On his fourth visit to Sao Paulo (the first in 1989), Bernie Dodge explained to a room packed with teachers from different schools in Sao Paulo, the concept of the webquest and how it has evolved from the Archeotype structure in 1995 to the matrix he has today. The event counted on a simultaneous interpreter and was video-conferenced to 3 different Senac locations across the state.
Professor Jarbas, a Senac old timer and the man responsible for bringing the webquest concept to Brazil, introduced Bernie with one single sentence: “The man who makes simple what usually seems complicated” and for the whole hour that followed, Bernie confirmed it. He illustrated, with humour, slides and timely interventions, episodes from his childhood which showed the contrast between the rote learning of those times and the pressing need for an education based on higher order skills to face the increasing flow of information and change of the 21st century.
As society becomes more and more complex, the role of the educator is to prepare the learners to face uncertainty and deal with it. There are no easy multiple choice answers in such situations, so the verbs that should be used in the classrooms of today are design, decide, create and judge.
Looking forward to the workshop tomorrow which will gather teachers who, like me, have been producing webquests and integrating them into our classroom. It’ll be nice to meet them and contrast and compare results and experiences.