Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Trackstar?...Webquests?...Filamentality!!!

[Shantu-This one's for you...your recent experiences with Trackstar (that you shared in your comment to my Trackstar post - thanks!) and your plans to make a webquest one of these days, make me think you should give this one other tool a shot as well...]

For teachers interested in scaffolding the internet search process for students and creating instructional materials for them that organizes websites (that teachers have pre-identified) around key questions and ideas...try Filamentality. It's "a fill-in-the-blank tool that guides you through picking a topic, searching the Internet, gathering good Internet links, and turning them into online learning activities." These online activities could be in the following formats-
(Source: Filamentality site)
  • Hotlist: A reasonable first step is to simply compile a list of web-based resources - i.e. a good "Hotlist" of sites you know are appropriate for your users. These pages might not be standards-based or geared toward a specific learning outcome, but it will be like wheeling a bunch of good books from the library into the classroom.
  • Treasure Hunt: If learners are emotionally connected to the topic, then ask the question, "Are they learning enough background information on the subject?" If the answer is no or if the best information on the subject is "hot off the press," then try a Treasure Hunt.
  • Subject Sampler: If learners have factual knowledge about a subject, then ask yourself, "Do they come out of the unit affectively engaged?" If they don't seem to care about the subject as you think they should, try creating a Subject Sampler.
  • Multimedia Scrapbook: If you want students to explore a variety of sites that you've selected and create their own reports, newsletters, presentation stacks, or posters using "pieces" from those sites, you might try making a Multimedia Scrapbook.
  • WebQuest: If they learn facts, but don't pursue higher-level thinking; why not make a WebQuest? A webquest uses the sites you select as the starting point for a complex activity that involves multiple perspectives, possible group collaboration, and a final project of your choosing.

How's that for options!?

1 comment:

Shantu said...

Dearest Shuchi,
Thanks a lot for the posting on Filamentality. It is a well designed tool. I'm familiarising myself with it and I guess it has a range of tools one can choose from depending on the type of activity. It will be great fun to work with something like this through the year. Looking forward to developing my first activity with them.

Thanks a ton again.