A World of Project Ideas (You Can Steal) One of the advantages of project-based learning is the flexibility. PBL is an effective instructional strategy within individual content areas as well as across disciplines. It's engaging for young learners and teens alike. Good projects can be short term and tightly focused, or expansive enough to require months of inquiry. The sky's the limit -- which can be a challenge for teachers designing their first projects. Fortunately, you don't have to start from scratch. Draft on These Ideas Some 600 educators spent the past week thinking hard about project design during the PBL World conference in Napa, Calif., sponsored by Buck Institute for Education. Here's a sampling of driving questions at the rough draft stage, along with suggestions about PBL planning to fire up your thinking: Who were the most influential leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in terms of impact upon today's society? Notice the phrase, "most influential." How can we make life sweeter in our community? Resources Galore
Project-Based Learning Research: Evidence-Based Components of Success What boosts PBL from a fun and engaging exercise to a rigorous and powerful real-world learning experience? Researchers have identified four key components that are critical to teaching successfully with PBL (Barron & Darling-Hammond, 2008; Ertmer & Simons, 2005; Mergendoller & Thomas, 2005; Hung, 2008). All of these play a role in the curriculum-design process. Schools That Work: Every student at Maine's King Middle School is issued a laptop to support the school-wide project-based learning (left). Carefully Calibrated Project Design In general, PBL projects begin by presenting a driving question, one that focuses on intended learning objectives, aligns with students' skills, and appeals to students' interests. If you are new to PBL, it's best to start with smaller projects that are already part of the curriculum (Ertmer & Simons, 2005). Define the Content. Structured Student Collaboration Two ingredients are critical for successful collaborative learning (Slavin, 1991):
Doing It Differently: Tips for Teaching Vocabulary Every Monday my seventh grade English teacher would have us copy a list of 25 words she'd written on the board. We'd then look up the dictionary definitions and copy those down. For homework, we'd re-write each word seven times. Good, now you know it. Test on Friday and never for those 25 words to be seen again. Poof. Copying definitions from the dictionary we would probably all agree is not an effective way to learn vocabulary. The truth is, and the research shows, students need multiple and various exposures to a word before they fully understand that word and can apply it. Selecting Words Ah, so many words, so little time. My first year teaching, before my tenth graders began reading Lord of the Flies, I went through every chapter and made lists of all the vocabulary words I thought they'd have trouble with, so that I could pre-teach them. When I looked at those long lists, I began to freak out. Then, here's what to do after the students pick their own words: Ranking Words Teaching Words
10 Practical Ideas For Better Project-Based Learning In Your Classroom By Jennifer Rita Nichols, TeachThought Intern Teachers are incorporating more and more projects into their curriculum, allowing for much greater levels of collaboration and responsibility for students at all levels. Project- based learning is a popular trend, and even teachers who don’t necessarily follow that approach still see the benefit to using projects to advance their students’ learning. Projects can be wonderful teaching tools. The increase in classroom technology also makes projects more accessible to students. Despite general agreement about the benefits of using projects and project-based learning in general, it must be noted that all projects are not created equal! This may happen fairly often because teachers are wary about being able to assign grades to the final assignments handed in to them by students. Students do not need to be compared against each other, but to the standards they need to achieve for their level. Don’t underestimate the power of collaboration.
edutopia Often when I look at how to help students, I think back on my own journey as a student. When challenged to teach students to trust that the effort of persistence is worth it, I think back on when I myself figured it out. And do you know what I came up with? I would argue that without passion or interest in a topic, grit is difficult to cultivate in oneself, and even harder to teach. From there, having helped students feel authenticity, we can aid them in recalling what persistence felt like. Therefore, to put students on the road to persistence, it becomes necessary to help them find those topics that will inspire them. In the past, middle and high schools provided classes that interested students as a means to trigger engagement. Strategies for Bringing Student Interests to the Classroom So what can secondary teachers do to help bring a passion-based learning focus into the classroom? Utilize project-based learning. Bring in a variety of experts. Find allies in other stakeholders.
The 8 Elements Project-Based Learning Must Have If you’re contemplating using Project-Based Learning or are already trying out the latest craze to hit the modern classroom, you should know about this checklist. It details if you’re actually doing it correctly. For example, does your project focus on significant content, develop 21st century skills, and engage students in in-depth inquirty (just to name a few)? See Also: What Is Project-Based Learning? The checklist is by the PBL masters over at BIE and they’ve outlined 8 different ‘essential elements’ that must be present in a project in order for it to be considered PBL. These elements are actually useful for even more than PBL. What do you think about this PBL Checklist? Via TeachBytes and BIE.org
Starting With Why: The Power of Student-Driven Learning I know a high school student who is quite amazing. She’s keen. She’s hungry. She wants to be challenged. In the graded world, She’s a 95-percent student, and like many of our most capable students, she’s disengaged from her learning. She’s a student who would thrive in an environment that allowed her to co-create her education. She would thrive after being asked: “What do you want to learn?” But she can’t She’s stuck in a traditional school, in a traditional classroom, and she’s just putting in time. In all honesty, I used to run one of those classrooms. We start in the wrong place So often in education we focus on the wrong things. As Sinek states: Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. I think teachers and school organizations need to ask themselves the Why questions, beginning with: Why do we own the learning and not our students? Why do we have so many students like the one I know, frustrated and bored, just waiting to be challenged? Fear.
What Project-Based Learning Is — and What It Isn’t Screenshot/High Tech High The term “project-based learning” gets tossed around a lot in discussions about how to connect students to what they’re learning. Teachers might add projects meant to illustrate what students have learned, but may not realize what they’re doing is actually called “project-oriented learning.” Terronez, who teaches at High Tech Middle, a public charter school in San Diego, Calif says that when an educator teaches a unit of study, then assigns a project, that is not project-based learning because the discovery didn’t arise from the project itself. “If you inspire them to care about it and draw parallels with their world, then they care and remember.” For Terronez, the goal is to always connect classroom learning to its applications in the outside world. It takes a lot of diligent planning by the teacher to design projects that give students space to explore themes and real-world resonance to make it meaningful for them. Related
12 Timeless Project-Based Learning Resources 12 Timeless Project-Based Learning Resources by Shannon Dauphin Project-based learning is becoming increasingly popular as teachers look for a way to make lessons stick in the minds of their students. Project-based learning is based on the idea that students learn best by tackling and solving real world problems. Ready to try project-based learning in your classroom? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. From integrating technology into the classroom to teaching science by hands-on experimentation, project-based learning is not only educational, but often entertaining as well. Shannon Dauphin Lee has been writing professionally for two decades on a wide variety of topics, including education; this article was written by onlineschools for TeachThought
A Detailed Visual Guide To Distributed Project-Based Learning Project-based Learning is a passion of ours at Edudemic. We’ve seen how effective it can be in and out of the classroom. Quite simply, it provides the opportunity for students to learn from each other, get their hands dirty, work in an active learning environment, and to simply have fun at school. This chart reminds me a bit of the popular ‘Padagogy Chart’ by Allan Carrington we shared here on Edudemic. This diagram breaks down the different phases and goals of PBL into bite-size chunks. As you can see, the tools and apps are all organized quite neatly into each phase. For example, you can use YouTube as part of your project-based learning to build background knowledge, inspire learning from classmates, elaborate on details of your project, make some contextual annotation, create an adaptive video tutorial, and ultimately lead to instant learning. Each tool and app is organized into these types of phases and goals. Want a bigger version of this incredible diagram? Source: Visual.ly
Inclusion in the 21st-century classroom: Differentiating with technology - Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice In this video, students in a gifted classroom use the multi-user learning environment Quest Atlantis to explore issues related to the creation of a game reserve in Tanzania. Interviews with the teacher and students offer perspectives on the value of using virtual worlds in the classroom . About the videoDownload video (Right-click or option-click) The diversity of the 21st-century classroom creates numerous challenges for teachers who may not have known the same diversity themselves as students. Among these, teachers must balance the requirements of high-stakes accountability while meeting the needs of diverse students within their classroom. The 26th Annual Report to Congress on IDEA reported that approximately ninety-six percent of general education teachers have students in their classroom with learning disabilities. Differentiation as effective instruction Overcoming obstacles to effective differentiation Setting the scope A framework for technology integration Differentiation in 2-D
Six Affirmations for PBL Teachers All great teachers do great work. And not only that, but they also do different work. Great teachers are always looking to improve practice, steal ideas and try new things -- all in order to meet the needs of their students. 1) PBL Teachers Collaborate with Each Other Although PBL teachers often start out with projects in just their own subject area, most create integrated projects with teachers of other disciplines. 2) PBL Teachers Give Power to Students Through voice and inquiry, PBL teachers constantly reflect on how students can have more power in their learning environment. 3) PBL Teachers are Learning Environment Designers When PBL teachers engage in designing a PBL project, they are looking to create an engaging experience for all students. 4) PBL Teachers are Student-Centered PBL teachers know it isn't about them. 5) PBL Teachers Honor 21st Century Skills Through instruction and assessment, PBL teachers honor 21st century skills through true leveraging. 6) PBL Teachers Really Plan
30 Of The Best Apps For Group Project-Based Learning 30 Of The Best Apps For Group Project-Based Learning Project-based learning is a matter of identifying needs and opportunities (using an app like flipboard), gathering potential resources (using an app like pinterest), collecting notes and artifacts (with an app like Evernote), concept-mapping potential scale or angles for the project (using an app like simplemind), assigning roles (with an appp like Trello), scheduling deadlines (with apps like Google Calendar), and sharing it all (with apps like OneDrive or Google Drive). With that in mind, below are 30 of the best apps for getting this kind of work done in the classroom, with an emphasis on group project-based learning apps for both Android and iPad (and even a few for plain old browsers). 30 Of The Best Apps For Group Project-Based Learning