Project Based Learning

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What is Project Based Learning:

In Project Based Learning (PBL), students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. While allowing for some degree of student "voice and choice," rigorous projects are carefully planned, managed, and assessed to help students learn key academic content, practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking), and create high-quality, authentic products & presentations. (Source: PBL for the 21st Century -


Why Use PBL?
Students gain a deeper understanding of the concepts and standards at the heart of a project. Projects also build vital workplace skills and lifelong habits of learning. Projects can allow students to address community issues, explore careers, interact with adult mentors, use technology, and present their work to audiences beyond the classroom. PBL can motivate students who might otherwise find school boring or meaningless.

Minds in Motion, Media in Transition Growing up in the Digital Age: Areas of Change by Edith K. Ackermann of MIT discusses today's kids are growing up in a world increasingly shielded from nature; of ever more busy work and entertainment schedules; longer commutes; disappearing third places; reorganizing neighborhoods,; communities. in transitions' and recomposed families.

Video Example of Project Based Learning - The following video details an Environmental project in which students collaborated, used critical thinking, technology, and address CCLS. Sherman Elementary - Environmental Project

Elementary example of PBL - Early learning center that using project based learning -

High School example of PBL - High Tech High -


Edmodo is a safe, online interface that allows educators and students to interact 24/7. Sometimes dubbed as "safe Facebook for schools", Edmodo creates an environment in which students and teachers interact in a 21st Century manner.

Please go to and create an account as a teacher. When asked for a code, use - wf8fo2
You will now have access to the Edmodo group for Project Based Learning.

Distance Learning

There are numerous resources to use in the classroom to connect locally, regionally, internationally. Technology such as the polycom can
bring experts, experiences, or collaborations right into the classroom. Skype, Adobe Connect, and Bridgit software allows for a desktop solution to sharing content, experiences, and expertise.

This resource highlight distance learning and ways to use distance learning to enrich PBL [Distance Learning and PBL]

Mobile Devices

Why Use Mobile Devices?

Mobile learning is...
  • on-the-go- Learners have the ability to carry the device with them wherever they go.
  • handheld- Learners can hold these devices in their hands. The trend is for mobile devices to become easier to carry around.
  • portable- Learners can carry the devices in a bag or pocket and recharge the device at various locations.
  • lightweight- Learners find the device light in weight and not very heavy.

    With these traits in mind, we can include cellphones, smartphones, iPods, iPads, tablets, gaming consoles, PDAs, handheld computers, media players, e-book readers and more.

    Mobile learning is effective when...
  • Tip 1. Learners choose the learning content.
  • Tip 2. Learners are integrating artifacts, reliable, objects, and experiences that surround their daily lives (real world learning).
  • Tip 3. Learners are moving around with the device.
  • Tip 4. Learners are motivated to expand the learning outside the classroom walls.
  • Tip 5. Learners work collaboratively to explore the world around them.
  • Tip 6. Learners are motivated to search for several possible options, solutions, and answers to problems.
  • Tip 7. Learners are presented with problems in which they must find many possible solutions and are able to test out these solutions.

    These are just some of the ideas behind what constitutes effective mobile learning. (Effective Mobile Learning, Shelly Sanchez Terrell)

    Suggest Project Apps

    Voice Thread - Create and share dynamic conversations around documents, snapshots, diagrams and videos -- basically anything there is to talk about. You can talk, type, and draw right on the screen. VoiceThread takes your conversations to the next level, capturing your presence, not just your comments. Anyone can join the discussion from their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC -- anytime, anywhere.

    Edmodo - Edmodo makes a teacher’s daily life easier by providing a safe and easy way for teachers and students to engage and collaborate for free, anytime, anywhere.

    Google Earth - Students can use Google Earth to create a trip that follows a historical figure, piece of literature, fiction story, etc. Fly around the planet with a swipe of your finger with Google Earth for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Explore distant lands or reacquaint yourself with your childhood home. Search for cities, places, and businesses. Browse layers including roads, borders, places, photos and more. Visit the Earth Gallery to find exciting maps such as real-time earthquakes, planes in flight, hiking trails, city tours, and more. Integrated Google Maps Street View allows you to explore the world at street level. Images and text can be added to the trip.

    QR Reader - Now scans QR codes, barcodes, printed URLs and even creates PDF files with our NEW "Scan to PDF" feature. Suggested QR creator site -

    Evernote - Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders--and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go.

    Scribble My Story - Scribble My Story is a junior version of the popular and award winning Scribble Press App, selected by Time Magazine as one of the 25 best apps of 2012 and widely in use in classrooms. Targeted at kids 3 to 7, Scribble My Story is a design collaboration between Fingerprint’s early learning experts alongside the Scribble Press team to deliver a wonderful, age appropriate creativity experience.

    Story Creator - With Story Creator you can easily create beautiful story books containing photos, videos, text, and audio all in one gorgeous collection. Story Creator truly brings your best stories to life and easily allows you to retell and share your most memorable moments.

    Big Collins Cat - There are several apps for this developer in which the students can read the story, have the story read to them and then create a story using the same illustrations, but using their words.

    Story Kit - Create an electronic storybook. Make use of the little gaps in life - on the sofa after dinner, in the back seat of the car, or on a train - to do something creative together.

    Book Creator - $4.99 The simple way to create your own beautiful iBooks, right on the iPad. Read them in iBooks, send them to your friends, or submit them to the iBookstore.

    Book Writer - $1.99 Book Writer will help you make a magnificent book, which you may read through iBooks. You can use it anywhere, including at work, school or home. With it, you can produce various kinds of books, such as photo books, video books, art books, fairy tales, cook books, PR books, manuals or PDF documents on your own.


    There are several projects that can utilize mobile devices. This resource lists specific projects/skills students and teachers should have - This resource is a list of 30 apps all educators should use

    Scholastic Mobile Device Lessons -

    Tony Vincent Video on Project Based Learning Part #1-

    Tony Vincent Video on Project Based Learning Part #2 -

    General Example:
    Virtual Field Trips - Students can experience locations around the works using Google Earth or Virtual Field Trip sites such as Google World Wonders Project - Then students can explore on their own and create the same experience using video creation apps or book creation apps.
    ,br> Science Example:
    This article discusses a recent project in which iPads were used for an Environment Project - 5th Grade Project The classroom used: Notability (Evernote is Free), Easy Bib, Internet, Voice Thread, iPads camera

    Social Studies Example:
    “The Alternate History Project” was showcased at a poster session at ISTE 2011 What If History Project. Integrating social studies apps such US History Tools or On This Day as well as a graphic organizer app like Popplet and a digital media app such as Discovery Ed Streaming ( can help ELLs meet the goals of this project successfully.

    Social Studies/History Example:
    QR codes are used everywhere! Here is an example of creating a project using a city's QR code. Students can create their own QR codes to create a webquest or like this project QR Footprints In Time

    ELA Example:
    Ever thought of creating a book specific to what you are teaching in your classroom? iBooks Author App is free and great for educators and students to create a book about anything! Here is an example of a project with an instructional video on how to do this on your own! iBooks Author Project

    I Wonder Project:
    This project is a great way to have students use inquiry to create a multimedia project. Voice Thread would be a great way to create this project. This can be used for all curricular areas. I Wonder Project Details

    Book Reviews/Trailers:
    Students can use the iPad to read a book and create a review or trailer from images search on the iPad, notes written in EverNote, and a video created with the video camera in the iPad or using Voice Thread! Book Trailer/Review Project Details

    Photography Project:
    The built in camera on the iPad 2 and iPad 3 make it a great tool to use to capture original images. Here is a project to create original projects using the iPad Camera, DarkRoom App, and Edmodo App to share the images. [ Photography Project Details]

    21st Century Learning

    NYS Teacher and Technology Standards

    ISTE Nets Standards detail learning standards regarding technology usage by students and educators.

    Nets for Students (click here for a detailed PDF)

    • Creativity and Innovation
    • Communication and Collaboration
    • Research and Information Fluency
    • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making

    There are essential conditions to regard when using technology in the classroom. Click here to learn more.
    Ideas such as Student-Centered learning, empowered leaders, and Curriculum Framework are essential to effectively leverage technology for learning.

    Nets For Teachers (click here for a detailed PDF)

    • Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
    • Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
    • Model Digital Age Work and Learning
    • Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
    • Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership

    NYS Teacher Standards
    Attending a professional development opportunity to integrate mobile devices in your classroom will address the following teacher standards.

    • 1.6, 2.2, 2.5, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 4.2, 4.4, 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4
    • For more information on NYS Teacher Standards please view this PDF


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