Previously in this series on going deeper with project-based learning, we’ve explored the importance of teacher reflection in teacher reflection in PBL, considered how to plan interdisciplinary projects, and talked about technology integration strategies. All offer practical ways to extend the benefits of PBL.
Today, let’s think about taking project-based learning beyond your classroom and connecting you and your students with the wider world.
Where in the World Will You Go Next with PBL? | Edutopia.
Article from Bloomberg Businessweek
Best Place to Raise Kids in Illinois: Geneva
GreatSchools city score: 10
Median family income: $104,848
Housing costs as a percentage of income: 22.6%
County unemployment rate: 7.8%
Nearby city: Chicago
This suburb on the outskirts of Chicagoland has many charms. The Fox River Trail allows kids and parents to bike along the waterfront, and the Kane County Cougars, affiliated with the Cubs, play minor league ball at Fifth Third Bank (FITB) Ballpark. Geneva also boasts well-maintained homes with diverse architectural styles, built by early settlers from New England.
Link to the article found here
I have struggled with this question and with the packaged programs there are to try to do that. Can empathy be taught through lessons, vignettes, and role play? I’m not so sure….but after watching the RSA Animate-The Power of Outrospection and then reading Ben Weinlick’s post on Empathy in Creativity and Design Thinking, I really DO think it can be taught. But not in the way we are typically doing it.
During a Project Based Learning unit, Natural Disasters and Us, we encountered a real and devastating natural disaster. Hurricane Sandy hit our partners’ school in Long Island. We were able to hear their firsthand accounts of the sorrow it brought. My students were moved by it, and we organized a fund drive by researching the needs, writing arguments for different ideas, voting on an organization to help, creating task groups, and then acting to help. So far after one week, my class of 22 kids has collected $1,428.00.
It’s not about the money…it’s about the empathy. It’s about actually taking the time to feel, taking the time to understand, and to then authentically hold the power to act. THAT is what empathy is. And yes, I do think we can do lots more to bring that kind of empathetic learning into our classrooms. That kind of empathy can change the course of our world.
Integrating technology with classroom practice can be a great way to strengthen engagement by linking students to a global audience, turning them into creators of digital media, and helping them practice collaboration skills that will prepare them for the future. Read a short introductory article.