Category Archives: Student-Centered PBL

#Screenagers: Hosting a Community #PBL Event

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This project-based learning class began their journey with the challenge to identify and understand the most pressing issues for their generation. This is a truly student-centered approach, and I have not found many other examples of this type of ground zero for #PBL. So if you know of classroom online, please let us know. After researching and writing upon these topics, some of which are teen mental health issues, ocean pollution, e-waste, hidden poverty, and automation, the students curated their learning on our classroom blog. Then the group was challenged to create a community project where they would be able to share their learning and show how they learned it. With this #PBL mantra in mind, the class navigated towards the compelling documentary Screenagers. We then researched the movie and conference called the office before we brainstormed the idea to partner with our freshmen leadership colleagues. The students are now in the exciting and challenging stages of preparing curriculum for this community program. Follow our progress on Twitter: https://twitter.com/caisct_pbl and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/caisct_pbl/

“Why” Student Centered Learning is so Important

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” These words of wisdom once spoken by Benjamin Franklin are words to live by especially as a student. Project Based learning teaches students skills that cannot be taught in a normal classroom setting. PBL is structured around the concept of student centered learning. This is where students do the teaching and the learning. In our PBL English class I have learned more in class than I have in any other class in four years. The lessons that I have learned in PBL translate to the real world where a class such as U.S. History or chemistry do not. Throughout the year each student has researched various topics about issues that teens face in today’s world that are more prevalent than ever. In the Winter, our class researched experts in certain fields and we encountered one that has changed the way I think. Marco, a classmate of mine in PBL was researching screen use among teens and found an expert by the name of Simon Sinek. Simon Sinek explains why having a purpose is more important than anything else. He talks about how having a why is much more important than having a what or how. After learning about Simon through Marco’s research I learned an immense amount of information to hold onto just from learning from my classmate in a student-centered classroom.  Throughout the year in PBL we have learned many skills but one of the most important skills we have learned is using social media in a positive way. We have learned how to use large social media platforms such as twitter. Using twitter has not only helped our research skills but also our networking skills. Once again skills that will help you for life. PBL student centered classes don’t prepare you for high school or even college, they prepare you for life. The class teaches you lessons that will help you find that why.

What Can a TED Talk Do for a Young Person’s Idea?

Our #StudentCentered #PBL class was unpacking the complex topic of Ocean Pollution, and towards the close of academic period, the class came to a consensus that we should view this TED Talk as part of our homework. That conversation was interesting and fun because Boyan’s talk here was recorded when he was a teenager in high school. Let’s have everyone view this tonight and make a brief comment (2-3 sentences) in Standard English. What about this TED Talk do you find inspiring? Or write a comment about the specific moment where you feel that Boyan relates to his audience with words or images or both. Check out the email folder for other written homework.