1. Description of Our Community
The small village of Athens, located around 20 minutes away from Brockville, has a population of 1000. It is surrounded by rich farmland, woodlands and the wonders of nature including beautiful Charleston Lake. 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.
Charleston Lake is a community surrounded by a very beautiful and large lake. The community is renowned for boating, fishing and wildlife observatory.
2. Summary of Our Project
The project is the official website for the Charleston Lake Association. The Charleston Lake Association is a community group comprised of landowners on Charleston Lake. It is very concerned with the quality of the environment of the lake, the lakeshore, the wetlands and the surrounding land. The website will include the history of the lake, the environment of the lake, information about the association, the wildlife, the laws governing the lake, association newsletter, information about landownership, and the official lake plan.
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 students encountered a number of problems and challenges during the project. One of the biggest challenges was getting the necessary information from the Charleston Lake Association. At times it was a challenge to arranging meetings with representatives of the association. Then suddenly the students would receive dozens of computer files or thousands of photographs and then they had to cope with having too much information.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
It was very rewarding to the students to be handed such an important task. It was very rewarding for the Charleston Lake Association to work with local young people on this project.
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.