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by John Larmer
Editor in Chief

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July 22, 2016
Top 8 PBL News Stories

by John Larmer
Editor in Chief

July 18 - 22, 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:

Engagement from Technology Use Is Different Than Engagement from Learning
EdTech Focus on K-12 Magazine
A great message that reflects what BIE has always said about technology in PBL: it’s a tool, not the point. The author says, “Relevancy and authenticity will trump the presence of technology every time.”

How Can Schools Prioritize For The Best Ways Kids Learn?
Mind/Shift, KQED
Reflections on the need to give students “work that matters” based on a TED Talk by former teacher now advocate for educational change Will Richardson. Includes a great graphic comparing “meaningful learning experiences” with what is typically done in schools.

3 Challenges As Hands-On, DIY Culture Moves Into Schools
National Public Radio
NPR’s Eric Westervelt reports on educators involved in the “maker movement” whose ideas reflect some of my concerns and those raised in other articles lately (here and here), as “maker spaces” in schools increase in popularity. Key takeaway: “Linking maker-based projects to classroom curriculum and academic standards… will help ensure that students will learn, but also that the maker movement won't become just another educational trend."

Facing Resistance? Try a New Hat
Educational Leadership
A useful article for education leaders trying to manage complex change (like PBL) in schools. Bryan Goodwin suggests “trying on different perspectives” teachers may have, given their thinking preferences – for which various frameworks are provided.

What Powers Project-Based Learning? New Technology Provides the Answer
Getting Smart
Fascinating, cutting-edge ideas, drawing from work by KnowledgeWorks, about the potential in education for “smart transactional models” emerging in the business world – “new ways of managing institutions, accessing resources, and brokering relationships” such as blockchain and smart contracts.

Using STEAM to reverse teacher-directed mindsets
Helpful reminders from a technology facilitator at the low-income, high-minority and successful Union City School District in New Jersey about how Science/Technology/Engineering/Arts/Math education should not be about fun classroom activities but content-based “learning by doing.”

A comparative study of three teaching methods on student information literacy in stand-alone credit-bearing university courses
Journal of Information Science
A research study from Slovenia (reminding us that PBL is growing internationally) comparing lecture-based learning with problem-based learning and project-based learning in an information literacy course. It found that both “active learning” methods resulted in “significantly better” test scores, and no difference between the two PBLs.

Should Students Learn About Black Lives Matter in School?
The Atlantic
Thoughtful guidance for social studies teachers who want to bring current events into the classroom (and design projects around them), since textbooks are always a decade or two behind.


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