Wednesday, October 26, 2005

ED 3508: Module 7
What makes an effective webquest? How can it be applied to the classroom?

A webquest is a student task, on a specific topic, that is to be completed using the internet as a resource tool. Well organized webquests can be very useful for differentiated learning as each student can work at their own rate. This strategy also encourages students to take ownership of and responsibility for their own learning and develop research skills. Students may work individually or in teams (groups). Teachers choose websites that are easily accessible and safe for student use.

For example, a Biology 30 class in Unit Four: Change in Populations and Communities may examine the issue of genetics and disease in the northern Alberta/ Northwest Territories wood bison and answer the question: should disease be eliminated in wood bison? Why or why not? And if so, how? Half of the class could examine the genetics issue while the other half could examine the disease issue. Alternatively, the class could be divided to take opposing sides of either the disease or genetics issue and finish the assignment with a class debate.

Students would answer the following questions during their webquest research:
1. Research wood bison history. (What is the status of wood bison in Canada? What is the difference between wood bison and plains bison? Where did wood bison diseases originate? What is the disease status of wood bison in the Wood Buffalo National Park area?)
2. What are the different perspectives on genetics/ disease in these bison?
3. What research and/or programs have been initiated in order to deal with these diseases? (e.g. Hook Lake Wood Bison Recovery Project, Government of the Northwest Territories)
4. What are possible solutions? (Explore and report)

References (the teacher would have a list, like the abbreviated one below of high quality sites for any students that have difficulty with internet searches)

Annals of the New York Academy of Science. The Hook Lake Wood Bison Recovery Project
Can a Disease-Free Captive Wood Bison Herd Be Recovered from a Wild Population Infected with Bovine Tuberculosis and Brucellosis? Retrieved October 24, 2005 from

Environment Canada, Species at Risk. Retrieved October 24, 2005 from

Government of the Northwest Territories, Wildlife Division, Wood Bison. Retrieved October 24, 2005 from
Government of the Northwest Territories, Wildlife Division, Hook Lake Wood Bison Conservation Genetics. Retrieved October 24, 2005 from

Internet Safety in the Classroom

There are a variety of factors to consider regarding internet safety in the classroom. First is the student’s ability to view critically or understand what makes a reliable internet source. Students may encounter everything from misleading chat rooms to pornography, hate sites, or bullying. Teachers should be aware of these different types of threats to students and, with (or for) their class, develop a safe processes strategy. This strategy will identify issues for student awareness and describe methods to safely use the internets at school and at home. For example, students can be taught that email is a useful means of communicating with pen pals, but that they should not give out their email or personal information to strangers while they are online. As teachers, we can also introduce our students to these concepts through a class game activity (e.g., Jo Cool or Jo Fool for students in grades 6 – 8).

Especially for elementary students, teachers can provide search sites that were already previewed and edited for potentially objectionable materials by educators, such as DibDabDoo ( and Canadian Kids Page ( are a useful for teachers just starting to plan internet activities or when reviewing safety processes strategies. We need to encourage students use the internet as a research device in a safe manner without creating a sense of fear and avoidance associated with the web.


Media Awareness Network, Safe Passage for Teachers. Retrieved October 25, 2005 from
ED 3508 WebQuest: Exemplar 2: Risky Business Retrieved October 26, 2005 from

Internet Safety Introduction Retrieved October 26, 2005 from


Blogger Dale said...

Hi Janna:
Spectacular! You have created a first-rate blog based on your work with computer technology in education. All activities were completed on time and met the criteria for this course.
Congratulations and best wishes for your upcoming Practicum in Professional Semester I.

3:20 PM  

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