For four years now I have led groups of 6th graders in building websites for the Dutch thinkquest competition in which a few hundred schools compete in making educational websites.
We usually keep the groups small, 6 to 8 students, all volunteers but by no means all computer whizzkids. Starting work in November the students choose the subject, divide it into chapters which individual (or pairs of) students will research. At the same time they learn the basics of frontpage software. Other tasks (collecting of illustration material, over-all design of the site, progress control, etc.) are divided as well. From approx. mid January we actually start building. In April we upload the finished site. Every week a meeting is held on Friday, while most of the work is done by the students whenever they have time during the rest of the week.
It is always a wonderful process. The intention is that the students get to do everything themselves and therefore they learn a lot; not just about the subject matter and the use of frontpage but especially about teamwork, cooperation, individual and collective responsibility, planning, timing and working with deadlines. And exactly that is the object. We are not in the first place aiming for high technical quality or perfect content but rather for a group process in which each individual can make the best use his/her own talents, aspirations and skills.
NB: By clicking on the illustrations hereunder
you will be linked to the thinkquest website in question



The first time that all 14 6tg graders participated in thinkquest. The subject this year was film and  that is something all children cab relate to in their own way. Not only did they write extensively about their favorite films and stars, made powerpoint presentations about filmgenre's and professions, but they also made their own action packed 15 minute fiction film, called "Murder in the Dunes at Groet" !






Sewarage and draining systems was the subject the students chose this year and via an excursion and the visit of a local official they collected the necessary data. So much so that the site was one of the 40 finalists of 2007!





This time the 7 new 6th graders chose for their own village as the subjectmatter. It was great to see how they collected the information, made pictures and interviews and put together this very informative site!






The first time we participated and we still had a lot to learn... The subjectmatter was the internet itself and the 6 6th graders enthousiastically tried to explain its workings to ... whom? Others who already found out about it...