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Project-Based Learning in the Digital Age

Here are a few points about project-based learning taken from Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age by Suzie Boss and Jane Krauss.

1. John Seely Brown, former chief scientist of the Palo Alto Research Center in California, suggests that we should imagine what “passion based learning” would look like. Replace the term project with passion and think about your idea again…
2. Keeping a project moving requires teachers to support students on their learning journey. It doesn’t always unfold the way you expect. One of the major pitfalls of projects is that they are often overscripted by the teacher, which reduces the flexibility and creativity of the students.
3. Project-bases learning should give students the opportunity to learn anytime and anywhere.
4. Effective research for projects results allows for learning to move to a deeper level.
5. Visual tools in project-based presentations, especially digital tools, make the presentations and the learning more effective for the presenters and the audience.
6. Students are used to expressing themselves on the web. As we create projects, we need to give students the opportunity to be interactive.
7. The web is now so vast, that students must learn how to navigate through the overwhelming amount of information that can be retrieved through a simple search. For example, Boss and Krauss state that the word “myth” might generate 49,400,000 results.
8. Projects are great for teaching resource and time management. Digital management could include teaching students to organize their ideas and products on their computers.
9. As students reflect on their work, blogging can be an effective way for students to monitor their thoughts and to look back at the project’s conclusion to see what has been learned.
10. It’s sometimes effective to have a “Year in Review” event at the end of the school year to revisit some of the projects created.
11. Teachers become the project managers for students working on the projects in that students might be working alone or in groups of various sizes.

This book is a great resource for educators who wish to use projects with a technology focus. There are numerous websites listed throughout the book that are great for student and teacher usage.

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