What Can Teachers and Students Teach Us About Project Based Learning?
It seems as though we have answered this question quite a bit throughout the course, and yet there's a new answer each time. I think that this is funny because answering this question over and over has shown me that there is so much to learn about PBL because it has so much to offer.
For instance, in Seven Essentials for Project Based Learning I learned that even knowing the general Idea for Project Based Learning, using the seven fundamentals for it make it seem much easier to apply. Having your students motivated is always the first step. Getting them excited by starting off with an introductory event, which can be a movie, speaker, photo, chat, (anything!) it drives the students to "Need to know". It gives them the sense that they need and want to know what they are going to do.By giving them a purposeful project they feel inspired.
When I watched Project Based Learning for Teachers I saw how many different ways PBL can be used with technology. We have only begun stepping into the world of technology in the classroom and in a seven minute video he lists at least 10 I've never even heard of...BUT MY STUDENTS WILL. I plan to use this innovative teaching in my classroom because it has been proven useful. It shows you that the students want to learn. They want to succeed. We just have to learn to help them and not do all of it for them.
I chose to watch What Motivates Students Today? because motivation seems like its the most important role of PBL. If a student doesn't want to learn anything or everything seems boring, then they won't be succeeding. We want to flip our classrooms and not keep them boring and dull. In this video I realized that some of the smaller things can motivate students. For example, one of the older students said that he really enjoyed when the teacher shows his work or compliments his work because it shows that hes doing something. He felt proud because the class and teacher were noting his accomplishments. That's HUGE. Just to know that by SHOWING a student's work, it makes them want to succeed even more, is one of the great things about PBL. one of the final steps is to present it.
Learning about how students used PBL in PE was really interesting to me because I never thought that PBL could be used in PE! This project is such a good idea to have the students get involved. By allowing the students to each come up with a different PE unit, not only do they get to decide some of the best ones, but they are collaborating ad self reflecting on how to better not only their projects, but their classmates' as well!
I also felt similar about the video about Sammimsh High school who flipped their classrooms on 5 year PBL plan. FIVE YEARS to completely flip a school. How intense is that. After watching High School Teachers Meet the Challenges of PBL I realized two things. 1) IT IS NOT ALWAYS GOING TO HAPPEN OVERNIGHT. This may seem silly to say "oh wow, you just realized that...?" No. What I mean is that flipping a classroom is hard work and takes a lot of determination and collaboration from a lot of people! Now imagine doing that with every classroom in a school. This a very rigorous five years and they seem to be seeing a great increase in graduations, better grades, and overall participation levels. 2) Sometimes you will hit a brick wall. (Thanks Randy Pausch for the reminder!) The teachers in this video have to meet every day for a year to come up with ways to add PBL into English and Math, and I never would have thought that those two courses would need it. But it makes sense now, seeing them use it in action. One of the teachers in the video says that "some days you feel really accomplished, and then there are days when you have to go home feeling like its not gonna happen.." But they come back every day and continually collaborate and come up with good ideas to put in their classroom lesson plans. I really think this video was one of my favorites because you can see it happening real time. You can understand the frustration of having to work at it for weeks before coming up with a good starting point, but then you can see the fantastic results.
We can learn a lot from teachers and students from PBL but I think the main thing we keep seeing is KEEP BEING A LEARNER. No matter what you are doing, become a life-long learner and nothing can stand in the way of inspiring people to do and become what they love by using real tools used everyday in the workplace and classroom.