Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Join the Reinventing PBL Book Club

Throughout the month of October, we're hosting a book club about Reinventing Project-Based Learning, 2nd Ed., as part of Connected Educator Month. Join us for four weeks of facilitated discussions, weekly webinars, and opportunities to connect with the global community of PBLers.
Find all the details here. See you online!
~Suzie and Jane

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Look what's here! Second edition of Reinventing Project-Based Learning was released this week by ISTE. Since the first edition came out in 2008, we've seen enormous change in technology tools available for real-world learning, and also a huge surge of interest in PBL around the globe. New (or expanded) chapters take a deeper look at assessment in PBL and offer a forecast of trends to watch. Lots of inspiring project examples, too, from the growing, global PBL community. Feedback welcome!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How to ensure student voice in PBL? Ask the experts.

Encouraging student voice seems like a no-brainer when it comes to PBL. Designing projects to connect with students' interests is a surefire strategy for increasing engagement. Encouraging students to ask questions that matter to them helps to drive inquiry throughout the project.

But how often do we ask students to share their strategies for amplifying their own voice in learning?
Zak Malamed (@zakmal) started #stuvoice to ensure that students get heard in school reform conversations. What began as a Twitter hashtag has grown into a movement. Zak and team have formed a nonprofit (stuvoice.org), recruited corporate and nonprofit allies, and will host the second Student Voice Live! summit on Sept. 20 in New York. (I first met Zak at the Clinton Global Initiative for youth and have enjoyed watching him bring #stuvoice to a variety of settings, including #iste2014.)

How can teachers develop their ear for student insights? For starters, check out Student Voice in a Box, a collection of interviews and project ideas. Follow #stuvoice. Learn from (adult) experts like Russell Quaglia (DrRussQ), who combines research with practical strategies to ensure that students have a say in their learning experience. And invite your students to share their ideas. What matters most to them when it comes to learning? How and when do they learn best? What makes them curious? They might respond by generating project ideas you'd never imagine, identifying community issues they want to tackle, or lobbying for solutions to make their own education more relevant and engaging.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

ISTE 2014: Thanks for Joining Us



ISTE 2014: The Reflective Teacher's Tips and Tools for Guiding PBL from suzieboss

Thanks to all who joined our ISTE 2014 session, "The Reflective Teacher's Tips and Tools for Guiding PBL."
I was thrilled to share the session with Scot Hoffman from the American School of Bombay in Mumbai, India, and Mike Reilly from the Center for Design and Technology at Lanier High in Gwinnett County, Ga. Both are educators who have been guiding their schools toward high-quality PBL for several years. I've had the privilege of watching their successes unfold, so it was wonderful to hand them the mic in front of a big audience at ISTE (both live and virtual) and let others hear their stories.
The links and resources mentioned in our session are captured on this Google Doc.
 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

How do you tell your school's story?

Part of the cycle of innovation is paying attention to what works (and what doesn't), and documenting the process. If you're bold enough to make your reflections public, then others can learn from your experiences, accelerating the innovation process.
In education, it's rare to find schools that are transparent about their innovation efforts. Other than the occasional edublogger, we seldom see schools that take the time to document and share what they're learning--especially while change is still unfolding.
American School of Bombay is an exception. This independent school in Mumbai, India, not only has its own R&D department (another rarity in education!), but also publishes reports from the frontlines of innovation. Here's the latest issue of Future Forwards. I'm delighted to be a contributor. Check out my interview with art teacher Karen Fish, who describes her novel approach to assessment.
If want to learn more about innovation at ASB, look for their ISTE session: Design Your School's R&D.  Scot Hoffman, R&D coordinator, will also be making a guest appearance in my session: The Reflective Teacher's Tips and Tools for Guiding PBL on Monday, June 30, 2:15 p.m.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Face-to-Face with Global Issues

Last month, I had the amazing opportunity to watch students in two distant places--India and China--tackle some wicked global problems. At the Global Social Entrepreneurship Summit hosted by American School of Bombay in Mumbai and the Global Student Leaders Summit in Shanghai, developed by EF Educational Tours, teens from diverse contexts sat down to imagine sustainable solutions to issues like gender inequality, access to clean water, and improving education globally.

Both summits introduced students to the design thinking process, fostered team collaboration, and culminated with pitch sessions where participants had to convey their ideas to judges. The 21st-century skills that are so often talked about as learning goals were being put to practical use. What's more, students had to overcome differences of language and culture to get their teams off to a good start. And at both events, students had the chance to learn from role models who are doing the hard, creative work of social innovation.

What did students take away from the experience? In this post for Edutopia, I share insights from two teams of American students. On the ASB Findings blog, Karishma Galani, one of the summit coordinators, shares her hope that students will put their good ideas into action. I hope so, too. Thinking hard about solutions is critically important, but real innovation involves both thinking and doing.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Join us at ISTE Virt Con

ISTE is launching its first virtual conference tomorrow (Feb. 13), and Jane and I are excited to be taking part. We'll be sharing some video clips from ISTE13 as we talk about "Signposts to Better Projects: Take Thinking Deeper in PBL." We'll also offer a sneak preview of our session coming up for ISTE14.
We're planning plenty of opportunities for audience participation, so we hope to see you there!
Registration is free for ISTE members. Sign up here.