Use BYOD to revitalize the WebQuest
As you are probably aware, a WebQuest is an online, project-based learning activity in which students actively participate in authentic tasks based on web resources using web 2.0 tools. A WebQuest exploits inquiry-oriented learning in which students are not only finding information but also using information to create new knowledge, learn new skills, and explore value systems. WebQuests are engaging to students because they focus thinking on a series of goals and creation activities; time using technology is more effective because it is structured and purposeful. There are excellent resources and links at webquest.org. You can explore some webquests at questgarden.com or by using Google and searching any subject and adding the keyword “webquest.”
Project-based learning via a WebQuest is an excellent fit with the objectives of 21st century learning goals. Students can be engaged and challenged by collaborative activities that focus their creativity and critical thinking skills with a central goal or project outcome. Communication skills are practiced and developed both at the interpersonal level and intrapersonal level. Various media can be employed by learners to contain the content of their project.
One of the challenges in the past using WebQuests or other technology-based project based learning models was the limitation of technology resources in schools, such as computer labs. Many teachers find that there is only enough time in the computer lab schedule to take students once or twice a week for a 40-minute session. The introduction of BYOD dramatically alters access to technology and can support project-based, strategies such as a WebQuest, far more effectively.