Monday, October 19, 2015

Thanks to Common Sense Media for creating this graphically enhanced interview about PBL. Watch it here.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

ISTE 2015 and Beyond

Whew! ISTE 2015 was a whirlwind--complete with thunderstorms, EdTechKaraoke, Philly hospitality, and fueling stops at the Reading Terminal Market.

Thanks to all who joined us for a jam-packed session on PBL and tech tools. Participants shared ideas for tools to support teaching and learning at different phases of projects. Here's the crowdsourced doc--a goldmine of tech suggestions to consider as you plan your next projects. (Feel free to add to it.)

As ISTE veterans, we know how important it is to reflect after a learning experience like this. I shared a few of my ISTE takeaways in this Edutopia post. If you were among the throngs at ISTE this year, what inspired you? Which tools caught your eye in the Expo Hall? Did your network get more global?  We'd love to hear your takeaways from ISTE 2015.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Projects with Rigor

DQ: Where might Little Free Libraries do the most good in our community?

I was asked the other day how to evaluate the quality of projects. There are so many things to consider!
I've seen too-long projects that result in learning that could have been achieved in a day through direct teaching. I've seen projects that flop because objectives weren't clear and kids investigations were stabs in the dark. Maybe the biggest problem I've seen is the 'read and report' style of project, where kids study a state, or produce one biography, and so on.
Projects that pass my sniff test draw on critical thinking. Any project can be made better if some of these aspects of critical thinking are involved:
  • Compare and contrast
  • Predict
  • Make a well-founded judgment, informed decision
  • Understand causal relationships (cause and effect)
  • Determine how parts relate to the whole (systems)
  • Identify patterns or trends
  • Examine perspectives, alternate points of view
  • Extrapolate to create something new
I was in India a while ago and shared this list with a school staff. The headmaster came over later, very excited, and said, "We can use this list to design or remodel projects so they have rigor! That's the best thing that's come out of this day!"

I love remodeling projects. If you have any you'd like help with any, let me know.

Saturday, January 31, 2015