About PBL

1. Why are you interested in taking this elective project-based learning (PBL) class?  What have you known about PBL prior to this class?

I am taking this class because it is one of the requirements for the Technology Integration Specialist certificate.  I am not very familiar with PBL.  I don’t have a lot of experience with PBL, but have looked at several examples.

2. Have you ever done any PBL in your class as a teacher and/or instructor? If you have, how have you practiced PBL? Please briefly describe what you have done with using PBL in your teaching.

I have not done any PBL in my classroom.

3. If you haven’t done any PBL in your teaching/classroom, why?

PBL is not something that I am familiar with and it isn’t something that has been talked about or used very widely at our school.  Lack of exposure/knowledge is probably the biggest reason for not doing any PBL.

4. What are the challenges and obstacles from the teachers’ perspective for adopting PBL in the classroom?

Time and limited access to technology are probably the biggest factors from what I have researched.  I teach First Grade and I feel like we are cramming a lot into our day.  Finding the time to create and implement PBL can be a challenge if you can’t find something that is already created.  It takes time and experience to recognize an efficient and effective project that meets the needs of your students as well as covers the required content standards.  This doesn’t change by using a PBL project that is already created or if you have to create one of your own.  Many of the already created PBL projects are setup to use technology and my classroom is very limited when it comes to available technology.  These are all challenges and obstacles for someone like me who has never done PBL, and is not overly familiar with it.

5. What are the advantage(s) of using PBL in teaching?

I would think that one of the advantages of using PBL in teaching would be retention of knowledge learned.  PBL projects are engaging and really get the learner involved which usually results in knowledge retention.  PBL also is designed for peer collaboration which is helpful on many levels.  It not only teaches strategies to work together, but it allows for several strategies to be used to find the most effective solution.  PBL also promotes students taking ownership of their learning.

6. How would you use technology to support PBL? Or how would you use technology in PBL?

Depending on the design, technology could be a great way to enhance any PBL project.  Technology provides opportunities and experiences as part of the project that would not be possible without the use of technology.  The use of many collaboration tools such as Google Docs could support PBL.  YouTube clips, the use of Google Earth for geography, and the use of Primary Sources are just a few ways that I could use technology to support PBL.