PBL World 2018: Something for Everyone

If you follow this blog, you probably already know the answers to this multiple-choice quiz:

1. PBL World is:

       ____ a good excuse for a trip to the Napa Valley, California
       ____ well worth coming up with the money it might cost to travel to Napa
       ____ a PBL conference unlike any other
       ____ going to be better than ever in 2018
       ____ a place to learn, work, share, & join a community dedicated to PBL

2. PBL World includes:
       ____ PBL 101 Workshops
       ____ PBL 201 Workshops
       ____ PBL Leadership Workshops
       ____ PBL Coaching Workshops
       ____ inspiring keynote speakers
       ____ one-day preconference “PBL Slice” sessions
       ____ a chance to sample some of the world’s best wine & food
       ____ this list is long enough to impress you, right?

3.  You should attend PBL World if you:
      ____ are a PBL newBIE or a veteran
      ____ would like time & support for planning a project for your classroom
      ____ would like time & support for planning PBL implementation in your school/district
      ____ would like to network with other teachers, coaches, & school/district leaders
      ____ can! (and register before it sells out)

If you’re not already in the know about PBL World, allow us to explain why, like many multiple-choice quizzes, “all of the above” is the best answer to all three items.

PBL World 2018 will happen June 19-21 and registration has now begun; last year it was sold out by March so act quickly. The event will take place at American Canyon High School, on a beautiful campus set against the golden California hills at the southern end of the Napa Valley. We expect over 1200 attendees, so there will be a high energy level, a diverse range of perspectives, and many networking possibilities. Check out this video for an overview of the conference.

PBL World is not like other conferences that have a variety of short sessions by many different presenters—it’s more like an institute, where participants go through a continuous multi-day experience. All workshops are three days and conducted by our expert National Faculty or BIE staff, and focus on BIE’s model for Gold Standard PBL. Participants in all workshops develop a plan they can actually use when they return home.

This year, you have a choice of one of the following workshops:

  • PBL 101, an interactive, hands-on introduction to project design, assessment, and management.
  • PBL 201, which features in-depth work on specific Project Based Teaching Practices for participants who have already been to a 101. We’ve redesigned the 201 for 2018 to make it a continuous workshop rather than a set of separate modules. You can attend one of two options: one focuses on improving the quality of student work, and the other on building a learner-centered classroom.
  • PBL Coaching for instructional coaches, teacher-leaders, or school/district leaders who coach teachers. Participants create toolkits with strategies for supporting teachers in each of the seven Project Based Teaching Practices.
  • PBL Leadership for school and district leaders, which has been redesigned for 2018 to allow for differentiated, participant-chosen pathways. Topics include creating a shared vision of PBL, building community support for PBL, fostering a culture that supports PBL, changing school structures to allow for PBL, and more.

On Monday, June 18 we’re offering a one-day “Project Slice” preconference workshop. This is valuable for people who are new to PBL but also for those who know PBL only from the point of view of a teacher or school leader. Participants will experience a sample project as students, working in teams to conduct inquiry and concluding the day with a public product that expresses their answer to a driving question. Doing a project like this provides insight into what learning in PBL environment is really like, since most adults did not experience PBL when they were in school. See this blog post for more info on a project slice.

We can’t yet announce the keynote speakers who have been lined up for 2018, but you can bet they’ll be a highlight of your week.

Finally, PBL World takes place in the lovely Napa Valley, California. We’ll be organizing social events to take advantage of the location and promote community. And there will be time, in the long June late afternoons and evenings—or if you can tack a day or two onto your trip—to explore wineries, hike in local parks, bike or drive through the hills for views, visit historical sites, shop in the quaint towns up the valley, relax in a hot spring or mud bath in picturesque Calistoga, or check out the Old Faithful Geyser of California and the petrified forest. You could even make it to San Francisco for dinner, the redwoods around the Russian River, or the Sonoma coast for sunset over the ocean if you’re ambitious and don’t mind the one-hour-plus but scenic drives.

Join us, won’t you?

Registration has now begun; visit pblworld.org for details. Limited early bird pricing is still available.

To learn more about PBL World and hear from previous participants, see this blog post.