You and your students need to plan and design the
layout of your class' CultureQuest website early in
the process. Together, design your home page and lay
it out. Decide how it will link to both the core information
the class collects and the specific cultural area being
studied by each small group of students. When students
have collected the "core" information, post
it on the site as soon as that information is available.
When students have completed their small group tasks
on an area of the culture, post these on the website.
The website you and your students are developing is
an educational website, not just an
informational website. As such, it should not only be
chock full of information it should also attempt to
interest other children in the subject so they will
be motivated to learn more about the culture. Clearly,
here is where not only interesting content is important
but graphics, pictures, video etc. might also be useful.
The students' text should be written in their own words
and not be a 'cut and paste' of information copied from
the Web. In some areas, the website should provide somewhat
less information directly but direct the reader to many
useful and annotated links to web resources. It might
include interactive opportunities for example, a quiz
or pretest might be included so that readers might test
themselves on what they know about the culture before
they look at the site. A survey revealing common misconceptions
about a culture would also be interesting and revealing.
Other ways readers can interact with the information
on the site include: inviting readers to leave informed
comments, puzzles that might provide useful information,
as well as quizzes or other games with content appropriate
to the site.
Templates for websites are included in the Technology
Toolkit as are tutorials for other web editors. Depending
upon the age, skill levels of the students and available
time, students might learn skills that range from taking
an image from the web to building their own web pages
with voice and video.
CultureQuest websites might include not only text
and appropriate hyperlinks but graphics, animation,
sound and maybe video. (See also Criteria for a Good
Website in the Technology Toolkit.) The idea is not
to focus attention on the "glitz", but rather
on the quality of the research. Once that is in place
and students want to play with the rest- that will only
enhance the quality of the site. Glitz with no quality
is simply not acceptable. Quality with no glitz is okay
but risks being boring and not something other students
will want to read.
The CultureQuest class website should be a resource
for others to use to learn about the culture studied.
It will contain links to a large collection of other
useful sites. You may decide to put the website on your
school's server with a link to our www.culturequest.us
site or, if you do not have a server, we will post the
site for you on our server.