1. Description of Our Community
Jhonggang is aptly named as it used to be a port located on the northern shore of the Jhonggang River entry, Gangcian Villange, Jhunan Township, Miaoli. Its name could also possibly originate from the 'middle port' between Danshuei and Lugang, a direct sea-lane to Cyuanjhou, China. The geographical advantage of once being the nearest commercial port to China on the northwestern coast of Taiwan enabled it to become a major paper money production town. When the Chinese immigrated to Taiwan, they brought with them their many customs and religions. The 340-year-old Cihyu Temple, for instance, is one of the earliest Matsu temples in Taiwan. According to The Art of Paper Money published by the Miaoli County Government, the paper money industry was introduced to Jhonggang and flourished as religion-related activities and businesses developed. At its peak, more than 300 paper money manufactories including substantial industrial units and family-run original equipment manufacturers (OEM) were operating in this area. Initially, handmade paper money was spread on the sides of streets to be air dried in the sun. Countless golden paper money piled in front of houses gained the area the name of 'Golden Jhonggang' and the reputation of 'Underground Bank.' However, the paper money industry was gradually moved to China and Southeast Asia due to environmental protection issues and labor costs. Hence, the beautiful scenery of golden paper in the sun no longer exists.
2. Summary of Our Project
In any discussion of the study of paper money and block printing, Mr. I-Ming Chang, famous for initiating the practice of collecting and studying paper money in Jhonggang, Jhunan, is certainly one of the masters. This particular study aims to explore Mr. Chang’s life and career and to share it with its readers. Mr. Chang has dedicated his life to the collection and study of common objects (e.g., paper money printing plates) and has gained himself the reputation of a folk art wonder. This versatile artist also excels at wood plank painting and calligraphy, seal cutting, engraving, block printing, and lantern-making. Endeavoring to pass down traditional culture and art, he always does his utmost in his presentation of each work of art. In this project, he helps us to realize that the beauty of culture and art is all around us; it is inevitable that our culture and art will be passed down if we are determined and persistent to take on the challenges.
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: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
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
On campus: Computers with Internet access (ADSL) are available for data searching, printing, and communication.
At home: All team members have access to the Internet at home. We use Internet hard drives and MSN Messenger to communicate with one another after school.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
1.Webpage-making techniques: All team members attended Grade C certificated webpage-making courses. Our instructors also taught us some techniques to upgrade the quality of the website.
2.Schedule arrangement: To not interrupt regular attendance at school, we held team meetings and organized web pages during lunch breaks, club sessions, and weekly class meetings. Difficulties in arranging schedules were greatly diminished by communicating and sending assignments via the Internet.
3.Information collection: Because our special topic is 'Local Leader,' most of our information was provided by Mr. I-Ming Chang. The remainder was acquired from journalism, the press, publications, and the Internet. Our interviewees also offered numerous valuable materials and experiences that added significant benefits to the website.
4.Schedule management: As all team members were novices in creating special topic web pages, we were not able to plan the structure or to control the progress in the early stage. However, with the instructors' assistance and encouragement, every member could complete his/her assignment on schedule.
5.Transportation: Because team members lived in different towns of Miaoli, transportation during holidays was relatively inconvenient. Web pages were constructed at school and when surveys were to be conducted or interviews to be completed, travel was arranged by bus or the instructors' cars.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
During the interview with Mr. I-Ming Chang, the local leader in our project, it was found that Mr. Chang was very enthusiastic about art and culture. When he demonstrated his creations to us, we could see from his eyes the perseverance in passing down traditional art and culture. We were not only deeply touched by his spirit but also realized that extending art and culture as well as caring for the land we live on should not be the responsibility of only a few folk artists. Art and culture can not be separated from life. Therefore, it is urged that the authorities should pay more attention to the continuance of legacies that have been gradually neglected due to insufficient budgets. Taiwan Schools Cyberfair has helped us learn how to become upright citizens has enhanced mutual understanding and friendships among classmates, and has helped us to realize the importance of passing down culture and to care for the land on which we live.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
1.Appreciation of art and culture: If we do not have a basic understanding of artistic and cultural work, we will not be aware of, or may even neglect and forget the wonderful legacies our ancestors have left to us. This project helps us to realize and understand the significance of artistic and cultural work; art and culture is an integral part of life and once we learn to appreciate and value it, our lives will be enriched.
2.Combination of Internet technology and knowledge: Culture and knowledge is combined with computer technology and the Internet is used as a platform to broadcast the importance of passing down art and culture as well as showing concerns for the land on which we live.
3.Team work: Through this project, the team members have learned to assign jobs, search for and integrate information, and systematically establish the structure of the website.
4.Online and conventional learning approaches: Online learning provides a more efficient approach to learning than traditional methods as the Internet can help children expedite the acquisition of the latest information. Many children nowadays however, do not use computers as learning tools but as forms of entertainment. Busy work schedules often prevent parents from closely monitoring children’s online time which is all too often occupied with the playing of video games. This unfortunately, is a drawback to online learning.
Although conventional learning is neither flexible nor efficient in the acquisition of new information with mutual support teachers and parents can provide a pleasing environment whereby children can grow and develop mentally. Our team believes that the best approach to helping children learn takes advantage of both approaches - enhance children’s learning interests with computer-based simulation practice and teach theories with conventional methods.