Project Based Learning

For BYOD and 1-1 Schools

Rita Ayers, Professional Development Specialist, 1 Old School

Giving Students Choices

We don't give students a set of watercolors and tell them to color everything blue. Yet, we frequently limit their options when it comes to showing us what they have learned.

BYOD and 1:1 classrooms can provide teachers the flexibility to allow their students choices when assigning projects. Every student may not have the same apps as their classmates, so instead of requiring the students to use a particular app or website, why not give them a choice? You will find that student engagement and creativity will increase when students are given the freedom to use different tools to deliver content.

How to Assess?

While some teachers find it difficult to allow students this kind of freedom, a clear rubric given to the students beforehand will ensure everyone is on the same page. The teacher still has structured grading, but without the boredom repetitiveness brings.

What do you do when they don't all have a device?

How about having those without devices responsible for different aspects of the project? Here are storyboard templates; others can handwrite scripts on regular notebook paper. In reality, these projects can be done with just one device. Others can be assigned as actors, narrators, prop chairman, set decorators, communication specialists, etc.

First Things First

Help students learn to collaborate as a member of a group and allocate tasks fairly by using Scrumy. It is an organizational tool that allows members of a project group to monitor progress. Each member is assigned a task and can move their task to the appropriate column as they begin or complete their segment. This is great practice for students to learn how to work with others when they eventually join the workforce. Students will need no teacher assistance; Scrumy will teach them!
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Free Resources for Video Projects

Here are three examples of a project about President John F. Kennedy. The examples contain the same content, however, the information is presented in a different format in each project.

Make Your Own Cartoon Network

ToonDoo Samples

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Create an Interactive InfoGraphic with ThingLink

Use ThingLink to develop a lesson or let students replace paper-based assignments like posters, models, or reports. Here our some samples:

The White House - note the YouTube videos embedded on this one

My Hometown - about Fairhope

Night by Elie Wiesel

Free Resources for Web Projects

All of these allow teachers or students to design web pages quickly using templates.

Examples of other assignments that give students choices:


Use the Camera on their Device as a Scanner

Instead of waiting for a slow scanner to scan in page after page of a document, just snap pictures and create a multi-page PDF with any of a number of free apps. One good one is Genius Scan.

Here's a link to a huge list of ideas for how to use Genius Scan (or any other device "scanner" for that matter.)

19 Mind-Blowing Tips to Outshine the Kids

Ok, my mind wasn't blown, but I did learn some cool tricks!

21 Things You Didn't Know Your iPhone Could Do

Some of these are the same as the earlier 19 tips - but there are some fun new ones in there too!

Have Questions Later?

Rita Ayers

i21Zone Specialist