7 Essentials for Project-Based Learning
According to John Larmer and John R. Mergendoller,"some 'projects' border on busywork and others involve meaningful inquiry that engages student's minds." The project will need to be personally meaningful, as a task that matters and that the students want to do well. It will also need to fulfill an educational purpose.
In order to have good meaningful projects, you will need theses 7 things:
1. Need to Know- Start with an 'entry event' that will engage the student's interest and initiate questions. The 'entry event' can be a video, a discussion, a field trip, a guest speaker, etc. Students will not be motivated simply by being told they will need to learn something because they may need it later.
2. A Driving Question- A good driving question is the heart of the project. It should be the center of what you want the students to learn.
3. Student Voice and Choice- Students are able to choose how they will research and present their projects. If they are allowed they can also choose the topic related to the driving question.
4. 21st Century Skills- Collaboration is central to the project. Through these projects students work together (collaboration and communication) and have to use critical thinking and technology to answer the question. They will need these skills later in life.
5. Inquiry and Innovation- Students find projects more meaningful if it is real life based. They follow a path that begins with the question and leads them to resources to help them answer the question. With inquiries comes new answers, new products, and solutions to problems.
6. Feedback and Revision- Students are able to give feedback to other student's work by using a rubric.
7. A Publicly Presented Product- If students know that there work will be on display, they are more likely to make sure it will be of more quality.
Project-Based Learning for Teachers (Video)
If you want your classroom to be more student-centered and make learning more fun then Project-Based Learning is the answer. PBL has students working over a period of time. They work to answer a driving question that is deep and requires students to complete an end product that can be shared with others.
PBL- What Motivates Students Today?
This was a post by Suzanne Ball. She interviewed several students to find out what motivates them to do go in school. A teenage boy answered that he liked to be praised in front of the class when he does something good. He also likes to be rewarded with food when he does good. That sounds like most teens. Several of the young boys and girls interviewed wanted to do good in school so that they can go to college and one day raise families. Some rewards that work for them were different activities on different days, outside time, and school money to purchase things in the school store. One child liked to get 'brownie points' because it not only showed that they did good but that they put the effort in doing right.
Project-Based Learning in PE
This gives students the opportunity to create physical activities not only for themselves but also for younger students. It shows them the importance of physical activities in both daily life and in PE. It addresses Physical Ed. Standards listed by The National Association for Sport and Physical Ed. (NASPE).
1. Student demonstrates competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities.
2. Student demonstrates understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities.
3. Student participates regularly in physical activity.
4. Student achieves and maintains a health-enhancing level of physical fitness.
5. Student exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others in physical activity settings.
6. Values physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, and/or social interaction.
The older students analyze the age of the younger students, any previous physical activities, demographic groupings, and motivation. This is a good example of collaborating.
Ten Sites Supporting Digital Classroom Collaboration in PBL
According to Mike Gorman (21 Century Ed. Tech.), there are ten sites that support digital classroom collaborations. They are:
1. Titan Pad- This site is great for quick collaborations and sharing documents. No email or sign in is needed.
2. Wall Wisher- Collaborations with virtual post-it notes.
3. Cork Board Me- This site is like Wall Wisher but it can also support a group's collective activities.
4. Google Docs- The best of online collaborations.
5. Microsoft Live- Online collaboration tool.
6. Today's Meet-This site allows you to run a back channel in the classroom and engage learning. It gives an isolated room where you can only see what you need to see.
7. Will You Type With Me- This is similar to Titan Pad. It also has the ability to import additional files along with Word. It includes PDF and HTML. It allows output with the files and to open Doc., Plain Text, and even Wordle. It has the ability to create QR Code, and read only pages.
8. Linoit- An electronic classroom display board. It is visible on any computer screen anywhere. Create things in minutes using multi-colored post-it notes, pictures, drawings, web links, and videos. Kids can also contribute if they are given the URL.
9. Skype in Education- The ability to work together collaboratively. You can bring in experts from anywhere.
10. Screencast-O-Matic- This is a quick screen share site. There is no registration and nothing to install. It will work on Mac, Windows, and Linux. You are also able to control the mouse and keyboard from a remote area.