Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Brief description of Effective Webquest and Usage in Classroom:
Webquests are inquiry-oriented, based on a doable, engaging tasks using pre-defined materials from the Web, and can be short-term or long-term for the purpose of gathering information. They are useful for teaching strategies in that they diminish the chances of kids aimlessly searching the net by giving them guided instructions as to what they should accomplish. Most Webquests include what some call "building blocks": Introduction, Task, Process, Evaluation and Conclusion. They ususally begin with short paragraph that sets up the task such as a role or scenario, etc. This intro paragraph should include the main question(s).
I like the idea of using Webquests because:many kids enjoy computers these days, they are a wise use of computer time, they can be used in all subjects, they give students something hands-on and many different activities an info gathering can be accomplished in a shorter amount of time compared to just letting students search for the answer without any direction.
In grade four, one way I would use Webquests in the classroom would be for groups to find information about a Native Tribe. I would set out different categories like food, traditions, dress, roles, work, location, etc. and they would then each present what they found. Like I said, Webquests could be used in all subjects so what I like about them is that the teacher can be really creative in what they develop for assignments as long as they relate to the Program of Studies. There are endless possibilities for this tool.
Web Awareness Canada: Response to Internet safety in the Classroom:
It is not safe to assume all your students have been taught about internet safety. Maybe they do not have computers at home or maybe their parents are computer illiterate so they have never talked about sfety issues. There may also be kids in you class that are engaging in unsafe practices and are not aware of the dangers. For those reasons I think it is very important that interent safety is discussed as a proactive strategy instead of reacting to concerns as they arise.
If I had to alk to my students, these are the points I would touch on:
  • facts and opinions (misleading information
  • naked pictures
  • hate sites
  • personal privacy (registration, email)
  • chat rooms (predators)
  • email (junk mail)

I would also make clear expectations of how they use computers and the net and set out clear, predictable, consistent consequences of what would happen to a student if they were caught viewing inappropriate picture or info, chatting at school etc.

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