Following up from the honor of being selected in Huffington Posts Top 12 Global Education Blogs of 2014-2017 I have been chosen again in this amazing group and for 2018 will be contributing to Huffington Post’s Education blog once a month. This month we look at the following highly controversial topic “What does a high quality, global PBL program look like in your classroom?” – here is my response:
At one point in time, Project Based Learning was all about getting students working together in an authentic and purposeful activity related to the content you had to cover as a teacher. It was a way to move students from consumers of information to creators of information. But in today’s vast, globally connected world, we are no longer doing our students justice by stopping here. Let me take you on a very quick and direct journey into my PBL teaching career …
Picture yourself a 10-year-old student in my Grade 5 class in Singapore just 4 years ago learning Math. I am your teacher and we are learning about fractions and decimals. Instead of using traditional forms of teaching Fractions and Decimals I issue you a challenge and you embark on the journey of creating a board game (project) to show your learning and justify your understanding of concepts. Here is that exact lesson from my class and here is another PBL specific example from my classroom that helped my students understand the concept and share their learning in an engaging way.
I genuinely feel the way I taught at that time was excellent, however, could I stay in the moment and teach like that now? NOT AT ALL! As educators, we must adapt with the times or we are doing our students a disservice in the ever-changing world we live in. What would I change? I would use the latest technology to give students engaging learning experiences (like Virtual Field Trips) and connect them with more experts via Video Chat. I would also make the sharing of learning to a global audience a compulsory part of the rubric and the assessment of learning. Having an authentic audience is key!
In Hong Kong, Tim Evans is taking Augmented Reality to a new level by integrating it into PBL lessons at his school and encouraging students to learn by being engaged in an augmented learning environment. Click here for more on this.
As a global connections and collaborations expert in the field of education, I have been involved in many engaging and exciting learning opportunities where I exposed my students to educators, students and experts from every corner of the globe for FREE via Video. This engagement allows students to genuinely inquire and engage in learning that is owned by them. It allows them to ask questions and learn first hand, rather than from a textbook.
If we are to make genuine change in the education world, we MUST adapt the way we teach and connect with the best of the best.
For more information about my work in schools around the globe click here.