Give Project-Based Learning a Try

When you want to connect students to the world, use project-based learning (PBL). Once you try it you will find you are hooked. Project-based learning takes some time to organize and often requires resources outside the class but now-a-days, with such a plethora of online connections, there seems to be no limit to the ways one can find to create PBL.

Don't forget, though, that students also need time away from the Internet. Project-based learning, once it becomes a mainstay of your teaching toolbox, is an easy shift to make for those off-line projects.

To get started you might want to build something that would benefit your school or community. Involve students in the planning process and jump-start their imaginations. In my experience with project-based learning, we have done many memorable things such as building robots and carving a sculpture from a tree to represent the philosophy of education right here in the courtyard of the Faculty of Education. Did it cost money? Yes, but not as much as was impossible to do. When students get involved in the mathematics of projects including costs, then they begin to think in ways that will sustain them into the future.

There are many websites and apps dedicated to project-based learning (PBL). A few are listed in groups. Consider Edutopia which has some great video examples of project-based learning if you have never tried it before. Alternatively you may be using iPads or other tablets for PBL. Take a walk through this link for some new ideas.

If you want to involve other teachers at your school in PBL then you will need to begin collaboration with them. To start you might want to share a video together so everyone is clear about what PBL can do for your students. Here is a video. (Click here.)

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