Swimming with Sharks

Embracing Technological Change  

A WebQuest for teachers

Designed by

Priscilla “Prilla” Speer  pspeer@trevecca.edu

Dr. Alice Patterson apatterson@trevecca.edu

Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits |


Picture yourself in a vast ocean sailing along peacefully until a strong wind overturns your sailboat and you find yourself trying to stay afloat.  You are desperately trying to keep your head above water when you see that there are sharks circling you and your overturned boat.

The ocean is technology.  The sailboat is where you are regarding technology skills and applications.  The strong wind is change that you don’t have control over.  The sharks represent your uncertainties, fears, and lack of ability, whatever keeps you from embracing technological change.

How can you embrace technologically based changes without being eaten by sharks?

  Back to top

The Task  

This section will define the tasks ahead of you in your quest to swim with the sharks.

 Back to top

The Process

In this section you will complete each step in the order listed. You may be asked to do a task independently or as a team.  Follow instructions given in the steps below to respond to the tasks detailed.

Step 1: Define Technological Change.  Work as group to come up with one definition that you have crafted using the web links provided.  These definitions will be shared with the large group.

Ø      Merriam-Webster http://www.m-w.com

Ø      One Look Dictionaries  http://www.onelook.com

Step 2:  Choose one aspect from the Assumptions about Change list and identify which assumption has become a truth based on your experience with change?  Share this in your group.

Step 3:  Look at the Elements of Change list. 

Discuss with your team those that you agree with or disagree with and why. Would you respond differently to change if you could go back and begin again? 

Step 4:  Choose a quote from the Research Findings list and discuss the implications in your team.

Step 5: Look at the Learning Retention sheet and working together decide what the percentages should be.  Then check the web site linked to verify your answers.  What does this tell us about technology uses in the classroom?

Step 6: Look at the pictures  

Identify which picture illustrates how you feel about technological change.

Step 7: Share with your team what characteristics you saw of yourself in the picture you chose.

Step 8: Click on the link to see a list of shark species. http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/sharks/classification/index.shtml  Scroll down to see the section titled Information Sheets About Sharks (and Rays). Identify which type of shark can be your best friend. 

Step 9:  You have survived!  Congratulations!

Back to top


  Your performance on this WebQuest will be evaluated in the following ways:












What best describes your comfort level with technology?

I use it mainly for email and grade reports.

I can use it in the classroom as long as there is an integrator present.

I love using technology but I will take my time to learn applications.

Gung Ho!



Did you learn something new about yourself and change?

Change is good.

Change can be managed.

Change is great as long as I have support.

I love change!



Did you laugh at any time during this WebQuest?


A smile, no sound.

A little chuckle.

A little chuckle progressing into a chortle.

A certifiable, laugh out loud, guffaw.


Web Quest

Not so bad.

Okay for an in-service.

Thoroughly enjoyable and educational

Greatest thing since sliced bread!


Back to top


Change is inevitable and many times it is something we cannot stop. Technological change is something that will become a normal pattern of events. In order to implement change we must be patient, have support and take risks. We all have sharks to fend off, just different types.  By working together we can survive the overturned boat in the ocean of technology and learn to swim with the sharks. 


  Back to top

Credits & References

Belanger, Yvonne. (2002) “Laptop Computers in the K-12 Classroom.”  TEACHER

        LIBRARIAN April 2002: 31-33.


Cox, Dr. Ruth. (2003) Soaring Higher” Teaching Retention Handouts and Power Point. 

    Trevecca Nazarene University. Nashville, TN. 


Erlendsson, Jon. Learning Retention. Scientific & Technical Studies Dept. University of Iceland

    2002. 18 Aug. 2003.   <http://www.hi.is/~joner/eaps/cs_reten.htm >


Griffioen, James, W. Brent Seales, and James E. Lumpp, Jr. (1998) Teaching in

    Realtime Wireless Classrooms.” Dept. of Computer Science. University of Kentucky.  

    23 April 1998.      23 July 2003.  <http://www.dcs.uky.edu/~wc/publication/1296/1296.html >


Levine, Lawrence E.  “Using Technology to Enhance the Classroom Environment.”  

    T.H.E. Journal  Jan.     2002: 16+.  23 July 2003. <http://www.thejournal.com >


Smith, Jodie. “Wireless Laptop Integration at Dowell Middle School”  The Book Report

    Nov/Dec.          2002:42-43.


Strudler, Neal  “Staff Development and Technology: A Position Paper”

    Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 9(4), 8-10.   13 August 2003.             <http://www.scsv.nevada.edu/~strudler/staffdev.html >


Wilkinson, Dr. Bruce L. (1988) 7 Laws of the Learner. Fort Mill, S.C.  Walk Thru The Bible.

"Wireless Technology for Collaborative Learning."  University of Delaware. 2001.  23 July

    2003.  <http://www.udel.edu/pbl/wireless/ >


WebQuest last updated 18 August 2003


Back to top

Last updated on August 15, 1999. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page