George Lucas Educational Foundation

PBL + EdTech= The Best Kept Secret in Professional Development

PBL + EdTech= The Best Kept Secret in Professional Development

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I work with a lot of teachers. They come to me in different ways (as students, clients, friends and collaborators), but they all seem to be looking for the same things: a way to engage students without exhausting themselves, sustainable systems to design elegant learning experiences that push students use technology to solve real problems, strategies to use tech tools to do this whole teaching thing better, more powerfully, with less drama.

I'm not usually one to buy into a single thing as a path to a lot of different solutions, but I have to tell you- I've absolutely fallen in LOVE with this Critical Skills Classroom thing. (Full disclosure- I love it so much that I took over the program.)

The Critical Skills Program ( is a simple, elegant structure to help ready students for college and careers. The CSP is a mindset, a way of teaching and learning that supports a whole mess of initiatives including:

The Common Core State Standards
Technology Integration
College and Career Readiness
21st Century Skills
International Baccalaureate
Community Collaboration
Competency and Performance Based Assessment

You can see more on the unofficial website:

So here's the thing. I know the CSP works- I've seen it inspire teachers and students to do amazing things in all kinds of contexts. It provides an amazing pedagogy for tech integration What I don't understand is why it seems to be the best kept secret in professional development. I'd love to hear from administrators and professional development folks who can help me understand what the secret is to bringing this great idea out of New England and into the larger world. We're not looking to make money- we're just looking to share a good thing.

What advice would you offer?

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