Humans are born curious. From the first moments of life, we are curious about our world as we seek to understand our surroundings through our senses. This curiosity continues through life as we grow in understanding. Project-based learning (PBL) essentially answers this call for curiosity by enabling inquiry to lead the learning process, inspiring active participation from all learners involved. “Students engage in inquiry about the world around them in an attempt to solve a problem, create a product, investigate a solution, or respond to a question. This active approach to learning keeps students engaged and enables them to gain a deeper understanding of the subjects they are studying while connecting what they are learning to the ‘real world’” (ICTI-130).
Project-based learning not only brings the best out of students as they experience hands-on activities that relate to their world, but it also incorporates the use of a variety of technological tools. There are so many ways to weave technology into this approach to learning as students must take charge in setting their goals and designing their projects, not to mention the opportunities they have to select the technology that will best assist them in demonstrating what they have learned. This is particularly important as we consider increasing our level of technology integration to Transformation.
Some teachers think these projects take too much time to orchestrate, but what they do not realize is that collaborating with other classrooms can really help break up the work and share the resources. In addition, when you are beginning to incorporate PBL into your curriculum, start small. Modify an existing project. Plan to facilitate the project over the course of two to three weeks rather than engaging in longer projects that last for a month or more.
In our ICTI-130 Project-Based Learning (K-5) course, we lead you through questions that help you understand the components of effective PBLs. We supply resources and examples of quality projects and we walk you through the steps of setting up your own PBL experience. In the first week, you will discuss the key components of a PBL after reading a few different articles. You will also discuss how you might turn a current lesson plan into a PBL experience. You will spend week two thinking about the technology resources you might use in your PBL experience and take some time to revise your key components. After this, you will explore PBL templates and view a video that will walk you through the steps of building your own experience. In the final week of the course, you will create your PBL experience. With facilitator feedback along the way, you will be guided in transforming a current lesson or unit into a PBL experience. Begin your pathway to Project-Based Learning today!
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