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Tools for project-based learning can augment impactful lessons that help students develop key life skills

5 tools that support project-based learning

Top 10 of 2021: Tools for project-based learning can augment impactful lessons that help students develop key life skills

Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on student engagement and online or hybrid learning strategies related to pandemic teaching. This year’s 3rd most-read story focuses on fun tools for project-based learning.

But it’s often a great undertaking to locate and vet resources and tools for project-based learning, and educators don’t have an abundance of time.

Below, we’ve gathered a handful of “add-on” tools for project-based learning. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we hope these resources help as you search for PBL examples and strategies.

1. Dreamdo Schools encourages school classes around the world to engage in project-based learning and do great projects of their choice. Any teacher and their students, anywhere in the world, can use Dreamdo Schools and become a part of a global network of teachers and students who dream and do.

2. In each Educurious course, students are challenged with problems to solve that pique their curiosity. Students are learning detectives, working independently or collaboratively with their peers. Teachers provide scaffolding and guidance as students investigate the problem and propose solutions.

3. The time it takes to design effective augmented reality learning activities may cause teachers to hesitate, but Metaverse makes the process more accessible with its scene-centered platform. Create digital scavenger hunts by adding location blocks or item collection commands to the experiences. Promote gamification and movement by designing digital “breakouts” for teams of students, or let students collaborate to create their own. Challenge students to work in teams to solve a riddle or puzzle, or bring the magic of virtual reality to the classroom by incorporating a 360-degree video scene. Empower students to create “choose your own adventure”-style stories or presentations to share with the Metaverse community, or create a professional development experience that will have teachers thinking like kids again.

4. PBL Project Idea Cards is a free online library from PBLWorks and offers more than 60 downloadable Project Idea Cards to support teachers in implementing high-quality PBL. The library will be growing, with new cards to be released throughout the year. The Project Idea Cards are downloadable, standards-based project ideas addressing a range of grade levels and subjects. Each project card lists a driving question, a project description, the standards the project addresses, the anticipated outcomes, and reflection questions to help teachers bring the project to life in their own contexts.

5. Pixton Comic Builder offers an Idea Library of images, characters, and backgrounds to inspire students to create a comic, storyboard, or graphic novel. Whether working on projects individually or collaboratively, students can create personalized avatars to make themselves the star of their own story. Once they’re finished, they can show what they know in any subject by printing, downloading, or sharing on the web.

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Laura Ascione

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