In Project Based Learning Part 1 and Part 2, Anthony Capps did a great job at explaining what PBL was. He explained that we think PBL is when you have project following a lesson so the children can recreate what they learned, but PBL is really a means of learning a lesson. Project Based Learning should be the lesson, not necessarily following the lesson. When creating a project, you must create a project that not only incorporates what you want them to learn, but it must also include the standards that the state needs the kids to be accomplishing. Projects that students interact in must be content driven. What I enjoyed most about this, was in Part 2 the students had to research and write what it would be like to be a child in Afghanistan. He had a student whose parents did not want him to research what life was like in Afghanistan because he was a soldier and knew what went on. So Capps came up with a way for that student to learn what was required but without having to research about the country. To me this showed that as a teacher, Capps wanted to make the parents happy as well as the student.
iCurio was something I found to be very neat. Capps explains how iCurio is a curated search engine that allows students to surf websites safely in a kid friendly way. iCurio doesn't search for just text, it also searches for audio, video, and images related to the search and that also meet state standards. iCurio also has a storage capacity feature that allows students to create folders saving what they found from different sites. You can even search iCurio by criteria using the Historical feature. Capps did a great job a expressing the importance of iCurio if you are using search engines in your classroom. iCurio is a good site to use if you are trying to help students develop virtual organization skills.
Discovery Ed allows you to generate background pictures, audio, and video related to the text you are teaching. Capps explains how he used it in his classroom by allowing the students to research plants because he didn't know much about plants, so he let the students use Discovery Ed to search all they needed to know about plants. I thought this was a great way to incorporate Project Based Learning into the classroom, because even though Capps didn't have much background knowledge on plants the children were still able to learn what they needed to learn.
The six essential tips I learned from The Anthony - Strange Tips for Teachers Part 1
- In order to be a good educator, you must be willing to learn.
- Flexibility is key.
- Start with a goal.
- Regardless of how hard it gets, have fun with what you do.
- Engagement, make sure ALL of your children are engaged in some way.
- Reflect on your own work.
Use Tech Don't Teach It that he gives the students a chance to navigate and learn about the device and then gives them the project they are supposed to do. I think it is important for students to learn using the technology around them so that when they enter the real world they are not oblivious to the way technology works. Dr. Strange couldn't have been more accurate when he said that Capps 3rd graders could probably learn how to work iMovie in a shorter amount of time than I could. When I was growing up the only thing I was learning how to use on the computer was Word, Excel and PowerPoint, any other technology I have had to learn how to use on my own, including iMovie which I am just now learning how to use. This video taught me to never teach technology, to just introduce it wisely.