Monday, August 3, 2009

WebQuests are great ways to engage and extend

Hi all future Learning Managers, Web quests even though they are a challenge at times to create (I am sure with practise I will get better, maybe I should apply Maslow's Pyramid to my own learning as well as to the students I hope to work with). They are an excellent way to engage students in learning and ensuring the use of I.C.T.s in learning design. A easy way for learning managers to monitor the sites visited by students so they can feel reasonably safe in letting students work independently on tasks. To be honest I wish that the school that I am in at the moment had more access to computers for the students so that I could have made the maths lesson I am teaching at the moment a Web Quest rather than just pen and paper. A lot of the Internet research has to be done at home and I realise that not all students have access to the Internet at home. Not all students want to do more school work after hours either so it always feels like they are being sectioned out in class, if they could do this task on line in class time would improve their learning. So I will create a Web Quest for my Imaginary fantasy class to complete and I am sure they will be thoroughly engrossed and extend themselves through the learning. I feel that all good learning experience design must include in part snippets from more than one theorist if you are to truly profile each individual student as we are supposed to. I have seen in the classrooms that I have worked in that there are students who fit each and every one of Gardiner's Multiple Intelligences (McInerney &McInerney 2006). As well as many different and mixed learning styles evident in all the students. So in reality we should be looking at more than one theory when we are designing our learning. Behaviourist, Constructivist and Social-Behaviourist, theories all come into play in a classroom. Through the use of Web quests (as well as many other of the tools) student's learning can be challenging, engaging, relevant and motivational. By providing learning experiences which require the student to participate from the very beginning and to be in control (to a certain extent) of the speed at which they learn and the content they are investigating. I have been 'surfing' and discovered the following Web Quests that I think would be great to use in the class room that I am currently teaching (or pretending to teach in actually) in, and of course to paraphrase and most probably misquote:"If it isn't broke why fix it" or as our lecturers are continually saying "why re-invent the wheel' , so for the purposes of saving time and my sanity I have not created one of my own but used the ideas of more brilliant and talented people.
Many minutes later: I have discovered that due to a lack of knowledge on my part I am unable to access many Web Quest sights without belonging to many of the sights I am unable to attach them to my blog. I think that this will change when I am actually employed as a teacher and can pay the subscription fee attached to many of the useful links. This applies to not only Web Quests but to many other useful tools that I would like to implement in my classroom of the future. So I will just have to be satisfied at this point in time with the knowledge that out there there are many wonderful tools to be use by people like me. To be honest though it really comes down to the fact that I can not remember the site that we used last year for S.O.S.E. to create our Web Quest free and even after many hours of 'surfing' I still can not find it. So I have decided that my time is better spent doing another task and maybe coming back to this one at a later date.

McInerney, D.M., & McInerney, V. (2006) educational psychology constructing learning. 4th. ed. Australia: Pearson.

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