When a WebQuest ISN'T a WebQuest: What is a WebQuest?

by frances 20. January 2010 09:11

I subscribe to Google Alerts for WebQuests. It is a great source of new WebQuests for us to review!

However, it really stresses me when there is no moderation when a "WebQuest" is created so the myth of a WebQuest as a Research Assignment is perpetuated!

Have a look at this recent example: The Life of a Butterfly

This is a straight "Teacher Directed", "my students need to know about the life cycle of butterflies" and I need to integrate computers and activities on computers into my classroom type activity!
   
Good as a Web-based Activity but NOT a WebQuest!
    
Ok, it is hard to give the younger students a WebQuests that requires thinking skills BUT it can be done! Look at how effective P4C (Philosophy for Children) is with the students from Kindergarten to Year 2. Go and have a look at some of the resources I have listed below about P4C.
     
Getting back to this NON-WebQuest.
    
This topic is not appropriate for a WebQuest.
There is no problem to solve! Just research and regurgitate! Therefore no higher order thinking either!
     
As a teacher, you need to then dismiss this topic - the Life Cycle of a Butterfly -  as a WebQuest.
BUT
     
After the students know about Life Cycles of insects, they could then tackle a problem such as the one seen here:
   
Taking the Bite Out of the West Nile Virus by Debbie Buco
OR
Mununja the Butterfly where the big Question is: What are the threats of ecotourism to our native plants and animals?

 

 

P4C: Resources
Philosophy for Children - learning how to think together - a classroom experience

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Other WebQuest & Educational Blogs

As I come across other WebQuest Blogs (& Educational ones), I will list them here.

Jane Hart's Blog (Jane is a Social Technologies Guru in UK)

Scot Aldred's Blog (Colleague at Central Queensland University and guru on Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

The Innovative Educator

Digital Education Blog

Blogging Corner Carnival

eLearn Magazine Blog

Dr. Lisa Neal Gualtieri, Editor-in-Chief, eLearn Magazine

Primary School.com.au Blog

Charlie Sullivan - Charlie does a fantastic job collating websites for Primary schools.

De Tools Blog

This blog by and for online educators and features free web based tools applications and resources. Author: John Goldsmith.

Bright Ideas: a blog by the School Library Association of Victoria

The Book Whisperer

This blog is written by Donalyn Miller, a 6th Grade teacher in Texas, who is reknown for encouraging students to read!

 

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