Resource Round Up: Project-Based Learning at a Distance

December 15, 2020

At first glance, project-based learning (PBL) may seem out of reach during remote learning. Bringing together schools, community members and business partners to engage students in authentic problem-solving may seem daunting. However, with creative adaptations, schools committed to project-based learning are continuing their work.

At any school, teachers can embrace best practices and engage students in multi-faceted projects. These kinds of authentic challenges may be just what you need to grab your students’ interest and provide deep learning experiences. The following resources will help you get started.

Jennifer Pieratt

A PBL expert shares her tips for implementing a modified version of traditional PBL, something she calls PBL-lite. She outlines how a traditional project launch, fieldwork and exhibition can be reimagined to work in a remote environment. She encourages teachers to embrace the flexibility of this time and try out project-based learning.

Vicki Phillips

During remote or hybrid learning, projects can help students dig deep into topics and develop an explorer mindset. Students can conduct research anytime and anywhere, and collaboration with peers can happen with the help of technology. This article outlines The National Geographic Society’s five-step project-based learning process which any teacher can use to foster deep learning in-person or online.

Marianna Aguilar

This article describes a number of projects students across the country have tackled to address challenges in their communities brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. During remote learning, project-based challenges can empower students while also teaching critical skills. This article will remind you how eager students are to tackle real problems and just how much impact they can have.

PBL Works offers lots of resources for project-based learning. Their remote teaching resources section includes articles and tips for facilitating PBL during distance learning. The website also features projects you can use in your classroom and a list of technology available to help bring PBL to your remote classroom. This site offers lots of practical resources you can use right away.

Models of Excellence is an open resource featuring exemplary pre-K to 12th-grade student work. The website showcases interdisciplinary projects in which students tackle real community needs. Entries can be searched by grade level and subject areas and feature a description of the project and school, pictures or videos of the final product and links to related resources. There is tons of inspiration here.

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