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by John Larmer
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April 20, 2018
Top 10 PBL News Stories

by John Larmer
Editor in Chief

Here are some articles, blog posts, research studies, and other resources I’ve recently run across that relate to Project Based Learning.

Tools for Project Based Learning: The Landscape Today
Getting Smart
Here’s an excellent list of tech tools for PBL. One caveat: the authors mention the challenge for teachers when there are “individualized projects for 25+ students,” which is not the more typical team-oriented approach we emphasize in our model  of PBL. (See also Getting Smart’s post Middle and High Schools to Visit: 2018 Additions – most use PBL or some variation of it.)

The Four Crucial Components of Collaborative Learning
Rewarding Education
Teacher Robert Ward offers some excellent advice for PBL teachers. I like how he differentiates collaboration from cooperation, and points out that complexity is needed to create a reason for group work.

PBL with a Purpose
T.H.E. Journal
Nice article about school districts that are using PBL to engage students and support goals for deeper learning—and whose teachers design projects that address real-world problems. Great comments from our friend Eric Williams, Superintendent of Loudoun County Schools, Virginia.

Time Management in PBL
Another good post from Andrew Miller, one of our veteran National Faculty members, who provides practical advice for using PBL in different lengths of class periods.

7 Steps to Improving Student Attendance
Education Elements
Helpful infographic available here for free downloading; I like that PBL is mentioned as one of the ways to improve student attendance.

Behind the Curtain of PBL
Magnify Learning
Teacher Trisha Burns explains what the teacher does behind the scenes to make great projects happen, from planning to facilitation to the big finish.

10 Conversations That Can Start Your Next Project-Based Learning Unit
This post has a piece of advice worth remembering: don’t be intimidated by the flashy, grant-funded PBL projects you might see online or in films. You can do authentic projects by tapping local folks, such as school staff, the principal, parents, and by talking with students about their passions, challenges, and lives.

Storyboards, Films, and Illustrations… Is This Still English Class?
New England Innovation Network
English teachers are sometimes challenged to think of literature-connected project ideas; here’s a good one. 9th graders published a literary magazine with dystopian short stories they wrote, and transformed several of them into a film.

After decades in traditional education, an educator finds a better solution for learning
The Hill
This article describes how PBL is being used for at-risk and special needs students in an alternative education program in Pennsylvania’s Appalachian region.

What can food trucks teach us about project-based learning?
John Spencer’s blog/podcast
OK, so part of what drew me to this post was its title—I love food trucks—but John Spencer’s podcast cleverly connects the creativity and innovation found there with PBL.


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