I want to thank Mr. Pennington for the first part of this blog--It is his words.
Today all but one (2 for Mr. H) class had the opportunity to Skype with students from Beachwood Middle School. Mr. Holman's and my students are learning about the Middle Ages using the same WebQuest. Today students had the opportunity to meet the students at Beachwood and learn what social class they had received for the Middle Ages WebQuest.
Students have also been collaborating and engaging in GREAT! conversation via several GoogleDocs embedded in the WebQuest. A GoogleDoc is like a "live" word document stored online. Students can ask questions, share images and websites and create real-world Learning Communities with fellow students at Chardon and at Beachwood. This is an amazing learning experience that isn't taking place anywhere else in the country (to my knowledge). Your students are using GoggleDocs as social media to learn in a responsible and safe manner. Mr. Holman and myself are very proud of the work our students are completing.
Now, More from Mr. H
The webquest got off to a slow start, but I think the students are getting the hang of how it works. It is designed by Mr. P and myself (borrowing some questions and links from David Carpenter--a teacher at the American School in Morocco) We have changed this webqeust a great deal and we believe students will learn a great deal from this. I think we all need to remember an important difference in education: Preforming vs. Learning. I can see all students learning and at times the test does not show that.
1. We build podcast "computer side chats" where Mr. P and I discuss the material and ask some thought providing questions.
2. We have built a blog or journal component to this project that requires students to reflect on what they are learning.
3. Student can see the design is made to meet individual needs. It is self paced (with a time line), but students who move at a faster pace will be able to continue to work forward.
4. It is mastery based, so after each quest students can take a short quiz to show mastery of their learning. If they do not earn an 80% they will continue to work on the topic.
5. We gave all students at Chardon and Beachwood the same pretest on the material and we will compare the post-test data to see student learning or growth.
But most of all it is fun, hands on exploring a time long gone. Enjoy.
Below you will see a few images of the students work (only day two). Images of the Google docs, a sample podcast, their classroom social structure and the project can be seen at this link.