Of course, there are all kinds of activities that are online for classroom use. They have to be carefully evaluated for their effectiveness. Just going to a place with all kinds of multi-media may be impressive but it’s the actual content that is important. As we all know, there are all kinds of sinkholes for time that have very little payback.
Recently, my friend Cliff Kraeker has been directing educators to this Hyperdocs collection on the web.
Here, you’ll find a huge collection of links to resources tied to the concept, including a section devoted to Mathematics Hyperdocs. If the concept is new to you, read all about it here.
I’ve been a long time fan of the concept of the Webquest as defined by Bernie Dodge and Tom March. Some may find the notion and presentation a bit dated looking, but that’s the point.
A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the web.
Back in the day, it was a particularly useful concept since classrooms typically didn’t have one computer per student. The power came from collaboration around a particular topic with a powerful piece of research, inquiry, and thinking as a result. The idea was to “use” the information from the Internet; not “find” it. I think the concept is even more relevant in these days of fake news.
Through workshops and other sessions, I tried selling the concepts to educators, even creating a few of my own. A popular one was A “No-Bullying Proposal” Webquest. I really liked the concept of group members assuming a role in the bullying process and doing the research from that perspective. The idea is to use the information available on the internet as opposed to just finding the information.
A collection of webquests can be found on Tom March’s site.
Just a caveat before you do a Google Search for Webquests or Hyperdocs – if you didn’t create them, they do have to be evaluated to see if they address expectations and are worth precious classroom time. As we know, search engines are good at finding and maintaining links and keeping them alive even after the author has moved on so use this mindset as you look.
And, of course, if you can’t find the perfect activity, you can always create your own or reach out to your fellow online learners for activities that they’ve found really helpful.