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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Web Quest, a web-based instructional strategy for implementing authentic learning in the face to face and virtual classroom

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices, and demonstrate how these best practices can be applied in the real (i.e. physical) and virtual (i.e. online) classroom for both teaching and teacher training. The combination of face to face instruction in a physical setting and online learning is called blended learning. In this section of the blog we will describe how the internet can serve as a supplemental resource for instruction and the mentoring of pre-service and in-service Jewish educators. In this post we will begin our discussion on how the Web Quest, an online authentic learning instructional strategy, can be used for Judaic instruction and the mentoring/teaching of pre-service and in-service Jewish educators. 

Assumption: The teacher or mentor teacher has an interactive white board (i.e. SMART Board, Promethean, etc.), a Tablet PC (also called a Slate or Blade), a computer presenter or computer with internet access attached to an LCD projector in the classroom. It would be ideal if students or mentees had access to their own laptop computers or Ipads. Given parental and school approval, and the development of specific guidelines, smartphones can be used to enhance instruction as well.

Note: Although the Web Quest can be applied in the Judaic Studies blended learning classroom, it can be also be used for training pre-service and in-service Jewish educators for professional or staff development. It is our hope that Jewish educators around the globe will form an online community of practice, a CoP, a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession, to enhance the delivery of instruction and training of Jewish educators. For example, here is a CoP you might want to join. 

As a review, here is our definition of authentic learning:

Authentic learning: additional explanations

Click on these links to find more elaborate definitions of authentic learning:

What is a Web Quest?

Here is the definition of the web quest according to Web

A web quest is an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the web. The model was developed by Bernie Dodge at San Diego State University in February, 1995 with early input from SDSU/Pacific Bell Fellow Tom March, the Educational Technology staff at San Diego Unified School District, and waves of participants each summer at the Teach the Teachers Consortium.

In this blog we had  previously discussed the web quest as an web-based inquiry tool or online authentic learning activity. You will find those blog posts by clicking on the links below:

On the next post we will share specific  web quests that focus on Judaic content.

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