The Four Worlds International Institute

CyberFair: Creating Digital Artifacts to Unite Communities and Empower Indigenous Peoples

At Eel Ground First Nations school a sixth-grade boy carefully adjusts the focus of his camera as he prepares to take a photo a moose on the bank of the Miramichi River. In New Brunswick an aboriginal high school girl uses her mobile phone to record the voice of her grandmother as she describes the process of basket weaving…and to learn what her was like when they she was a young girl. And, a group of seventh and eighth graders from the Pala Tribal Schools brainstorm ways to promote a local program that donates socks to the homeless.

What do moose, basket weaving and socks for the homeless have in common? They are the subjects of digital artifacts created by young people for an online education program called CyberFair. CyberFair is an online “fair” comprised of digital exhibits or artifacts that are created by teams of youth, teachers, parents and community members. As examples, youth can meet local artists and musicians, interview them, tape their music, photograph their art, and show the world their cultural heritage. Or, they can work with their local elders and community leaders to show the world the things they make, grow and build. The teams become ambassadors for their communities by conducting original research and using technology tools to publish their stories. The digital stories showcase unique features of their local community including their local leaders, businesses, community organizations, historical landmarks, environment, music, art, and local specialties. Most young people do notthink that where they live is special. Once they begin doing guided research, they develop a greater appreciation for their local community. And, the Internet can also help them to learn about other communities. Global SchoolNet’s CyberFair is an award winning education program that has been running for 15 years, in 115 countries and has involved two million students. The theme for CyberFair 2010 is "Believe and Unite!" Youth are challenged to publish projects that focus on how the positive beliefs, behaviors and contributions of their local citizens have the power to improve, preserve and unite their community. In partnership with the World Future Society, youth are also encouraged to also prepare for the future - by thinking about the possible future, the probable future, the preferable future and the preventable future.

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Replies to This Discussion

That's awesome. Have you thought about hosting a coffee house event to have them share their experiences doing this?
Thanks for the suggestion. How does one go about setting up a coffee house event?

☆☆☆ Yvonne ☆☆☆

Tim Collins said:
That's awesome. Have you thought about hosting a coffee house event to have them share their experiences doing this?
Your Comment: What do moose, basket weaving and socks for the homeless have in common?

Discussion: This is a most interesting and valueable 'thought process' and the follow up via "CyberFair' tool is an interesting and inexpesive way of learning. I am working on creating a 'complimentary' tool that integrates such internet tool, with a mechansim for learning 'hands-on' from the "Temple of Nature' itself, and develop motivation for arts, science and engineerng,

I an not a teacher, but familar with the issues we face here in America, where young people are simply not motivated to make the emotional commitment to pursue a career in science and engineering over the last decade. Perhaps your 'tool' of learning complimentary to a commuity facilty where young people can get explosed to the challanges and excitement of science and engineering could address this issue we face in America on an experimental basis perhaps. ie, learning from "Nature's Temple' on an envrionment of family and community . Ccomments ?


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