WebQuest Dialog

21st century learning environments made semi-easy

As I follow RSS feeds that track whenever someone blogs or tweets about the word WebQuest, occasionally I run across a posting that says, basically... "WebQuests are so Web 1.0. Are people still doing these?".

It's a provocative thought, and it has provoked me into some serious thinking which I'll share here soon. On one hand, it exemplifies the idea that things need to stay current, and that 13 years is a long time for any web institution to be around. On the other, it might be an example of how fad-prone we are in education. We (especially we techies) are always jumping to the next new thing even if the last new thing was working.

So what do you think? What's the link (if any) between WebQuests and Web 2.0? Are they apples and oranges? Incompatible? Complementary?

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I think Web 2.0 tools offer great opportunities to ehance WebQuests. The collaborative nature of Web 2.0 applications offer so many opportunities for tasks to be taken to a whole new level. For example, I look back at the very first WebQuest I wrote way back in 1997 (Radio Days - http://www.thematzats.com/radio), and with the Web 2.0 tools available now, this WebQuest could really be amazing. Students could create podcasts and get feedback from real listeners all over the world. WebQuests and Web 2.0 are definitely complementary, at least from my small perspective.
Radio Days has long been one of my favorite WebQuests. Have you kept the links up to date? I'd love to see someone use it as a framework for podcast creation. Much better to have the podcast be about something they already need to learn rather than the off-the-top-of-my-head content of many kidcasts.
Isn't that a lot like saying that teaching kids to read books is pointless since there are so many books on tape? I LOVE Web 2.0, but I haven't abandoned everything else I teach to just use one methodology. I love having choices of tools.
I agree with Cynthia about the potential of using many Web 2.0 tools to enhance Webquests. Creative projects that capture the learning process through a Webquest could definitely include podcasts as interviews of relevant people to contribute to the knowledge base. These podcasts could be created via recordings of Skype interviews with people anywhere around the world. Voicethread would also be an excellent interactive tool to share primary sources, including videos/audio/text to invite comments and communication about those primary sources. Diigo could add another rich level of interaction through such features as highlighting and annotating key points from a web site used in the Webquest. Webslides could be created using the List feature on Diigo where the compilation of relevant websites could be shared and viewed by others. Since these webslides keep the interactive nature of the websites that are highlighted and annotated, participants can click on any webslide to be taken directly to the website to see these comments and add their own questions or additional comments. A site like Twiddla would be great to use with Webquests. Twiddla is a free no-setup, web-based meeting whiteboard site that provides "real collaboration, in real time." You can mark up websites, graphics, and photos, share videos and documents from your desktop, or start brainstorming on a blank canvas.I think Webquests could definitely benefit from these interactive kinds of experiences available on the "read/write" web using the tools of Web 2.0.
It seems to me that WebQuests are no less Web 1.0 than they are Education 1.0. I see WebQuests as the method by which we as teachers create, package and deliver quality teaching and learning using the Internet. The internet has and will continue to change, growing beyond what we currently identify as Web 2.0. How teachers apply the Internet in the classroom is also constantly evolving, responding to the tools as well as the students' demands for opportunities to learn collaboratively with technology. The WebQuest's biggest requirement is to remain open to the implementation of emerging technology.

QuestGarden has made it easier to create more effective WebQuests. I don't believe that those WebQuests need to have Web 2.0 embedded directly into them through the QuestGarden tool when it is so easy to link to wikis, blogs, online audio/video/photo tools, etc. More importantly, it remains up to the teacher (that could be Teacher 1.0 or Teacher 2.0) to determine the best technology to implement into any given WebQuest so students can create understanding.

I too would love to see some of my favorite early WebQuests enhanced with Web 2.0 because they are obvious connections. However, sometimes a teacher needs to be able to choose the older technology to best achieve understanding. I value the higher order thinking skills more than the tool.

So, my response your question, Bernie, is that WebQuests relate well to Web 2.0 but should not be seen as limited to Web 2.0. WebQuests are poised and ready for the future development of Web _.0, Education _.0, and Teacher _.0.
A few months ago, I came across Tom's paper entitled, Revisiting WebQuests in a Web 2 World.

This article would be a good addition to the conversation.

I think the biggest struggle we early adopters faced with the WebQuests was in the "extend the learning" phase. In trying to make things real-world, we perhaps included email or, in my case, a CUSeeMe session (with kids in Georgia, USA & Australia). The connection did not work well enough so we only conducted the chat feature. This, by far, was the engaging piece and motivation for doing quality work for my students. Knowing they would share their learning with a group of students elsewhere in the world was powerful -- especially in 1997.

Today, Skype, Ning, and a host of other tools can make this commonplace -- if our school leaders will understand the benefit -- and open the filters for our teachers and students.

Currently, technology seems to be ahead of the pedagogy. In 1995 the pedagogy was a little ahead of the technology, when it came to the potential of the WebQuest. [My opinion.] We have to work to overcome the "fear" of the tools and allow these tools to help our students zone in on the curriculum. Web 2.0 can make that happen.
There were so many bad WebQuests that I am not sure that people really understand what they are supposed to be. Web 2.0 tools enable the collaboration that WebQuests often encourage.

You asked: "What's the link (if any) between WebQuests and Web 2.0? Are they apples and oranges? Incompatible? Complementary?"

IMHO, and if I understand correctly what you're asking, I believe they're complementary. If I'm off-base, please, folks, let me know. I just completed a WebQuest for educators that integrates Web 2.0 and uses it as a form of alternative assessment. By the way, this is my first shot at a WebQuest and I do welcome constructive comments.

My class was in the process of working on a particular webquest (Specialties of the House), but we can't find it on the site. Are WebQuests periodically taken offline or changed? We would really like to complete that quest.

Are you kidding? WebQuests are 2.0 and highly adaptable.

Web 2.0: A collaborative Web. Wiki, Blog, Social Network and much, much, much more.

One of WebQuest goals is the capacity of offer multiple visions of the a subject and, on conclusion, confront ideas. The tasks can requires collaborative interactions between the class and the Teacher is a guide on the side. It's Education 2.0! The collaboration happens all the time. WebQuest uses the collective intelligence. On the resources and tasks are possible to suggest forums, videos, chats, and more.

We can use the Web 2.0 tools to improve better interaction experience for the class, but the 2.0 concept already is into WebQuest.

Cássio Oliveira :-)

PS.: Sorry my bad English... I'm using Web 2.0 resources to help me, but it is not enough.




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