Project Based Learning was never something I spent too much time pondering. Just another way to assess learning, right? Well, I didnâ€™t quite â€œget it.” Turns out PBL is not simply a culminating project at the end of a unit. Itâ€™s the learning experience that takes place throughout the project process. If you want to see your K-12 studentsâ€™ eyes light up with excitement and watch them approach learning with more enthusiasm than ever before, PBL/Inquiry-Based Learning is for you. I encourage you to read onâ€¦
Technology opens the door, but it’s the support and encouragement we find in authentic learning communities that connects us. Commitment is hard. Giving up outdated but comfortable ways of doing our work is hard. We all need encouragement to stay on course. Many of us are finding that support online.
As we return to the classroom in January weâ€™re refreshed, renewed, and rarinâ€™ to go, right? If youâ€™ve been putting off shifting your classroom due to time constraints, fear, or confusion about what â€œshiftingâ€ is, now is the time to take that first step forward. In the five full months that remain (in most of North America, at least), commit yourself to one of these steps each month and youâ€™ll be on your way.
A creative, kaleidoscope mind is one that innovates â€“ invents â€“ inspires. It takes what it knows and turns it upside-down, inside-out, and backwards to see what new possibilities and patterns emerge. It will be able to view a problem from many perspectives, and find a solution/design more rigid minds could not. I have coached an Odyssey of the Mind team for five years now, and I’ve seen evidence that creativity is definitely a skill that can (and should) be taught.
Recently I got an email from my elementary division head. Our school is piloting a 1:1 netbook program this year, and our administration is interested in how the program is going and the different ways the netbooks are being incorporated into our curriculum. I started putting together a list, and even surprised myself at how much the availability of wifi-ready technology engages my students and supports instruction during the course of a regular school day.