland. Haarlem is about 15 miles away from Amsterdam, the capital city of our country The Netherlands. In Haarlem, about 140,000 people are living there. It has many historical buildings and museums. Cannelton, Indiana, USA is a small rivertown on the banks of the Ohio River and boasts many historical sites. Hiyoshi, a village in Mizunami of Japan, is the city in the mountain in almost the middle of Japan. Mizunami-shi is famous for earthware. The industry of Mizunami has been continued from ancient times. We enjoyed learning about each other's communities and our own as we worked to create City Quest!

2. Summary of Our Project

City Quest is waiting for you! Come with us on a wonderful adventure as we take you on a tour of our three communities, Haarlem, The Netherlands- Mizunamishi, Gifuken Japan- and Cannelton, Indiana USA. Our six travel buddies will be your tour guides: Lady & Jumbo, Totoro & Merry and Bonnie & Baldy. Let them show you around our three historical communities. You will learn about many historical buildings and landmarks found in each which we hope will inspire you to come to visit us in real life some day! After the tour, please visit our City Quest City Hall and play our online game, City Quest! This will be an experience you will never forget! So come join us today!

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:2-3

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):

The above information is general for all three schools...specifics are that we all have different connections. In Cannelton Elem. in Cannelton USA we have a T1 connection and our school is connected together with a LAN. In Haarlem, The Netherlands we use a stand-alone PC with ISDN connection (64K) to access the Internet. In Hiyoshi Elem. Japan has an ISDN line.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

One problem to overcome was the long distance and time zone differences between our three schools (USA-The Netherlands-Japan) while working on our project. However, by faithfully checking and answering our emails, chatting, and sometimes video conferencing we were able to overcome this problem. One nice thing happened in January! Hajime and his family (Japan) visited Rene's school and family in The Netherlands in January and then connected to Cannelton Elem students, USA via video conference! What a wonderful time that was, we were able to really feel like we were all together, in real life, at least during this conference. It really made the learning so much more real and fun for the students involved! The reports were sent to all three schools, and they were translated by the teachers and read by the students of Cannelton for any spelling or grammar changes. We were able to work together in this way and it worked out well!

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Our participation in Cyberfair has provided us with a chance to work with each, collaborating and communicating, in a way we could only dream of before. We were a team working together on our City Quest and we are happy to be able to share our City Quest with the rest of the world. We have all enjoyed this experience very much.

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

Our project was a rich learning experience for all students involved. The study of our own historical communities and the exchange of travel buddies to reinforce the learning allowed all three schools a chance to meet many learning standards including: Social Studies - Explain the importance of historical devlopment one's own community - Showing geographical location of town and relationship to state, nation, and world -Geographical features on maps are distinguished - including Equator, Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and North and South Poles, oceans, lakes, rivers, islands, mountains, continents, countries - Climate and patterns of geographic locations of a community and how it affects the way people live - Communication differences identified (languages)... comparisons of methods of communmications - comparing changes from past to present - Current events - relationships - Gathering information about community using a variety of resources including technology (e-mail, video conferences), newspapers, maps, etc.-National symbols, holidays, famous citizens Language Arts (through our students researching, reporting, letter writing, chatting, journal entries of travel buddies, and more...)- Decoding and word recognition, - Vocabulary development, -Comprehension of grade appropriate text -Organizing writing and using the writing process Science and Math: communication (esp. with students of non-English speaking schools), Sound study (recording voices/words), weather differences, and more. We feel collaboration was the key to the success of this project and that the use of the Internet was absolutely essential. New skills gained include collaborative group work within our own schools and among our three schools. We found that, inspite of our differences, the students found that we all have the same hopes and dreams and that we enjoy the same basic things. It is our plan that our collaboration and friendship continue to grow and prosper.

Project Elements

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

All three of our schools used a variety of technologies in order to complete this project. Most of the following were from our schools themselves. These included: digital cameras, several Internet ready computers, scanners, email, chatroom, video conferencing tools, microphones, computer software such as Microsoft Image Composer and Microsoft Frontpage for the website and the images, telephone to schedule interviews and tours, libraries for background information. Other resources and tools included the communities we lived in with the use of the actual buildings and sites such as the museums and other places we toured, the post offices to send out our travel buddies, the tour guides and people we interviewed about our communities. We feel that the most valuable tools include the Internet ready computers and the real-people. The Internet ready computer allowed our students to interact and collaborate together without worrying about costs and waiting on reg. postal services (timesaving a huge factor here) and also the real people that we interviewed helped us to get first-hand knowledge of the many aspects of our communities we were studying from the people who know them well.

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

Our students acted as ambassadors for their schools, their towns and their countries in this project. As ambassadors for our schools our students contacted and interviewed many people about the historical impact of many places in our communities. We communicated about our schools and towns to each other (all three schools) through our travel buddy exchange with each other. Working together as we have, using email, chat, and video conferencing has allowed us to represent ourselves well when exchanging project information. While interviewing many of our townspeople about the many historical sites in our communities we showcased our work thus far to them and listened as they responded and gave advice of what to add. We offer the visitors a guided tour, with our travel buddies as the guides, and then when the visitor is finished he/she can then play our City Quest Game. In this way we hope to make the visitor come back time and time again to learn more about our respective countries. We have had some Media coverage already (USA and The Netherlands) for this project when a previous project that Cannelton and De Wadden worked on last year won an award this past December, our students shared with the reporters about this project as well, and the newspeople said they would cover our Cyberfair turnout when we find out how we do! We will continue our exchanges (travel buddies and letters and more) until the end of our respective school year, but we also hope to keep our connection even beyond this...we feel our hands have grasped and we are friends forever!

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

We feel that our project has made and will continue to make a positive difference in our schools, our communities, and beyond because we know we are showing how students from many parts of the world can push down barriers (such as language, miles, and cultural differences) in order to accomplish something grand! We feel that our local community people who helped out with this project enjoyed being a part of something like this. Many had not even seen the Internet or had heard of it but had never been involved first-hand in something to do with it so it made a positive difference in their outlook of the Internet and its impact on the youth who use it every day. We feel that our project will educate in many ways. First, it will educate people about our three communities and the historical importance of the sites we researched. Second, we feel that it will inspire many people to visit these sites in our communities to see for themselves the significance and importance of preserving them. Third, our goal was to teach others about our communities' historical features, which we feel we have accomplished, but we also know that we accomplished much more in that we have shown the world how well people, in particular children, can work together in harmony, sharing with and learning from each other, no matter what obstacles come along. We are reaching a global audience through this Cyberfair project and we feel it is and will always be a most rewarding experience!

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

As we stated above, all three schools talked to many community people about the historical sites we reported on. Many of these people spoke up about how much they liked the idea of our three schools working together and how nice it was we wanted to share with others around the world the importance of our communities' historical sites. We owe these many people thanks for all of their help and advice! We have included several of these people in our reports - with photos, audio and video of some of them too! We also wish to thank Cyberfair for the support and suggestions of how to make our project a success! Last but not least, we wish to thank each other (students, parents, teachers, and administrators) from all three of our schools. With out the help, advice, and support we received (such as time in class to work on the project, time to be out of the buildings to interview and go on field trips to these sites, etc.) we could not have met our timelines and finished this project! Again, it shows how if everyone works together there is no end to what can be accomplished!

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Lessons we is what we each have to say: Cannelton Elementary- We feel that we learned how nice kids are from other schools and that we can all work together to get a job done. We enjoyed learning about each other and enjoyed getting to know the travel buddies from each other. We know that our friendship will last a lifetime! De Wadden - We enjoyed exchanging our ideas and thoughts with the other two schools. For our part of the project, we interviewed well known (famous) Dutch people, such as TV-showmasters, soccer players, and many more. We want to thank them for their time and enthusiasm to help us and answering our questions about our home town Haarlem. We are looking forward to continue our friendship with the two other schools. Hiyoshi: All the e-mails, photos, videos, presents and travel buddies make the students very excited. Students want to know more about the informations of the friends, schools and regions of Haarlem and Cannelton. Students investigated many things and made the reports because they want to tell about our region to the students of two schools. They learned how to investigate, how to interview, how to make a report, and many things. Thank you eternal friends!


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