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January 10, 2017
PBL World 2017: Who Should Go & What to Attend

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by John Larmer
Editor in Chief

PBL World has something for everybody who’s interested in Project Based Learning, whether you’re a teacher, instructional coach, school/district leader, or “miscellaneous other.” We’ve even had a few school board members, parents, and students attend over the years, as part of a team from a school. The program is geared for K-12 schools, but folks from post-secondary or out-of-school-time settings are also welcome.

Once in a while, though, over the six years we’ve hosted the event, someone will arrive in Napa, get to the check-in table, and be surprised. PBL World is not like a conference where you decide which short sessions to attend after you arrive. Instead, you sign up for a multi-day workshop beforehand—or make sure you’re aware of what box the person who signed you up has checked. It's not possible to "float" from one workshop to another or go to a different one on another day; when you come to PBL World you're making a commitment to do deep, focused, real work. (And your participation in the full length of the workshop helps make it successful for everyone, so please, no leaving early to go wine tasting...)

This post is meant to help you make a good decision about who should attend what and why. Check the PBL World site for more information about the workshops.

Teachers

  • Project Slice pre-conference all-day session June 19. This is a new offering for 2017 (I explain the idea in this post) -- a full-day immersive workshop where you will experience what it’s like to be a student working on a Gold Standard PBL project. You will collaborate in a team to learn, accomplish a task, and create and present a public product. The task will take you out into the local community. (This is also good for non-educators; no prior knowledge necessary!)
  • PBL 101 workshop, June 20-22. This three-day workshop takes you through the basics of BIE’s model for Gold Standard PBL and its Essential Project Design Elements. Participants are provided with substantial time to plan a project for their own use, give and receive peer critique, and learn how to assess and manage projects.
  • PBL 201 workshop, June 20-22. If you’ve already attended BIE’s PBL 101 workshop in the past, sign up for this three-day advanced workshop. This workshop takes you on a deep dive into six of the Project Based Teaching Practices in BIE’s model for Gold Standard PBL.

Instructional Coaches

  • Project Slice pre-conference all-day session June 19. See above—any educator who wants to understand, use or promote PBL would benefit from this experience.
  • PBL 101 workshop, June 20-22. This three-day workshop takes you through the basics of BIE’s model for Gold Standard PBL and its Essential Project Design Elements. Those who support teachers, or help design curriculum, will find it useful for understanding what PBL entails and learn how to support it by designing a project alongside teachers.
  • PBL Coaching Academy, June 20-22. This three-day workshop guides you in planning how to support teachers in designing projects and implementing Project Based Teaching Practices that follow BIE’s model for Gold Standard PBL.

Program and Technology Coordinators and Curriculum Specialists

  • Project Slice pre-conference all-day session June 19. See above—anyone who wants to understand, use, or promote PBL would benefit from this experience.
  • PBL 101 workshop, June 20-22. This three-day workshop takes you through the basics of BIE’s model for Gold Standard PBL and its Essential Project Design Elements. If you support teachers, or help design curriculum, you will find it useful for understanding what PBL entails and learn how to contribute to it by designing a project alongside teachers.
  • PBL Coaching Academy, June 20-22. If you support teachers, this three-day workshop will help you plan how to help them design projects and implement Project Based Teaching Practices that follow BIE’s model for Gold Standard PBL.

Principals and School Leaders

  • Project Slice pre-conference all-day session June 19. See above—anyone who wants to understand, use, or promote PBL would benefit from this experience.
  • PBL 101 workshop, June 20-22. This three-day workshop takes you through the basics of BIE’s model for Gold Standard PBL and its Essential Project Design Elements. School leaders will find it very useful for understanding what PBL entails—and send a valuable message to their staff—by designing a project alongside teachers.
  • PBL Leadership Academy: Vision or PBL Leadership Academy: Culture, June 20-22. Choose either one of these three-day workshops depending on what you would like to work on for your school. The Vision workshop guides you in creating a vision for “Why PBL?” and its sustainable use in your school. The Culture workshop will help you create the conditions necessary for PBL to thrive in your school.

Superintendents and District Leaders

  • Project Slice pre-conference all-day session June 19. See above—anyone who wants to understand, use, or promote PBL would benefit from this experience.
  • PBL 101 workshop, June 20-22. This three-day workshop takes you through the basics of BIE’s model for Gold Standard PBL and its Essential Project Design Elements. District leaders will find it very useful for understanding what PBL entails—and send a valuable message to their schools—by designing a project alongside teachers.
  • PBL Leadership Academy: Vision or PBL Leadership Academy: Culture, June 20-22. Choose either one of these three-day workshops depending on what you would like to work on for your district. The Vision workshop guides you in creating a vision for “Why PBL?” and its sustainable use in your district. The Culture workshop will help you create the conditions necessary for PBL to thrive in your district.

And, I want to emphasize, everyone, no matter what their role and specific need, will gain from hearing PBL World’s keynote speakers (to be announced soon, stay tuned!) who will energize and inspire you, as well as attending the special film screening (also to be announced soon), and social events we’re organizing to take advantage of our location in the Napa Valley. All the workshops and events are also, of course, wonderful opportunties for networking with other educators who share your interest in making learning better for all students.


Register here now for PBL World, before it sells out.
See this post for more on why you should attend PBL World.


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