Monday, October 17, 2005

Once again, a new avenue of learning has fallen into my lap, and this time its Webquests. Webquests are a remarkable way to focus and harness effective learning within the classroom. An effective Webquest is one which makes the most effective use of technology on the Web. I think the most effective Webquests for my students would be those that had a lot of attractive colors, animation on the site, and links to interesting sites. Effective web quests force students to analyze information, perceive information from many perspectives, while also allowing the student to present their own opinion on the topic. Effective Webquests also allow for creative expression by the student. A focused Webquest on a particular topic is essential so as to not confuse the student with too much information. An effective Webquest is also one that allows for collaboration with peers in order to create discussion and debate around a topic.

I would like to see Webquests used in the most effective way in my classroom. I would utilize Webquests especially when focusing on specific subjects. I saw lots of great examples on the Web of science related topics such as the sun, the moon, and the specific planets. I would also like to have students collaborate in groups when working with Webquests to allow for multiple navigations through the site, and bringing different perspectives to an assignment.

The need to ensure Internet safety in the classroom is essential, with the reality of students using the Internet in schools every day. We must teach our students critical thinking on the Internet to ensure a safe and rewarding experience on the Web.
Advertising has become a fact of life on the Web, where students are actively targeted. Surfing the Web, students will be exposed to advertising whether playing games, shopping or doing homework. It is important that students are aware of marketing strategies, and why they are being marketed to. It is also important for students to be critical of information that they find on the Web. Unlike a book, or newspaper where facts are checked, anyone can post to the Internet. Students must be aware of this reality in order to decipher through information and become a critical learner.


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