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Director, Algorithmic Geometry Project

Project-Based-Learning with Algorithmic Geometry

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I'll add an 8th: PBL educators collaborate with professionals who can co-instruct a course. The creative synergy and sharing of prep work are no-brainers. An industry co-instructor is plugged into all kinds of resources that a teacher lacks, including real-world projects, equipment, other experts, data and money.

This is how we've been teaching interdisciplinary Math-CS the past 2 years....a credentialed Math teacher partnering with a Computer Scientist co-instructor. We developed a whole spectrum of PBL challenges, from 20 minute mini-challenges to a 2 week class project.

Expect to give explicit guidance to students on how to conduct a project kick-off meeting. Expect to mentor students on how to "be listened to" and overcome social barriers to collaboration. Provide a clear goal, and the tools to accomplish it. Then get out of the way!

Innovative Learning Specialist in Wisconsin

PBL

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Thanks for writing this great blog. I share with with my colleagues that I am working with to try and bring more Problem-Based Learning to our school. You touched on all areas of my experience with doing Problem-Based Learning.
Problem-Based Learning Teachers are such collaborative hard-workers. The meaningful learning that goes in these classrooms is different every time. I enjoy the part of PBL where critical friends can happen. You are then able to make these ever-evolving.

Project Development Manager at iPEC Coaching

People and Willingness

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Thanks for your article. It's a reminder that PBL is about people and willingness. Willing people give feedback that is warm or kindly critical. Willing people listen with interest and ask good questions. Willing people take part in the collegial relationships because they want to impact students. How would our schools be different if everyone thought, felt, and acted this way?

CSSR.us, School Change Coach

PBL or PBL?

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There is Problem Based Learning and there is Project Based Learning. Here might be a good place to clarify definitions. Arguably, projects can be "anything" that demonstrates learning via production of an artifact, while problems call for a "solution" arrived at by a particular process. Science projects demonstrate learning, but science problems demand application of the process of doing science aka the scientific method, yes? Are there accepted definitions and, if so, who are the deciders?

Host and Co-Creator of Virtual Science University

Project Based Learning and a 7th Affirmation

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A 7th affirmation should be: PBL teachers help students develop Scientific Process Skills where students develop innovative ideas and allow those ideas to be tested. I agree with the above six affirmations. I've been teaching for over 30 years but with cutting edge instruction always modifying and responding to how students learn and always collaborating with other teaching professionals. I've seen it all from top to bottom having taught all the Sciences and been Science Coordinator for over seven years. I have seen flaws thou coming from a few Curriculum Coordinators and Administrators that many times they are unaware about the way instruction should unfold in the innovative Science Classroom! For the first ten years of my teaching career, I butted heads several times with administrators who were just obstacles to student empowerment. Many people are astounded that what I was doing in the late 80's is what the science community is now telling teachers they should consider relative to Project Based Learning. I stayed on track by studying what was happening at major universities outside of Texas like University of Iowa who is the world's leader in Science Education and Project Zero at Harvard University who have impacted so many students and teachers worldwide. The majority of the places where I taught were not Project Based Learning Facilities other than the last two schools where I taught. I insisted on the Science Departments making transitions from traditional approaches to PBL. Community leaders and state governments measure success by test scores, ratings, and rankings! A better measurement device would be to see how many project ideas will leave the school environment and enter college research facilities and global competing markets. Teacher success should be measured by tracking ex-students and seeing how their projects in high school paved the way towards their college and professional endeavors. What PBL teachers need is grant money so that they can pursue the innovative end of their giftedness and strengths and in turn empower their students. PBL Teachers at the high school level should have hard money available to them the way college professors do. This forces teachers to stay on the cutting edge with out going broke. I have poured $50,000 plus of my own money into my Virtual Science University online course plus thousands of hours. I am almost broke but I am impacting society on a global scale! What matters is empowering young people! Everything else is water under the bridge!

Educational Consultant and Online Educator

Lots of Resources

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Have you taken a look at BIE.ORG and all their resources. They also have a great community on Edmodo. PBL World is also coming up this summer in Napa. Might be a ways to travel, but worth it! Let me know what help I can be! Perhaps a trip to NC is in order!

Student, Teacher, Quest Elementary PBL Charter School

Hard Work

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Thanks for affirming PBL teachers. I am currently student teaching at a wonderful PBL school and am seeing first hand how much planning goes into making the projects meaningingful, engaging, and rigorous.

Teacher of MS Math, Algebra, 6th Gr SS, MathCounts & Basketball coach...NC

Need Help with PBL

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Sounds Great! I need to do some research and/or get some PBL training. Any suggestions?

President, NJ Association for Middle Level Education

Planning is the key

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You are right on with your Kudos to PBL teachers. The key to providing all of that for your students is in the planning. As with anything in the classroom, the best laid plans are, well, they are constantly evolving. Monitoring and adjusting to student needs, resources and time constraints. We are lucky to have such wonderful sharing options today, so that we all do not have to reinvent the wheel or start from scratch. I worked with a great group of teachers through ISTE and NASA and we developed a PBL for the MMS Mission. We have it in a public livebinder (http://www.livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=330317) - a great way to share. Do you know of a good repository for PBL's?

Intervention Specialist grades 6-8 from Sarasota, Florida

Project Based Learning

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I loved this article. My experience with PBL is completely in sync with the points made in the article. My years working collaboratively, across content with my teaching team have almost spoiled me for any other teaching experience. I would only make one change to the way we discuss PBL, and that is to call it Process Based Learning. It is the process of learning that makes the final project an authentic measure of learning.

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