1b.   Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity 

Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and 
technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and 
innovation in both face‐to‐face and virtual environments. Specifically, teachers engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.


To help engage students in real-world and authentic mathematics learning using digital tools and resources, I will use the pedagogical strategies involved in carrying out “WebQuests” As defined in Wikipedia:

A WebQuest is an instructional model that was developed in 1995 by Bernie Dodge. A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity where students gather information from a variety of Internet sources and then apply the new knowledge to explain a concept. Experiences from real life provide learning opportunities and motivation for students. By integrating technology into classroom instruction, students get involved in real life learning . . . WebQuests can be designed to be an effective use of student time by being organized and focused on using information instead of searching for it. These two factors contribute to ensuring that students remain on task while online. WebQuests extend the students' thinking to the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy; analysis, synthesis and evaluation. WebQuests also support a variety of instructional and cognitive practices such as critical thinking and problem solving through authentic assessment, cooperative learning, scaffolding and technology integration.

The WebQuests that will be part of my proposed online course will be used to either introduce units to my students or to culmination activities of a unit. These WebQuests will be used “to foster cooperative learning through collaborative activities” with wiki-fashioned group projects. Students involved in these WebQuests will be assigned different roles, will be encouraged to perform some tasks independently but will be asked to use collaboration software to share findings with group mates and will be asked to use presentation software to report on discoveries made during their World Wide Web forays. Finally, my WebQuests are being designed to foster students’ technological competencies.

Using WebQuest technology is proving to be a valuable tool for differentiating instruction because I am able to guide students to resources that best suit their level of conceptual understanding and mathematics proficiency. In addition, when students are provided with choices of ways to demonstrate their skills and understandings, they should take more responsibility for their own learning. Because specific task guidelines and rubrics are provided from the beginning of each WebQuest assignments, all students are aware of exactly what is expected of them and exactly what kinds of artifacts will be acceptable to demonstrate competencies.

Click here to see a Sample WebQuest being designed for an online course I am developing (See Innovative Instruction Fellowship Project in the School on Education for more information about this course). In this Sample WebQuest, students are asked to explore: (1) Lesson Planning Websites, (2) Real-Life Learning Websites, (3) Student-to-Expert Communication Webites, and (4) Skills/Practice Website then, in Wiki-fashioned groups they are asked to design Family Backpacks with materials appropriate for used by families of early childhood or elementary school children. Click here to see a sample on one of the WebQuests planned for the online version of EDUC 463 -- Principles and Methods of Teaching Elementary School Mathematics.

Click here to find Rationales for Artifacts for this Standard.