Sunday, October 19, 2014
Blog # 9
The question we were asked to answer in this blog post was, What Can Teachers and Students Teach Us About Project Based Learning? The the articles and videos provided, I narrowed it further down to five sources that I will be using to write this post. The first article that I will be discussing will be the Seven Essentials for Project Based Learning this article discusses a project that was done at a high school about bacteria ridden water, and how to prevent this from happening. The article says that a project is meaningful if it covers two things, one of those things is that students must find the work or project personally meaningful to them. Second thing that must happen is the work must not only be meaningful but also educational. I will now list/go through what the seven essentials are or what this article says they are. The first one is, A Need to Know- What this means is the introduction of what the students will be doing projects based one. In this article they used a video of a polluted beach, and then the teacher talked about ways that could help combat this problem.
The second point is, A Driving Question- A driving question can relate to pretty much anything, whether it be brainstorming to figure our better ideas that could combat this bacteria problem, since we are sticking to the article they used the example of better drainage and also better designed waste treatment plants. The third point is, Student Voice and Choice- this is saying that the students after given the driving question should be allowed to have choices when it comes to creating their projects and what they use to create them. They could write a paper, create a brochure, a poster, an Google docs presentation. The reason students should have the ability to choose how they will create this projects allows them to further take control and immerse themselves in what they are doing. Fourth point is, 21st Century Skills- this is after the students get the driving question, and also have figured how they will be creating their project they will break down into groups and go from there. The groups will use rubrics to peer review each other and how they have done on their group and individual work.
Fifth point is, Inquiry and Innovation- After given the driving question the class sits down in its groups and they create even more questions focused on or around the question that first sparked their interest on this topic. The sixth point talks about, Feedback and Revision- which is where the groups will look over each of the other group members work and peer review and edit it for mistakes. This till will also allow the students to build on their editing skills and not have to be completely dependent on the teacher for help when it comes to things such as grammar, or spelling. The seventh and final topic talked about in this article is, A Publicly Presented Product- this one is pretty self explanatory, this one is talking about presenting the final project to a public group. It could be a mixture of students, parents and other teachers it does not matter who the public audience is as long as its presented to a public audience.
In the video Project-Based Learning for Teachers This video tells the teacher what exactly PBL is. It tells how the students will be working an extended amount of time answering a driving question. The questions like discussed above are deep and requires the students to think long and hard about this. It is not something that can be answered in a short amount of time, it is something that must be thought about and expanded upon. Once the question has been answered to its best ability the student must share their findings with a public audience or forum, for example a blog. An example of a driving question that was used in this video was, What if Rosa Parks never gave up her seat? This question cannot be answered easily one must put thought into it and the fact that one has to out thought into the question so they can later formulate an answer shows why it is a driving question. Reasons why PBL is something teachers should use in the classroom, it helps develop problem solving skills, it helps students become able to answer open ended questions with more ease, and also helps students become personalized with the project they are working on. Those are just a few things talked about in the video. Students also learn collaboration skills, communication skills, critical thinking skills, career and life skills, when working with PBL. This is why it is so important for teachers to turn to this method of teaching, and assigning projects.
I also looked at three other videos and articles. The first video I watched was Two students solve the case of the watery ketchup by designing a new cap This video talked directly to the two students who developed this new design. They talked about how much they enjoyed being able to research ketchup all semester, in hopes to solve the problem of having to shake the bottle, or forgetting to shake the bottle and ultimately receiving soggy bread. They talked to their teacher about what they wanted to do, they received the okay of doing this once they gather information that this was a problem and something that should be fixed. What they did is create an mushroom like part that is on the inside of the bottle that allows for the water to not go out when the ketchup goes out. They used a 3-D printer to print off the exact design they wanted and needed.
I then accessed the website 10 Sites Supporting Digital Classroom Collaboration In Project Based Learning This website provides many options that students can use when creating projects in the classroom. For example the Titan Pad- which is a fast and easy way to share a document, the cool thing about this is it does not require an email to function, which means if you are dealing with younger children. This would be an ideal product to use just in-case they did not have an email established at this time. Another website they mention in this article is Google Docs- this is something I use on a daily bases, I was first introduced to this at the the start of EMD 310, but have grown to love it and will always use it when I can. They mention more websites that can be used in PBL's but I just picked my favorites or the ones that caught my interest.
The last article I chose to write about is actually a blog post dealing with PBL's in the Physical Education field. Project Based Learning in PE. This article is dealing with teachers being able to adapt the idea of PBL into any school subject. The idea of PBL could throw many people off and they could feel that just because P.E. is not set in a normal classroom setting that PBL is not an option. This article debunks thins myth and shows a solid example of how one can actually do PBL when dealing with a class of this such. The example the blog uses is have the students create a workout schedule for the younger children. They used middle school students to be the students that would be receiving the workout routines the high school students created. Not only does this involve the high school students to work with their classmates, but it also helps the older students talk and relate to the middle school students who are partake in this PBL. All of these websites, and videos provoded great information about why teachers should use this idea.