NDSEC Connections Conference • February 27, 2015

Learning Through Projects

Students are hungry for learning that matters. Project-based learning has students involved in explaining their answers to real-life questions or challenges. A project's driving question or challenge is so deep that it requires students to work together to create an end-product to share their conclusions with others. Instead of traditional projects that come at the end of a unit of study, project based learning has the project introduced at the beginning of the unit. The project gives students a reason for learning the content and a venue for practicing 21st Century skills. Because projects are open- ended, they are ripe for differentiation.

Technology can play a big part in project based learning. It can help the teacher assess student interest, progress, and learning. In the hands of students, technology can provide an array of tools for brainstorming and investigating a project's driving question. There are apps that empower students to make end-products to share their project with an audience. These end-products include audio recordings, movies, comics, puppet shows, narrated drawings, digital books, and more. Please bring a fully charged laptop, Chromebook, tablet, or iPad so you can fully participate.



Padlet is a free website where you can create a wall. You can open the wall up for others to post. Posts can have text and allow for uploads and links. On an iPad you can only upload photos and videos.

Suggested Padlet Wall Settings:

  • Log into Padlet.com.
  • Click the Modify Wall button.
  • Under profile, give your wall a title and description.
  • Under Layout, change from Freeform to Stream or Grid.
  • Under Privacy, checkmark Moderate posts.
  • Under Address, give your wall an easy to type web address.
  • See the QR code under the Share menu.

YouCam Snap for iOS and Android is great for taking "notes" by snapping photos of slides. It crops, corrects the contrast and brightness, and straightens the perspective. And, it's free!