When students engage in quality projects, they develop knowledge, skills, and dispositions that serve them in the moment and in the long term. Unfortunately, not all projects live up to their potential. Sometimes the problem lies in the design process. It’s easy to jump directly into planning the activities students will engage in without addressing important elements that will affect the overall quality of the project.
With more intentional planning, we can design projects that get at the universal themes that have explicit value to our students and to others. We can design projects to be rigorous, so students’ actions mirror the efforts of accomplished adults. They will feel the burn as they learn and build up their fitness for learning challenges to come.
In Project Based Learning (PBL), students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. While allowing for some degree of student “voice and choice,” rigorous projects are carefully planned, managed, and assessed to help students learn key academic content, practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking), and create high-quality, authentic products & presentations.
In the global networked environment of 21st Century, students need to learn academic content through real-world examples, applications and experiences, both inside and outside of school. They understand and retain more when their learning is relevant, engaging and meaningful to their lives.
Consequently, educators should incorporate the lastest research in cognition, technology and so many others areas to make the classroom a vibrant center of learning where all students have a change to access tools that help them learn. Students use technology all the time in their lives, therefore, it is important to improve schools where learners are illuminated, enthusiastic and empowered.
Just a few data…
- 91% of teachers have computers in the classroom, yet only 20% think they have the right level of technology in the classroom,
- More than half of all (U.S) colleges surveyed say their biggest priority is upgrading their Wi-Fi infrastructure,
- College campuses saw a 60% increase in mobile devices in the previous year,
- Gamification of the classroom – 43% of teachers surveyed have used online games in the classroom, and
- 29% of teachers use online social networks, while 80% of college professors do so.