I've decided to review the WebQuest on Introduction to Spanish 1. I have never done a WebQuest with my Spanish students but think it is something very valuable to try.
1. Synopsis: This WebQuest is meant for introductory Spanish students in 9th grade. It focuses on introductory restaurant vocabulary, writing to a "penpal" using simple sentences and phrases, and creating a portfolio of resources. The educational goals are to teach students why it is important to learn a second language, introduce beginner level speaking and writing skills in the target language, and the importance of a portfolio for future use in higher level Spanish classes. The Michigan World Language Standards and Benchmarks addressed are standards 1.1, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, and 5.2.
2. Pedagogical Strategies: The WebQuest uses scaffolding because students start out by finding information, then they create a skit as a group, they practice the skit as a group, but the final copy is rehearsed from memory. The scaffolding is effective because it allows students the ability to search and learn vocabulary and grammar, practice it, then put it to use on their own.
3. Technology: It's taking advantage of technology by opening students' eyes to the global community. Students are able to learn about culture and the language at the same time. It is change without difference because students are not learning different information they are accessing it in a different way. It is more effective that passing out papers because it allows students the ability to explore. If you only give students handouts you are limiting them to the information you give them. Allowing them to go online gives students the chance to encounter the world through the web. They are guided with useful resources, but are also able to go on their own to learn more information.
4. Flaws?: All of the links and images are working well. The material is up to date and the websites linked throughout the WebQuest are useful. The resources and images are credited to being found using the google search engine.
5. Improvements: I would make the font easier to read because it is difficult to read with the background color. I would also like to add some pages that are in all Spanish (perhaps more appropriate for higher levels of Spanish) because I it would be good for students to also see authentic resources. The portfolio that students create goes in a 3-ring binder, but you can integrate more technology if you have students create an online portfolio. It will be more accessible for students in the future, easier for them to add material, and easier to share with parents and staff.