CyberFair Project ID: 7449

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: More Than Toys
Category: 1. Local Leaders

School: School 5
    Monastyryshche, Cherkasy Region, Ukraine

4 students, ages 10-11 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 24, 2013. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2013

Classes and Teachers: Olena Kononenko

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Monastyryshche is a small rural town located in the center of Ukraine 250 km away from the capital city of Kyiv. Nearly 9,000 people inhabit the town. The are no famous plases of interest in the town , but you can enjoy very beautiful nature of our district with its clean air , green forests , numerous ponds and endless fields. The are no big industries here. So, more and more people are moving from Monastyryshche to cities to find job there. This influences rural life style - you can rarely see people in the streets after 9pm. The inhabitants of the town are very hospitable and friendly.They welcome visitors open-heartedly and treat them warmly and generously. They have close-knit families of several generations, keep family traditions, like spend time with their family, dining, walking, playing and going on holidays together.

2. Summary of Our Project

Nowadays urban sprawl influences greatly the way of passing on cultural heritage and traditional folk art in particular. Being an indispensable part of traditional folk art, ethnic toys are a unique expression of a long national history, national spirit and cultural continuity. Through this project, we hope to understand the traditional folk art of making toys. We also hope to draw attention and raise public awareness of the importance of revival and preserving traditional folk art. By making this research, we hope we can let the world know about our local doll making artist's insistent pursuit and the deep exploration of toy making culture.

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:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dial-up modem

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:1

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

Our website environment: our school only has one computer room to go on internet. There are many classes in our school. Because of the financial problems of the school we had no Internet access in December. We had to go to internet at our English teacher home on Sundays and on holidays.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

First, lack of time. Every one of us had to go to classes as required, and the teacher was much busier. We had to gather for our teamwork after school and that's why we lost some participants because their parents didn't allow them to stay after classes. We had to make use of Sundays and holidays or work at our teacher's in the evening. There we could use our teacher's lap-top and the lap-top taken from school, divide into subgroups to input the articles, diaries, pictures, etc. into the computers. Second, lack of experience in the use of information tools and technologies. It's a pity, we don't have a qualified IT teacher at school who could help us. Altough we had already worked with Weebly sites at our English lessons, but still, both, our English teacher and the four of us, had to work mostly by the trial and error. Sometimes we didn't even know the names of divices and processes in our native language let alone in English. And the photography... We tried hard though! Third, the problem with the access to the computers and the Internet. (read Para 3, E) Fourth, the English proficiency: our English is not good enough. As the committee requires English version, we had to turn to our English teacher for help. Acknowledgment for her patience.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

We have so many experiences! Due to the research we've learnt much on world and Ukrainian history and on making national dolls popular among people. We suggested our arts teacher to introduce doll-making into class. And under the support from the headmaster, we hold an exhibition of hand made dolls, part of which then were presented to the children of the local boarding school. The director of our local history museum suggested us to share some dolls with the museum to make a special exhibition.

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

Folk doll making not only combines with history, geography, art, culture, computer, sociality, etc, but also the local education. Doll making entering the class; the beautiful dolls stories express the desire to beautiful life. And we learn that group spirit and communication ability are essentials for being the folk culture ambassador.

Project Elements

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

Computers (for word processing, web page design, image Processing, Data Transferring) , digital, video and traditional cameras, a scanner (for image recording and processing) digital voice recorder (for recording interviews) telephones ( to contact the interiewee) Softwear (Microsoft Word words editor, Google Chrome browse, Skype, email,Paint. NET) town and school libraries local history museum

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

In the process of research we had to contact and communicate with different people-parents, teachers, schoolmates, neighbours, a doll maker and her family, librarians, the local hisory museum director, the headmistress of the boarding school. We initiated the exhibition and research work at the local history museum (when we addressed them they were really very confused that we could not find any exhibit related so much to the history and cultural heritage of our country and they were impressed by our ideas and the results of our group work ) We also felt as if we are ambassadors when we tried to unite the children of other countries to stop folk art decline and start reviving the traditions. We were the first to start iEARN 'National Toys' project and encouraged the peers from the USA, Russia, Turkey, Romania, Pakistan to participate in this toy/doll making culture. We carry forward the project having Skype conferences with the participants and exchanging so called Culture Bags via post. We are sure that children should open their minds to what they don’t know and enrich their cultural background.

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

Kateryna Volkova used to be a teacher, makes contributions on the development of folk art. For example: teaches children and adults doll making at school, demonstrates to the adults, children in the town. During subject research study, through communication with Mrs Volkova, we see all the teachers do the passing on and developing of culture. The town museum now has a collection of rag dolls made by Kateryna Volkova and we agreed on the further joint research on children toys of our region. We know more about the importance of conserving and developing folk toys culture. Actually, everyone should contribute to culture heritage. Due to the project, which has become a tool in the dialogue of cultures of the modern world, our school has started collaboration with some schools abroad. Moreover the town Education Department uses our project as an example of project based learning, quite a new teaching technolgy in Ukraine.

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

The finding and information is obtained from the internet, books and interviews. During the period of collecting information school teachers, students library and museum workers were very helpful, providing guidance and assistance to us. The whole school, parents and many friends in the community also took part in our practice, of course.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

The grearest discovery. There is always someone or somthing special next to you . You should only have a wish and will to look around, see it and start exploring . The greatest lesson. Be persistant and hard-working. Never give up. The greatest surprise. We are adult and able enuogh to do serious work and to inspire others.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7449)

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