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.

Authentic Motivation

Mike Reilly

I was very fortunate to have "people who know people", to get outside evaluators for my most recent student projects. The projects were focused on Poetry standards (9th grade Language Arts), with student choice of technology. Many students chose 3D (Autodesk 3DS Max) development to show poetry, but many others chose music. I told them all they would be evaluated by industry professionals. We have a game company nearby ( to evaluate the 3D, but imagine the kids' excitement when we were blessed with Montell Jordan to evaluate the student-created songs! Here's a link to a picture and summary:

My lessons learned: ask around as even popular stars could be willing to help, AND tell the kids ahead of time because it makes them burn the midnight oil.

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Journalist and PBL advocate

Authentic Audience

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Hi Mike,
What a wonderful example of connecting your students with an authentic audience. After seeing your students in action, I know you have some talented songwriters and media producers in the group. How great for them to get recognition for their good work from someone whose feedback really matters.
It can be a bold step to invite in community members and ask them to evaluate student efforts, but it's so worthwhile.

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