Ok, so this one is a bit sneaky, because it’s not a new resource for me. This is a website I have used in the past, and most of my classmates have probably used it as well for EDX3280. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed creating it, and I have actually been able to use elements of it in my work in Year 2 at that school!
QuestGarden allows teachers to create webquests – guided inquiry lessons – for students. The website describes the goal of the website as:
“to create lessons that make good use of the web, engage learners in applying higher level thinking to authentic problems, and use everyone’s time well.”
In creating my webquest for EDX3280 I utilised a range of ICT applications to integrate into my quest… Voki, YouTube, Beebots, Vimeo, ispring, and online games. Students access iPads, tablets or computers to complete each quest.
Strengths/Opportunities: An interactive and interesting WebQuest has potential to hold the engagement of the students through the tasks, and become an excellent learning tool. In a team teaching situation, each class teacher could create one WebQuest to implement across the cohort, and there would be a terms worth of work created. Alternatively, there are WebQuests created by other teachers that you can utilise. There is a small subscription fee of $20 for 2 years.
Weaknesses/Limitations: The subscription is cheap, however when there is free access to other WebQuest creators (like www.zunal.com, which is essentially the same thing as WebQuest, just not as ‘pretty’) you would assume that most budget-conscious schools and teachers would opt for the free version so they can direct their money elsewhere. Teachers would need to be up-to-date with their own digital literacy skills in order to actually create to WebQuest, and be able to source games and online activities that are appropriate for the students and the task. In terms of access, students need to computers/devices in order to access the resource, as well as the digital literacy necessary to navigate the WebQuest and engage in the tasks. Teachers also need to consider the reading abilities of their students, and plan accordingly (using recordings or Voki audio); a text-heavy WebQuest will fall flat if students don’t have the reading skills required. However, once it’s done, it’sfairly self-explanatory so it can be implemented across classes to many students without much guidance from the teacher who created it.
In The Classroom:
This webquest (above) took a LOT of time. I mean, woah, seriously, it took AGES. That’s the biggest downfall I think. I achieved a HD for this assignment, but as with everything, there is always room for improvement! Looking back (I created this WebQuest over 12 months ago) with some more experience under my belt, I can see that it needs some tweaking. The language is a bit high, and in many cases the teacher needed to read it out for many students, which posed a limitation to what is meant to be something that can be completed in student teams without constant teacher presence. I know of some more games and resources now that I would add in, and there are a few boring elements that I would take away.
QuestGarden was a little tricky to get right the first time, but fairly easy to use once I got the hang of it. I lost the data a few times, due to not saving often enough, and that was frustrating. I did have to make/source a lot of my own graphics for it, which took time. Once it was done though, it has the potential to be a resource that can be used across classes and across years, so the time spent is worth it when a quality product is created.