PBL Field Guide: Start with the big picture

The second reflection in Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age challenges the reader to take of tour of online resources to help “see the big picture” of PBL.  [pp. 23-24]

My initial thoughts about online PBL resources include Ted.com.  Have you seen the following TED talks?

John Hunter on the World Peace Game

and

Kiran Bir Sethi teaches kids to take charge

I prefer the PBL examples from John Hunter and Kiran bir Sethi over the videos from Edutopia.  I think I have struggled with the videos from Edutopia because they seem “canned” to me because of the announcer voice that talks over parts of the videos.  I should not discount the message and example because I don’t appreciate part of the package, right?  Encouraged to start with the big picture, I went back to Edutopia today for more stories, research, and ideas.

From Edutopia.org, I am drawn to Anatomy of a Project: Kinetic Conundrum which integrates art, history, engineering, language arts, and technology.

I am curious about the assessment plan for the Kinetic Conundrum project.  It is tagged with comprehensive assessment, but I have not found any rubric or explanation of how the learners were assessed.

I had not explored www.pbl-online.org before today.  It seems connected to Edutopia and BIE.  From the website:

PBL-Online was created under the leadership of the Buck Institute for Education, with major contributions by the George Lucas Foundation, the Department of Educational Technology at Boise State University, and a group of University partners.

I think www.pbl-online.org might be a good resource for teams looking for support and scaffolding to begin to design projects for their learners.  I am particularly interested in Design your Project which has organized project planning into five design principles: 1) begin with the end in mind, 2) craft the driving question, 3) plan the assessment, 4) map the project, and 5) manage the process.  There is also a PBL Co-Laboratory where you can search for projects and contribute your projects.  It is the Learn-and-Share model we have been working toward.

The National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS·S) strike me as similar to our essential learnings in Synergy.

Synergy

  • Inquiry & Deep Questioning
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Problem & Solution ID
  • Data Gathering & Analysis
NETS·S

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts

My questions revolve around assessment and integrated studies.  We are looking for PBL with PBA.  How can we assemble a team to facilitate a project that crosses over multiple disciplines?  Will our PLC facilitators and/or department integration specialists (DIS) help us orchestrate whole school or multi-discipline PBL?  How do we develop a balanced assessment plan to provide our learners with dollops of feedback throughout the project?  How do we design a summative project-based assessment to assess learners the way they learned?

___________________________________________

Boss, Suzie, and Jane Krauss. Reinventing Project-based Learning:  Your Field Guide to Real-world Projects in the Digital Age. Eugene, Or.: International Society for Technology in Education, 2007. Print.

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