15 Sites Building and Promoting Educational PBL Communities… Across School and Around the Globe


Welcome to the fourth in a series of PBL Mania Posts . For the next few weeks I am celebrating Project Based Learning. In this post I will introduce you to some outstanding collaboration tools found on the web that can be used in the PBL classroom.  Before reading  please take a moment to subscribe to this 21centuryedtech Blog by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  You will not want to miss this series or future posts involving STEM, Flipping the Classroom, Technology Integration, Common Core, and 21st Century Skills,  So Sign Up Now! As always… thanks and have a great week.  - Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Quick Notes - You may be interested in learning more about PBL World in Napa, CA presented by BIE this June. Hope to see you in Napa!  Does Flipping the classroom interest you? You may want to attend this free webinar on March 1 at 7PM EST from the Siemens Stem Academy. Check this link for sign up and additional flip resources.  It should be exciting and registration is now open. I am also collecting your PBL resources as you leave them in the comments. Please feel free to reply… they just might be part of a future post. I really do enjoy learning from you!

15 Sites Building and Promoting Educational PBL Communities… Across School and Around the Globe

This PBL Mania post will explore some on-line digital resources that can help build community to enhance the PBL experience. After all, Project Based Learning is collaborative and community based. Perhaps that community is a student’s group, class, school, or better yet… world. Take a moment to examine some sites that focus on a home base for a PBL group’s (or classroom) virtual community on-line. Next,  find other websites that instead connects PBL learners to other communities across the school, city, state, nation, or world. I have even included professional PBL communities for educators.

Home base for a PBL group’s (or classroom) virtual community on-line.

Edmodo – This website is a secure, social learning platform for teachers, students, schools and districts. The site provides a safe and easy way a class to connect and collaborate, share content and access homework, grades and school notices. A goal of Edmodo is to allow educators to harness the power of social media to customize the classroom for each and every learner.

My Big Campus – I like to describe this as a mix of Edmodo, Blackboard, Twitter, and Facebook built for the educational community. It is a wonderful and safe place for students and teachers to conduct communication, collaboration, or an entire class. It has all of the resources needed to host a PBL unit. On amazing feature, it incorporates Lightspeed’s filters to monitor and report on student action. Best of all it is free. Learn more about My Big Campus at this past 21centuryedtech Post.

Moodle – I would not want to forget free an open source Moodle. It has been a friend of many classrooms for years. It can be installed on school networks and there are various Moodle servers.

A Selection of PLN Groups that support Project Based Learning

Edmodo (BIE) – I mention this because the BUCK Institute has created a place for teachers to connect and network about Project Based Learning. At last count there were over 3000 members. This is a great place to learn and share in regards to PBL.

Edutopia Learning Community – A professional learning community supported by Edutopia members excited about collaborating on PBL. Educators discuss how they can support each other, share project ideas, ask and answer questions, and compare implementation experiences.

PBLnet on Yahoo - group of Project-Based Learning practitioners from around the country. The purpose of this group is to communicate with one another in order to share and forward information of significance to the PBL community.All of the members can write to the group, but messages will be edited, and digested, before transmission to the group so that you will not be inundated with emails.

Classroom 2.0 – Join a very special group called “Better with Practice” that actively posts and discusses PBL. The name Better with Practice is very appropriate for all of those becoming more familiar with Project Based Learning.

Diigo PBL – Did you know there was a Project Based Learning Group on Diigo. This diigo community is for teachers involved in Project Based Learning PBL, to share activities, projects and bookmarks.

Websites that connect students and classrooms to others across the world using PBL

ePals – This link will direct you to the free portion of ePals Global Community. It is the world’s largest network of K-12 classrooms, enabling students and teachers to safely connect and collaborate with classrooms in more than 200 countries and territories. Offered at no cost to classrooms, educators can access the community to find collaborative projects, join discussions in the community forums, and search thousands of classroom profiles to engage with others in authentic exchanges – all within in a safe, protected online environment. This free community provides a platform to make PBL a relevant real world experience.

iEARN -  An amazing community and platform covering 130 Countries, 30 Languages, 40,000 Educators, and 2 Million Youth. iEARN (International Education and Resource Network) is the world’s largest non-profit global network that enables teachers and youth to use the Internet and other technologies to collaborate on projects that enhance learning and make a difference in the world. At iEARN you will a unique way to engage students in project based learning that extends beyond the four classroom walls.

Flat Classroom Project – Join this global collaborative project that connects together middle and senior high school students. This project is part of the emerging tend in internationally-aware schools to embrace a holistic and constructivist educational approach to work collaboratively with others around the world in order to create students who are competitive and globally-minded.

GlobalShoolNet – A group that includes a mission to support 21st century learning and improve academic performance through content-driven collaboration. You will discover  e-learning projects worldwide to develop science, math, literacy and communication skills, foster teamwork, civic responsibility and collaboration, encourage workforce preparedness and create multi-cultural understanding. Take a look at some of the outstanding efforts including a Product Registry area that allows educators to find projects and potential partners. How about an International Cyber Fair or check out the Doors to Diplomacy project.

ThinkQuest - An online learning community that integrates technology-based activities into the curriculum with ease. Students can collaborate in a protected environment accessible only to member schools. Students and teachers can connect with peers around the world and embark on a journey of discovery and innovation.

Global Nomads -The  GNG  mission is to foster dialogue and understanding amongst the world’s youth by bringing the world to the classroom via interactive technology. There are some amazing stories and links. Some programs are free and some do have a cost.

Global Collaboration – This is a Ning that is dedicated to connecting educators across the globe. You can find a lot of opportunities with in their forum.

Thanks for joining me and for learning about Project Based Learning. Join me in future weeks as together we continue this series on PBL Mania. After that discover more posts devoted to 21st century education including such topics as Flipped Classrooms, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also, remember to subscribe to this 21centuryedtech  Blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets.  I hope you enjoy your journey by visiting some many amazing  PBL communities on the web. Have a great week! – Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)

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9 responses to “15 Sites Building and Promoting Educational PBL Communities… Across School and Around the Globe

  1. Awesome post Mike! You do a great job putting all the resources in one place and with lots of great info on them too. This is a great list and I will be tweeting this out! “See” you at our SIGOL webinar & meeting tonight! Anita

  2. Theresa Shafer (@TheresaShafer)

    Love all of these resources and even found some that were new to me! I wanted to add on here that #PBLchat on Twitter has a growing and loyal following! Every Tues at 9pm EST, we discuss a wide variety of topics. The archives are here http://storify.com/newtechnetwork Many educators are using the hashtag through the week to stay in touch and reach out to each other.

    • Theresa, Thanks so much for sharing #PBLchat. It is an awesome PBL community and resource. I am especially impressed with it because I am a member of the BIE (BUCK) National Faculty. Keep sending people to the chat and I hope to network with you in the future. Please return! – Mike

  3. Pingback: The C21st Learner | Pearltrees

  4. Pingback: Learning conversations « Mimanifesto – Jaye’s weblog

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