Most of us did not experience a project-based approach to learning as students in the classroom. Before we can expect educators to foster this type of learning environment, we need to expose them to learning in a technology-rich, project-based environment.
Our ProjectLearn Academies model a PBL environment to give educators firsthand experience with the process of planning, working in a collaborative group with peers, and learning in a project-based setting. ProjectLearn trainers model the coaching, facilitation, and assessment skills participating educators will need in order to lead successful projects in their classrooms.
We work to create professional learning tasks and environments similar to what participants will be expected to create in the classroom. This immersive learning environment allows them to experience the same successes, failures, and frustrations their students will encounter as they work to solve the real world challenges presented to them in the classroom.
Student-focused Learning Environment
Participants discuss roadblocks to classroom implementation and learn strategies they can use to overcome these obstacles in their classrooms. Discussions include issues of technology accessibility, time constraints, facilitation skills, grouping ideas, and assessment possibilities.
Group Dynamics and Leadership
While exploring group dynamics, participants identify strategies for coaching student groups and taking advantage of the diversity among peers. Group dynamics exercises promote the understanding and appreciation of various working styles and help to identify and resolve stumbling blocks to group success.
Grouping participants helps them learn both the advantages of working with a group and the challenges of producing a product in a collaborative environment. As they learn to rely on the collective expertise of their group and peers, participants take control of their own learning.
Assessment strategies are modeled during the presentation process. Modeling a variety of assessment styles helps participants determine the best way to build effective assessment into the projects they do with students back in the classroom.