Community: Australia’s ConnectU

Team Name: Environment

Team members: Team Members: Margo Edgar (Pascoe Vale Primary), Delia Jenkins (Brauer College), Craig Bradley (Eltham High School), David Allender (Eltham High School), Liz Ash (Roxburgh Homestead Primary School), Nick O’Brien (Bairnsdale Primary School), COACH – John Pearce

Abstract: Our project was based around the idea that ‘junk’ in it’s many forms is a major problem in our world. We posed the problem of junk to our students and asked them “what could we do about it?” Our aim was to develop a project that catered for different year levels, different teacher skills and knowledge, that was differentiated but suitable for all students to access and was simple but set up so that it could grow once students were involved. We developed a project that focused on collaboration, building of knowledge, maximising connections outside the classroom and allowed students to design their own questions and explorations.

Problem, Issue, or Possibility: Junk: So what? What can we do about junk in our world. Underneath this driving question after much sharing of ideas and discussion online we came up with six topics and provided some guiding questions & thinking points. The students formed groups around each of these topics and worked to come up with their own investigation question. Consumerism & quality, Food, The future, Air pollution, Resource Management, and Water.

Objectives and Assessment: The topics as listed were the vehicle for our main purpose which was to build our student’s capacity to collaborate effectively in an online world.

Our students are entering a world where online communication across the globe is increasingly becoming the ‘norm’. The skills of collaboration and communication are essential lifelong skills. The nature of these skills continues to change as the access and ease of use of online technologies grows.

These evaluation statements were used by students to self assess their participation in this project.

Active participation:

  • I ask questions to explore, clarify and elaborate meaning
  • I consider, respond to and build on the viewpoints, ideas and opinions of team members
  • I challenge assumptions and justify opinions
  • I use accepted protocols to communicate ideas and information

Knowledge Construction:

  • I can explain the changes in my thinking and understanding
  • I can use content, ideas and information from multiples sources to construct understandings and new ideas
  • I can work with others online on a shared project to discuss, share and construct knowledge


  • I reflect on and use feedback to improve the quality of mine and the group’s work
  • I provide constructive feedback to others
  • I ask for advice and assistance when needed
  • I record reflections on my learning and the group’s progress throughout this project


  • My actions show my commitment to achieving the group goals (collaboration, negotiation, delegation, task allocation)
  • I complete my tasks on time and to the expected standard
  • I support my group members to carry out their roles effectively

Implementation Plan: Introductory activities across the three schools (approx 2 weeks)

Using wall wisher and answer garden to share questions and ideas and stimulate thought and discussion
Introducing yourself in Edmodo
Once groups were established – initial discussions around possible directions (all conducted online)

Introductory activities in individual schools varied depending on focus and student

@PVPS viewing The story of Stuff – use of Today’s Meet for back channel discussion
@EHS using photoshop to make advertising posters

We modeled our process on the process that had been used for PLP.

Brainstorming of ideas, sorting these into 6 big ideas, students selecting the group they wanted to be part of, allocating a teacher as a guide/coach for each group.

We set the groups up with an edmodo space each for collaboration and a wikispace for storing of documentation etc. The use of these spaces varied between groups.

Because our focus was to build online collaboration skills between the students we stepped out of their way and let them run with the project.

We monitored the spaces, asked the occasional leading question, made the occasional suggestion ( which was often ignored) and within our own classroom spaces supported the students to build their skills.

Each group developed their own question related to the topic and their own method of responding

Culminating event was a Flash Mob performance in Federation Square. The song and dance was created by students from the ‘Junk food’ group to try to convince others not to eat junk food.

A video sharing work from other groups was shown on the screen at Federation square

The presentation of final products for each of the groups also took place in each of the three schools

Evaluation and Results: The project has finished. There is a comprehensive summary of the successes and results to be found on our website

Artifacts and Documentation: PLP ConnectU Environment Team :Summary of our whole project (artifacts, student work, link to group’s final work, reflections, our journey, everything related to our project)

Junk? So What! wikispace (we used with the students)

The edmodo discussions are closed (therefore are not accessible to show). However there are samples on the Weebly

Evaluating our PBL : student evaluation statements

Our initial project summary

Environment – Original Brainstorming

Environment – Team Links Page

DEECD produced video of the Flashmob event at Federation Square.

Flashmob performance

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