Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Module 7

Firstly, a WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the Internet. An effective WebQuest uses learners time well, focuses on using information instead of looking for it, and supports learners thinking at all levels of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. It has 6 critical components:
  • An introduction that sets the stage and provides some background information
  • A task that is doable and interesting
  • A set of information sources needed to complete the task
  • A description of the process the learners should go through in accomplishing the task
  • Some guidance on how to organize the information acquired
  • A conclusion that brings closure to the quest, reminds the learners about what they've learned, and perhaps encourages them to extend the experience into other domains
WebQuests could play a very valuable role in my classroom. For example, a mathematics WebQuest for grade 8 students exploring probability could be an interesting activity. The task could be that the students could explore probability using different websites that are linked through the page and have to explain the difference between independent and dependent outcomes and develop their own understanding on how to determine the solution to a compound independent event problem. The idea would need to be expanded on and could be used in various contexts, but it is just one idea for using a WebQuest in a mathematics classroom.

Internet safety within the classroom is paramount to the learning environment. Students must be wary about stumbling onto material that is inappropriate or offensive. Pornographic material, online predators and privacy invasions are some of the big concerns facing teachers and students alike in today’s classroom.
Pornographic material is of real concern to educators because of the sheer inappropriateness of its content. The problem with blocking sites using an application on the schools computer is that the program will key on specific words or phrases that are associated with pornographic materials. The problem lies in the fact that sites that are very useful and educational are sometimes blocked as well. Even with this pitfall educators believe that inappropriate sites need to be blocked even if some educational sites or useful material is also lost.
Students oftentimes do not realize that they can be the target of predators because they feel safe within the classroom or even at home using the Internet. This threat is very real and students need to be educated on the information that they should be giving out to people that they do not know on the Internet whether it is in online chatrooms or on personal websites. Students must realize that the world has access to the information they put on the Internet and to what they say in conversations via the Internet so they must be careful about giving personal information.
Teachers and administrators play a very important role to ensure that the Internet is a safe place for their students while they are in the classroom. By blocking inappropriate material and educating students on privacy issues and the information that they give out via the Internet, the Internet can be a very useful tool as well as an educational tool in the classroom environment.


Blogger Dale said...

Hi Dustin:
Spectacular! You have created a first-rate blog based on your work with computer technology in education. All activities were completed on time (in fact you were the third person in a class of 110 to complete all course requirements!)and clearly met the course objectives.
Best wishes for your upcoming Practicum in Professional Semester I.

6:27 PM  

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