WebQuests Let Students Explore Independent Ally in Indianapolis Schools

The Indianapolis Public Schools Click Program

The Indianapolis Schools Click Program, a professional development program for teachers, helped teachers designed web based learning activities for students, called WebQuests. The Indianapolis Public School website offers a range of WebQuests, arranged by grade level (K – 2, 3 – 5, 6 – 8, 9 – 12) and subject area. Many of the WebQuests connect multiple subject areas. All the WebQuests are offered free to the Indianapolis Public School community in order to enhance student learning on a variety of subjects. They are easily accessed by clicking on the relevant grade level and subject area on the website.

What is a WebQuest?

A WebQuest is defined as an “inquiry based activity in which most or all of the information used by learners is drawn from the Web.” WebQuests are designed to focus learners on using information and support thinking on all levels of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Students are given the exact location of the information that they need in the order that they need it in order to use the learner’s time effectively. The model followed by the Indianapolis Public Schools was developed by San Diego State University in 1995. The WebQuests on the Indianapolis Public School website are best viewed with the latest version of Internet Explorer.

A Sample WebQuest About Dinosaurs

In order to see the creative and interesting uses for WebQuests, let’s look at one particular example. This WebQuest was developed by an Indianapolis Public School elementary science teacher to help students learn about dinosaurs.

At the beginning of the WebQuest, there is a clear assignment: a pair of students is going to design a poster about one of the dinosaurs they learn about in the Dinosaurland WebQuest. In order to do this, they are instructed to print out pictures and type out important information. The Indianapolis Public School students will be judged on their correct use of spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, bringing in a writing element to this science lesson.

The WebQuest provides students with information about Meat Eating Dinosaurs, Plant Eating Dinosaurs, and Fossils. In each section, the students are directed to look at information provided by various museums, including the Cyber Space Museum of Natural History and Exploration Technology, the Exhibit Museum of Natural History, the Dallas Museum of Natural History, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and the Royal Ontario Museum. In addition to these professional sites, Indianapolis Public School students are also directed to teacher – produced websites that give details about specific dinosaurs in addition to graphics pages like the 3D Dinosaurs Pictures Web Page.

At the end of the WebQuest, students are provided with a detailed rubric for completing their poster. This rubric includes how many points the students will gain or lose for each part of the poster, including Spelling, Capitalization, Punctuation, Pictures, and Presentation. At the end of this rubric is a page for the Indianapolis Public School teacher to print out and complete with details about the student’s work and accomplishments. In this way, the Indianapolis Public School student works almost entirely independently from the teacher to create and present a unique insight into the subject.

Views From Seats Around The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Track

In part 3 of this series we describe the various seating views on the outside of the south end of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The south end of the Brickyard covers slightly more than a mile of track and includes the Southwest Vista, the South Vista, Grandstand G and the Southeast Vista.

RESERVING YOUR SEATS: At the Brickyard 400 all seats are reserved. But if you want to reserve the same seat year after year, you must purchase your tickets from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) directly. Getting on the renewal list requires you to not only purchase your tickets from the IMS, it also requires you to purchase your tickets each year right after the race. Once you get on the IMS ticket purchasing list you can also ask to be placed on the list to upgrade your tickets as better tickets become available.

It may take many years before you earn the right to purchase prime tickets, but if this is your goal, you better get started now. The IMS will allow you to reserve your seats for your lifetime and then they will allow you to pass your renewal rights to your children. They will not, however, allow your children to pass it down to their children.

GRANDSTAND INFORMATION: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway offers grandstands on the inside and the outside of the track. All grandstands on the inside of the track end with Terrace in its name. Grandstands on the outside of the track include Vistas, Paddock, Penthouse or a Grandstand with a letter in the name. The IMS has removed all infield grandstands in the turns. If your seating chart shows grandstands on the inside corner of the speedway, it is outdated. See the updated seating chart at the Brickyard 400 Seat Photos page on this website for an updated seating chart. The following list provides detailed information about each grandstand at the speedway.

SOUTHWEST VISTA: The views from the Southwest Vista located at the end of turn 1 at the south end of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway provides a view of turn 1, the short chute and turn 2. The seating in this grandstand is bench style with no backs. There is no roof covering these grandstands. As with most other grandstands at the Brickyard, the best views are up high in the stands. You must have seats in the double letter rows in order to have a good view of the track. There is no view of the front straightaway from this grandstand. The closest parking to this grandstand would be the Main Gate Lot and Lot 2.

SOUTH VISTA: Sitting on the outside of the track between turns 1 and 2 is the South Vista. This grandstand provides views of Turn 1, turn 2 and the short chute. No view of the front straightaway or the back stretch is possible from these seats. The seats are bench style with no backs. There is no roof structure covering this grandstand. The closet parking to this grandstand would be Main Gate Lot and Lot 2. Double letter rows offer the best view of the track. Seating in the single letter rows have a somewhat less expansive view of the track and are partially obstructed by the catch fence.

GRANDSTAND G: This grandstand sits on the outside of the track in the south short chute. The seats in this grandstand are bench style with no backs and there is no roof covering the seats. The Main Gate Lot and Lot 2 would likely be the closest parking lots. The best views are high into the grandstand. This grandstand is somewhat smaller, height wise, than the South, SW and SE Vista grandstands. From this grandstand you can see turns 1 and 2. Views from the seats in the single letter rows are more obstructed by the catch fence.

SOUTHEAST VISTA: This grandstand sits in Turn 2 on the outside of the track. The seats in this section are bench style seats with no backs. There is no roof covering this grandstand. Best views of the track from this grandstand will be found in sections 17, 18, 19, and 20 high in the double letter rows. The Main Gate Lot and Lot 2 would likely be the closest designated IMS lot. Views from the single letter rows are somewhat obstructed by the catch fence.

1 Out of 1,400,000

I did a quick search last night for the term Indianapolis web design. In just a few seconds Google returned 1,400,000 items.

The sheer volume is staggering. How long do you think it would take to actually look through all those pages? I will never know, because like most  people, I rarely look past page two.

That is  the challenge for small business owners who have invested serious money in their company websites.  They are frustrated when the site doesn’t appear on page one. But consider the odds. According to Netcraft, there are more than 644 million active web pages, and the number grows every month.

So is it impossible to shoot for page one? Not at all. With a large enough budget you can buy space on the top of almost any search, or you can invest the effort to move there organically.

The organic approach takes time, but provides lasting results and while some of the rules change often, the basics of good SEO strategy remain the same. SEO Success has created a checklist which is a great starting point for companies who hope to create long-term success of their natural search engine optimization efforts.

Some of the key points include:

Setup: Results take time. This is not something you can do for a few weeks. To be successful you have to commit to the long haul. Why? As soon as you stop, someone else will take your place.

Success is driven by a mixture of on-site and off-site activities.

On-Site: Create new content weekly. And if you are trying to place in a really competitive category, you may have to add content every day. Blogs, photos, testimonials and news stories all help your company gain visibility.

Off-Site: It is called the “web” for a reason. Sites are interconnected. Take advantage of this interconnection by distributing your content through many channels. Take time to comment on other blogs on related topics, look for opportunities to write guest posts, and share relevant links on social networks.

Results: Track your progress. Periodically check in and see how you are doing. Are you moving up? Review the data and make adjustments in your strategy.
Does it really work?

About a year ago I checked our position for several of our keywords. I found we typically ranked on page one for many of our most important terms.   We were, however, on page nine for the competitive phrase Indianapolis Web Design.  In addition to the business opportunities we were missing, it was clear we weren’t serving the needs of our readers who come to us expecting tips and suggestions on a range of small business marketing topics.  Clearly we were focusing too much time and energy elsewhere.

So we adjusted our strategy, began writing more content on that theme.  The result?  You can often find us on the bottom of page one or top of page two alongside companies much larger than Roundpeg.  But as soon as we slacked off we slid back.  There were two  important lessons in this exercise

  • Ranking on competitive terms requires consistent and focused effort. You are not the only company in your industry hoping to earn that spot.
  • Consider all your services and be sure you are touching all your topics and key words on a rotating basis.