"My Business Rules" WebQuest

by frances 19. May 2010 21:55

I built the "My Business Rules" WebQuest for the Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES @ Moree) a few years ago for their Youth Entrepreneurial Program. The WebQuest was used at Moree to encourage students to create and develop their own businesses - some of which are still going!!!

"The Youth Entrepreneurial Program provides Aborignals school student in years 7-9 with first hand experience of how to set up and run a small business. Held during school time or after school, it encourages Aboriginal youth to gain small business management skills through work based experience and other practical means. Our highly successful youth program is structured to deliver the following activites;

Business name
Business product
Research market activities and trends
Developing business plans
Financial record keeping
Develop, manage and conduct meetings
Develop marketing strategies
Establish an alumni group" (Source: website)

The AES using our WebQuest as the vehicle for this program.

Here are some pictures of the first year the WebQuest operated at Moree with the students selling their products at the markets:

 

 

Robert Bradshaw, the YEP (Youth Entrepreneurial Program) Officer at AES Blacktown, contacted me a couple of months ago to see if their group of Indigenous youth could use the WebQuest. "Of course" I said, "It is FREE for all teachers to use and has a focus on Indigenous students from Years 7 - 8 encouraging them to create their own businesses".

The WebQuest has been used by the AES at Blacktown NSW during the past 12 weeks with great success!

Robert used the WebQuest and here are the results: "The Youth Entrepreneurial program for our kids from Chifley College Bidwell graduated on Monday 17th May and achieved an outstanding result within the 10 week time frame set out. Here is a picture of the sports bag with the Kooris Come In All Colours logo. The business name itself says it all KCIAC".

 

Anyone wishing to assist this group of Indigenous enterprising young people - KCIAC - with the sale of their product - this great bag costing only $30, please contact
Sky at the AES Blacktown office:
Ph: (02) 9852 2700  
Fx: (02) 9852 2710
89 Main Street, Blacktown NSW 2148

I sure that the KCIAC students will love to hear from you!

 

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Teenage Opera & WebQuests

by frances 19. May 2010 15:57
This morning travelling home from Sydney (Australia), I was listening to the ABC Radio National's Bush Telegraph and their story about .... "Opera is normally associated with expensive tickets, overdressed patrons and foreign languages.

So when you give a group of teenagers 15 hours and a bunch of pens and paper, the last thing you'd expect is for them to write and compose their own opera.

About 80 teenagers in regional Victoria were given exactly that task, staging their own modern classic.

In this report: Murray Dahm, Project director of Wot Opera, Opera Australia" explains the project!

"WotOpera is an opera education initiative that provides secondary students from participating schools with the opportunity of creating an original opera and being involved in all aspects of its creation from conception through to performance. In 2010 the program will expand to include Bendigo, Sydney and Launceston. Twenty students from each school will participate in; character development, plot creation, writing the libretto, composing the music, casting, painting the backdrop, and performance." (Source: website)

What a great WebQuest this could be!!! And yes students can based their Opera on a TV Soap Opera but to date with this program, students have come up with interesting, varied and real life scenarios!

Teachers - don't leave it up to Opera Australia - have a go at creating a WebQuest based on the premise of Wot Opera and send it into Opera Australia! They would love a quality educational resource!  This will also expand the program to include your students and school instead of leaving it to the select few!!!

Resources:

Introduce children and teenagers to Opera - this link contains a big listing of different Operas to introduce students to through DVDs.

 

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Ideas on how to use News topics as WebQuests | In the Classroom

Bullying and the Courts

by frances 13. May 2010 15:28

Recently, I listened to an excellent radio report "Bullying and the Courts" (ABC, The Law Report). Go and have a look at the content of this program - it will astound you as teachers!

 

The reason I noted this program is that the contents would be a great scenario for a Professional Development WebQuest for Teachers by covering:

  • Duty of Care by schools and teachers - within the school yard - even years after the students have left the school 
  • Crimes compensation
  • Cyber Bullying
  • Laptop programs especially involving webcams

This "Law Report" would make a wonderful Introduction with the scenarios it portrays!

 

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Ideas on how to use News topics as WebQuests

Southern Ocean Sentinel & Climate Change

by frances 30. April 2010 17:32

Last night I watched the ABC's Catalyst programme  and the segment "Southern Ocean Sentinel" I was fascinated - firstly as a Science Teacher but also because of the evidence given for Climate Change.

"As well as a thermostat regulating our planet's current climate, scientists believe the Southern Ocean can be a sentinel, an early warning system, of climate tipping points to come. The entire ocean is changing, from the surface to the depths. When seawater freezes it leaves the salt behind. The resulting brine is super-cold, denser, saltier, and sinks to the bottom. That's why it's known as Antarctic Bottom Water. It drives a global current system called the Overturning Circulation." (Source: website)...."At the University of Tasmania, Donna Roberts and her team are searching for signs of ocean acidification. This is what she's looking for — tiny planktonic snails called pteropods. With shells the size of sand grains, they float using their foot like a wing, and catch plankton in nets made of mucus. Dr Donna Roberts "There are millions and billions of tonnes of pteropods in the Southern Ocean and in some regions, particularly the Ross Sea area, there is more pteropods per cubic metre than krill." Pteropods have a really, really fragile shell. All shells are made out of calcium carbonate but not all calcium carbonate is created equal. There's two types and the scientific names are calcite and aragonite.

NARRATION
When CO2 dissolves, it reacts with water to form carbonic acid and carbonate ions, which decreases the pH. Aragonite is more soluble, so any change in pH will affect the growth of aragonite shells first.

Dr Donna Roberts
Now, aragonite is actually in the shells of pteropods and in corals. So corals and pteropods are going to be at risk first if the ocean health and the ocean chemistry changes and it's changing because we're putting carbon dioxide into the water. We weigh the shells individually. Each shell will be about fifteen micrograms.

Mark Horstman
Fifteen millionths of a gram?

Dr Donna Roberts
Yes. I've probably weighed about a couple of hundred thousand shells. We're actually comparing shells from ten years ago to shells from today and what we find is that the shells of today are thirty five percent smaller and more fragile than they were ten years ago.

NARRATION
That means the pteropods of the Southern Ocean, and the food chains they underpin, may be living on borrowed time. Donna can calculate the CO2 levels when they'll basically run out of shell.

Dr Donna Roberts
The tipping point for pteropods in the southern ocean is four hundred and fifty parts per million and we are currently at three hundred and eighty eight so we're heading there rapidly and we, we think from models that we're going to get there in about the winter of 2030." (Source: website)

This would be a terrific report for students in Years 8 - 12 studying Ecology and Climate Change to view and would be a great resource for a scientist role within Climate Change WebQuest.

 

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Ideas on how to use News topics as WebQuests

Project Atlantica - What a WebQuest that would be!

by frances 8. April 2010 17:58

Have you heard of the Atlantica Expeditions?

What a great WebQuest this project would be!!!

The Atlantica Expedition is hoping to have an underwater human colony by 2015 - yes least than 5 years away! There are even members who are only 10 years old registered!!!

Future Tense (ABC Radio National - 29th April - "The League of New Worlds and the Atlantica Expedition") explored the topic with one of the crew for the first mission of the group - to live underwater for 90 days.

This information could be used for a WebQuest based on the environments of the planets and exploration.

The big questions could be: "Should the Atlantica Expedition go ahead?" Or "New Utopia underwater - is this possible?"  

 

 

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iTunes apps, Podcasts and WebQuests

by frances 8. April 2010 10:39

I'm at the Australian Computers in Education Conference [ACEC2010 in Melbourne] after presenting yesterday on WebQuests and Problem-Based Learning. It has been great to catch up with colleagues and to be stimulated with all the new and exciting technologies presented. 

One of the presentations was about iTunes apps - there are SO many that can be used within WebQuests!!! And most of them are free.

This is wonderful news for teachers and students alike!

Go and have a look at the Podcasts from Universities around the world that you can use as part of the "Background Information" within the Introduction to a WebQuest or within each of the roles - mine you this would be only for students in Years 9 - 12 [and beyond].

There are also unbelievable apps like Tripit (free) that can be used on an iPhone [yes well it does require this expensive product or a tablet] but that said, it has some very interesting applications for all those boring Travel "WebQuests" [who also need to have a messy, complex problem at their heart as well]!

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Web Tools to improve a WebQuest

Diigo and WebQuests

by frances 5. April 2010 17:48

Recently, one of my students evaluated this tool - Diigo. It was listed 22nd out of the top 100 Web 2.0 Tools for 2009 by Jane Hart.

This free tool would make an excellent addition to a WebQuest as you can have an Educator's package which allows teachers to have their class isolated and sharing content with each other. The point of this social networking tool is sharing of information. Students can come into a site and use the highlight or sticky note about the information on this website. Other students researching the same issue/website can then read what another student has thought.

A great way to learn collaboratively!

 

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Animoto & WebQuests

by frances 4. April 2010 17:45

When you are creating a WebQuest, you need to incorporate ICT (Information Communication Technologies) into it to enhance student learning and to introduce them to new ways of communicating.

This Web 2.0 Tool, Animoto [Education], encourages the creative aspect of students by allowing them to create a video about the issue they are exploring - a great way to present in a WebQuest!

This tool is free but limited to only a certain amount of time - 30 secs of video - but that is enough for the students (and great for those studying media and advertising). You can buy the premium level with unlimited time and other added features.

Just be careful of the music you use behind the videos and make sure it is NOT copyrighted - get the students to create their own music!

 

 

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Mind Meister, Mind42 and WebQuests

by frances 2. April 2010 17:40

Yesterday I brought to you a listing of 100 different Web 2.0 Tools that could be used in the classroom for all learning styles - AVK.

Mind Meister is a powerful mind mapping tool that allows students to put all their ideas and thoughts down while they are researching or when they are coming to a conclusion about an issue in WebQuesting.

The 100 Tools for VAK learners suggested that another program - Mind42 "For Two" would be a great tool to allow students to collaborate on their mind mapping. This would be an excellent tool for students undertaking a WebQuest. In their roles, students could map out their ideas and see the thoughts of their partner. This tool would also be useful in summarising for debates or presentations.

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Learning Styles and ICT Tools

by frances 1. April 2010 16:38

While researching for Web 2.0 Tools that can be used in the classroom for the different AVK Learners (Audio, Visual, Kinesthetic), I came across a good site "100 Helpful Web Tools for Every Kind of Learner".

This article lists 100 tools divided up into the appropriateness of each tool to AVK learners.

This site explores different tools for Visual Learners - 34 in fact - divided into 3 categories: Mind Mapping; Charting & Diagrams; and, Videos and Photos.

For Audio Learners, there are 31 tools divided into the following categories: Podcasts; Presentation Tools; Audio Tools; Text Readers; and, Audio Books.

For Kinesthetic Learners, there are 34 tools listed in the categories: Note Taking Tools; Bookmarking; Interaction; and, Collaboration.

This collection of tools offers teachers a range of tools that can be incorporated into the classroom even if you are not using WebQuests. They are there to be investigated and will enhance any lesson.

I can see their great application to WebQuests. These tools will enable the teacher to create WebQuests that will cater for all their students covering all the AVKs.

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Article Review | In the Classroom | Tips on how to improve a WebQuest | Web Tools to improve a WebQuest

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Other WebQuest & Educational Blogs

As I come across other WebQuest Blogs (& Educational ones), I will list them here.

Jane Hart's Blog (Jane is a Social Technologies Guru in UK)

Scot Aldred's Blog (Colleague at Central Queensland University and guru on Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

The Innovative Educator

Digital Education Blog

Blogging Corner Carnival

eLearn Magazine Blog

Dr. Lisa Neal Gualtieri, Editor-in-Chief, eLearn Magazine

Primary School.com.au Blog

Charlie Sullivan - Charlie does a fantastic job collating websites for Primary schools.

De Tools Blog

This blog by and for online educators and features free web based tools applications and resources. Author: John Goldsmith.

Bright Ideas: a blog by the School Library Association of Victoria

The Book Whisperer

This blog is written by Donalyn Miller, a 6th Grade teacher in Texas, who is reknown for encouraging students to read!

 

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Champions of Justice
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Community Shopping Centre Planner
Can you get the party started?
Reminders of our moral conscience
The Petrov Affair
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My Business Rules
Pluto's planetary status