Blogs on Project-Based Learning

Blogs on Project-Based LearningRSS
Andrew MillerFebruary 21, 2013

More and more, we're hearing the term "Digital Citizenship." I think we should simply call it "Citizenship."

In our increasingly connected world, what it means to be a citizen is contextualized by more than just our countries and communities; we are global citizens. Part of being a citizen these days is manifested in what we do digitally, and because of that, I will adhere to the term "Digital Citizenship" -- for now. I hear parents, teachers and community members talking about their concerns over their children's online behavior, and rightfully so. I believe it is our job as educators to teach and assess Digital Citizenship, and I also believe PBL is a great way to target this objective in an engaging and authentic way.

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Eric Isselhardt, Ph.D.February 11, 2013

Green Street Academy is a two-year-old public middle and high school in urban Baltimore, Maryland. One of the school's focuses is to embrace the green eco-sustainability movement and the new career paths it will generate. Like most schools, GSA is designed around extremely high academic standards that capture students' imaginations, stimulate their curiosities and inspire their successes. Unique to our program, though, is that last year we began the process of transforming the entire school to a true project-based learning (PBL) environment by the end of this school year. Here, are some of the transformation experiences -- both positive and negative -- we've had since beginning the shift.

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Rob RiordanJanuary 17, 2013

What should students learn in the 21st century? At first glance, this question divides into two: what should students know, and what should they be able to do? But there's more at issue than knowledge and skills. For the innovation economy, dispositions come into play: readiness to collaborate, attention to multiple perspectives, initiative, persistence, and curiosity. While the content of any learning experience is important, the particular content is irrelevant. What really matters is how students react to it, shape it, or apply it. The purpose of learning in this century is not simply to recite inert knowledge, but, rather, to transform it.1 It is time to change the subject.

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Suzie BossJanuary 11, 2013

On a visit to the Architecture, Construction, and Engineering Leadership High School in the old town area of Albuquerque, New Mexico, you might be struck at first by what this unique public charter school lacks. There are no classes in the traditional sense. No bell schedule. No cafeteria. No hallways -- just a big, open space in an industrial building that once housed a call center. On the perimeter are eight classrooms that are assigned to projects, not teachers.

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Andrew MillerJanuary 7, 2013

Worksheets matter! I know we hear a lot of talking points that tell us to get rid of them, but I think it's much more complicated than that. That call for "no more worksheets" comes from a place where that is all there is. By that I mean classrooms where students do nothing but worksheets. Often these worksheets are de-contextualized from relevant work, and this is where there's an opportunity to reframe and refine the traditional worksheet. There is a time and place for drill and practice or individual practice -- even in a PBL project. The key is to make it appropriate and relevant.

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Ron BergerJanuary 3, 2013

I travel with a heavy suitcase. Over my 35-year career as a public school teacher and educator at Expeditionary Learning, I have been obsessed with collecting student work of remarkable quality and value. I bring this work with me whenever I visit schools or present at conferences and workshops, because otherwise no one would believe me when I describe it.

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Minli VirdoneDecember 18, 2012

Khan Academy is primarily known as an online portal of videos and exercises (we have delivered over 207 million lessons to date). We believe that online learning goes hand in hand with hands-on, project-based learning -- and that’s why we decided to run a summer camp, the Discovery Lab, to try out the deeper explorations that can be done in a physical space. As we fine-tune the lessons that work in this setting, we will try to integrate them more deeply into the core Khan Academy platform, so students and teachers around the world have the infrastructure and tools to fully explore their creativity.

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Robin NewtonDecember 18, 2012

You already know collaboration is essential to today's classroom -- especially in the age of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills Framework (P21). Students who truly collaborate construct knowledge together. When we ask students to collaborate, we’re asking them to take responsibility for their learning.

Okay. You get it. Collaboration's important. But how do you motivate productive collaboration within your classroom? First, figure out what's going on with the uncollaborative student.

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Elaine KennedyDecember 17, 2012

I took my handicapped dog of 15 years for a walk in the grass. Maddie has gone from not being able to walk on her hind legs (a neurological problem) to gradually being able to walk with an awkward, back-legs-don't-really-know-where-they're-landing gait. Let me relate Maddie’s experience to brain-compatible elements that my teachers implement at New Morning School every day.

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Andrew MillerDecember 12, 2012

In my last post about taking PBL projects up a notch, I focused on integration of subject matters and disciplines. Fittingly, this post focuses on integrating technology. Teachers often adjust and improve projects by finding new and innovative ways to infuse technology into the PBL process and products. However, it's not about more technology tools, but about the intentional use of the tools available.

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