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by John Larmer
Editor in Chief

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June 19, 2017
It’s PBL World Week!

by John Larmer
Editor in Chief

After months and months of planning and preparation, it‘s finally here—the annual gathering of the PBL tribe. This year the event sold out sooner than ever, even with our increased capacity for 1200 attendees, with a waiting list of 500. So the tribe is growing and growing, which is great news for students, teachers, and 21st century education.

For educators, the month of June brings rest and relaxation after a long school year, and also time for reflection about what’s been accomplished and what might be next. These “3R’s” are all features of PBL World, although we do spend substantial time on the “what might be next” part as participants work on plans for implementing PBL in the fall. Whether you’re attending the event or not, we hope your students this fall will see PBL in their classrooms, whether it’s a brand new or an improved practice.

Blogs This Week
Each day this week I will be blogging from PBL World, with highlights from the keynotes and other activities.

I’ve written about the keynote speakers before—Carlos Moreno of Big Picture, student Yvonne Armenta, and filmmaker Ted Dintersmith— but we’ve recently added one more: Stephanie Chang, Director of Programs at Maker Ed. Stephanie will be speaking on Thursday morning, and like our other speakers will being ideas and inspiration to those who hear her. You can read more about her here at the PBL World website. (Btw, videos of all keynotes will be made available this summer on the PBL World website and I’ll link to them here).

I’ll also be reporting on our “Lunch & Learn” organizations and presenters, who will meet with attendees for informal drop-in sessions each day:


  • Alfredo Mathew of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, “Meet Young Aspiring Entrepreneurs”
  • Ken Kay of EdLeader21, “Creating a Profile of a Graduate That Propels PBL”
  • Andrea Aust of KQED Science Education, “Engineering for Good”


  • Stephanie Chang, Maker Ed, “Capturing Student Work with Portfolios”
  • Lasse Leponiemi,, “Bringing Global Education Up to Speed”
  • Laura McBain, High Tech High, “Share Your Learning Campaign”


  • Catrina K. Taylor, Tiny Schools Fellowship Program (which offers funding for taking your idea from early stage validation to proof point)

How to Get BIE Workshops Elsewhere This Summer
We’ve got some excellent professional learning opportunities ready for PBL World, as you can see from the fresh new workbooks shown below.

But if you’re not able to attend, you can still find BIE’s workshops for teachers, instructional coaches, and school/district leaders at PBL Institutes all over the U.S., plus one in Canada this summer. Find out more about them at our events page. We hope to see you there, or perhaps at one of our onsite PBL 101 workshops that your school or district has arranged. Wherever you are in your PBL journey, we wish you happy trails—and some rest and relaxation this summer!


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