Project learning can inspire the best of high-performance teamwork, or it can be devolve into unfocused chaos. How can we support each other to keep our eye on the prize? Share your project ideas, questions, and implementation experiences.

Announcing Edutopia's Project-Based Learning Camp

Betty Ray Director of Programming and Innovation @Edutopia

Join us for a month-long, online project-based learning workshop, facilitated Suzie Boss, Edutopia blogger and co-author of Reinventing Project-Based Learning. Participants will work together to brainstorm on the design of a project that challenges students to respond to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. By the end of the four weeks, you will have developed a project plan, including time lines and assessments. More importantly, you will have explored a variety of resources and met a community of others who are interested in using PBL to develop students' problem-solving skills.

Likely outcomes? Collaboration, creativity, and confidence about moving ahead with your project this fall.

We plan to organize camp conversations around the oil spill topic, but expect discussions will branch off in a variety of directions as participants focus on particular content areas or grade levels. If you have another topic in mind, you can certainly bring your project idea to the camp. It's all about providing you with support, structure, and helpful feedback during the project-planning process. And because it all happens online, you can work from anywhere, at any time that's convenient for you.

Project-Based Learning Camp Schedule

Week One: Welcome to PBL Camp (July 12 - 18)
Brainstorm: How can we use an event like the oil spill to challenge students to use their own problem-solving strategies? What big ideas are people thinking about for projects? (For example: Anyone anticipating a service-learning angle or nature-writing project?)

Week 2: Digging into Projects (July 19-25)
Project research: As we explore resources together, what ideas do you see that you want to borrow or adapt? What roles do you imagine your students playing (researcher, advocate, inventor, activist, journalist, artist, policy maker)? Plan ahead: Who’s thinking along the same lines? Who wants to collaborate?

Week 3: Build Your Project Plan (July 26-Aug 1)
Project development: How will you plan an entry event that engages student curiosity and sparks inquiry? How will you connect students with real-world experts? Plan ahead: What are the key content standards you want to address with your project?

Week 4: Preparing for Project Launch (Aug. 2-9)
Timelines and assessments: How will you help your students manage time, meet milestones, and work effectively in teams? How can you prepare students for success by thinking ahead about project management? Plan ahead: Build a project timeline and look for authentic assessment opportunities along the way.

Post-Camp: Project gallery!
View all the final projects online.

PBL Camp is free. Check back, as we'll be posting a link to register very soon!

Comments (27)

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Intern at Edutopia, college student, aspiring Educator.

Quote:do we get to have an

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do we get to have an over-nighter at any point?

Caroline - This first PBL Camp will all happen online, so you can work from anywhere, at any time that's convenient for you. Perhaps we'll have a physical camp in the future with over-nights, s'mores, and everything else camp-fun related!

multi-age teacher pre-k -2nd grade

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Do participants in the PBL recieve credits toward recertifications if so, how many?

Intern at Edutopia, college student, aspiring Educator.

Certification/Accreditation

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Do participants in the PBL recieve credits toward recertifications if so, how many?

We are looking into providing accreditation for this PBL Camp, but cannot make any guarantees at this point. We are also considering providing a Certificate of Completion at the end of the camp to all of our participants. Thanks for the question, and stay tuned for more info!

Director of Arts and Science at inner-city K-8 in Denver, CO

I'm planning a Professional

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I'm planning a Professional Development seminar on Project Based Learning. We are an inner-city K-8 that has an arts and science focus. We offer enrichment curricula in the form of elective classes. Our seminar will meet once a month for 4 months. I am looking for a book to use. Any recommendations?

Journalist and PBL advocate

PBL Book Study

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Hi Julie,
At the risk of shameless self-promotion, I can tell you that Reinventing PBL (which I co-authored with Jane Krauss) complements the book study approach. We offer reading guide questions for each chapter, and the book itself is designed to be used as a project.
The Project Approach by Sylvia Chard focuses on PBL with young students (but no tech focus--it's from 1998).
If your teachers are brand-new to PBL and want planning tools, you might take a look at the PBL Starter Kit from the Buck Institute.
I've also heard good things about The Language of Art by Ann Pelo. It uses the Reggio Emilia philosophy to promote inquiry in the early grades.
Hope these help.
~Suzie

Teacher, curriculum and program developer, author, PBL facilitator, techie

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I think the project title is important. I suggest instead of 'Gulf of Mexico oil spill,' we refer to event/tragedy as the
Deep Horizon oil well disaster.

Director of Arts and Science at inner-city K-8 in Denver, CO

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Thank you so much!!!! I'll check those recommendations out!

Director of Arts and Science at inner-city K-8 in Denver, CO

Thank you so much!!! I'll

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Thank you so much!!! I'll look into those resources.

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Iris Clarke (Teacher, The Bronx)

First of all I have a burning desire to do projects with my students, but I do not know how to recognize or develop good projects.

I recognised the potential of the oil spill as a good lesson and am here struggling to connect it to my science classes.

In only one of my classes I had my students look at the effect of the oil spill on traits. I tried to connect it to my Genetics class. That was however only one class since we were really trying to complete our current Science Research Project.

I look forward to contributing and learning during the next four weeks.

5th grade teacher, Mitchell Elementary Dual Language Program, Racine, WI

I am looking forward to this

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I am looking forward to this chance to build this PBL project. I hope to tie it into Great Lakes issues as our school is located within a few miles of Lake Michigan.

I also look forward to identifying/developing many resources in Spanish as we are currently using Spanish as the language of instruction in both science and math.

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