Friday, January 21, 2011

What if kids designed their learning? Here are some resources to get started.

If you are, or want to be. a fan of project-based learning (PBL), this site (http://pbl-online.org/default.htm) funded by the Buck Institute has some terrific resources. Project-based learning is great, but what if we took the idea of PBL and married it with learner-centered instruction or democracy education or unschooling. Well, that equals something rather significant. Instead of teachers owning the learning, teach kids how to design their own projects and let them gather by area of interest or passion. Like Shelley Wright, who engages her students in Real Life Learning, teachers may feel weird about doing this because it kind of seems like we're making kids do the job of a teacher and HEY! Teachers are the experts in designing learning opportunities. Kids can't design their own. Hmmm...or can they?

Below are the resources you'll find on the site. Depending on the level of your students, you may want to simplify material to accommodate their reading level or...if you have mixed reading levels in each group, the students can probably work that out too.

Welcome to PBL-Online, a one stop solution for Project Based Learning! You'll find all the resources you need to design and manage high quality projects for middle and high school students. You can:

Learn how to Design your Project. Plan rigorous and relevant standards-focused projects that engage students in authentic learning activities, teach 21st century skills, and demand demonstration of mastery.
Search for projects developed by others or contribute your own projects to the PBL-Online Collaboratory and Project Library.
Learn important strategies for teaching online and learning online.

Learn what defines Project Based Learning and the PBL-Online approach to successful project design.
Review research and find web resources about effective Project Based Learning.

Purchase the BIE Project Based Learning Handbook which is the foundation for the PBL-Online

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