What Can We Learn From These Teachers?
More often than not, we can learn something even if it has been taught to us before. Each day we learn something different about Project Based Learning and its abilities to go above and beyond the original learning cycle. By offering a blended learning cycle we can see children have more fun with their education and become excited to be learning. After watching Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Program I think that I really understand the underlying message from each video. ENGAGE. ENGAGE. ENGAGE!!!! Engaging the students is one of the most important things you have to be able to do. Any teacher can stand at the front of the room and lecture on the fact that it is raining and that helps the grass grow, but a PBL teacher allows the students to come up with reasoning behind that statement and APPLY it. Students could work on building a rain gauge and adding that data into a chart on their blogs, amongst many other ideas. PBL is all about engaging the student and making them want to be active learners and having them grow as individuals.
I think my favorite video was the Building Comics one. I LOVE the idea behind that project and the fact that is teaching them to be super cyber-citizens. It allows them to have fun and express their creative side while also teaching them how to be safe on the web and not allow anything to happen to them via malicious links/sites or just hackers as one child stated.
With the Andersen video I found it very interesting that the "learning cycle" was actually different from the "blended cycle". For some time, I've thought that they were generally the same thing. The 5 E's of the learning cycle are very easily overlapped into the blended learning. ENGAGE, Explore, Explain, Expand and Evaluate. By using these to be applied in PBL we can come up with projects or entry questions that engage the students and capture their attention. With the blended class we see the students using classroom techniques, mobile, and online. Students easily weave in and out of these three realms because they have all of these at their fingertips. I agree with Andersen that we should push forward with the blended and true learning cycle together because they make for a more exciting and interesting classroom experience for the students.
I think we can learn from all of these videos that students need to be able to reach all levels of their potential, and by keeping them in a traditional classroom we are hindering that from taking place. Students should be able to have fun while learning and develop their skills more each day. Without the exciting work that PBL brings to the class, students would be bored using just a pencil and paper all day. These teachers bring a new light to PBL and allow for the students to gain from the experience in so many different ways, be it: 21st century tech skills, highly developed classroom work ethic, public speaking skills or even collaboration, none of these would be possible in a traditional classroom alone.