A couple of months ago, Tom March wrote an article reflecting on the 20th anniversary of WebQuests. He later wrote on his blog that “The heart of the reflection was that I think we’ve missed two decades of opportunities for educational technology in K-12 schools to make a difference, to achieve the goals we had for ICTs to empower authentic, personally rewarding and meaningful learning.”
Why did he say that? To answer that question we need to understand what WebQuests really are.
The concept of WebQuest was developed by Bernie Dodge and Tom March in 1995 and it was defined as “a scaffolded learning structure that uses links to essential resources on the World Wide Web and an authentic task to motivate students’ investigation of an open-ended question"
Some educators welcomed the idea and developed their own WebQuests. On the other hand, many teachers complained that WebQuests were too structured while others just tried to complete the different sections without giving a second thought as to the real purpose and underlying essence of the WebQuests. The concept became misused and abused. Nevertheless, I think that its essence should be celebrated and encouraged because it as relevant today as it was twenty years ago. “Constructivist strategies, differentiated learning, situated learning, thematic instruction, and authentic assessment are at the heart of the WebQuest model. Students reflect on their own metacognitive processes and develop as independent, expert learners.” As far as I know, that is what every informed teacher is trying to do in the classroom today. I guess that after all Tom March is right. We have missed the point.
If you are new to the concept of WebQuests have a look at this short overview. If you create a WebQuest for your students or you ask them to create a WebQuest by themselves drop me a line and tell me about it through the blog's comments section or our social networks.
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I am a passionate teacher of English with more than 16 years’ experience working with all kinds of levels and age groups. A few years ago, I became interested in EdTech. Einstein´s quote "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them" has inspired me to start this blog.