This Digistory focuses on the innovative use of WebQuests to engage students attending the Cairns School of Distance Education (CSDE).
After many years of engaging students through WebQuests, Tom March has offered the following description:
A WebQuest is a scaffolded learning structure that uses links to essential resources on the World Wide Web and an authentic task to motivate students' investigation of a central, open-ended question, development of individual expertise and participation in a final group process that attempts to transform newly acquired information into a more sophisticated understanding. The best WebQuests do this in a way that inspires students to see richer thematic relationships, facilitate a contribution to the real world of learning and reflect on their own metacognitive processes." (March, 2004, p3)
At Cairns School of Distance Education (CSDE), teachers use a range of practices associated with ICT delivery of on-line lessons.
Webquests are just one of many examples of innovation supported by this school. Underpinning the teachers' use of WebQuests is their developing professional identity, moulded in part by the innovative use of technology in their teaching.
A useful way to frame this digistory on webquests is the Productive Pedagogies which is part of Education Queensland's New Basics Curriculum. The four elements to the productive pedagogies used in this study are; Intellectual quality, Connectedness, Supportive classroom environment and Recognition of difference.
These four elements appear to be useful in describing the use of WebQuests in this school.
WebQuest Student Showcase:
As the knowledge is constructed through the Webquest inquiry, the final texts embody children's images that are respectful of their identities and social practices.
He then took it a step further and created it in a 3D design using a programme that he had at home that he could use in this regard. (Teacher, CSDE)