Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Module 7: Web Awareness & WebQuests

This is the first time I’ve seen/used WebQuest and I found it pretty interesting. I think that the most important aspect of a WebQuest is that it focuses on effectively allowing a student to use information from the internet rather than the student spending an entire class searching for applicable information with regards to a specific subject. A WebQuest uses a learner’s time well and can support the learner’s thinking at levels of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. An effective WebQuest needs a ‘big question’ or ‘central theme’ that is based around. For example, students are required to create a summary of material or the WebQuest has a identifiable problem to be solved. A WebQuest usually includes: an introduction, a task, a process, and evaluation standard for the student, and a conclusion. And, the final product sometimes requires the student to use tools. (i.e- the internet, hyperstudio, etc.)

I think it would be really beneficial to create a WebQuest for students in grade twelve who are seeking post secondary schooling. Finding information about colleges and universities can sometimes be confusing and theres LOTS of information for each university. Therefore, I would think, that creating a WebQuest that already condenses material from many universities and colleges would be very helpful. The main goal of the WebQuest would be for students to find universitiy and/or college campuses that interest them and to then see if they meet the requirements for the school they're interested in. It would be beneficial to find more than one campus and then rate them according to the student's general interest and their ability to go there. I think it would also be benefical to create a section on student loans. The evaluation for this WebQuest would be based on effectively and thoroughly researching the student's 'interested-in' universities and colleges.

Internet Safety: Internet safety is something that really concerns me in the classroom. With a class of 25+ students, how can I truely monitor what each student is doing online? I think my biggest concern is privacy. Students can unknowingly (or knowingly) put information out on the internet that can lead to in invasion of their privacy (i.e. - personal profiles, software registration, chatrooms). The students themselves should be just as concerned about their privacy as the teachers. Therefore, teachers need to model and introduce the concept of keeping private information personal, no on the internet. Teachers can do this by, encouraging students to never share their personal information, sticking to high-quality websites, and teaching students techniques about website policies. I also really like the idea of creaintg a 'gender neutral' nickname. As soon as you're using the computer, you use that nickname and stick to it. I think it'll really ensure safety in the long run. More than anything, the fact that we have to teach our children rules and guidelines like these really worries me. Our children are growing up in a completely different generation than I did, just like I did as compared to my parents. But- to prevent worry, I'll teach safety. And, hopefully it'll take my students a long way in their education.

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