After my lego assignment I was initially wary of this project. Lego generated levels of frustration I have not experienced since I was a mendicant, celibate monk thirty years ago. I have enjoyed building this webquest and the only frustration has been the need to keep it simple and accessible to the students it was designed for. I had lots of ideas but I always returned to the needs and skills level of the students in Scoil Eoin. The webquest format would encourage and promote learning as it supports the philosophy behind the Junior Certificate Schools Programme.
I wanted them to succeed in this project, to feel good about their school and to gain some insight into the history of Scoil Eoin. This webquest was to give the students an opportunity to engage in a constructional learning environment which they would experience as a positive school activity and which might improve their skills in the I.T. area. The general outcome was a positive reaction from the students and a desire to work with other topics using the enquiry based practises inherent in webquests.
I built a simple artefact which allowed the students to engage successfully and gain both knowledge of their school and skills in the use of I.T.
During the initial design phase I paid close attention to the suggestions of George Lipscomb, as quoted in Strictland (2005), to maximise the effectivness of the artefact in the learning outcomes of the students. I was conscious of the "digital divide" which many students of Scoil Eoin would have experienced prior to or even after coming to the school.This was one reason why I decided to have a number of assessment tools for the webquest and to include a downloadable form for students to complete. Having the hard copy, having it scored, being able to bring it home to show family, all these are important in the process.
The webquest affords the students the opportunity to learn with the effective use of technology and it also provides a new type of information bank which is only available because of technology.
Having the students work in pairs helped them get to know each other, to help each other, to learn to share experiences and knowledge. Working in pairs the students shared the success of their enquires and what little failure there was, was shared and insignificant.