5 tools that support project-based learning

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.…Read More

5 easy tools that support project-based learning

Educators know project-based learning (PBL) isn’t simply another teaching strategy. Project-based learning gives students deeper learning experiences, and as they apply their knowledge, they develop soft skills such as critical thinking and team work–skills they’ll carry through to college and the workforce.

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.…Read More

PBLWorks Announces its 2021 PBL Champions

Novato, CA (July 13, 2021) – PBLWorks, the leading provider of professional development for Project Based Learning (PBL), has announced its 2021 PBL Champions – a program that honors schools, districts and individuals for their commitment to high quality Project Based Learning. This year for the first time, the program includes two school district Champions, and a PBL Champion of the Decade. The 2021 PBL Champions are:

PBL Champion Districts

 Pearl City Waipahu Complex Area (Waipahu, Hawaii)…Read More

PBL students excel compared to peers in typical classrooms

Students in project-based learning (PBL) classrooms across the United States significantly outperform students in typical classrooms, according to four studies released from Lucas Education Research, a division of the George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF), along with researchers from five major universities.

In the first study ever reported on project-based learning and Advanced Placement results, research scientists at the Center for Economic and Social Research at USC Dornsife found that students taught AP US Government and AP Environmental Science with a PBL approach outperformed peers on exams by 8 percentage points in year one of a randomized controlled trial, and were more likely to earn a passing score of 3 or above with the chance to receive college credit. In year two, PBL students outperformed peers by 10 percentage points.

The yearlong curricula were developed by University of Washington professors alongside Seattle and Des Moines teachers. For example, in one of the five projects in the AP Government course, students answer the question, “What is the proper role of government in democracy?” by conducting a presidential campaign, taking on the roles of candidates, lobbyists and media. In the first of five projects in AP Environmental Science, students explore sustainability by conducting a personal environmental impact audit and developing a proposal to reduce consumption.…Read More

The College Board Partners with PBLWorks to Train Teachers for New AP Courses Rooted in Project Based Learning

PBLWorks, the leading provider of professional development for Project Based Learning (PBL), has partnered with the College Board to offer a new PBL-based professional development program for Advanced Placement (AP) courses in Environmental Science and U.S Government and Politics. The new courses use a Project Based Learning method of teaching and are based on powerful new breakthrough research just released by the Center for Economic and Social Research at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, that found PBL coupled with high-quality professional development significantly improves student performance when compared to students in non-PBL classrooms.

Specifically, the research demonstrated that high school students in AP classes who engaged in hands-on, inquiry-based projects with real-world applications performed higher than their peers on AP U.S. Government and Politics and AP Environmental Science exams. In year one of a randomized controlled trial in five U.S. cities they scored 8 percentage points higher, and in year two of the study they scored 10 percentage points higher – and they were more likely to earn a qualifying score of 3 or above which could increase their chance of receiving college credit and saving on tuition.

“We’ve seen the impact of PBL firsthand in our work with schools and now this research provides proof of its impact on students who are taking AP classes,” said Bob Lenz, CEO of PBLWorks, “That’s why we’ve partnered with the College Board to support new project-based AP courses that are relevant, authentic, and engaging.”…Read More

How an art teacher tackles STEM and PBL

This past year has been, without a doubt, the most challenging one of my entire teaching career. As an art teacher, I always say that my teaching style relies on that one-on-one connection with each student in order to help them build their confidence to prepare them for an engaging, hands-on learning experience.

This approach is even more crucial given my students are newcomers and English language learners, as I was just a decade ago. I work with high school students in the Engaging Newcomers in Language and Content Education (ENLACE) Academy at Lawrence High School in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

During this time when we are fully remote, it is especially frustrating knowing that students with high needs are struggling and as much as you try, it feels like you can never do enough to help them given the unprecedented circumstances we’re all living through.…Read More

Registration is Now Open for the 10th annual PBL World Conference

PBLWorks, the leading provider of professional development for high-quality Project Based Learning (PBL), will host its 10th annual PBL World conference virtually on June 21-24, 2021 with the theme “Racial Equity at the Center.”

The conference, which last year drew more than 1,000 teachers and school and district leaders from 37 states and 26 countries, offers inspiring speakers, engaging workshops, and dedicated time for networking. PBLWorks is presenting the conference online for the second year in a row in order to support teachers and administrators who can’t travel or who prefer to attend virtually due to the pandemic.

This year’s theme “Racial Equity at the Center” highlights the power of Project Based Learning to advance educational equity for all students — especially Black and Brown students. Keynoters will bring their perspectives on how participants can put equity at the center of their work. And during workshops, attendees will consider educational equity in their classrooms and their projects.…Read More

PBLWorks Expands its Online Services for 2021

PBLWorks, the leading provider of professional development for high-quality Project Based Learning (PBL), is expanding its selection of online offerings for teachers seeking to start or accelerate their use of Project Based Learning. Options include immersive 3-day workshops, 8-week courses, and 2-week “pop-up-projects” to do with your students. All are offered online and are easily accessible for teachers who can’t attend in-person because of their location, schedule or restrictions due to the pandemic.

The power of Project Based Learning is its ability to engage and inspire students, and now more than ever due to the pandemic, teachers are challenged to keep their students connected and engaged in their learning. PBLWorks is supporting educators by creating more opportunities to meet their needs for PBL professional development, especially those who are getting started on their own.

“We experienced extremely positive feedback this year for our online workshops and courses, with participants overwhelmingly saying they would recommend them to a colleague,” said Bob Lenz, CEO of PBLWorks. “By offering more online options in 2021, we’ll be able to help even more teachers implement Gold Standard PBL with their students, inside or outside of the classroom.”…Read More

PBLWorks and ISTE Partner to Offer New Course for Teachers

PBLWorks, the leading provider of professional development for high-quality Project Based Learning (PBL), has partnered with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) to create a new self-paced ISTE U course, “Leading Project-Based Learning with Technology” to help teachers build their capacity to implement Gold Standard PBL with technology tools.

The course is for teachers and instructional staff who are familiar with technology and are looking for an entry point into PBL, or those who are interested in learning more about both PBL and technology integration. It challenges participants to respond to the driving question, “How can I maximize the benefits of Project-Based Learning by effectively integrating digital tools?”

“Leading Project-Based Learning with Technology” is a 5-hour, self-paced course. It costs $49 for ISTE members and $65 for non-members.…Read More