Monday, July 12, 2010

Let's Camp!

Today was the kickoff for Edutopia's PBL Camp. The big goal is to turn the Gulf disaster into meaningful learning opportunities for students. We had excellent turnout for the webinar (which will be recorded and available online soon), and that leaves me hopeful about where this group is heading.
The Wordle image above captures campers' reflections on this question: What do you hope your students will remember most about the project you plan this summer? (We used Wallwisher for brainstorming--check out the PBL Camp Wall here.)
In many ways, we're using PBL methods to plan and implement PBL Camp. It's a team effort all the way. As facilitator, I'm collaborating with Betty Ray, Edutopia's Community Manager. Many more colleagues have agreed to play a role in the weeks ahead.
Like most worthwhile projects, this one has involved considerable advance planning so that participants can hit the ground running. And, we're using technology tools where we need them to do important work (including a wiki for project planning, online discussion groups and Twitter for conversations, and Delicious for tracking resources).
The four weeks of PBL Camp will follow the arc of a project, starting with an open-ended question (How will you make the Gulf oil disaster relevant for your students?), and ending with a celebration of learning. In between, of course, comes the fun of getting hundreds of teachers working together to plan engaging projects.
So as Betty proclaimed at the end of our kickoff today, "Let's camp!"

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