Getting ahead of the curve with PBL







It would appear that @AndréHedlund and I are onto something: this realization occurred when I came across this Edmodo blogpost, which posits five reasons for pushing project-based learning:

Meaning
Depth
Relevance
Engagement
Self-expression  

Reasons that validate what I listed as the desirable difficulty theory and the need to foster the soft skills in our students. This brings us to issue of adapting classrooms to make them more project-friendly. The task poses a challenge for most schools that lack the physical space and equipment that favour groups working at different stations (computers)  and classes conducting conference call sessions (similar to what we all know as Skype in the classroom).

In retrospect, the problem outlined above lends to a BYOD approach to teaching with technology; an idea defended by experts the like of Ken Wilson, who believes we must use their technology. The same golden rules for integrating technology into the classroom applies for PBL: gradual change in class routines to the point of them becoming imperceptible. If we use what they have and ask them to do the things that they do on a regular basis with these tools, we can say that we are halfway out of the woods. In so doing, students and teachers get to do what matters most: LEARN. The image of this post summarizes the process and the end result for both teacher and student. 

By no means do I want to sound like a broken record.  However, what matters much more than adapting classrooms is “adapting” teachers by giving them the theoretical support through reading material, group discussions and more, so they can go in their classes and make PBL work. If we do not know the new, we can never be ready for change and our minds can never be ready for a rewire. Something we can definitely discuss next time around. 

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