Friday, December 3, 2010

Reflections on the CBL Webinar

L to R: Don, Mark, Larry, Katie (photo shared by Katie)
On November 30, I had an enriching experience, participating in a live Challenge Based Learning webinar with Don Henderson, Katie Morrow, and Mark Nichols.  The broadcast will soon available on demand

Unsurprisingly, I feel like I gained more than I gave to the experience.  The planning and execution informed me greatly about the history and research behind Challenge Based Learning, giving me a stronger context for understanding it.
At the end of the webinar Mark Nichols announced some really terrific news about CBL resources that should all be operational by January.

1) Mark has produced a wonderful CBL Classroom Guide that offers explanations, templates, best practices, and answers to frequently asked questions.  It is detailed but eminently readable.  He’s putting the finishing touches on the appendices and it will be available as a pdf soon!

2) Mark also announced the creation of a CBL Community Site which educators and students may go to find, discuss, post challenges and all things CBL.  It has a beautiful design and will be easy to use.  It is potentially a great boon to those of us who have been innovating on our own.  Now, whether we are home schooled or an entire school we will have a place to draw from others and contribute to a greater CBL community.

3) CBL is entering a new research phase.  15 more pilot schools will be selected for CBL training in Dallas and their CBL experiences will be thoroughly researched and reported by the New Media Consortium.

It’s exciting to be involved in all three endeavors, and of course I will continue to take more than I give.  But as I do, I will try to share it with my own community of faithful blog readers!  Three days in Cupertino has given Larry’s Opinion Drive-thru a major content boost!


Kim said...

As I am viewing the 11/30 webinar, I am asking myself at least 20 questions every 30 seconds. In the early 90's when I taught middle school math, I was all about group-challenged work and was fortunate enough to have a colleague who believed in it just as strongly. Now, my teaching involves 12-session SAT prep courses. I would really like to move this to more Challenged based prep than sit and get. I have some ideas. Do you have time to take on another learner ready to pitch ideas and receive feedback to best help my students?

Larry Baker said...

You bet!

Kim said...

Ok, so you are here in BISD with us today. It is really nice to meet you in person. Since I will not be likely to talk to you one-on-one, I am posing my first question on the blog.
Obviously the students sign up for the academy I teach to raise their SAT scores, but I want to know the real reason they have signed up for this academy? If their parents made them sign up, their goals for the academy will be much different than the kids who signed up on their own. I am wanting to just say - what do you want to learn here? Is that too shallow? Do you see this as a way to open up a dialog to facilitate more student-centered learning during the academy? Any advice would be appreciated.

Larry Baker said...

Kim, I enjoyed meeting you and the rest of the wonderful BISD administration.

I think your ideas for making SAT prep "CBLish" are excellent. Putting students through a guiding questions/activities exercise for WHY to prep and how to prep invites a greater buy-in. It is amazing for me to think the the "culture of CBL might even touch a traditionally "sit and get" activity like test prep. I commend you for your willingness to think outside the box!

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