How to Practice Project-Based Learning Using Technology?


How to Practice Project-Based Learning Using Technology?
Today, most students have to sit in a classroom for the entire day and usually struggle listening to long lectures by teachers. But things are changing, and the 21st century educational system focuses on the work that really matters. One of the best 
practices that influence the 21st century educational system is Project- Based Learning.

“When you think about Project-Based learning, you think about learning that results in demonstrations of performers and real tasks that have bought challenges to students to solve”, said Linda Darling-Hammond, Professor, Stanford University School of Education.

The approach of Project-Based Learning is nothing new but the implementation of it has been upgraded with latest educational technologies. Let’s learn about the practices of Project-Based Learning with the use of technology.

Project-Based Learning using Blogs:

Divide students into groups, assign them a work project and ask them to present their work in a blog post. They’ll collaborate with each other, contribute their work and give feedbacks to other groups as well (through comments). With Blogging, educators improve group activities of students, critical thinking and peer assessment skills. Blogging is a great tool to implement Project-Based Learning. Let’s learn about what Karen Lirenman , a grade one teacher, says about Blogging.

“I started finding ways to integrate technology into my classroom in Sept 2011 after joining Twitter and learning amazing things from fantastic educators. It snowballed from there. We started blogging in Sept 2011 as a class, and students that October. I can't imagine not having my students’ blogs. Then we turned the blogs into digital portfolios with the introduction of the Kidblog app. Last year when the app came out their blogs exploded. We also do a lot of collaborative projects with other classes around the world. As a connected educator Iwanted my students connected too. So I'd say I'm starting my third school year as a connected educator with a connected class.”

Few Recommended Apps from Expert Educators Which help educators implement Project-Based Learning:

Sandra Haynes , Professor of Visual Arts and Media Studies at Pasadena City College, has given a demonstration about how she uses ARTstor and Twitter to reinforce Project-Based learning in her classes.

Twitter:

There is no doubt that Twitter can be a great tool to engage students as they love to use it. According to Sandra, Twitter is a great tool to implement PBL in a Web-in-hands course by having students microblog by tweeting as a part of a discussion about the work of art.  She has incorporated tweeting as an extra credit in her web in hands courses.

“The use of Twitter is meant to encourage student engagement in the material by having them tweet about ideas, encounters or information about the art they’re studying in our class. I want them to construct learning and expressing the understanding of the ways in which art reflects fundamental human ideas, values, beliefs and individual course outcomes”, said Sandra.

ARTstor:

“The first assignment I want to share with you is from my fully online Art fundamental course: an introduction to the history of arts, looking at artists, process, work and product. In week 5 of the course, we study the history and techniques of drawing and painting. We take up drawing first, as a tool and as a finished work of art. Students are encouraged to apply their knowledge and understanding of the variations of drawing techniques as well as the function of drawing for an artist by analyzing the works of art. They are asked to curate an online drawing exhibition. The drawings for this exhibition are specifically for each student from ARTstor, which I want to explain for those of you who don’t yet know it, or use it. ARTstor is an image database developed to support students, educators and scholars to have visual imagery to do a research and teaching”, said Sandra. You may watch ARTstor’s demo video to get started with it.    

Prezi:

Chelsey Uhrig is one of the educators who suggest Prezi  for presentations in Project-Based Learning. Prezi is a presentation tool and a cloud-based presentation app that helps educators and students organize and share your ideas. Prezi is also a virtual whiteboard that transforms presentations from monologues into conversations: enabling people to see, understand, and remember ideas.

We hope this information is useful for you to know some technological practices of Project-Based Learning. We invite you to come up with your views, practices and your ways of using technology in PBL. Please feel free to share with us in the comment box. 

About the Author
Author: Santosh Bhaskar KWebsite: http://www.twitter.com/SantoshBhaskarK
Devotee of Dr. Abdul Kalam. Following his path of Creating Creative Education in India. Contributing my works in "India Vision 2020". Former EdTech Blogger/Researcher at ETR India

 

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