Primary Access
WebQuest or Think Quest
Digital Story
Multimedia video

Think Quest
Immediately, I thought of a WebQuest when I saw ThinkQuest, but there are some major differences. ThinkQuest is students creating inquiry projects for other students, and is a completely safe site. WebQuest is teacher created, includes rubrics, and is available to anyone through the World Wide Web. Both are project based learning. ThinkQuest focuses on creativity, collaboration and cross cultural participation. The age range for Think Quest is ages 9-19 (or grades 6-12), whereas a WebQuest can be anyone, mostly ages 5-19 (or grades K-12). ThinkQuest does offer two major competitions; one for best website design, one for best narrative. There is also a local competition. ThinkQuest exemplifies the technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK) framework of teaching. ThinkQuest scaffolds technology skills with content knowledge in a pedagogical form that fosters global learning, collaboration, and inquiry based learning. ThinkQuest is a cool tool because it incorporates all of these skills within a student-centered project based learning environment.

I knew about WebQuest, but was not familiar with ThinkQuest until this presentation. I now understand some of the benefits of have the project be student created as opposed to teacher created. If I were still teaching high school English, I would create a unit in which my twelfth grade students read Hamlet, and then learned about England (due to Shakespeare) and Denmark (due to the setting of Hamlet: The Prince of Denmark). I would then have students in groups collaborate with other students from England and Denmark to create a ThinkQuest project based on Hamlet and their knowledge of the England and Denmark. The ThinkQuest project might be a scavenger hunt through England and Denmark. Another example of how I might incorporate ThinkQuest into high school English classroom would be for tenth grade students who read All Quiet on the Western Front and study World War I and Germany. The students would then collaborate in groups with students in Germany (or other countries that were involved in WWI) to create a ThinkQuest related to WWI or some aspect of what they learned from All Quiet on the Western Front.
ThinkQuest (thinkquest.org) sponsored by Oracle Education Foundation, presented by Denise Hobbs.

Primary Access
Primary Access (primaryaccess.org—student view, primaryaccess.org/teacher—teacher view). Primary Access is all online and cannot be downloaded. It is a tool for students to create digital documentaries in which the images are chosen by the teacher and students are then given the choice from those which to include in their product. Students then create their own printed narrative, and finalize the creation of their digital documentary by adding a voice narrative. Primary Access is a highly scaffolded method of teaching because it combines many literacy skills with technology skills and content knowledge (it exemplifies TPACK).

I was impressed by the example shown about child labor, and how in a history class this would be an excellent way to teach about social justice. I began thinking about how I would have used this tool in a high school English classroom to teach social justice. In a tenth grade English class where the focus is on world literature, I would include Primary Access when teaching a lesson on Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, where student learn about Africa and Nigeria and British colonization. The students could create a digital documentary based on Things Fall Apart and write a narrative about the different cultures and values, and the pros or cons of social change. Another example of how I would incorporate Primary Access into an eleventh grade class learning about American literature would be in a unit on F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Students after reading The Great Gatsby and learning about New York in the 1920s could design a digital documentary using pictures from the 1920s and creating a narrative about social norms.