Thursday #eC12 – Design Patterns 2.0

Bernie Dodge’s eMINTS Conference breakout session, Design Patterns 2.0, focused around one of the most challenging parts of writing a WebQuest…. developing a task that engages students while pushing them to think at higher levels and then do something with the content they learn is tough. Bernie’s Design Patterns have long been a resource used in the eMINTS professional development sessions to support teachers as they write their first WebQuest. Design Patterns 2.0 is Dodge’s latest attempt to support teachers in the challenge of coming up with a good starting point to create original, quality WebQuests.

When beginning planning a WebQuest, Dodge suggests “starting at the end and looking at the kids”. Asking… What will they be doing for a living 15 years from now? What will they be doing for recreation? What issues will they be faces with? Dodge shared that “the success of people today and 15 years from now is when people have actually practiced and become good at…designing, deciding, analyzing, creating, predicting.” These are the excellent places for teachers to begin their WebQuest planning because “success is not about the nouns…success is about the verbs”.

So what’s new with Design Patterns 2.0? It’s now an interactive (click-able) matrix where a user chooses an anchor (person, place, thing, problem, activity) and a verb (deciding, designing, creating, analyzing, predicting). At the intersection point are questions that guide a user to help develop their WebQuest’s task and “create a lesson that engages higher-level thinking.”

A couple of tips shared at the session…for a beginner, pick one verb and anchor and do it well – for more experienced WebQuest creators build in more than one intersection point and design a more complex WebQuest.

You can see the Google presentation Bernie created to overview his ideas at http://webquest.org/questquilt.html. He hopes to turn it into a web app in the near future.

What’s your best tip for teachers creating their first or fiftieth WebQuest?

Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center and presenter at the eMINTS Conference 2012.

eMINTS Pre-Conference Sessions

Every year, we at eMINTS offer some pre-conference workshops the day before the conference commences. This year, we have three such workshops underway. There are sessions covering Weebly, SMART Products, as well as Google Apps.

Roger Brallier of Mexico, MO is back again this year to present on managing a classroom website using Weebly in “Wock Your Webpage with Weebly”. Roger is an experienced and knowledgeable eMINTS trainer who is best when it comes to do-it-yourself projects. With Weebly, Roger can demonstrate how easy it is for one to create and manage a website using this free online tool.

In “Applying Research-Based Strategies Using SMART Products”, presenter Martha Bogart of Cooperating School Districts (St. Louis) shows participants how SMART Boards and SMART Notebook can be used effectively in  the classroom. While I was stopping by, Martha was sharing the wonder of pull tabs in Notebook as a way to reveal key information or instructions for students using the SMART Board. Throughout the session, a connection is made with the nine McREL (Marzano) research-based strategies and SMART Tech products. It’s always great to learn how pedagogy meets technology in the classroom.

Centralia’s Matt McKenzie presents on the many benefits of Google Apps. These free tools offered by Google can fill classroom, team, and school district needs with just a Google account. Matt is extremely knowledgeable in this area as his school district has made some major strides in integrating Google Apps in nearly every aspect teacher and student work.

Pre-conference sessions are typically three hours. They are often extended versions of the hour-long sessions we provide during the meat of the conference. The three sessions above are just a taste of what the eMINTS Conference has to offer participants over the next few days.

Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger for the eMINTS National Center.