George Lucas Educational Foundation

Edutopia Professional Development Guides

November 10, 2011

These free instructional guides, formerly known as the Teaching Modules, were developed by education faculty and professional developers for their colleagues. They can be employed as extension units in existing courses or can be used independently in workshops and meetings.

Each guide includes articles, links to video footage, PowerPoint presentations, and class activities. They draw from the wealth of Edutopia's archives of best practices and correlate with ISTE NETS standards.

We will update these modules over time, and we welcome your suggestions for future topics and feedback. Email us at

Mountlake Terrace High School: Eeva Reeder (pictured) developed and implemented an architecture assignment for her geometry students in which they design a school and consult with local experts.

Project-Based Learning Professional Development Guide

Project-based learning, as with all lessons, requires much preparation and planning. It begins with an idea and an essential question. When you are designing the project and the essential question that will launch the activities, it is important to remember that many content standards will be addressed. With these standards in mind, devise a plan that will integrate as many subjects as possible into the project. (Updated November 2011.)

Handhelds Go to Class: Teacher Josh Barron and one of his students often go through the strange-looking rite of 'beaming' information to each other.

Technology Integration Professional Development Guide

Students often become engaged learners when technology is a seamless part of their curriculum. Technology integration changes classroom dynamics, encouraging project-based learning and constructivist thought. Think about what you are doing in the classroom with your students: What projects are they working on? What resources are they using? What tools are being used? Is technology use transparent and varied?

Assessment Professional Development Guide

Today, we know learning requires that the learner engage in problem-solving to actively build mental models. Knowledge is attained not just by receiving information, but also by interpreting the information and relating it to the learner's knowledge base. What is important, and therefore should be assessed, is the learner's ability to organize, structure, and use information in context to solve complex problems. (Updated November 2011.)

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