Web Quest Essay, Research Paper
Introduce the problem- Many incoming college freshmen do not have adequate computer skills. Even those incoming freshmen that possess some computer skills find that their literacy levels are not on the same level as other students who have had better access to technology. This paper demonstrates that providing students with access to modern, efficient technology levels the educational playing field for incoming freshman. It is fair to say that part of the problem of uneven computer literacy among incoming freshman stems from some public school districts not having a high speed Internet connection. Furthermore, students do not know how to access online information or use the multimedia computer labs available on college campuses. College students need basic computer instruction classes so that they have an even opportunity to compete in all of their classes. It will be hard for a college student to survive and meet the challenges and requirements of their college professors without being computer literate. If computer literacy is not achieved in the junior and senior year of high school, it becomes incumbent upon colleges to provide basic computer instruction to incoming freshman. In addition, many colleges and universities such as Southern Illinois University Edwardsville admit adults who have been out of school for a long time. The older student population is less likely to have had an opportunity to be exposed to the computer training such as that provided in computer technology class CMIS 108.
With the growing trend of using computer technology in classrooms including live, real time video feed, the learners of today and tomorrow have to be computer literate and Internet knowledgeable. It is at the college level that we can best address the problem of computer literacy in a course like CMIS 108, just as the university offers courses to assist students who do not have basic literacy in other fields such as reading, composition, and math. The university needs to offer classes to level the educational playing field for entering students.
Computer literacy starts with a commitment from students and teachers to learn new technologies and put it to use for a better and more rewarding educational experience. It is true that more and more schools are preparing high school students for post-secondary education, while using a computer-enhanced classroom. On the other hand, the existing problem is that these learners are mostly familiar with software applications. The learner’s actual knowledge base is limited concerning the basic components of a computer and the architecture of that computer.
Context of the problem- According to CEO Forum Report (1997), only 12 percent of America’s schools can be classified as “high technology” schools, and only 3 percent are “target technology” schools where computers and digital technology are ubiquitous tools in the curriculum. (CEO Forum on Education and Technology. (1997). I agree with the CEO Forum while there may be some differences in the CEO Forum research and what I offer here, the point is basically the same.
Class instruction becomes an increasingly difficult proposition to manage especially the technology that is available in today’s learning environment. Updated and faster computers appear in the marketplace every six months along with the software changing ever eighteen months. These software enhancements provide a countless number of technologies to add to the personal computer and will definitely have an impact on instruction. The changing market of technology puts the student with little or no knowledge of the hardware and software at a disadvantage, which a class such as CMIS 108 can address at the university level.
This fast cycle of technological modernization increases the amount of complexity that teachers and students have to deal with in adopting computers in their learning environments. Technology levels the educational playing field and creates learning communities at the secondary level and at the university level. Technological complexity therefore tends to change the traditional roles of teachers and students. This aspect of technology tends to convert the teacher centered classroom structure into a learning community resulting in a more inclusive and involved environment. Both teachers and students can benefit from establishing reciprocally in learning and instruction when it comes to technology and the use of that technology specifically in using a multimedia computer and having access to the Internet.
In this way computer based technology tends to reduce teacher isolation and increases communication among the students while creating an interactive learning environment. The enhanced classroom not only creates mutuality between students and teachers it also provides for cooperation.
Staff, teachers, and students are not alone in benefiting from increased computer literacy. Staff development is as important as securing the equipment in the technology adoption process. Staff development in technology use requires cooperation and support from others especially in administration. Increased literacy may be enabled through staff interaction.
Today’s students in many classrooms are being provided access to the world’s knowledge through the World Wide Web, which is easily searched, and information can be downloaded. Classroom Internet access gives students a chance to research their ideas and becomes a more realistic practical approach to learning. Empowering teachers and students to create exciting and dynamic learning is what technology has done in today’s
Access to the wealth of the world’s knowledge through computers can help in overcoming inertia boredom in classrooms. Experiential inquiry and real world based educational realities are becoming more and more common in classrooms across the nation as this technological explosion continues. Perhaps the real benefit of educational technology will be a transformation to a more student centered learning process. Computer oriented classrooms help to make this possible. At the very least there is an increased chance for those with no previous access to computer technology to learn and grow.
Need-One of the most important technological events of the present is the dominance of the computer. Computers play an important role in many aspects of our lives. The majority of schools now have computer multimedia labs and Internet capabilities. Education in the future along with our daily lives will be organized largely around the computer. With the advent of faster connections (DSL, ISDN, T1) this wealth of knowledge and the ability to access the information will be critical to learning in the generations to come. Computer technology permits us to realize progressive educational ideas of hands on learning for all students. It is this development and proliferation of the Internet, World Wide Web, and networking that gives access to a wide range of information for anyone who wants to learn. Computer technology puts all the information in the world at one’s fingertips. With the advances in technology moving so fast, we will not even have to type. We will just simply ask a question, and the computer will print out or speak the answer.
Objectives- Some that have to be addressed are:
(1) Describe the basic components and workings of a computer system.
(2) Identify and learn the components of a computer system.
(3) Demonstrate literacy and be comfortable with using a computer system to acquire and process data into a coherent form.
(4) Apply knowledge in order to distinguish between the internal parts of a computer.
(5) Compare and develop criteria for the microprocessor, coprocessor, and parallel processing that runs a personal computer.
Proposed Solution- By having access to a multimedia lab and Web Quest, the learners will be able to go over the objectives of the course at their own pace. If a topic that is covered in class is not met to the learner’s satisfaction, then he/she will have the opportunity to revisit the objectives on-line going through the Web Quest.
Teachers should take classes in searching and using the Internet and develop a list of Internet addresses that provide resource materials for their particular subject area. Teachers should not only use the Internet, but also stress the use of Internet materials for classroom use and curriculum development.
In order to access the teachers’ level of computer literacy, post class workshops, and demonstrations can be used as feedback and analysis.
I will develop a Web Quest that is specific to beginners learning computers in order to determine their competence in using this technology. Additional instruction will include material for a teacher searching for information online. This will give incoming students taking CMIS 108, the knowledge and confidence to use a computer and become familiar with input/output peripherals.
After several learners have visited the site, I can make a comparison of the results and their experience and knowledge of using electronic media, specifically Web Quests that answers their questions on the basics of computers and their use. I will also develop tools in order to determine their competencies in using this technology and what they have learned, in particular, how the Web Quest aided in their learning process.
Technology appears to have the potential to affect the educational attainment of today’s students with regard to one’s socioeconomic status. Effective use of this technology requires preparation of tomorrow’s students starting in the middle and secondary schools. I propose to design a class for an entry-level, technology-related course. Just as students entering college for the first time have to take exams covering math, reading, and writing ability, students should be required to take an exam that covers the basics of computers and their uses.
Individuals that do not pass with a seventy-percentile skill level will be required to take a course for non-credit, a 100 or lower level computer intro course. Use of the existing infrastructure at the university will be essential in tracking the progress of incoming students.
The analysis was designed to answer the following questions:
1) what is the level of computer literacy among current groups of beginning college students specifically?
2) What are the implications of these results for assessing the preparation of today’s students?
In order to influence or determine the outcome of specific events while instructing, an analysis should be done. This analysis will be the basis for decisions to change the formative evaluation of the project at hand. The root cause of the problem can be identified and appropriate solutions designed in order to bring the learner up to the basic knowledge of computer literacy that needs to be obtained prior to enrollment in the university. Instructors will be able to establish relationships, strategies, and define solutions to assist in the learning of computer literacy.
By using the Internet and web development tools, classrooms of today and tomorrow will be learning centers concentrated on multimedia and its addition to the curriculum.
Online technology has the potential to revolutionize teaching and learning. I not only plan to show how people can enhance learning opportunities through technologically based approaches with the use of a Web Quest, but also how they can preserve sound instructional approaches. Technology may increase teacher attention to individualization because of the different levels of knowledge the students bring to the learning environment. One thing that computer experienced students bring to school is their enthusiasm to try the latest technological innovations. The student’s eagerness to learn using the Internet and multimedia labs starts from the individualization that the computer represents, the interactivity of the computer, and access to the Internet.
The entry level CMIS 108 course was used along with the Web Quest in a multimedia lab environment to give the learners the ability to go over the objectives of the course at their own pace. However, if a topic that is covered in class is not met to learner’s satisfaction, then he/she will have the opportunity to revisit the objectives online going through the Web Quest.
The task is the single most important part of a Web Quest. It provides a goal and focus for student energies, and it makes concrete the curricular intentions of the designer. A well-designed task is achievable and appealing and elicits thinking in learners.
The task is the single most important part of a Web Quest. It provides a goal and focus for student energies, and it makes concrete the curricular intentions of the designer. A well-designed task is achievable and appealing, and elicits thinking in learners.
A Web Quest is defined, by Bernie Dodge at San Diego State University, as “an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the Internet.” Along with Tom March, Bernie Dodge has developed and promoted this method of teaching (http://edweb.sdsu.edu/webquest/necc98.htm) (1995).
As a teaching and learning tool, the Internet permits interactive, navigation through its pages. The Web is the medium by which Internet resources can be organized for information access and exchange. It is attractive to students and teachers because someone else has already done the work of locating and organizing meaningful collections of Internet Resources.
I checked the courses in the catalog and I noticed that there were no developmental computers courses offered through Instructional Services. The university services can be arranged in order to provide students who lack initial computer skills and literacy. In addition to assisting students in subjects such as reading, writing, and math computer literacy should be available to all incoming college students. A student’s area of focus regardless of the subject or discipline he/she chooses while pursing their post-secondary education, today’s society computer skills and knowledge is required not and an elective. The university should require a minimum competency in computer literacy; by having entering students pass an entry-level exam.
The Internet is today and tomorrow’s tool for communicating with others, irrespective of distance and time. The Internet promotes the concept of a community of learners, not only in the traditional classroom, but also in virtual learning communities linked together by state, national, and global connections.
I was able to use the Web Quest in a beginning computer class at the university being taught by Dr. Erthal. Students were first introduced to the Web Quest visually by following along with the teacher. Dr. Erthal pointed out the various sections-objectives, computer ports, input/ output devices, resources, etc. Activities designed to augment formative evaluation included: identifying the computer ports, a matching exercise on computer terms, and a crossword puzzle on computer architecture. During the first five weeks of the semester, students visited the various sites in order to familiarize themselves with computer architecture, terminology, and hardware. One resource included information and quizzes on the above-mentioned topics. Test questions were selected from these quizzes and included along with the MICROSOFT WORD application test.
The Internet is a powerful vehicle for information dissemination, partly because it demolishes physical and social barriers that have traditionally limited communication among individuals and groups. As Internet use proliferates, more and more people will gain access to databases containing the stored knowledge of countries around the world.
The Internet provides a rich new source of ideas and resources. Teachers can enhance their instruction with many lesson plans and reference materials and take advantage of professional development opportunities. In addition, they can communicate with students, parents, educators, and other interested individuals on issues of mutual concern.
The greatest obstacle to the Internet is not its acceptance as a tool in the education of students, but how that tool can be employed. The Internet should compel professors to enable their students to use critical thinking in pursuit of knowledge.
A central issue of Internet use lies in differentiating information and knowledge. Information pertains to accumulating discrete pieces of data, whereas knowledge involves extrapolating broad concepts from information. The interactive features of the Internet and its capacity to access many sources instantaneously make it an interesting medium for critical thinking and the creation of knowledge.
The following quiz determines if students learned the information that presented was in the Web Quest. Also, I believe that it would be prudent observe the students in class to determine if they have or acquired specific skills to work with computers.
I have also developed several other tools to determine the learner’s comprehension of the material that was presented in the Web Quest. The vocabulary matching, the ports on the back of the CPU case, and a crossword puzzle all relate to peripherals of a computer.
The number of students in Dr. Erthal class totaled approximately 120, primarily incoming freshman taking an intro computer class, CMIS 108. For the vocabulary matching, the results were very promising as the pie chart graph details. The largest percent was at 11% for the facsimile, and 10% for both the operating system and the modem. The remaining percentage on the other items missed can be attributed to their lack of knowledge in dealing with computer hardware and software applications.
The tower case port matching was an exact image taken off of the Web Quest, and I expected to see better results. The ports with the highest percentage missed were: monitor 18%, serial (com) 18%, and the speakers’ jack at 16%. This says that most learners’ may be familiar with the operation of a computer, but few have had experience in the set-up of a computer. Most people are only concerned with the turning on the computer and having access to its applications. However, over time more and more individuals will become acquainted with the connections and the interior of a personal computer.
Perhaps no one technological advance has caused more excitement than the proliferation of the World Wide Web. This is the key component to increased information access. There is no question that the web enables increased access to information, but again to what end? Does more information really help anyone? One of the benefits of technology is increased access to information. If nothing else, we seem to be suffering from information overload. We still must admit that initial access to this information is by no means equal; it is typically limited by wealth, race, and gender. Improving access still isn’t enough.
More and more, students are demanding that what they learn have practical applications in the real world or have a real economic benefit later in life. If it doesn’t benefit them or isn’t usable, they are likely to lose interest. Web Quests and other innovative methods to instruct will become a standard in order to teach in the future. Although no one can foresee or tell the future, and all the technology and software applications can only add to one’s
As we look toward a new millennium, parents, educators, citizens, government leaders, and businesses have an opportunity to be the weaver of dreams for children’s
futures. By surrounding students with a circle of support and a consistent message emphasizing education and lifelong learning, we can better prepare students for the twenty-first century and for a lifetime of success.
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