In order for our students to be real world learners of the 21st century, teaching them technology skills is vital to their overall achievement. Much of today’s research takes place online, where as just 30 years ago, it involved a trip to the library to wade through books and articles. My goal in creating web quests and “search” activities is to allow students to become skilled at finding information quickly and efficiently. There are other benefits also. Web quest activities require students to search for information, read, comprehend, and decide whether or not the information is relevant. Students also need to determine if the information is factual, or someone’s opinion.
Some of the benefits of web quests or internet scavenger hunts are:
-Students are learning a real world skill that is vital to their future educational growth.
-They create a heightened awareness about a topic which encourages inquiry and further investigation.
-Comprehension skills are enhanced as students draw conclusions from the text they read.
-Higher level thinking skills are required and enhanced.
-Students choose their own path in finding relevant information.
-Skills practiced and mastered match Common Core components and often involve informational text.
-They raise the students’ confidence level in the use of technology to solve problems.
For further investigation of this topic, see these articles:
Technology and Teaching Children to Read http://bit.ly/gwtErU
Wepner, S., Valmont, W.J., & Thurlow, R. (Eds.). (2000). Linking Literacy and Technology: A Guide for K–8 Classrooms. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Technology in the classroom should be used to enhance literacy, including spelling, reading, writing, and vocabulary.
"Communication and comprehension are two of the most important aspects of using technology."
In order for technology to be an effective enhancement for literacy instruction, students must first master the basics of using computers "so that students can concentrate more on literacy tasks than on technology."
Students need to learn efficient ways of searching the Internet. "Because of the nature of the Web, navigation problems may arise.“
Helping Children Find What They Need on the Internet (New York Times – 2009)