Maniac Monday: Webquests–What are they?
I recently wrote an article for Bright Hub about a five themes of geography webquest for teachers to use in their classrooms. What I found interesting when I was researching webquest ideas for this article was the difference between a “true” webquest and then what some teachers call a webquest. A true webquest is challening students to solve a problem or task, using higher level thinking skills and the Internet as a resource.
I found this great website called Webquest.org that had a lot of tips and links to help teachers use webquests in their classrooms. But what I found the most interesting were these characteristics that all webquests should have:
1. Webquests should require students to use higher level thinking skills to solve a problem that adults may have to solve in every day life or at their jobs.
2. A webquest makes good use of the Internet. Students will have to consult several websites to solve the task presented to them.
3. Webquests ARE NOT a report or power point presentation given after a student consults several websites. It’s not just a fancy research paper.
4. It is also not just a bunch of website experiences where students go to different websites and play a game or read a page. Students have to solve a task, and the websites are helping them.
If I was still working in the regular elementary education classroom today, I could see myself using webquests at the end of units or to help differentiate lessons for my students. Webquests are a great way to challenge gifted students in the regular classroom.
Do you use webquests? If so, how? Do you write your own or do you use free ones that are already on the Internet? Let us know!