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PBL: Apps, Tips, and Tricks

PBL: Apps, Tips, and Tricks
Editor's Note: Matt Weyers and co-author Jen Dole, teachers at Byron Middle School in Byron, Minnesota, present the seventh installment in a year-long series documenting their experience of launching a PBL pilot program. Project-based learning is a complex teaching method that, in our experience, requires a clear and established workflow to seamlessly accommodate the needs of teachers, parents, and students. Throughout this school year, we have found several apps, add-ons, and programs that have helped us best manage our workflow. Before we provide brief descriptions and links to each of them, it is important to state the current situation in our classroom: Students in our classes have individual iPads to use during the school day (they stay at school). Every student has a school-generated Gmail account. Favorite Tool #1: Google Apps The Google Apps suite is an invaluable tool in our classroom. Favorite Tool #1.1: Doctopus (Google Apps-Related) Favorite Tool #2: Air Server

Related:  PBL / InquiryPBL (ABP)Active learningBlended Learning

Use PBL to Role-Play in the Real World By Heather Wolpert-Gawron We always hear about the “real world” vs. the world in school. Project Based Learning helps to break down that elusive barrier and better merges the two. Using Google Tools in Project-Based Learning Infographic Teacher Infographics Using Google Tools in Project-Based Learning Infographic Using Google Tools in Project-Based Learning Infographic

Community-Based Learning: Connecting Students With Their World Matt: Seventy-five percent of last year's graduating class participated in community-based learning. It's not required, it's not anything that they have to do for graduation, but I think the numbers speak for themselves, an important quality of living is to be curious. Students have an opportunity to take the community-based learning program, and that encompasses a number of elements, including internships. They enter into a discussion with myself or my two colleagues about some of their interests, which they may have already developed and they're walking through the door with like, hey I'm really interested in, international affairs, how can I access that sort of curiosity in the small town of Montpelier? And so we just begin a dialogue about what that would look like, why they're interested in that.

edutopia What does the effective implementation of project-based learning (PBL) look like within a school or across an entire system? There's no one right answer, according to superintendents and school leaders who have started down this path. Some leaders want to see wall-to-wall PBL, with students learning mainly through projects in every subject. Others set a more realistic goal, hoping to see students taking part in projects at least a few times during the school year. For strategic reasons, leaders may choose to concentrate PBL rollouts in certain subject areas, such as STEM, or launch PBL initiatives at specific grade levels or pilot sites.

Project Based Learning: Start Here Despite the popularity of project based learning, a lot of teachers haven’t gotten around to trying it yet. You’ve been meaning to; you just haven’t had time to learn how. Or maybe you’re doing something you call project based learning, but you have a nagging feeling that you might not be doing it quite right. If any of this sounds familiar, then this will help. - 30 Online Multimedia Resources for PBL and Flipped Classrooms by Michael Gorman 1 Comment May 28, 2012 By: Michael Gorman May 28 Written by: 5/28/2012 12:30 AM ShareThis

5 PBL Best Practices for Redefining the Teacher's Role Deep learning is messy and complicated. My most fulfilling teaching days are filled with overlapping student voices, surprise, and opportunity. As I circulate around the room, I speak with young people who are grappling with challenges, generating and then revising ideas, and finding their way through the multiple stages of project creation. Depending on the day, my students may be sprawled out on the floor in groups, sitting individually and staring down their work on a screen, in quiet spaces editing video or audio, or out in the world interviewing, filming, or researching. Project-based learning transforms the roles of students and teachers in ways that benefit all.

A Project-Based Learning Spectrum: 25 Questions To Guide Your PBL Planning A Project-Based Learning Spectrum: 25 Questions To Guide Your PBL Planning by Terry Heick I’ve been talking with a friend recently about project-based learning, which is leading to a TeachThought Project-Based Learning framework hopefully sometime next week. How Can We Personalize Rigorous Projects? By Elina Alayeva Project-based learning (PBL) is an incredibly useful way to prepare students for the world—especially today’s world. By definition, project-based learning is an approach that allows students to gain knowledge and skills as they investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question. At their most effective, projects are inquiry-based and focused on real-world issues. This is exactly the kind of work students will be called upon to do once they graduate.

Educational Leadership:The Effective Educator:What Teachers Gain from Deliberate Practice December 2010/January 2011 | Volume 68 | Number 4 The Effective Educator Pages 82-85 Robert J. Marzano Although research suggests that the supervisory and feedback systems in place in many districts do little to systematically enhance teacher expertise (Toch & Rothman, 2008; Weisberg, Sexton, Mulhern, & Keeling, 2009), fortunately we can develop expertise through deliberate practice (Ericsson, Krampe, & Tesch-Romer, 1993). Deliberate practice involves more than just repetition; it requires activities that are designed to improve performance, challenge the learner, and provide feedback.

Time to Debunk Those PBL Myths What are the myths you hear most often about project-based learning? Here are some PBL misconceptions I encounter with surprising regularity: "Projects may be fun, but they'll never prepare students for ____ [fill in high-stakes test of your choice]" "If kids work in teams on projects, one or two will do all the work and the others will coast" "PBL won't work with my students because they are ____ [fill in the challenge of your choice]" "I'll never have time to cover all my content if I spend time on projects" "Projects just aren't rigorous" "Parents will wind up doing most of the work" "We can't do PBL because we don't have ____ [fill in the technology of your choice]" Once you start listening for PBL myths, you'll hear them in the most surprising places. During a long flight recently, I was reading to pass the time.

Resources for Getting Started With Project-Based Learning PBL Defined and Clarified What the Heck is PBL? by Heather Wolpert-Gawron (2015) In project-based learning, students show what they learn as they journey through the unit, interact with its lessons, collaborate with each other, and assess themselves and each other. Five Keys to Rigorous Project-Based Learning (2014) Well-designed project-based learning (PBL) has been shown to result in deeper learning and engaged, self-directed learners.