Media and Technology
From audiobooks to transmedia storytelling, technology connections have been discussed throughout the course. However, let's spend some time focusing specifically on electronic materials for youth.
An entire course is available in electronic materials for youth. Go to Electronic Materials for Children and Young Adults for more resources and ideas.
Public and school libraries have always contained a wide variety of resources for children and young adults. Over the past century, libraries have increasingly provided access to nonprint materials such as maps, photographs, slides, and kits. The past several decades have seen a tremendous increase in electronic materials for children and young adults. These kinds of materials include computer software, audio CDs, DVDs, and Internet resources.
In recent years, the introduction of mobile apps and e-book readers have had a major impact on the lives of young people. Many youth have never known life without these devices.
Let's explore book-movie connections, fiction materials, informational materials, instructional materials, creativity tools, and digital collections used by youth. Also explore ways to provide youth with access to these electronic resources.
You’re probably familiar with the movies based on famous book series like Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Twilight. You may also remember some of the classics that were made into films like The Wizard of Oz and Old Yeller. However there are many more out there you may not have seen. A few of these books-movie connections are listed below:
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal (Perfect) Snogging by Louise Rennison
The Baby-Sitter's Club by Ann M. Martin
A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
Babe: The Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
The Book Thief by Mark Zusak
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang by Ian Fleming
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen by Dyan Sheldon
Curious George by H.A. Rey
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Dark is Rising (Seeker: The Dark is Rising) by Susan Cooper
Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
Divergent by Veroica Roth
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key
Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl
Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
The Lorax by Dr. Suess
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Guardians of Ga'Hoole series (Legend of Guardians) by Kathryn Lasky
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Holes by Louis Sachar
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Host by Stephenie Meyer
Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Suess
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
Matilda by Roald Dahl
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Nim's Island by Wendy Orr and Kerry Millard
Mr Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
One Hundred and One Dalmations by Dobie Smith
Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Ramona and Beezus by Beverly Cleary
Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton
The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett
The Secret of NIMH (book title: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH) by Robert C O’Brien
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Shiloh series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Shrek series by Wiliam Steig
Skellig by David Almond
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
Speak by Laura Halse Anderson
Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi
Stuart Little by E.B. White
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillos
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
Water Horse by Dick King-Smith
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
The Witches by Roald Dahl
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer
Read Diaz, Shelley (June 5, 2014). Page to Screen. School Library Journal.
Many books have also been made into television shows, particularly for PBS.
Read Martha! (April/May 2012). Horn Book.
Audiobooks, web-based reading, e-books, and interactive apps are available for many of the materials discussed throughout this course.
Audio books are a popular electronic technology for young people. In the past, many libraries have provided books-on-tape and books-on-CD. A growing trend is toward books-on-MP3. These can be downloaded to portable MP3 players such as the, iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Audio books are also sold in self-contained players.
Awards are given to audiobooks regardless of their particular format. The Audies are given by the Audio Publishers Association. The Great Cake Mystery is an example of a winner for the under age 8 category.
LibriVox is a popular source for over 7,000 free public domain audiobooks. Archive.org includes LibriVox as well as other sources for free audiobooks. Millions of people have downloaded books like Pride and Prejudice, Moby Dick, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Dracula.
Audible.com is a web-based resource owned by Amazon with 100,000+ books that can be downloaded to Kindle, tablet, iPhone, iPod, and Android devices.
The Playaway provides a book on a small portable MP3 player with earbuds. It requires a triple A battery. Many books for children and teens are available in this format. Books are also available for young adults. The Playaway Bookpack combines a print version of the book along with an audiobook. Bookset are also available.
Read Whittingham, Jeff; Huffman, Stephanie; Christensen, Rob; and Tracy McAllister (2013). Use of Audiobooks in a School Library and Positive Effects of Struggling Readers’ Participation in a Library-Sponsored Audiobook Club. School Library Research, 16.
For the past couple decades, an increasing number of fiction reading opportunities are available online. Many classic books for young people are available online at Archive.org including
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer(1876)
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
- Black Beauty (1877)
- Call of the Wild (1903)
- The History of Little Goody Two Shoes (1765)
- The House that Jack Built
- Kidnapped (1886)
- Oliver Twist (1838)
- The Real Mother Goose (1916)
- The Secret Garden (1911)
- The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin
- Treasure Island (1883)
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
- The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (1922)
- The Wind in the Willows (1908)
- Wizard of Oz series (1900-1920)
Some web-based book websites are sponsored by well-known organizations, while others are start-ups focusing on the new online reading market. For instance, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid began as an online reading experience before becoming a physical book, then a movie. Some websites provide a mixture of subscription and pay reading experiences. For instance, the Sesame Street ebook website rotates books providing a few for free online reading each week.
An electronic book or (ebook, e-book, eBook) is a book-length publication in a digital form. Consisting of text, graphics, and sometimes audio, video, animation or other enhanced elements, these books are readable on an e-book reader (i.e., Kindle, Nook), computer, or other electronic device such as a smartphone, tablet, or other hand-held device. Below is a list of some of the most popular ebook and audiobook services for libraries:
Some school libraries subscribe to e-book services that are connected to the curriculum such as BookFlix from Scholastic that pairs classic stories with related nonfiction works and FreedomFlix from Scholastic that connects nonfiction ebooks with primary source materials. A free trial is available for evaluation.
From classics like Alice in Wonderland to popular fiction like the Twilight series, e-books and book apps are hot. According to publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux, "we’ve reached the tipping point—the technology is in the school, the kids know how to use it. It just makes sense."
Storia from Scholastic is a free eReading App that can be run on Windows PC, iPad, Kindle Fire, and Android. The app is used to access both free and subscription-based ebook content. Hundreds of Scholastic fiction and nonfiction titles are available. Many of the books have audio elements and enriched ebook options such as interactives and games. Reading Rainbow is another subscription-based app.
Miss Spider's Tea Party for the iPad is an interactive book that contains the classic picture book in addition to multi-touch animation, painting, puzzles, and games.
Chopsticks is one of a growing number of novels for youth designed specifically as mobile apps. The novel includes interactive elements including audio, video, and images.
No longer are children lifting heavy encyclopedia volumes to do their school reports or find out about pet care. Instead, many are heading to electronic resources including popular informational websites like National Geographic, online encyclopedia like Wikipedia, and electronic databases from states providers like Inspire. Or, they're downloading apps such as WebMD.
Web-based Information Resources
Many youth use search tools such as Google to locate information. However there are more effective ways to location quality online materials.
It can be difficult to keep up with all the options. Use websites like ALA's Great Websites for Kids to locate reviewed resources. Go to usa.gov and kids.gov for government resources. For educators, Thinkfinity is the place to begin your search. This website links to partner pages across academic areas. Other starting points include:
Many libraries, particularly school libraries subscribe to services that help youth locate pre-selected websites such as netTrekker.
Databases have become an important informational too for youthl. An electronic database is a collection of information organized so that a computer can quickly access requested data. Like a traditional file cabinet, databases are organized by fields, records, and files. A wide range of tools allow users to browse or search the contents of electronic databases. These electronic databases can be divided into two categories: subscription and open-access.
Subscription databases are paid-resources that are accessed using a username and password. In many states, a collection of databases is purchased through the state and provided to school and public libraries for free. Libraries then supplement this collection with their own subscriptions. Companies like Gale are known for their subscription databases. Electronic encyclopedias are popular electronic databases. World Book Encyclopedia Online is a favorite choice for children and young adults. Encyclopedia Britannica and Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia are also popular.
Some databases are designed specifically for elementary age students. As part of its subscription search, EBSCO Publishing a tool called Searchasaurus that helps guide students through the use of its databases including Primary Search, Middle Search Plus, Nook Collection: Nonfiction, Image Collection, Newspaper Source, and TOPICsearch.
Go to Inspire, a service of the Indiana State Library that provides many databases to Indiana libraries. Go to the Inspire Information page for a list of databases. Also, check out a list of other states with similar services.
Open-access databases are those that are available for free without a subscription. Although some require a free login requirement, others are simply open to the public. Over the past several years, many libraries, museums, and agencies have developed wonderful, open-access electronic databases. Butterflies and Moths of North America is a searchable database including occurrence maps, species accounts, checklists, and photographs of thousands butterflies and moths.
Seek out ways to connect books with web-based resources. Explore some examples below:
Connect The New Way Things Work (1998) by David Macaulay with the following web-based resources:
App-based Information Resources
From art to world languages there are quality electronic resources in every subject area. The Walt Whitman app (shown below left) provides youth with information about the poet and his poems. The Cell and Cell Structure app (shown below right) provides information and instruction related to cell biology.
Books like The Elements: A Visual Exploration provide text, graphics, and animations. National Geographic's Ultimate Dinopedia is an example of an interactive book on the topic of dinosaurs.
Many apps are associated with outdoor activities. For instance, Sky Guide and Star Walk are two apps youth can use at night to get information about the night sky and learn the constellations.
Lots of museums produce apps that provide information about their collections. The Smithsonian is an example. Apps are also available to many historical sites, particularly associated with the National Park System.
Websites and apps are available to help youth learn in both format and informal situations. For instance, Brainpop is available online and as an app.
Web-based Instructional Materials
Interactives are much more than text, graphics, audio, and video information on a web page. They provide an engaging environment where learners can organize resources, manipulate information, and even create new content. Students aren't simply consumers of information; they become part of an active, learning experience. Explore the following list of general websites that contain interactives for youth.
- Annenberg Learner Interactives
- Ben US Government
- Curriculum Bits
- Edsitement Interactives
- Eduplace Activities
- Get the Math
- Illuminations Math Activities
- Just for Kids
- Math Cats
- National Geographic Games
- Nobel Prize Interactives and Games
- NOVA Interactives Archive
- OMSI Activities
- Our Story - American History
- PBS Kids
- PBS Interactive Whiteboard Games
- PBS Interactives and Games
- Physics Classroom
- ReadWriteThink Interactives
- Scholastic Student Activities
- Sesame Street Games
- Smithsonian Games
- Thinkport Interactive Media
- Windows into Wonderland
Select and explore three of the interactives from the list above. Compare and contrast how users interact with the content presented. Which approach to you think would be most appealing to youth?
Think about ways to pair interactives with books. A basic example is pairing the book The Lord of the Flies by William Golding with the Nobel Prize interactive Lord of the Flies Game. In some cases, publisher websites provide the matching interactives. For instance, the Owen and Mzee website goes with the book Owen & Mzee by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, Dr. Paula Kahumbu and Peter Greste.
Let's explore some other examples:
Art. Try the art games at Dimenna Children's History Museum. Then, read one of the following books:
- 13 Art Mysteries Children Should Know by Angela Wenzel
- Brush of the Gods by Lenore Look
- Children's Book of Art: An Introduction to The World's Most Amazing Paintings and Sculptures
- An Eye for Art: Focusing on Great Artists and Their Work
- Get Into Art! Animals: Enjoy Great Art by Susie Brooks
- A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jan Bryant
Autism. Take the What do you really know about autism quiz from OpenLearn. Then, read one of the following books:
- Anything But Typical by Nora Raleign Baskin
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
- Episodes: My Life as I See It by Blaze Ginsberg
- The London Eye Mystery by Sibhan Dowd
- The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida
- Rules by Cynthia Lord
Colonial Times. Visit Colonial Williamsburg's website for lots of online activities. Then, read one of the following books set in that time period.
- Blood on the River: James Town, 1607 by Elisa Carbone
- Colonial America: An Interactice History Adventure by Allison Lassieur
- Colonial America, 1543-1763 by Tim McNeese
- Fort Moses and the Story of the Man Who Built the First Free Black Settlement in Colonial America by Glennette T. Turner
- The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
Diabetes. Play The Diabetic Dog Game. Then, read one of the following books focusing on this topic.
- Explaining Diabetes by Anita Loughrey
- Even Little Kids Get Diabetes by Connie Pirner and Nadine Westcott
- Even Superheroes Get Diabetes by Sue Ganz-Schmitt
- The Great Katie Kate Discusses Diabetes by M. Maitland DeLand
- How to Deal with Diabetes by Lynette Robbins
Underground Railroad. Read one of the books below about the underground railroad. Then, try the The Underground Railroad: Journey to Freedom interactive from National Geographic.
- Elijah of Buxton by Chrispher Paul Curtis
- Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter
- Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
- If I Just Had Two Wings by Virginia Frances Schwartz
- The Patchword Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom by Bettye Stroud
- Stealing South by Katherine Ayres
- True North by Kathryn Lasky
- Under the Quilt of the Night by Deborah Hopkinson
App-based Instructional Materials
Many apps such as SAT Word Slam and Edupath ACT help youth prepare for tests. Super Why is only one of many PBS Kids learning apps available for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.
Children and young adults can use creativity resources to develop exciting personal and school projects that involve writing, drawing, recording sounds, and incorporating video. Think of these as the tools of technology.
Youth continue to use standard productivity tools such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. However, some educators prefer to use software designed specifically for children and young adults. Max's Toolbox provides an age-appropriate interface for Microsoft Office. It includes MaxWrite, MaxCount, and MaxShow.
Increasingly young people are attracted to collaborative tools such as Google Docs and mobile versions of wordprocessing, spreadsheet, and presentation tools.
Interactive apps for mobile devices are very popular. For instance, Toontastic is an app provides children a fun tool for creating characters, cartoons, and great stories.
The creation of comics has exploded in popularity with tools such as Comic Life. Try the demo for Mac or Windows for 30 days. It's also available as a mobile app. Visual learners enjoy using Kidspiration or Inspiration.
Explore tools such as Animation-ish from Fablevision. A trial is available for this easy-to-use drawing and animation tool.
A growing number of creativity tools are available online. These tools are often available at no cost and can be accessed anywhere, anytime. However keep in mind that because the resources are free, they may not be available forever. Always has a "back up" plan when using online resources.
Haiku. Youth might read one of the following books on haiku poetry. Then, use the Haiku Poem Interactive to create their own poem.
- Basho and the River Stones by Tim Myers
- The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter
- DogKu by Andrew Clements
- Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys by Bob Raczka
- If Not for the Cat by Jack Prelutsky
- I Haiku You by Betsy Snyde
- Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street by Roni Schotter
Hero's Journey. Read one of the following books or series. Then, build your own project using the Hero's Journey interactive.
- Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
- The Ender Saga by Orson Scott Card
- Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
- The Hero Project by Robert and William Hatch
- His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
- I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
- Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
- The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
Other popular tools often used by youth include:
- Animoto - create short videos
- BigHugeLabs - edit and enhance photos
- Bubbl.us - build concept maps
- Create a Graphs - create charts and graphics
- Edmodo - a social network aimed at educators and students
- Glogster - create online posters
- GoAnimate - create animations
- Google Maps - create maps
- Padlet - create interactive sticky boards
- Photo Flex - edit photos
- Pixton - create comics
- Prezi - build presentations
- Slideshare - share slideshows
- Storybird- create online stories
- Surveymonkey - create surveys
- Thinglink - create photos with hot spots
- Tiki-Toki - build online timelines
- Vimeo - share videos
- visual.ly - build infographics
- Voki - create avatars and record audio
- Voicethread - create audio slide-shows with comments
- Weebly - build web pages and blogs
- Wordle - create word clouds
Programming tools specifically for youth such as Minecraft and Scratch provide a great introduction to gaming as well as computer programming skills. STEAM focuses on games developed by and for young adults.
Many wonderful online collections are available. Many of these collections can be used by youth.
Traditionally, subject guides included print materials such as books, pamphlets, brochures, maps, photographs, and primary source documents. In the 70s and 80s, the word pathfinder became associated with bibliographies that included both print and nonprint materials such as audios, videos, filmstrips, transparencies, and kits. In the 90s, pathfinders began to include links to online resources such as websites, electronic database, and other outside resources. Today, they also include mobile apps and social media resources.
Today, a pathfinder includes all the resources that students or library patrons might find useful from primary source documents to the email addresses of local community members. It might contain Dewey Decimal numbers to locate materials in the library or URLs to find materials on the Internet. In addition, it could include phone numbers, addresses, and email contacts for experts who might be able to address specific questions related to a topic.
Free website services such as Weebly can be used to create professional-quality pathfinders. Increasingly, libraries are paying for a subscription to LibGuides which provides an environment for creating these guides.
Pathfinders can be simple such as a one-page overview of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid or the multiple tab exploration of the books, movies, and author of the Harry Potter series. Or, a pathfinder can be very detailed with multiple pages such as the Genealogy Research pathfinder.
Many schools, libraries, and organizations now maintain a collection of pathfinders on a wide range of topics.
Audience. Begin by considering the needs of your audience. What are their experiences, interests, and language requirements? What's their developmental and reading level?
Need. Think about the interests, desires, and needs of youth. What does the audience need in terms of background information, resources, ideas, and support?
Design. Create an online resource that is attractive and engaging for your young audience. The "look and feel" should be appropriate for children or young adults. Keep in mind that teens think of themselves as sophisticated. However, they may be lacking in knowledge and skills.
Approaches. Think about how information will be presented. Will the resource be used as a research guide, learning tool, or leisure environment? Organize information in a way that's logical for the users.
Just as you need to carefully select materials you purchase, you also need to be systematic in your website and app recommendations.
Unique Materials. Seek out materials that supplement rather than duplicate the materials already available in your library. Encourage users to enjoy both physical and virtual resources.
Age Appropriate. Many apps and online resources aren't designed specifically for youth. Before putting an item on your pathfinder, think about whether the users have the background information and entry skills to successfully use the resource.
Reading Level. Children will be frustrated by resources that are beyond their reading level. When writing the introduction and other materials for your pathfinder, talk directly to young users. Use short sentences and vocabulary that they'll understand. Provide a glossary and list of key words to ensure that they are successful with the topic.
Multi-media Approach. Text, visuals, audio, and video are all important ways to convey information. Seek out materials with different channels of communications. This is particularly important for young readers who lack reading fluency. Rather than providing links, try embedding video, audio, animation, and widgets.
Special Needs. Consider the cognitive and physical challenges facing youth. When possible, provide alternatives for those with visual challenges and other special needs.
Pathfinders can contain a wide range of elements. Consider each of the following ideas when selecting components to include in your pathfinder.
Introduction. It's essential to kick off a pathfinder with an engaging introduction that will attract youth. Consider using a video such as a book trailer and an image such as a photograph or cartoon. Use the introduction to define the scope of the pathfinder and the intended audience.
Annotations. For each item on your resource list be sure to provide a citation and annotation that details the reading level, types of illustrations, ease of use, contents, and reasons why it will be useful. If you provide a link, be sure it's active. Sometimes you want to include directions for using particular websites or resources. For example, you might take users step-by-step through searching a reference resource or database. Some electronic resources are restricted to local users. In many cases a password or local library card is needed.
Keywords and Search Strategies. Beyond the resources you list, be sure to provide ideas for how youth can locate additional resources. What keywords would you suggest? What search engines might be useful? What databases might contain good information?
Activity Ideas. Think about ways to incorporate or encourage effective use of the resources in the pathfinder. For example, you might suggest activities or projects that might contribute to the learning experience. Or, list essential questions associated with the material or pose interesting dilemmas.
Advice. Provide ideas for people doing research on this topic. Is there anything you could suggest in terms of things to look for or avoid?
Contact Information. Be sure to include your contact information so people can email you with ideas and suggestions for improvement!
Explore the Pathfinders Project page from my Electronic Materials course. It contains some great pathfinder examples. Think about how you could build pathfinders to help youth access library resources.
Another approach to accessing and using library resources is the WebQuest. Think about how online resources can contribute to learning. Rather than giving students a traditional assignment such as “locate information about a topic and write a term paper”, take an inquiry-based approach to learning. Ask students to question the world around them. Design motivating activities with a meaningful task and specific products that ask students to apply Internet information to the production of a poster, brochure, demonstration, or debate.
WebQuests provide an authentic, technology-rich environment for problem solving, information processing, and collaboration. This inquiry-based approach to learning involves students in a wide range of activities that make good use of Internet-based resources. Rather than spending substantial time using search tools, most or all of the information used by learners is found on pre-selected websites. Students can then focus on using web-based information to analyze, synthesis, and evaluate information to address high-level questions.
WebQuests all share the same basic elements. Critical attributes of a WebQuest include:
- an introduction that sets the stage of the activity
- a doable, interesting task
- a set of information resources
- a clear process
- guidance and organizational frameworks
- a conclusion that provides reflection and closure.
Non-critical attributes included group activities, motivational elements, and interdisciplinary approaches.