Digital immigrant teacher perceptions of an extended Cyberhunt strategy

André du Plessis, Paul Webb


This quantitative and qualitative interpretive exploratory case study investigates whether exposure to an Internet based Extended Cyberhunt strategy enables teachers to attain a set of outcomes similar to Prensky's 'Essential 21st Century Skills' and the 'Critical Outcomes of the South African National Curriculum Statement (NCS)'. The outcomes referred to include effective planning, designing, decision making and goal setting; improved computer and data searching skills; enhanced confidence, interest, reflective ability, collaboration, judgment and creative and critical thinking; as well as effective problem solving and the ability to communicate and interact with individuals and groups. The Extended Cyberhunt strategy, which focuses on enabling participants to become the designers of questions on curriculum related topics at different cognitive levels of Bloom's Taxonomy, was introduced to teachers who were first time users of the Internet, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. The intention was to ascertain these teachers' perceptions of the utility of the strategy in terms of assisting them to implement the critical outcomes described above with school level learners. Data on their perceptions and experiences related to these outcomes were generated and triangulated by means of a pre and post-Likert scale questionnaire, an open ended questionnaire, qualitative semi-structured interviews, reflective journal writing, and implementer reflections. Positive gains were revealed in terms of all of the above outcomes after exposure to the Extended Cyberhunt strategy. These findings are considered in terms of differences between the approach used and traditional teacher-centred teaching, and the strategy is examined using activity theory as a lens. While we are aware that many alternative approaches exist that may be just as successful in terms of attaining the desired outcomes, we believe that the Extended Cyberhunt strategy is both a fruitful extension of WebQuests and other existing Internet-based approaches, and a relatively easily implementable and viable way of attaining the desired outcomes.

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