Teaching with the Internet

Inquiry-Based Online Learning Activities
WEB TREASURE HUNTS


Perhaps the simplest of the Internet activity structures, treasure hunts generally consist of a list of questions, and a list of Internet sites where the answers to the questions can be found. Well-designed treasure hunts go beyond this, however, and require students to synthesize the information they have learned.

Check out this explanation page for a description of what makes a truly great Treasure Hunt, and some unique examples. 

A good example is the Tropical Treasure Hunt:
http://www.tooter4kids.com/Rainforest/TropicalTreasureHunt.htm
Notice that, in this treasure hunt, students are provided with a description of their tasks, then when they have completed the hunt, they are asked to create a specific product in which they must synthesize the information they have learned.

Another great example: Dinosaur Treasure Hunt
http://www.hobart.k12.in.us/joanne/dinosaur/page1.html
Again, this treasure hunt includes the important aspect of a final culminating task at the end, where students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned.

Below are some web sites with links to numerous examples of web treasure hunts:
http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/archives/scavenger_hunt.shtml Scavenger Hunts
http://www.mrsoshouse.com Internet Hunt Activities created by Cindy O'Hora
http://www.vickiblackwell.com/hunts.html  Vicki Blackwell's Scavenger Hunts for Kids

To locate more Web Treasure Hunts, search for "treasure hunt" or "scavenger hunt" with your favorite web search engine.

INTERACTIVE ONLINE SIMULATIONS


These sites allow students to role-play and problem-solve.

An example of this is the Coral Reef Fish Count (http://warrensburg.k12.mo.us/coral). In this simulation you take on the role of Marine Biologist and carry out an underwater fish count, identifying 100 different reef fish in Jamaica. Without even getting wet!

Another example is "Disaster Watch," a nice simulation about natural disasters (http://www.christianaid.org.uk/resources/games/disastergame/disasterwatch.swf).

Yet another example is "Build a Prairie." (http://www.bellmuseum.umn.edu/games/prairie/build/tb1.html). In Build-A-Prairie, players choose flora and fauna for a prairie restoration project. Correct choices are rewarded with engaging animations and, ultimately, the chance to set a controlled burn.

Yet another is the Ecotourism Game (http://www.eduweb.com/ecotourism/eco1.html)

The following sites have links to numerous online simulation:
https://theconnectedclassroom.wikispaces.com/Simulations
The Connected Classroom - Simulations
http://www.eduweb.com/portfolio/adventure.php Interactive Online Adventure Site
http://www.learner.org/exhibits The Annenberg/CPB Project Exhibits Collection
http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/games/interactiveadventures  National Geographic for Kids Online Adventures

And there are also sites where you can create your own simulations. One great one is Mission Mapquest (http://www.classtools.net/mapgame/index.php), where you can create your own challenging Google Maps "treasure hunts" (although they are more of a simulation crossed with a virtual field trip, rather than treasure hunts)

VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS


Virtual Field Trips can be divided into two categories: Real-time events and Archived events.

Real-time Events:
In these activities your students follow real people as they make their way to a remote location. They can see daily updates and photos, and can often interact with the people by email or videoconferencing.

Important Point: Real-time events such as these often (but not always) involve some cost, usually a comprehensive price per classroom teacher.

The following web site is a good starting point for locating these real-time Virtual Field Trips:
http://www.teachhub.com/classroom-management-9-free-virtual-field-trips
And you can find many more like this. These sites change frequently because different real-time field trips are being offered all the time.

Archived Events :
Similar in some ways to online simulations, archived online field trips are specifically designed to simulate a tour of a remote location. These are free and can be used at any time. There are hundreds of these available. Here are some good sites to begin your search:

http://www.techtrekers.com/virtualft.htm TechTrekers Virtual Field Trips
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/adventures/ NOVA/PBS Online Adventures
http://www.field-trips.org/trips.htm
The Field Trips Site

WebQuests and iAdventures - The Ultimate Online Learning Activities:
WEBQUESTS

One of the most powerful types of web projects you are likely to find, WebQuests go beyond simple content and recall. Students work in teams to research and solve real-world problems. This topic is very involved, but the following sites will get you started:

http://webquest.org/ The Official WebQuest home page!
By Bernie Dodge, one of the originators of the WebQuest Idea.
http://warrensburg.k12.mo.us/webquest The Warrensburg School District WebQuest page!

iADVENTURES

iAdventures involve solving problems using web resources also, but are built around a storyline and characters that students can identify with. They are structured more like an online simulation (or choose-your-own-adventure story), but they involve extensive use of web resources, particularly real data and primary documents, to make educated choices when solving problems.

http://warrensburg.k12.mo.us/iadventure The Warrensburg School District iAdventure page.
This is where the idea started, so this is all there is! (for now anyway) There are 60 or so teacher-created iAdventures at this site.

April Fools Day is coming. Prank your friends opening a never ending fake update screen on their computer. Sit back and watch their reaction.