Sunday, July 18, 2010
PBL Camp: A Community Comes Together
Edutopia’s first-ever PBL Camp is in now high gear, with campers jumping into active discussions about project ideas relating to the Gulf disaster. Tomorrow is the start of Week Two.
It’s still early, but already several themes are emerging.
PBL Campers are a generous group. We’ve had experienced teachers volunteer to mentor newcomers, and three PBL pros—Jane Krauss, Tristan de Frondeville, and Telannia Norfar—on call to dispense timely advice as PBL Camp Counselors. Karen McMillan (@McTeach) has gone out of her way to help teachers get comfortable using the various tech tools we are introducing throughout this four-week adventure.
Teachers are eager to collaborate. This week, we’re encouraging Campers to buddy up with a colleague or two (or more) on a project planning team. Collaboration has already started in the discussions at Edutopia, where teachers are quick to recognize the value of working together.
We’re all learning in plain sight. PBL Camp is unfolding publicly, with planning conversations taking place online at Edutopia, on Twitter, and on a planning wiki. Unlike most PBL resources, which typically showcase finished projects, PBL Camp opens a window on the planning and brainstorming stage. All the resources, webinars, and discussions are being archived here.
Opportunity keeps knocking. PBL Campers are part of a bigger community of educators who are looking to turn the Gulf disaster into meaningful learning. We have made wonderful connections with Teachers Teaching Teachers (thanks to co-hosts Paul Allison and Susan Ettenheim). Eric Brunsell, assistant professor of science education from Wisconsin, is sharing his ideas and resources for engaging science projects. And more connections are in the works.
Of course, we'll find ways to stay connected as a community once camp ends and teachers start implementing these amazing projects with students. Till then, let's camp!