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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Announcing Edutopia's Project-Based Learning Camp

Announcing Edutopia's Project-Based Learning Camp

Related Tags: Project-Based Learning
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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!

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Kristen Bandy's picture

This sounds great. I was going to plan a unit on the oil spill, and being able to collaborate on this is so much better that doing it on my own!

Vanessa Conti's picture

I am excited about this project for several reasons: 1) I live and teach in Alaska, 2) I am looping with about 1/2 of my kids, so the relationship and rapport is already there, 3) our science units include "Ecosysems" and "Exploring Energy", 4) I feel helpless and sick about the oil spill and want to so SOMEthing, ANYthing to help avoid a repeat!

George Stern's picture
George Stern
Intern at Edutopia, college student, aspiring Educator.

[quote]do we get to have an over-nighter at any point?[/quote]

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!

Rita's picture
Rita
multi-age teacher pre-k -2nd grade

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

George Stern's picture
George Stern
Intern at Edutopia, college student, aspiring Educator.

[quote]Do participants in the PBL recieve credits toward recertifications if so, how many?[/quote]

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!

Julie Carey's picture
Julie Carey
Director of Arts and Science at inner-city K-8 in Denver, CO

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?

Suzie Boss's picture
Suzie Boss
Journalist and PBL advocate
Blogger

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

Jane Krauss's picture
Jane Krauss
Teacher, curriculum and program developer, author, PBL facilitator, techie

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.

Julie Carey's picture
Julie Carey
Director of Arts and Science at inner-city K-8 in Denver, CO

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

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