Brief Description of the Site:
Thinkquest is that innovative educational web site online project based learning program with which many may already be familiar. It's reappearance here in T&L's "Site of the Day" underscores Thinkquest's new international competition that will take place TWICE a year. Student teams from around the globe will have the chance to collaborate on site development on a topic of their choice. This form of project based learning will enhance research skills, development of collaborative relationships on a global level, expand student knowledge of a chosen subject area, and increase technology skills by creating an educational web site stored on the Thinkquest server. The extension into the global arena at a time when Americans are increasingly affected by international events makes this competition an opportunity for students and educators to open vistas of learning without geographic limitations through the power of the Internet.
How to use the site:
Teams of students choose a topic to be explored for web site development. Thinkquest International provides guidelines and a rubric by which entries are judged. The process requires student access to the Internet, email, and web design software. (Note: a version of Netscape is free online). At least one teacher must serve as the team coach, facilitator, and project content guide. Teachers with technology skills can provide input on the tech side of site development, but that component isn't essential because of the facility students seem to have with tech skills acquisition. Sites developed must include components specified by the competition. One of the competition's goals is to create a teaching resource for students by students that empowers students to take responsibility for their own learning.