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Thursday, May 19, 2016

What's Next? Personalized, Project-Based Learning | Education Week (blog)

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"Here are ten U.S. K-12 next generation school networks with blended environments that combine personalized learning strategies and tools with challenging and integrated projects for students." notes Tom Vander Ark, education advocate, advisor, and author of Getting Smart: How Personal Digital Learning is Changing the World. 

It's easy to do project-based learning, it's just hard to do it well.
Project-based learning is a great way to engage students, to encourage collaboration and creativity, and to promote authentic work and assessment. But it's hard to:
  • set a high bar for high quality project deliverables; 
  • assess projects objectively especially when they're all different; 
  • help students with low level skills engage in challenging projects; 
  • mitigate the free rider problem of loafing team members;  
  • provide enough but not too much formative feedback and support;  
  • avoid big knowledge gaps resulting from a string projects. 
A new generation of schools are blending the best of personalized learning and project-based learning to address these challenges. They value deeper learning and development of success skills (growth mindset and social emotional learning) and track competency in all outcome areas. They use a variety of grouping and scheduling strategies to offer a rich and varied learning experience. They provide customized supports to build individualized skill fluency to allow students with learning gaps to fully engage in challenging projects.

Next-Gen Models
Following are 10 U.S. K-12 next generation school networks representing about 275 schools (two thirds of them in school districts). The blended environments combine personalized learning strategies and tools with challenging and integrated projects...

5 Big Advances
All of these next generation models combine blended learning environments with the Buck Institute Goal Standard for project-based learning. They start with learning goals that include core knowledge and include key success skills. They, in unique ways, incorporate Buck's Essential Project Design Elements: challenging problem, sustained inquiry, authenticity, student voice and choice, reflection, critique and revision, and public product.

A combination of five new tools and strategies is powering personalized project-based learning:
Read more... 

Source: Education Week (blog)

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