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project-based learning
Project-Based Learning Instructional ModuleHome
Mott Hall students

Why Is PBL
Mountlake Terrace High School

What Is
PBL About?
Newsome Park Elementary School

How Does
PBL Work?
Washington State students

About PBL


An overview of the GLEF teacher-preparation and
professional-development instructional module for PBL.

GLEF's Project-Based Learning teaching module is designed for either a two- to three-hour class or session or a one- to two-day workshop, and is divided into two parts.

Part one, Guided Process, designed to give participants a brief introduction to PBL, answers the questions "What is PBL about?" "Why is PBL important?" and "How does PBL work?" The Guided Process also includes the Teaching About PBL section as well as a PowerPoint® presentation (including presenter notes), which can be shown directly from the Web site or can be downloaded for use as a stand-alone slide show.

The video segment Newsome Park demonstrates PBL in action at Newsome Park Elementary School, in Newport News, Virginia, and the Teaching About PBL section contains two additional examples of this teaching approach: Journey North and Mountlake Terrace High School.

Part two, Group Participation, assigns readings and activities for experiential PBL. Ideally, the tasks will be accomplished using group collaboration and with the use of technology.

Much of the information has been taken directly from GLEF's book Edutopia: Success Stories for Learning in the Digital Age and from, and elements I-IV of the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers, established by the International Society for Technology in Education, have been addressed in this module.

To find the specific standards for your state, visit this page on the emTech (emerging Technologies) Web site, which links to all state departments of education.

Getting Started:

PDF files can be viewed on a wide variety of platforms -- both as a browser plug-in or a stand-alone application -- with Adobe's free Acrobat Reader® program. Click here to download the latest version of Adobe Reader. To download a free version of the Microsoft® PowerPoint Viewer®, visit Microsoft's Download Center.

Acknowledgements: This module was written by technology-integration specialist Marian Shaffner. The George Lucas Educational Foundation extends its thanks to the following people who reviewed it for content and usability: Peggy Benton, PhD, assistant professor, PT3 grant director and adviser, Department of Instructional Technologies, San Francisco State University, San Francisco; DiAnn Ellis, PhD, professor, Department of Education, SFSU; David Pownell, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Education, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas; Tina Barrios, PhD, supervisor of instructional technology, Manatee County Schools, Bradenton, Florida; Donna Read, PhD, associate professor of education, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida; and Bruce "Chip" Daley, coordinator of research, development and special projects, Clark County School District, Las Vegas, Nevada.

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