We had a great online session in my ECMP355 class with Sylvia Martinez discussing Gaming in Education last week and near the end of her presentation one of the guest ‘students’ in our class, Neil Stephenson, commented on webquests not being a very effective learning tool, being mostly an “internet fact grab” and “not embodying principals of good learning.”
I am a little bit sad to say that looking at the webquest that I have learned how to create and that I have developed, that I think I could have done a lot better in that area. I was attempting to use some higher-level thinking skills and I wanted there to be evaluation and comparisons, presentations and critical thinking, but after hearing Ms. Martinez’s presentation about gaming in the classroom, I am wishing that I had heard of this earlier because I would have made game programming my learning project!
So, this would be the learning portion of the program: I don’t think Webquests are useless. I believe they have their place and I have seen a number of excellent examples on the internet. I know my website isn’t ‘excellent’ but for a first attempt, I am happy with how it turned out. That said, after seeing Ms Martinez’s presentation and giving gaming more thought, I think that there are a lot of excellent concepts that could be taught using many applications of gaming.
I am going to have a look at the Scratch website that was provided and I may attempt to create a game to supplement my webquest.
The other thing I’ve recognized, lately, is that I had initially tried to create a project for a Grade Two classroom so I adjusted the location of the information to be easier to find and more age-appropriate by using information gathered on Google Docs. Now that I am trying to implement it with a higher level class, I think I would have done it much differently, by linking to actual websites, since they would have more of an ability to navigate and read for information in those places. I won’t change my project at this stage of the game, but would be more wary of those things if I were to do it again.