#140WC Project Based Learning

#140WC Creativity

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Creativity = Connections

Creativity is innovation. If, as a country, we want innovators and innovative educators and businesses, then we must develop our ability to make connections in diverse ways.

Steve Jobs was a master of innovation — his creative ideas developed from thinking globally — beyond the box in which he was working. So, the Apple II case was inspired by kitchen appliances. The mag-safe magnetic power plug was inspired by Japanese rice cookers. Outside the usual idea of computers. He connected the disparate. He imagined how one could translate to another.

So, education needs to be more flexible, more amenable to connecting ideas, to taking time to solve problems through creative and critical thinking. It’s more powerful learning than demanding objectives and parsed skills. We need more conversation and more time for playing with ideas. If we want innovation, we need time to play, to make, to step back and see how something completely unrelated may help solve a confusing issue.

What I see in my classroom is a hope to get the teacher’s answer. What I see are glazed eyes when I talk about the objective for the day. What I see is a sparkle when I turn the tables so students ask the questions, when the topic is relevant to their lives, and when the task is determined by their desire to share something important to them — their connection, their ideas.

When do you see that sparkle?

Source: http://www.director.co.uk/ONLINE/2010/09_10_innovation_secrets_of_steve_jobs.html

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#140WC #PBL

Distributed Learning
I love Twitter. Can’t you just get lost sometimes? Stumbling through Twitter links, I started with Google Folders; found a link to free download on Digital Fluency_Snapshot, looked around that site to Hibernating Students, then Active Learning where the next post was Visual Guide to PBL, a post I’d read before on Edudemic about a deeper look at the PBL process, analyzed into a “Distributed-Project Based Learning” graphic by Yameng Li

Project-based learning engages students — they are actively learning together to analyze information and produce a representation of their ideas — in some project form based on their audience and purpose.

In today’s world, students’ process and product include the tech tools they choose for their need. They are learning critically thinking, problem-solving, communication, and design as they collaborate towards their goal.

The chart above shows us the basics of the process in the bottom tier: Organizing/Co-ordinating the work, building background knowledge to inspire, and finally, the co-design of the project. But look at the list of possibilities and expectations in each of those categories. Notice how each part of the process involves those skills often not included in “standards,” but are integral to the Common Core State Standards and most technology standards: thinking and collaboration.  The finally tier includes tech tools students employ during the process and for their product.

It’s time though to update that tier: Google Hangouts, Google Research, Google Communities, Google Apps, Google Drive, Visual.ly, Easel.ly, Lucid Charts, Lucid Press, Canva, Tackk, BitStrips, Voki — there’s tons of tech apps that have blossomed and will continue too. The point though, is the overall view of the process in one graphic.

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I think it’ll help the students and teachers expand their thinking about the PBL process. I’m glad I found it again.

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#140WC on #PBL

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Today the Buck Institute for Education offered a thirty-minute discussion on Google Hangout on “Collaboration and High Quality Student Work.” Find the archives and more bie.org.

In the video two successful Project Based Learning school districts discussed collaboration and it’s affect on student work. Collaboration by the staff and with students were key factors. Both guests suggested just diving into content that requires collaboration rather than spending time on team-building activities. Just get right into the rigor of authentic projects.

In addition, because staff and students are collaborative by design, students come back from summer break without a lag in achievement with regards to the processes of collaborative team work. The thoughts were then of “How do we collaborate with this new team?” In other words, the summer lag for this process and strategy achievement did not occur.

Finally, collaboration just doesn’t “happen” because we ask “turn and share.” It must be taught, nudged, discussed, and debriefed.

Of course, that’s what you thought, wasn’t it?  Get your PBL back in the classroom! And check out the Buck Institute for Education for more PBL resources.

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