Every middle school student in Maine gets a laptop.
Credit: Michael Warren
You don't have to reinvent the wheel to bring project-based learning to your school. Educators from Maine have shared details about their administration, school culture, professional development, and curriculum -- materials you may adapt for your class, school, or school district.
Elementary School Project -- Farms and Food: This yearlong expedition engaged first graders in an entire year of studying farms and foods. It wove skills of reading, writing, math, drawing, and research with content in science, nutrition, health, and social studies.
Middle School Project -- "Soil Superheroes":This project from King Middle School, in Portland, Maine, pairs seventh-grade students with community partners. The students then use technology to show off their understanding of bacteria in an interdisciplinary project.
High School Project -- "Give Me Shelter": Juniors at Casco Bay High School, in Portland, Maine, explore homelessness by working in teams to make audio slide-show portraits in a semester-long project about housing issues and public policy.
My Voice Student Report (2008). This is a nationwide survey of students based on eight conditions that support student engagement -- belonging, heroes, sense of accomplishment, fun and excitement, curiosity and creativity, spirit of adventure, leadership and responsibility, and confidence to take action.
Maine International Center for Digital Learning: Contains a series of videos for teachers on one-to-one, beginning with the basics: how to find and evaluate information on the Internet, teach students digital literacy, connect with parents through computers, and change curriculum to make the most out of computers.