The most important concept that stood out to me today was that there is a difference between Project Based Learning and what teachers like to call "busy work." In the blog, "7 Essentials for PBL," the author elaborates about the difference and says that it's about "the process of the students' learning and cognitive development rather than the final product." Furthermore, the project must be meaningful to the students and fulfill an educational purpose. Here is a summary of the 7 essentials for PBL...
Launch the project by initiating questions about the problem. In other words, get those gears working in the students' brains! Then, establish a driving question, and a driving question is simply what highlights the theme, or the "heart" of the project. Without this, the purpose of the project could be lost. Next, make sure the students have a voice-a loud voice! This is their project, not their teachers' or their parents' but theirs. We need to make sure they have the chance to make it their own and not be pressured to do it a certain way. Also, include new (or old) skills that will be learned by completing the project. For example, collaboration skills, critical thinking skills, or even technology skills are some that could be taught. Then, once the project is near or has reached completion, give the students the opportunity to revise their classmates' work and put their work on display! Other teachers, faculty, students, and parents enjoy seeing great work being recognized. Follow these guidelines to avoid assigning "busy work" instead of a fun and engaging project!
Next, was the PBL video for teachers. The video was extremely entertaining and engaging and if I was a teacher watching that, I would definitely be excited to try PBL in my classroom. I thought that, besides the distracting and intense background music, it was a very informative video.
PBL & Physical Education and PBL in PE. The first one briefly explains the base of the project: high school students are to create a physical activity plan for a middle school student. This project has a lot of room for creativity and team work. The second one was an elaboration on this project using the 7 essentials that were discussed above. The author, Miller, described a PBL project as an "authentic task," and I think he meant a project that could be tailored to fit any classroom at any grade level. I also think that is why PBL methods are so successful.
Lastly, I was curious about the Ketchup video. Boy, was I impressed! And a 3D printer?! That is extremely cool, I wish I had the chance to use one of those like these two senior boys did. I thought this video was a great example. Even though it was a little silly, this project showed that they were engaged, they were having fun, and it meant something to them!