by Shannon Dauphin
Project-based learning is becoming increasingly popular as teachers look for a way to make lessons stick in the minds of their students. According to Edutopia, studies have shown that students who use project-based learning remember the material much longer and have healthier attitudes toward education.
Project-based learning is based on the idea that students learn best by tackling and solving real world problems. Students are much more engaged with the subject matter and look to the teacher as more of a coach who guides them through their own reflections and ideas. Project-based learning often involves students working in pairs or groups, thus facilitating a deeper understanding of cooperation and communication in solving problems.
Ready to try project-based learning in your classroom? These tried-and-true resources are sure to get you on the right track. Beyond
1. Edutopia. A wide-ranging resources that includes in-depth research on project-based learning as well as examples, blogs and much more, Edutopia is a comprehensive look at what makes project-based learning so successful. Start here to connect with other teachers via social media and let your online collaborations lead to classroom projects.
2. Buck Institute for Education. This comprehensive website offers a deep look into project-based learning, including a plethora of projects to keep your classroom both educated and entertained. Plenty of research to back up the theories presented, inspiration in videos that depict the reach of project-based learning and professional development services make this the first stop for all your needs.
3. Project-Based Learning: The Online Resources for PBL. Sponsored by the Buck Institute for Education, this is a one-stop shop for all things concerning project-based and problem-based learning. From definitions to designs, to the opportunity to purchase handbooks for further study, this site can get you started with all you need to know to engage your classroom.
4. Project-Based Learning Checklists. Want some help keeping track of the projects your classroom participates in and the progress students make in each? These checklists are designed to help you guide students through projects that teach them everything from the kindergarten basics of writing to senior multi-media challenges.
5. GlobalSchoolNet.org. Project-based learning can reach across the globe and create unique opportunities for students to work with those in other countries. This site helps you learn how to start a cross-cultural project-based learning experience that is sure to open young minds to the world view.
6. Online Internet Institute. Project-based learning that focuses on technology can not only engage students, it can also help prepare them for a world where technology will only get bigger, faster and better. This professional development site offers workshops, courses and inspiration for projects that put technology front and center.
7. PBL Exemplary Projects. This site offers a wealth of information on assessing projects, dives into research on project-based learning and offers many unique projects to try. From geography to biotechnology, this site is a perfect launching pad for adding new projects to your curriculum.
8. Intel Teach Elements: Online Professional Development Courses. Not quite confident in your ability to launch an effective project in your classroom? These video courses give you the in-depth information you need to move into a new way of teaching.
9. Houghton Mifflin’s Project-Based Learning Space. A brief resource for teachers, this site offers in-depth discussion of project-based learning, including an overview of the issues surrounding it, the student’s role in the process and several projects to get you started, including the popular “egg drop” experiment and “Mission to Mars,” a project suitable for various age groups.
10. High Tech High. Need even more inspiration? High Tech High teachers documented the success of their project-based learning efforts to share with other educators. These in-depth projects can be recreated in your classroom or can be used as a launching pad for projects of your own design.
11. PBL Lab. This project-based learning initiative by Stanford University focuses on the five P’s: problem, project, product, process and people. An excellent guide to those who want to see how collaboration and knowledge sharing works across disciplines, this resource aimed at post-secondary students can be a good inspiration for anyone who wants to incorporate project-based learning into their curriculum.
12. ThinkQuest.org. Though this learning platform phased out in July 2013, the extensive library archive of projects remains. This library can guide you through numerous projects and help you find the inspiration to create unique projects for your own classroom.
13. YouTube for Teachers: The best video library on the planet. No explanation needed.
From integrating technology into the classroom to teaching science by hands-on experimentation, project-based learning is not only educational, but often entertaining as well. These timeless resources are an excellent place to begin your new classroom adventures.
Shannon Dauphin Lee has been writing professionally for two decades on a wide variety of topics, including education; this article was written by onlineschools for TeachThought