The Power of Project Learning
By Wayne D'Orio Here’s a riddle: Imagine there is a learning technique proven effective through 100 years of use that is now enhanced by the power of today’s technology. Imagine it can excite learners to continue their work well past the parameters of the school day. What is it, and would every school in the country do it? It is project-based learning, and the answer is yes, and no. Project-based learning can be traced back to John Dewey and it has come and gone since the early 20th century. Why Project-Based Learning? While project-based learning can be decidedly low tech, the recent surge of interest has been driven by the increase in technology capabilities in public schools. “Friedman’s book had an incredible impact,” says John Mergendoller, executive director of the Buck Institute for Education in Novato, California, a nonprofit research organization promoting problem- and project-based learning. Two other factors help Tech Valley’s mission. What Makes a Great Project?