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Professional Development: PBLU

posted Jan 21, 2013, 2:09 PM by Kate Petty

20.  PBLU Is Best PD I’ve Had To Date

WRITTEN BY: KATE PETTY -originally published OCT• 19•12

Flipping a class sounds totally great on paper (or screen) but when an English teacher really begins thinking about HOW to flip his/her class, we get really stumped.

There are a lot of great ideas out there and you can read about some of them in my blog page here.  However, if an English teacher decides to bring technology into a blended class and/or flipped class, inevitably he/she will find that Project-Based Learning can be a great fit.  Project-Based Learning (PBL) integrates seamlessly with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)  and a single, well-done project can check every ISTE standard’s box.

When I switched to BYOD and attempted to flip my class last year (2011-2012) I found that PBL worked really well.  My problem was what happens to most teachers and students- some students did a lot of the work and some did very little.  I also lacked proper assessment tools that checked for understanding on a continuous basis.

BIE’s (Buck Institute for Education) PBL resources has been well-recognized for a long time now.  They have developed a FANTASTIC program to teach educators how to institute a PBL program in their classrooms and offers a final capstone class to get certification.  The course is run through Edmodo and includes 5 2-week classes to teach and model PBL.  The classes are: Launching a Project, How to Create a Project Calendar, How to Manage the Project, How to Assess the Project,  and How to Showcase Student Work.  The workload is pretty light when compared to other online courses and the assignments are truly authentic.

PBLU (Project-Based Learning University) is HONESTLY the best professional development I’ve taken, ever.  I am currently enrolled in the capstone class for certification and will be periodically blogging my PBLU checkpoints that my capstone class is asking for.  I’ve chosen to implement the Choose Your Own Adventure project.  My seniors will be grouped in threes and their goal every Thursday for the remaining part of the semester will be to answer the driving question “What makes a story engaging?”  Once they’ve done some research, they will create an original Choose Your Own Adventure story and publish it using Google Forms.

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