Monday, June 29, 2015

Blog Post 9

  The article, "Seven Essentials for Project-Based Learning", discusses what every good project needs, and how to keep a project from becoming busy work. Students must find the project personally meaningful and it must also serve an educational purpose. The first step is a need to know. Teachers can engage students interest with an entry level event. Students will not want to learn if they don't believe they need the material in their life. They don't want to learn something because they'll need it later in life, for the next course, or simply because "it's going to be on the test." Second is a driving question. A driving question gets the main goal of the project across and gives students a sense of purpose and challenge. It needs to be a question that students can expand upon. A project without a driving question is like an essay without a thesis, students need this to understand why they are undertaking this project. The third is student voice and choice. Students need their own voice and their ability to choose in projects so the project becomes more personal. With their own voice and choice, students become more creative with the endless options they can choose from. The fourth is 21st century skills. The point of a project is to present students with opportunities to exercise 21st century skills such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and the use of technology. These skills are vital in the workplace and life. Letting students be exposed to these skills dives them meaningful work. The fifth is Inquiry and Innovation. With inquiry, students begin with their own questions, search for resources and the discovery of answers, which leads to producing more questions, testing ideas, and finalizing their own conclusions. With inquiry comes innovation, which is a different answer to a driving question, a new product, or an individually produced solution. The sixth is feedback and revision. Feedback and revision lets students know that the work they present needs to be high quality hard work. This is an example of real world work. The seventh is a publicly presented product. Projects are better presented to an entire class of peers, rather than to the teacher only.

  In the video, "Project-Based Learning for Teachers", teachers are given the positives of PBL. With PBL, you can take advantage of what technology has to offer, the classroom will be more student centered, learning will become more meaningful to the students. PBL is a way to reach students of the 21st century, it fosters inquisitiveness, and eliminates busy work. PBL has students working over an extended period of time answering a driving question. The driving question needs to be meaningful and requires students to share their reached end product with peers. PBL is inquiry based, open ended, problem solving, and personalized. Through this process, students learn collaboration skills, communication skills, critical thinking skills, and career and life skills. Think of PBL as questioning, investigating, sharing, and reflecting. Technology plays a major role in PBL. Through PBL, students take the lead in their own learning.

  In the video, "Wing Project: Crafting a Driving Question", creating a driving question is tackled. Pairing teachers up with PBL experts greatly improves their own teaching ability. A good driving question frames the task for students. It also sets up a process of inquiry that students are interested in and shows the kind of work they will have to do to produce an answer.

  In the article, "Ten Sites Supporting Digital Classroom Collaboration In Project Based Learning", ten sites are given that best help students and teachers with PBL.
  Titan Pad allows for quick collaboration.
  Wall Wisher is a virtual post it note on a virtual wall.
  Coarkboardme supports a group's collaborative activities.
  Google Docs facilitates live and real time digital collaboration.
  Microsoft Live
  Today's Meet gives teachers & students an isolated room where you see only what you need to see.
  Will you type with me
  Linoit is an online electronic classroom display board.
  Skype in Education incorporates skype into the classroom.
  Quick Screen Share helps to share scrrens i=and info among students.

  In the article, "Project-Based Learning and Physical Education", Andrew Miller describes the correlation between PE and PBL. The first is need to know. A group of high school students were asked to create the best exercise program for middle school students. To do this, they had to engage in research, both online and in person, in order to accomplish this authentic task and present it to a real audience. The second is a driving question. For this exercise, students were attempting to answer the question, "How can we create the best exercise program for middle school students?". All the work was geared toward answering this question. The third is students voice and choice. If students are given voice and choice, they are engaged and empowered to perform the task. The fourth is 21st century skills. Collaboration and presentation are 21st century skills. This is what professionals do in the workforce. These skills are key after graduation. The fifth is Inquiry and innovation. It is not simply a regurgitation of knowledge, but instead using that knowledge and newly created data to design an innovative PE unit. The sixth is feedback and revision. The students from this PE project learned that continuous improvement is possible, and that revision is a great thing to do. The seventh is a publicly presented product. The students shared their findings, demonstrated their units, engaged in persuasive rhetoric, and shared the stage with each other. After the presentations, the students felt relief as well as a sense of accomplishment.


  1. I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for the information about the article Ten Sites in the digital classroom. It is on my must read list now, so that I can learn more about these sites.

  2. I think project based learning is a old idea and will help the kids learn more. I loved reading your post you did a great job.