June 23, 2015
Introducing an irresistible project at the beginning of a unit of study can give students a clear and meaningful reason for learning. Plus, they end up with a product or result that could possibility make a difference in the world!
In project based learning students are driven to learn content and skills for an authentic purpose. PBL involves students in explaining their answers to real-life questions, problems, or challenges. It starts with a driving question that leads to inquiry and investigation. Students work to create a product or presentation as their response to the driving question.
Technology can be helpful throughout a project, whether students use iPads, Chromebooks, Android tablets, laptops, or desktops. I've written a primer for each of the three major components of project based learning. I share useful websites and apps as I tell you about my take on project based learning. They are Crafting Questions That Drive Projects, Investigating Authentic Questions, and Creating Products to Show and Share Learning.
Projects begin with a driving question–an open-ended question that sets the stage for the project by generating interest and curiosity. It captures the heart of the project by providing purpose using clear and compelling language.
In project based learning students answer a driving question. That question is so deep that it leads students to ask more and more questions. I have lots of strategies and tips for investigating answers to those questions.
Let’s take a look at sample projects and some of the hottest apps for showing, explaining, and retelling. These tools can turn students into teachers and are great for sharing their answers to a project’s driving question.
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