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April 29, 2016
Top 7 PBL News Stories

by John Larmer
Editor in Chief

April 25 – 29, 2016


Each Friday we post a list of our favorite articles, blog posts, and other resources we’ve run across that relate to Project Based Learning.

Here’s what we liked this week:

Blended, Project-Based and Social Emotional Learning at Thrive Public Schools
Education Week
Tom Vander Ark describes a K-8 school in San Diego with a highly diverse immigrant population that is successfully combining personalized learning and PBL. He includes three great rubrics – for project planning, blended learning, and social emotional learning.

Will giving greater student access to smartphones improve learning?
The Hechinger Report
How Internet Filtering Hurts Kids
The Atlantic
I put these two stories together because they’re closely related. Many teachers and schools who want to use PBL find it more difficult when students’ only way to connect to the outside world is a computer with severely restricted access to websites. Each article discusses the familiar challenges of providing students with greater access: distraction, inappropriate websites, they’ll just watch YouTube, etc. and mentions research on both sides of the debate. (BIE is in favor of greater access, with the least restrictive safeguards possible.)

High School Teachers Tap 'House Hunters,' Tiny Houses for Ideas

U.S. News & World Report
A great example how PBL teachers get project ideas by capitalizing on current trends and TV shows students are familiar with. Examples: Students learn Spanish at Bethlehem High School in Delmar, New York, by hunting for homes (virtually) in Spanish-speaking countries. In the Geometry for Construction class at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville, Texas, students actually build a tiny house each year.

How Prince Used Coding To Help Uplift African-Amercican Boys
Los Angeles Times

CNN commentator Van Jones, on the Dr. Drew Show, talked about his work with Prince and the #YesWeCode initiative. Another indicator that Prince rules - and got PBL, I'm sure: Van Jones quoted him to say, "We have to get our young people prepared to be a part of this new information economy."

6 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Be Better Teachers
An article for business leaders showing that the principles of PBL can apply to all educational settings. Author Amy Rosen even says, “One of the keys to teaching entrepreneurship, and many other subjects, is project-based learning.” When entrepreneurs need to teach employees about company culture, policies, and goals, Rosen recommends: “link lessons to projects, practice teamwork, create ownership” - sounds familiar, eh?

Oregon Trail explored at Eugene’s newest ‘museum’
The Register-Guard
Sixth-graders at Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School in Eugene, Oregon construct museum exhibits and dress in period costumes to act as docents in this ambitious but hugely engaging project. They even built an actual-size covered wagon, and a totem pole with the help of a local woodcarver.


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