1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
We have four desktop computers (all well-equipped with printers and patch cords) in the Disciplinary Division, and a couple of laptops, a DV, a digital camera, and a sketch board in the Academic Affairs Division. There are also over 30 desktops in the computer room, where the club members of the Youth Club helped with typing and Webpage production. We employed computer programs such as Photoimpact and namo to make Webpages.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
We have five steps to get familiar with the local community. First,we made some preparations for field trip to Linbei to find tobacco buildings in advance, and collected related information until today. Second,this field research backed up our knowledge in the industry, and a valuable resource to see the process of drying up tobacco leaves in Linbei Village. Now that the tobacco barns are mostly abandoned in Ershui, it is best to combine the local ecological resources into tourism. Third,we were led by our teachers to see the tobacco building and the making process of tobacco leaves. Meanwhile a well-trained tour guide accompanied us and instructed us how to work as a docent in showing tourists the place and information. The chairperson of the Linbei Tobacco Building Association joined in this activity and told us that their tour guiding was aimed to make the tourists understand tobacco industry and tobacco buildings were the products of economic development.Fourth,in the process of Webpage production, we collected information and realized how the tobacco industry began to prosper and why tobacco barns were constructed to satisfy this economic demand. By choosing tobacco barns as the theme for our Cyberfair project, we have known more about many cultural attributes in several towns .Fifth,We took a field trip to tobacco farms and knew how much work the farmers had to do when growing tobacco. This experience education helps us to appreciate their hardworking spirit.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
1.Integrates the curriculum into local life: We have integrated our curriculum with the life and industries in Ershui by giving students an introduction and field trip to view tobacco buildings. Students have got to know more about tobacco barns by collecting and analyzing data and past literature and making the Webpage independently. By threading the knowledge found in books and the impression made in field trips, they have gained a deeper understanding of the historical development of Ershui.
2.Develops local feature activities: A small town with fine scenery and warm-hearted people, Ershui Township boasts stretches of farms and fields and Bagua mountain. The tobacco buildings in Eushui are old-time products when tobacco industry was the vital lifeline of the town. Currently out of use, they have historic value and are worth taking a picture.
3.Makes a bid for outside resources: We began to publicize the tobacco buildings of earlier times and make the world understand how our ancestors dried up tobacco leaves with the facilities of tobacco buildings. By giving a new meaning to tobacco barns, we hope that the connection with local communities could make tobacco barns an advantage for tourism and trigger the economy of Ershui.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
1.Field trip to Linbei to find tobacco buildings We made a trip to Linbei and interviewed the locals and the chairperson of Linbei Community Development Association, Mr. Huang, to better understand Ershui Township and tobacco buildings of the past. We also observed the making process of tobacco leaves and explored the ill effects of smoking and the economic growth it brought forth in this town. We hope to promote the tourism in Ershui Township through this Cyberfair project and create more revenues for the neighborhood.
2.Field research:tobacco dried-up process Through a field trip to observe the baking process of tobacco leaves and to sightsee the historical monuments and sites of Linnei Village and Ershui, we realized how we could integrate the local resources into tourism.
3.Trained as docents The chairperson of Linbei Community Development Association, Mr. Huang, told us about the historic value of the tobacco barns and tobacco cultivation and tobacco leaves dried-up process. He helped us to communicate with local farmers, to know more about the ecological environment and historical and cultural reasons of the rise and fall of tobacco industry.
4.Making Webpage for the Cyberfair project Through the contact with the Linbei community, we’ve got many photos, videos, and materials and better understood the meaning and historical development of tobacco buildings. Thanks to the help from the chairperson, we have gathered information and made the Webpage in due time.
5.Field trip to tobacco farms We took a field trip to the tobacco farms and observed the tobacco buildings in Ershui. Through interactions with local farmers and community residents, we knew better about the value of tobacco buildings as assets for tourism. By taking a field trip, we’ve come to comprehend the direction and objectives of the Cyberfair project.
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
Discoveries:In the field trips to Linbei Village, we knew more about the history of tobacco buildings and about their structures. From the experience activity in dried-up tobacco leaves, we knew more about the rise and fall of agricultural patterns. We also were enlightened about the magic of incorporating local features into tourism and the intertwining network of the community and the campus. We heard about intriguing anecdotes and stories from local silver-haired people. In the earlier times, tobacco cultivation was regarded as an industry that made profits and could trigger economic development. Now that such structures are mostly deserted, it seems that they can be used as historical monuments to attract tourists all over the world. Lessons: We’ve learned to respect, appreciate, and cherish the historical assets of today through the trips round tobacco buildings. We determined to make contributions to the conservation of tobacco buildings after discussing the current condition of tobacco barns. It is expected that through transformation, Ershui may rebuild itself as a hot spot for tourists from the globe with the development of other local industries. After all, it is best to make a priority of the nationals’ health while promoting economic growth, and transform tobacco industry into tourism that publicizes sustainability and brings in revenues. Surprises:We knew about the historic beauty and cultural features via the field trip to the tobacco buildings in Linbei, and came to understand the inter-connectedness between tobacco cultivation and villagers via interviews with the locals. In addition, we learned how to find ways to preserve the historic monuments and adhere to old-time spirit. We are convinced that only through appreciation, respect, and humility can we preserve historic assets and make the future prosperity of Ershui come true by promotion of tourism in the years to come.