Way Beyond WebQuests with Gary Stager

Session at NECC 2007 with Gary Stager of Pepperdine University called “Way Beyond WebQuests and Information” on Wednesday at 8:30am.

  • “Information is the smallest piece of education.”
  • “If your dominant theme in technology education is looking things up, it should come as no surprise that kids look up inappropriate things.”
  • On the democratization of the web and resistance in schools, “Schools think all kids are potential felons or imbeciles.”
  • On the accuracy of Wikipedia, “The greater the passion on a subject, the more accurate the Wikipedia entry.”

Stager is quite concerned about the promise and pitfalls of the new web. This was a refreshing session to hear after all the web 2.0 stuff at NECC. He challenged me to think and be critical about the orthodoxy of web 2.0.

Stager’s suggestions: The Pulse, FanFiction.net (kids are writing real things; it’s time to move past the 5 paragraph essay)

Who Should I Vote For? A webquest alternative

The educators in the room completed this exercise (link). Stager provided us with a photo of an Iraqi campaign poster he spotted in Australia. We were supposed to answer the question, “who should I vote for?”

Give the activity a try yourself. This works really well with two people and two computers. Share your info and collaborate to find out. I personally found the activity addicting. I felt like a detective, and (as he predicted) one question led to another.

The only English on the sign was the number “740″. When searching, we had to add other terms to find anything useful. It requires that you use pre-existing knowledge. This resonated with me because in our experiential school, we’re supposed to work with the fact that our kids come into the room with experiences and knowledge (and now I have a practical way to practice it).

Stager says the activity has been used as a faculty kickoff, with kids (one group was planning on learning Arabic to read the sign).

Were the Chicago Seven martyrs?

Is Ned Kelly a hero?

Micronations

You could take up an entire semester with this one! Micronations are tiny made up countries. Some founders write elaborate histories, make currency, and form governments.

Edward R. Murrow said

This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box.

about television.

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One thought on “Way Beyond WebQuests with Gary Stager

  1. Megan,

    I was glad to meet you at NECC and I am enjoying reading your thoughts about the sessions that you saw at the conference. Yesterday I wrote about some thoughts I was having about Web 2.0 and my limitations. I wonder what you think. It is at my summer trip blog (http://jfriesen.my-ecoach.com).

    Janice

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