Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Project Based Learning (ADE Institute Reflection #2)

When I posted Larry's Queries a couple of weeks ago, I got some helpful feedback. But one area went unaddressed:

Trickle Down Wikinomics
I teach. . .Advanced Placement U.S. Government. . . . I usually require some kind of project . . . .This time, I was thinking of assigning some wiki projects around different portions of the Constitution. . . . But I am not sure how to utilize this kind of resource with the younger students. Any ideas?

The solution came to me at the ADE Institute where we immersed ourselves in Challenge Based Learning. This concept "applies what is known about the emerging learning styles of high school students and leverages the powerful new technologies that provide new opportunities to learn to provide an authentic learning process that challenges students to make a difference." The challenge begins with a "big idea and "cascades" through a process of
*forming an essential question
*devising a challenge
*asking guiding questions
*exploring activities / resources
*determining and articulating the solution
*taking action by implementing the solution
*reflecting, assessing, and publishing.

Pardon the above jargon, but suffice it to say that this will be a
huge change for me because I will be placing open ended projects in my students hands. Instead of predetermining the type of outcome I desire from them (a wiki), I will let them arrive at the solution. I'm excited, because I think they could come up with some great things, but it makes me anxious because I know they and I will be venturing far out of our comfort zones.

At the ADE Summer Institute we formed groups and engaged in a compressed version of
cbl. We did not have time to produce the greatest results, but the process itself was intellectually stimulating and gave me an idea of how engaging this type of collaboration can be.

You can expect to hear back from me in a couple of months at launch.

Photo of Summer Institute cbl Group, by ADE '09, Kenneth Shelton

1 comment:

Karen Bosch said...

Larry, sounds like you have developed an exciting plan to use the Challenge Based Learning model. I look forward to your updates as you put the plan into action!

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