WebQuest: Online Research Sleuth

It feels good to be done!

At least for now…

My final assignment from EdTech 502 was to create a WebQuest. I was vaguely familiar with what a WebQuest is, but since I’m not a teacher I have never created one. The challenge is to help students reach a higher level of thinking. It is more than a scavenger hunt activity of clicking here or there for answers. They are required to think, ask and answer questions, and complete specific tasks. Once I decided on a topic the ideas began to flow.

Looking at my pages, I realize how much I have learned in just a few months. They are complete with CSS templates, original graphics, navigation menus and icons, accessibility features, links, images, and the works. I am still a beginner in every respect, but I am able to produce a professional product I never could have done before.

Virtual Field Trip: Sydney

I realized in this week’s EdTech 502 assignment that I know more than I thought I did. Web design is finally starting to come together! What a great feeling. While I won’t be designing for Apple or Adobe anytime soon, I have come far. Just a few weeks ago I knew next to nothing about XHTML or CSS. Looking at the source code for a web page was like reading Greek. Now, while I may not understand it all, I understand most of it. I can apply it. I can start from scratch or from a template and create a professional product. This is a major improvement.

This assignment is to create a virtual field trip experience. It needs to be more than just information about a place or a set of links. It needs to be a place that students likely won’t be able to visit in person. The website needs to have audio, images, and video embedded throughout, with educational activities and questions for the student. Sydney was an easy choice for me since we gathered 21,000 photos during our two years living there. Sadly, not many students will actually get there, so it was the perfect fit. Interestingly, all of the photos and video are from my personal collection.

This was the first time I used a single CSS style sheet linked to each page. I tweaked an online CSS template to create a set of linked pages. The entire project took a huge amount of time this week, but in the end I am pleased. I feel much more confident using Dreamweaver to write and edit code, insert links and images, and adjust colors and formatting. I created a banner in Fireworks. I embedded YouTube videos and an .mp3 file. I linked to internal and external documents. I managed and organized complicated information both on the server and online at Diigo. In short, I used every skill we have used so far and it all came together. Finally!

Have a look:

CSS page

My first web page designed using CSS

For EDTECH 502 this week I encoded my first page using CSS style sheets. While I am just tapping into the power of this remarkable tool, I understand what a difference it has made in website design. Thank you, CSS, for giving us all a much more aesthetically pleasing experience when browsing the Internet. You are amazing and I hope to get to know you better.