Top 7 PBL News Stories

Aug. 21-25, 2017

Each Friday we post a list of articles, blog posts, research studies, and other resources we’ve run across that relate to Project Based Learning.

Here’s what we liked this week:

Real-World Applications of Classroom Learning
My co-author Suzie Boss describes three great projects: one about sustainable development goals, the Monuments Project (about WWI cemeteries around the world), and The Future of Food, which she saw at the Global Leadership Summit.

Artifacts from Palm Valley PBL Institute
This is a cool visual display of what was accomplished (and the fun they had) at a recent PBL Institute in California where BIE provided PBL 101, PBL Coaching, and PBL Leadership workshops.  

Do Laptops Help Learning? A Look At The Only Statewide School Laptop Program
Maine Public
This story’s main theme is the failure of Maine’s 1:1 laptop program to improve student achievement, but one point it makes is an argument for PBL: “You can't just put a computer in a kid's hand and expect it to change learning.”

10 Innovative Project Ideas for Learning STEM Subjects
Global Digital Citizen Foundation
I hesitate to include this post, because the “projects” listed are actually activities that are classic examples of the “dessert projects” we warn about when explaining our model for Gold Standard PBL. (But if any PBL teacher gets an idea from activities like baking soda volcanoes, lemon juice invisible ink, making 5-minute ice cream, etc. etc. please let me know!)

How Project-Based Learning Guides Students Into Holistic Learning
Huffington Post
This post has a good basic overview of PBL, but the main attraction for me was a TEDx Honolulu talk by Kris Schwengel, a 4th grade math teacher who describes his use of engaging, real-world projects that feature the design thinking process.

How one Chicago high school turned the corner using full-time internships
The Hechinger Report
The ChiTech school in Chicago, 90 percent of whose students qualify for free and reduced lunch, uses PBL to provide “real-world learning” and has now added an internship program for all seniors.

To Come Up with a Good Idea, Start by Imagining the Worst Idea Possible
Harvard Business Review
This one’s not directly about PBL, but it might spark ideas for projects and give PBL teachers ideas for how to guide students’ thinking when they’re trying to solve real-world problems in a project.


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