Learning is all about revising your thinking. Taking on the role of student has helped me look at the students in my own classroom in a new way. I have had to consider questions such as:
How do I learn best?
How do I respond to information that is unfamiliar to me?
How do I approach assignments?
What kind of help do I seek to move my thinking forward?
This class has reminded me of the importance of looking at something familiar with new eyes. I have heard about project based learning, but my understanding of it is limited. In fact, I still have to correct myself in writing and speaking because I want to call it problem based learning. When one is seeking to understand a concept completely it is important to embrace it entirely at first and then tweak it as necessary after you have a better understanding of it. If you start the journey with all of your alterations then you are already turning it into something else.
Here is my definition of project based learning so far:
Project based learning is a teaching method that includes authentic tasks that address a driving question which is designed to help students meet content goals.
According to the BIE publication, PBL in the Elementary Grades, key elements of project based learning are significant content, 21st Century Skills , in-depth inquiry, a driving question, voice and choice, revision and reflection, and a public audience in the end to share out learning.
I am most excited about using PBL because I love to help students take charge of their learning. I also enjoy facilitating learning across as much subject matter as possible. Finally, I have an iPad for each student which makes the research process embedded in PBL that much easier!