In this article, it lists out seven essentials for any good PBL project. A good project needs a good launch. This means that when the project is introduced it should engage and spike the student's interest. It also needs a driving question. The driving question outlines what the students are expected to do when completing the project. It needs to be complex and linked to the core theme of the project so the students can clearly see and understand what the project is on. When creating your PBL project, technology should factor into the students inquiry. Students find projects more meaningful if they conduct inquiry that follows a trail of questions to find the right answer(s). The inquiry should lead to research and discovery. Another important aspect of any PBL project is the feedback and peer reviews. It is important to do feedback and peer reviews so the students can see if they are on the right track and where they may have gone wrong. Using rubrics can also help facilitate the peer reviews in the right direction. Lastly, the students need to orally present their findings to the classroom. By doing this, the students take more pride in their work and care about the quality of work they are presenting.
Project-Based Learning for Teachers
This video outlines Project-Based Learning (PBL). PBL makes learning more meaningful and student-centered. It is NOT busy work. When conducting PBL you want to stay away from bust work because it is not meaningful nor it is engaging. PBL is conducted over an extended period of time to answer a driving question. The driving question should be complex and require deep thought to create the end product which will be shared with the class.Through PBL the common core standards are met in a way that maximizes the students individual abilities. Students are able to take learning into their own hands and personalize their learning experience.
10 Sites Supporting Digital Classroom Collaboration In Project-Based Learning
Titan Pad - Titan Pad allows multiple people to work simultaneously on one document.
Wall Wisher - or Padlet, is a great collaboration tool. You can post, view, and edit peer's work.
Corkboardme - or Noteapp, is a lot like Padlet. However, with the premium version some documents can be set to private.
Google Docs - Sound familiar? Google Docs is the leader in collaboration tools. I know I have used it immensely in this class.
Microsoft Live - This site is offered through Microsoft Office in Education.
Today's Meet - allows students to join in from home or another school. It helps harness the "backchannel", or the conversation that goes alongside the primary activity, and turn it into something meaningful and engaging instead of distracting.
Will You Type With Me - is the same concept of Titan Pad but with a little bit more features. It allows users to upload word documents, PDFs, and HTMLs.
Linoit - gives classroom collaboration a new face. It allows users to post ideas or work in the form of a sticky note on a display board.
Skype in Education - Much like the regular Skype, Skype in Education gives teachers and students access to classrooms across the nation.
Quick Screen Share - allows for quick and easy screen sharing. It works on most computers and there is nothing extra to install or download.
Two Students Solve the Case of the Watery Ketchup by Designing a New Cap
You know that nasty ketchup water that comes out when you first squirt a bottle of ketchup? Two male seniors at Liberty North High School designed a ketchup bottle top that catches that watery substance and does not let it come out. They were able to build and test a prototype thanks to a program called, hProject Lead the Way. The program allows students to work freely on a design or project of their choice for a year. Brett Kisker, the instructor of the program, started off with the prompt "It really bugs me when..." and he said the two boys instantly ran with it. They looked through existing patents to see if their idea had already been tried out. It had not. They brainstormed and built the cap with a 3-D printer. They even estimated what the cost would be to make it and how much it would sell for.
What Motivates Students?
In an interview with 5 students, they shared with the audience what motivated them:
- The teacher acknowledging that they did a good job or behaved good in class that day
- Knowing that the end result of their hard work to make good grades will land them a good career
- Knowing that the end result of their hard work will also allow them to have a flexible but rewarding career
- Becoming a veterinarian
- Being able to continue to do their extra curricular activities if they have good grades
- Giving the students "money" to redeem prizes or have pizza parties
- Playtime outside
- Colorful pencils or school supplies
- If they continue to do good on tests they win brownie points with the teacher and that teacher is more likely to give them a good grade or bump up their grade on the next test
- Different themes for each day like "Dance Marathon Monday"