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Remember Web Quests?

March 19, 2012

I actually had to make one once. A web quest, I mean. When I was at Indiana State University studying…I can’t remember off the top of my head if it came before or after I switched from being an Elementary Education major to an English Teaching major, but I had to do it. And I have a pretty strong recollection that it was for a class in the education department.

Yeah.

It sucked.

Not because the navigation or the page sucked. I designed my first webpage using Geocities’s raw HTML input editor when I was in middle school. It sucked because web quests suck. Seriously. Even when I was making it, I couldn’t help but think how bored I would be as a kid if I had the misfortune of a teacher putting me through it.

But when I actually got into the classroom, I did give my students online activities to do. Once. It was right before we started reading Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (one of their requirements). I found a quiz/game by National Geographic that put the students in the shoes of a citizen of Salem, Massachusetts during the mania.  I followed it up with a series of questions to the students, and also had several “informal” discussions with them as they went through the story.  It was a cool experience for me, and at least a handful of students.  Looking back, I wish I had gotten the chance to chat with all of them.  I do remember that several were amazed that the only way to survive being accused of witchcraft was to accuse someone else – they commented on the injustice of it.  Mark one win for Teacher Me.

We’ve been talking about innovations in education and the use of personal learning networks in my Transformative Literacies class.  Now, I saw the Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage video when it first hit my own PLN a few weeks back, but I just recently found Soomo Publishing’s website that goes along with the video.  Along with the video, there’s a short “making of” teaser, and resources for both higher and secondary education, including assignments and links to other resources.  I haven’t gone through all of them, but a cursory overview has left me impressed. Then again, this is Soomo’s business.

So much better than web quests.

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