Up until now, I had never heard of a WebQuest. After looking through the website and going over the concept of a WebQuest in class, I definitely see the learning benefits. WebQuest takes commitment from the teacher though. There is a lot of time required to set up the website, make it user friendly for your students and ensure that it meets your learner objectives. However, once you have designed an effective WebQuest, your students now have the ability to work at their own pace. This is a great addition to the classroom, that incorporates all learning styles because they have the ability to work at a pace that suits their learning, read and re-read the material and work from anywhere they have an internet connection and computer! WebQuest’s also allow you to efficiently guide the students learning and promote the students making connections to their life and the world around them, resulting in an authentic and meaningful learning experience for students.
As teachers, it is pertinent that we are aware of Digital Citizenship. The age of technology that we have entered place our students at high risk, all the time. We can reduce this by making our classrooms a safe place and educate our students about the risks of the internet. Concepts such as body image are no longer only applicable to females, but males are also experiencing societal pressures to look a certain way. The concept of online hate and cyber bullying is a scary reality for all of our students. They are so connected to one another and individuals they may not even know, that we have to teach them how to be smart when online. Teachers must also be cognizant that this can affect the morale in the classroom, cyber bullying is not as obvious as traditional forms of bullying were in the past. However, the emotional effects that will be seen in a student are. Get to know your students, so that you are able to determine when something is off and a student may be in need of support. Just because you can’t explicitly see the bullying occurring, do not turn a blind eye. We must stand up and fight for our students.
On October 12, 2012, the idea of concept mapping was discussed as an alternative to organizing thoughts in a list. I can now say I have used the Inspiration software, to make a concept map pertaining to Web Awareness & Digital Citizenship. This was a very effective tool to group key concepts and ideas in a sequential way! Although it may appear to be abstract random, the flow from top to bottom and the links that can be made between concepts make this an easy to use and effective tool. Students can conduct their research and then reiterate their learning in a concept map, that will create a visual representation of the subject matter to aide in their understanding and retention. If taught correctly and in an effective manner any learning style will benefit from concept mapping, even those who are concrete sequential.
Until next time,