Friday, March 18, 2011

iMovie and WebQuest


I love how they used Jing for their tutorial and actually showed us how to do it. This is so much more effective than just showing us a final projected and telling us what they did.
Windows has movie maker as an equivalent. Make sure to check out the online tutorials for both.
If you can drop and drag, then you can use iMovie!
On digital storytelling: technology use can make the experience deeper and more real
Some ideas: communicating with parents/families, creating instructional videos, growing plants, field trips...

Other ways to use iPods in the classroom: research, access to Smart response tools, getting music
Dropbox app: online place to drop your files, similar to Google Docs -free download on
How is this different from Google Docs? It's great that there are other options. I guess you wouldn't have to create an email account with Dropbox, as you do with Google. Thanks Katie, for bringing up Locker which is used by several school boards as part of D2L.

I think iMovie presents great opportunities for ECE!!! Storytelling, story sharing, drama, etc.


What is a WebQuest?
An inquiry-oriented lesson format, focused on questioning and critical thinking. All resources are preselected. By who? If students are supposed to do critical thinking, why can't they go through the process of selecting resources? Main purpose is to promote higher level thinking. Go to Jen or Bob's blog to get the URL.

How can I make a WebQuest? is highly recommended. Free 30 day membership. Millions of WebQuests that you can change and use, similar to IO. So, what i sthe difference between this and IO? IO is more expensive...
Each section has a checkpoint at the end to help you. Search engine with kid friendly sites only, which non-members can access.

Students need a problem that creates some uncertainty and doubt. Set up constraints but give them freedom to express their ideas in ways of their choices.

Quest Atlantis
Wanted to make a video game with academic content that went beyond drill and practice. Is this the evolution of WebQuest? Has avatars and a lot like Second Life. It's a windows based program and freezes up a lot on a Mac. The point is, there is a quest! You have to gather information from different sources but it's all internal in the program. So you talk to characters in the game but the program is really secure. Bob and Jen had to fill out an application to have access. Furthermore, they cannot speak or interact with other students.
Thank you guys, this is great information for my Independent Inquiry! Oh wait, it's reading based...that makes sense since they have a recommended age level of grade 3 and up. That's too bad. I wonder if there's a way around beign able to click on something that will read it out loud.
Are the games organized by age? I think some of the language and content is above grade three level.
They provide you with a log (word document!) of all the information you've accessed. This allows modification and is, of course, printable.
I like the complexity of having many different players with different goals that are sometimes based on finances, hierarchies, environment, etc. They all try to convince you of their stories. I love how this really relates to the real world and critical thinking skills. Students need to learn how to make these educated decisions in real life! This gives them exposure to the fact that people have different agendas and how they need to constantly step outside of their own shoes to take different perspectives. What a great life skill!
It's great that, at the end, the program asks them to form their own opinion. We struggle with this even at the university level! Well I do anyway... It's actually a difficult task when you've taken the time to truly understand different perspectives.
Having students make mistakes and go back to figure it out is a very effective way to learn. Michele brought this back to constructivist, cognitive theories. This made me think of the appeal of video games, and how people have to fail over and over to finally achieve their goal (next level). And Michele further pointed out how interesting it is that each level is harder! We (human beings) love challenge. In gaming, we know that the challenge is appropriate because we've worked our way up gradually. Games are developmentally appropriate and within a player's zone of proximal development! Teachers struggle with this daily. Should we change our teaching to be more like a video game? hmmm...

Great point brought up about research being done on getting kids to design games. This is too much for a teacher to be able to handle in a classroom! It is a lot of work. Use those that are already there!

Thank you guys, this was great!


  1. I really appreciate your comments on the Web Quest presentation they are very insightful. I agree that the game is based on constructionism. I am doing an Inquiry Project that is based on the work of Seymour Papert who worked with Piaget and developed the Lego Mindstorm robotics kits. I love that the game is open to interpretation and the students are agents in the Quest Atlantis Construct.

    One thing that I wanted to add was that a teacher could relate the quests to real life situations and explore the game content with real life context. I think kids would like to see that the experts would agree with their opinions that they constructed on their own. Bringing the game to the real world is important for the student to assess whether their recommendation work in our world.

    I somewhat disagree using the term failure. I believe that it should not be framed as failure, but rather as an essential part of learning "Assessment". The way discovery happens in the world is through experimentation and assessment. The assessment is immediate and relevant to the context. For the most part the assessment can be described by the question, "does it work?" If it doesn't it is not a failure, rather it is a movement towards a goal. Often only part of the a design doesn't work, but other parts work very well. Learning is a journey and there is always movement forward even when things don't work the way they were intended. I encourage all teachers to remove the word failure from their vocabulary because it holds a huge amount of cultural baggage. Instead describe learning as a movement towards a goal.

  2. Thanks for your insightful comments Bob! I love your analysis on the word "failure". It's amazing how I didn't even really notice that we were using that term in the class this morning. I had to look back to what I wrote! This just speaks to how much unintentional teaching actually happens in our classrooms! We need to challenge these things and critically examine our language use, body language, tone of voice, and so many other variables. This is highly complex and difficult, especially when combined with regular teaching responsibilities. How will we ever do it all?