Report on My Own Place Project

a.    G.A.A in Coolderry

b.   Local  Lore

c.     Folklore

Part of SIP 19.(Schools Integration Project …IT2000)

As part of its IT2000 initiative to infuse schools in Ireland with good ICT practices the National Centre for Technology in Education has launched SIP…a programme in which some schools have been chosen to produce exemplars in good ICT practice . This is one of the projects being undertaken in the following school.

  School: Coolderry Central School , Birr,Co.Offaly.



  School type: Small, rural,mixed.

  Class: 3rd & 4th  Class pupils ,age 8/9.

Teacher :Mrs. Ann Kennedy.

1.    Aim of Project

·       To make children appreciate their own culture.

·       To show how ICT may be used for the humanities.

·       To train pupils how to draft, redraft and research.

·       To integrate work off and on the computer.

·       To give children pride in their own traditions.

·       Incidentally to infuse the children with computer skills.


2.    Preparation

Prepare worksheets and a plan of action.

This project needed a lot of personal research to be done by the class teacher .

The class teacher interviewed many of the older people of the community and collected many photographs, letters papers etc.

The teacher visited the county library in Tullamore to collect folkstories collected in this parish in 1935.

The teacher prepared many resources herself since there were not reference works, etc to rely on.

Pupils themselves collected photographs, old letters etc.

Children and teacher brought in GAA medals to be digitally photographed and returned.

The teacher made  sure that sufficient sources were  available for children to work from.

Talk to pupils about project and help motivation.

Permission had to be obtained to visit certain local sites,

3.    Steps undertaken

        Visit to Croke park Museum

     The class was brought to Croke park and visited the GAA museum.

     The class was also brought out around the parish in groups to take digital photographs of the places they were describing in the local Lore section. An important point here is that the photographs were taken by the children themselves.

a.    Reading/Research

Resources collected by teacher and children were studied and discussed.


b.First draft


This was generally done in pupils’ copies or workbooks and in longhand. The idea of neat handwriting and pride in one’s own penmanship was emphasized and children warned of the myth that “ children’s handwriting becomes sloppy as a result of using computers.”


       Microsoft word was used as a word processor, reluctantly because it is not a child friendly word processor but it would be easier later to insert into webpages or copy and paste text. I would have preferred to use Creative Writer2 but its file format is unusual. A practical point here is filenames . I told each pupil to call the file L(name) so that the files could be easily accessed from the network. E.g If your name was Mark then the filename you used for your story was LMARK.

The stories were typed into the computer . they were corrected, spell checked etc. A difficulty with the spell checker was its ignorance of Irish names and placenames and its bias towards American spelling.


       Pupils were told that only their own artwork would appear on the webpages. They all made their own artwork which consisted of the following :

1.    Artwork based on the GAA and Local lore.


        Pupils were shown how to use scanning software .

They scanned in their own artwork and saved it in jpg format.


f.Building Website

The software chosen for making the website was Netscape Composer for the following reasons:

1.    Netscape Composer is a WYSIWYG web editor and is free .

2.    It comes with many magazines.

3.    It doesn’t change filenames

4.    Pupils don’t need HTML.

5.    It has a very easy way of creating tables.

6.    It will convert BMPs to JPEGs.

7.    It is similar to word processing for text entry/changing fonts/colour etc.

Pupils were shown how to make simple webpages. They learned how to :

1.Enter text.

2.Copy and paste text files from Microsoft Word into Composer.

              3.Put graphic images onto page.

              4.Create tables for text and pictures(see appendix).

               5.Make links.

               6. Make an Index page and put links on it.


b.    Printing booklet

The webpages were printed out ,  photocopied and collated . We used a binding machine to bind the booklet and every pupil had two  booklets to bring home, one on The Gaa in Coolderry and one on Local Lore & Folklore.


4.    Results and Educational benefits

·       Pupils enjoyed reading about their own culture and traditions.

·        Pupils learned to draft and redraft, spellcheck , change fonts, cut and paste text and the skills of word processing.

·       Pupils learned the basics of producing a mini website.

·       Pupils learned how to create a table in Netscape Composer.

·       Pupils experienced  some collaborative learning.

·       Pupils enhanced their self esteem by publishing on the WWW.   Emails arrived commenting on the work they had done.

·       At the end of the project we had an open day and parents were invited along with others to see the work.The broad knowledge acquired as a result of an integrated ICT project was amazing particularly when discussing the projects with strangers


·       Every family attending the school was given a CD with all of the SIP projects. Some of the children who hadn’t a PC at home would bring the CD to a friend’s house or relative’s house where there was a PC and show it off there.


5.    Appendix


Microsoft Word

Creative Writer 2

Netscape Communicator(Includes Composer and Netscape)

Scanning software.

PaintShop Pro



How to make a table in Netscape Composer

1. Open Netscape communicator and go to New page in the file menu. Choose blank page from the sub menu and Composer will replace the browser. You now have a WYSIWYG webdesign blank page. Below is a picture of the toolbar.


2. Click on the table icon. You could also go to the insert menu and insert table. The following menu will appear.

3. Fill in required number of rows and columns.

4. decide how table is to be aligned….Left/Center/Right

5.Pick a border line width.

6.Decide what percentage of the page the table will fill….horizontally. I have picked 80%.

7.Decide whether you want equal column widths or not. If not the column widths will be moveable depending on the content.

8.Decide if you want a colour background for your table. If you click on the use colour then a colour menu appears.

9.Click on OK when you are happy with the design.(It may be changed afterwards anyway).

  Below is the table which would have appeared with the choices above.

It will change depending on what is inserted into the table. If you click in a cell a cursor appears and you can input text. The text can then be selected and font and size changed as usual. An image may also be inserted into a cell by going to the composer toolbar and clicking on the  image icon . You will be asked to choose an image file .

When you insert the image the cell size may change to accomodate the image. However if you click on the image again you may change the dimensions of the image in the image menu.

   Below is the table above with an image added . I just left the image in its original size. If I had chosen not to have equal columns then I could put text in the cell

 beside the image and it would push the image into its own size.

10. When you are happy with your page including the table you must click on the save icon . Then you can click on the preview icon and you will see the page as it would appear on the WWW.


Tables may be used for whatever purpose you decide. They are a neat way of making an index, or of containing graphics, or of putting in text by using one column.

Below is an example of a table as an index link using text and images.


 The table may be edited afterwards by :

1.In Netscape Browser go to file menu and go to edit page.(This opens Netscape Composer,if you’re not in it already.)

2. Click somewhere in the table.

3. To delete a row or a column go to edit menu,delete table and then submenu delete row or column.

4. To change table properties go to Format menu and click on Table properties…note you must click somewhere in the table first or that part of the sub menu will not appear.








              f. Links

1.    Coolderry Website

2.    Homepage of SIP19

3.    Homepage of Scoilnet , the Irish Schoolnet…see the Culture section,Primary.


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