WebQuests

A prairie dog standing at attention

WebQuests are an inquiry-based approach to learning that pairs activities with a meaningful task and the creation of a product. They typically build from Internet information to the creation of a real world outcome, such as a flyer, a video, a meal, or a pictorial journal like in the example below. Creating (or linking to) WebQuests is a great way to engage children and teens in developing their 21st Century Skills even if they aren’t making it into your physical building.

As an example, this Theodore Roosevelt National Park WebQuest prepares teens to visit the badlands by challenging them to learn about the park’s history and its inhabitants. They’re guided to a variety of carefully selected books, videos, and websites and tasked with synthesizing knowledge of indigenous animals and plants so they can identify them during their visit. The WebQuest also teaches them how to keep a record of their expedition through photographs, drawings, and journal entries, using core productivity software.

If you aren’t familiar with Weebly, it’s a freemium website design/hosting service with a great interface that makes building a site fast and intuitive. Weebly sites are responsively designed and you can easily preview how your site will look on the small screen, making it an excellent resource for cranking out sites on demand for the contemporary internet usage environment. The one thing I find objectionable relates to their administrative security–passwords cannot be overly long or complex and they provide no means to log in securely (no HTTPS). It’s certainly not the only option at your disposal, though, Wix and WordPress are other great alternatives.

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