2009 National WebQuest Direct Competition

by frances 25. March 2009 12:29
The 2009 National WebQuest Direct Competition is underway!
Any WebQuests created in 2009 are eligible to enter this competition.

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News & Events

National WebQuest Competition Winners

by frances 25. March 2009 11:49

WebQuest Direct's 2008 winners were announced during the week. The winners are:

1st Place: Primary Section, Heidi James, To Dam or Not to Dam

2nd Place Primary: Faye Boustead Hey...What's in the Ocean?

3rd Place Primary: Stephen Hutchins Beyond Beijing

1st Place Secondary: Emily Perkins Discovering Shakespeare - A Classic Text for Performance Now

Heidi James, Winner of the Primary Section of this National Competition, was interviewed by the CQUniversity News published today:

"Student teacher Heidi James admits struggling to stay a step ahead of her 4 primary school age children, when it comes to IT skills and know-how.

However, she recently put in the hard yards and was thrilled to be acknowledged as national winner of the WebQuest Direct competition, in the primary category." (Source: CQUniNews)

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"Creating a WebQuest: It's Easier Than You Think"

by frances 13. March 2009 18:20

"Creating a WebQuest: It's Easier Than You Think" (08/1/2009) Article in Education World.

The article opens with the following statements and questions: "WebQuests are probably the most talked-about and widely used Web-based activities in today's classrooms. What are WebQuests? What accounts for their popularity? And how can you use -- and create -- WebQuests in your own classroom?"

Education World asked two educators about WebQuests... here is one response: "WebQuests, which use the constructivist approach to learning, are a super learning tool, said Kenton Letkeman, creator of a number of excellent WebQuests.

"With many research projects," Letkeman told Education World, "students feel that they are sucking up information and regurgitating it onto paper for no other reason than to get a good grade. WebQuests give students a task that allows them to use their imagination and problem-solving skills. The answers are not predefined and therefore must be discovered or created. Students must use their own creative-thinking and problem-solving skills to find solutions to problems.

"WebQuests are also a wonderful way of capturing students' imagination and allowing them to explore in a guided, meaningful manner," added Letkeman, a resource-based learning consultant for the Tisdale School Division in Saskatchewan, Canada. "Communication, group work, problem solving, and critical and creative thinking skills are becoming far more important in today's world than having students memorize predetermined content."

This article is getting teachers talking everywhere!

Let's hope so!!!

One way of creating WebQuests, that wasn't mentioned [don't know why editors like Linda Starr don't know about us] is through SWAT

Let's see how many teachers will start using WebQuests - they are brilliant!!!

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Article Review

Designing Your Project

by frances 10. March 2009 10:13
Project-Based Learning has been inspiring teachers and students for some time now! WebQuests are a tool to deliver Project-Based Learning as well as Problem-Based Learning.
    
WebQuests are a sub-set of Problem-Based Learning and the elements involved are common to both.
This website explores these elements on designing your WebQuest or Project.
   
A sample project-planning form:
1. Begin with the end in mind
2. Craft the driving question
3. Plan the assessment, part 1.
4. Plan the assessment, part 2.
5. Map the project, part 1
6. Map the project, part 2
7. Manage the process
    
You might be asking the question: Why? Why should I go down this path in teaching my students?
Don't believe me when I tell you that real, great WebQuests motivate students, help them to think, solve real problems, encourages collaboration and cooperation, and, lower classroom management time! Go and have a read of this recent article (you might need to register - but its free) from eSchool News Project-based learning engages students, garners results This is a 9 page paper and it is excellent. Use what you have learnt here to make a WebQuest around your driving question!
If you need help in making a WebQuest, go to SWAT http://www.webquestdirect.com.au/swat and register - it's free. This is simple to use Web 2.0 tool to create a WebQuest. We will provide you with mentoring help as well.

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In the Classroom | Research & Case Studies | What is a WebQuest?

Effectiveness of cooperative learning: WebQuest as a tool to produce

by frances 9. March 2009 13:07

Effectiveness of cooperative learning: WebQuest as a tool to produce scientific videos by S. Lara and Ch. Repáraz, School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Department of Education University of Navarra 31080, Pamplona SPAIN

These authors examine the use of the WebQuest with students in Year 10 studying Geography in Spain. Although published in 2005, this paper is going to be presented at the International Conference on Multimedia and ICT in Education, 22- 24 April 2009, Lisbon, Portugal.  

The WebQuest can be found here - in Spanish.

 

The Authors Conclusion:

"The results show that the use of a WebQuest helps and guides group members in their investigation work and in the production of their videos. It motivates group members to learn in a different manner, and in collaboration with others. It helps them to divide the load of the task among the members of the group. It helps them to seek solutions, share their information and to take into account the information of others. It contributes towards each group member working at his task. Everyone learns things of real value. In short, this way of working is positively valued, as opposed to individual classroom work. A WebQuest definitively secures the development of competences related with scientific investigation such as: the capacity of information analysis, synthesis and evaluation, of initiative and the taking of decisions, the capacity of observation and of adjustment to specific facts, evidence, and data, of simplifying what is complex without losing the global vision, of the development of critical thinking, of planifimcation and organization, of the performance and the evaluation of what has been planned. These are all competences which help students to assimilate knowledge, to integrate them, relate them with others, and thus attain more solid learning." (Source: Conclusion, Paper)

It is worth noting that this paper cited a few other (older) research papers on the effects of WebQuests. Unfortunately, the authors are using the old version of the definition of Dodge and March, and, the WebQuest itself is in Spanish so we have get to review it.

Anyone out there that is a teacher and speaks Spanish, we would love to hear from you! Please contact us at info@webquestdirect.com.au

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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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