Showing posts from October, 2017

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 cla…

Desirable difficulties and Project-Based Learning

Three weeks ago, I talked about the core elements of PBL and showcased what has been happening in +André Hedlund classes at CCBEU in Goiania. 
This time, I want to look at some challenges that are inherent to PBL, the first being that most teachers are reluctant to implementing any kind of project in their teaching. 
Is it because of our content-based mind-set to teaching or is it because it means stepping out of our comfort zone?
Embracing PBL seems to be the only way to go for the future of teaching and learning, though it seems a distant future for the Brazilian educational system. What validates a shift in practice and in thinking of course is the data that can prove we learn more by doing and showing evidence of what we learnt, pillars of an educational portfolio. 
This is something +André Hedlundhas been investigating in his classes - 78% of his students have been able to improve maintain or better their grades due to PBL. Satisfaction surveys conducted with his groups at CCBEU and…

Advice for the struggling and not so struggling writers at heart

Yesterday, I got reeled in by Rusual Alrubail's post about using blogs as a tool to help students who are struggling with writing. Knowing how to express your ideas clearly and effectively in spoken and written forms is central to the Communication quadrant of the four C's. Funny thing is we tend to believe that we don't write or read anymore (if you got to this sentence, then you have busted that myth), so students will grudgingly tackle the tasks we set before then as writing.

What advice can truly help students who are almost never engaged or reluctant to write, those who lack connection with the assignment or claim they have no authentic audience. 

As +RusulAlrubail point about, it's the how we do it, not the what. See the thread below for more.

I've written a few posts about this, Instagram is a great micro blogging tool. But blogging is something that many kids should be exposed to — Rusul الربيعي ✊🏼 (@RusulAlrubail) October 8, 2017
No doubt, just thinking …

Managing Project-based learning: a dual view

This post is the result of a promising collaboration between myself and +André Hedlund : the start of more to come. 
Coordinating PBL - Stephan's part 
Implementing project-based learning in a content-based syllabus has become the order du jour in educational contexts in general and in ELT in particular. Academic directors and coordinators face the responsibility of delivering meaningful, student-driven, student-generated learning opportunities, which, in turn will foster the much sought-after skills of communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. This post outlines my role as coordinator responsible for implementing projects in a language centre as a prelude to André Hedlund’s narrative of his experience with projects at CCBEU Goiânia.
Based on the core design elements of PBL, the text analyses, therefore, the implications in managing projects and ensuring minimal success. The first important point to consider in any project-based or program-oriented learning pro…