Project-Based Learning (PBL)

Project-Based Learning Summer Camp

July 9, 2010

PBL Camp Archives

Project-Based Learning Camp has ended! Participants worked together to design a variety of projects that challenge students to respond to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The camp was facilitated by Suzie Boss, Edutopia blogger and co-author of Reinventing Project-Based Learning.

Even if you didn't participate in the camp, you can still use the many resources and connections available in this archive.

Getting Your Toolkit Ready | PBL Camp Activities | PBL Camp Project Gallery

Get Your Camp Toolkit Ready

We'll be using a variety of digital tools during PBL Camp to help us accomplish important work—just as your students will do when they take part in the projects you plan. You'll get off to a faster start if you get your tech toolkit ready in advance. Here are four things to do before camp kickoff:

1) Download and install the Elluminate platform so you can attend all webinars. Use this easy one-click installation wizard.
As the software installs on your computer, it will ask for your name. Enter it, then accept all the dialog boxes that come up. Set your connection speed (if you know it) and you should be golden! Be patient -- it might take a few minutes. Once it's installed, you may close the window -- or if you're interested in the software, you can play around to get the hang of it.

2) Set up a Twitter account. Sign up at
Twitter is a free microblogging tool that will help you communicate and connect with fellow campers. Here’s a short introduction to Twitter.

3) Set up a Delicious account. Sign up at
Delicious is a free tool for keeping track of online resources. Use the tag pbl_camp to find others' PBL Camp bookmarks.

4) Post to Wallwisher. Go to PBL Camp's Wallwisher page.
Wallwisher is a free brainstorming tool that lets you post a virtual "sticky note" to share your thinking with others. The link above takes you to a "wall" that asks you to reply to this question: What do you hope your students will remember most about this project?

5) Take advantage of the PBL Camp wiki.Use the PBL Camp wiki for project planning, brain-storming, and archiving ideas.

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PBL Camp Activity Archive

PBL Camp was an online experience. That means, for the most part, campers set up their own schedule, using the online resources at times that are convenient. But even though the experience was designed to be self-paced, there are plenty of opportunities to collaborate with fellow campers.

Each week, there were different goals and objectives.

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?) How can we make the oil spill relevant to our students?

Edutopia Groups

Grades: PreK-2

Grades: 3-5

Grades: 6-8

Grades: 9-12

Monday, July 12: Camp Kickoff Webinar
Camp Facilitator Suzie Boss and Betty Ray, Edutopia's talented and tireless community manager, gave an overview to help get campers started on the PBL trail.

View a recording of the July 12 webinar.

Archive available: Download the slide deck from the presentation.

View all Week 1 Activities


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)? Who is thinking along the same lines? Who wants to collaborate?

Find Collaborators

Grades: PreK-2

Grades: 3-5

Grades: 6-8

Grades: 9-12

Monday, July 19: Twitter Chat
1pm PDT/4pm EDT
We used Twitter for a real-time chat and check-in. Even now that the camp is over, you can still follow PBL Camp via Twitter by using the hashtag: #pblcamp.

Archive available: Twitter chat transcript.

View all Week 2 Activities


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?

View a recording of the July 26 webinar.

View all Week 3 Activities


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? The week wraps up with a celebration webinar that showcases some of the projects that came out of PBL Camp. Plan Ahead: Build a project timeline and look for authentic assessment opportunities along the way.

View a recording of the August 6 webinar.

View all Week 4 Activities


View all the final projects online.

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Thanks for your interest in PBL Camp. If you have ideas for other camps you'd like to see Edutopia produce, please don't hesitate to let us know!

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