PBL and Technology

Resources to Help You On Your PBL Journey

What is PBL?

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, problem, or challenge. - Buck Institute for Education
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Significant Content and 21st Century Skills

These are at the very heart of PBL and not just add-ons at the end.

In-Depth Inquiry

Students are required to discover meaning rather than simply being frontloaded with information


Tools that can help:


Entry Event

Break the routine, spark interest, raise questions, and leave bread crumbs for your students to follow into the project


Entry Event Ideas:


  • Video - find a video or create one that gets your kids excited about the project and gives them hints at what they will be doing
  • Guest Speaker - invite in a community partner to talk to your kids and get them excited. Excitement is contagious so let them catch it!
  • Field trip - take your kids on a field trip, and it doesn't have to be far away. Consider places your kids might even be able to walk to, like the public library.
  • Letter from a Community Partner - Contact a community partner and ask them to write a letter to your students that poses the task or challenge set before them. (It's OK to help your partner write the letter so that key components are sure to one included).
  • Skype - If there is someone who would really motivate your students but they can't come to your classroom and you can't go to them ether, Skype with them. You could even have guests from other countries!


Tools that can help:


Driving Question

This question drives your project. Your students can write it themselves or with the help of the teacher. For example: How can we celebrate the heroes in our lives and show our community that anyone can be a hero?


Tool that can help:


The Birth of the Tubric

N2K (Need To Know)

Get the students thinking about the skills and information they will need in order to be successful with the project


Tool to help:

http://www.padlet.com

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Voice and Choice

It is critical for the students to be stakeholders in the project. They must be given voice AND choice.


Tool to help:

  • Google Forms

Revision and Reflection

Students need think through what they are doing and why they are doing it


Tools to help:


  • Googledocs
  • Google Survey
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Public Audience

A public audience proves to students that the work they are doing is important and that it matters


Tools for presentations:

Community Partners

Involve EXPERTS and COMMUNITY MEMBERS every chance you get! You might be surprised how willingly your community will participate and give of their time.

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Teacher Management

How do you manage all of these different components at the same time? An LMS (Learning Management System.


FREE LMS Options:

Benchmarks

It's important to create benchmarks for student learning so that students are constantly engaged in the process and so that you can manage their progress.
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Additional Resources

  • Buck Institute for Education has a plethora of FREE resources, including projects, videos, articles, and wonderful rubrics: http://bie.org/for/teachers
  • Buck Institute also provides FREE online courses hosted through Edmodo. These classes aren't held year round, but they are broken down into small chunks so you can focus on one aspect of PBL at a time. They are well worth your time and you can sign up or check out what's offered here: http://pblu.org/classes
  • Start simple by using one of pblu's predesigned projects. You can always tweak it to serve your classroom the best, but you can also rest assured that you are addressing all of the components of PBL in your project: http://pblu.org/projects
  • Plan to attend the PBL Academy next summer in Indiana. It is a week long institute and it is hands down the best training I have ever attended. This summer (2014) the cost was $20 per day, which included breakfast, lunch, snacks, and FREE child care (they actually had a rocket camp for the kids that was taught by certified teachers - my kids loved it!). Check out the flyer here: http://pblacademy.org

PowerPoint Presentation

When you open the presentation below it will probably tell you that a preview is not available, but you should see an arrow pointing down in the top lefthand corner and that is a download button.

Contact Information

Please feel free to contact me with questions or for more information