Part 1… The Center: Free Blended and eLearning PBL Gold Standards Resources


Welcome to a series of posts I am very excited to share on PBL and Blended/eLearning. As I reflect, PBL has always been blended. Our challenge is… how to break down the classroom walls even more with the technology we have today. In this series, I will look at each of PBLWork’s Gold Standards. I will provide a short explaination and some free resources examples! Keep in mind that you may want to start small. That might include looking at a past project, or even a large multi-step lesson through the lens of the Gold Standards and free Blended/eLearning resources The Gold Standards from PBLWorks are posted in the picture above. Enjoy this wonderful journey of learning. Before continuing, I would appreciate having you take a moment to subscribe to this Blog by RSS or email and follow me at (mjgormans). Taking that moment ensures that we can continue to network, something that is very important to me. Also, please share this post with others and even provide a re-tweet with tools at bottom.  Last, please check my Booking Page to see how I could be part of your school PD or Conference plans.  Enjoy your PBL Journey! – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info –  Look for contact information at the Booking Site. I have a distance learning workshop and session entitled “STEM is a Verb”. In fact… the Workshop is also a Verb! I also have a new 1 hour workshop “Preparing for  PBL”. It really promotes that 4C Classroom. Perhaps you wish to investigate PBL in the eLearning and Blended Classroom in another practical workshop. All of these and more can also be built into a 1/2 day or full day session, and are very interactive! Schools have loved it! Talk with me about your winter,spring and summer… or even fall planning for 2021.

Part 1… The Center: Free Blended and eLearning PBL Gold Standards Resources by Michael Gorman at 21centuryedtech

Project Based Learning provides students with a wonderful experience to take part in a culture
focused on rich activities and experiences. It promotes those important 21st century skills (success skills)) while balancing this acquisition with content knowledge, understanding, and transfer. The activities are intentional and aligned with important standards. The standards and skills are constantly assessed in a variety of ways involving numerous stake holders. Most of all, there is an alignment between standards, skills,
and assessment. By incorporating these indicators teachers are ensured that they have provided a
project process that is built on standards and proper skill acquisition. Two concepts at the center of the PBL Gold Standards at the Center for this post are:

  1. Curricular Content, Understanding, and Transfer
  2. 21st Century (Success) Skills.

Curricular Content, Understanding, and Transfer – Students do have the need to learn base curriculums that will focus on those content standards educational agencies have determined are important. These are also those same skills that are many times tested on the standardized test, end of course assessment, and other high-stake tests such as ACT, SAT, and AP. A PBL Unit of Study will focus on these along with deeper learning and 21st century skill acquisition. It is this combination that allows for quality and rigor while helping students see the connection of content to real world, college and career, and other disciplines. A PBL unit must embrace the curricular standards that a class is built on.


21st Century (Success Skills) – The 21st Century (success) Skills come in different sizes, flavors, and colors.
Typically, they will represent the 4 C’s that include Critical Thinking, Communication,
Collaboration, and Creativity. These four areas can be broken down into supporting indicators.
Since collaboration is at the heart of PBL it should always be included and assessed. One or
more of the other C’s should be intentionally included and assessed. Unpacking the standards
can allow a teacher to take note of the verbs in a standard. Many times these verbs entail those
important 21st century skills. Last, there are a few other C’s to mention such as Citizenship
(including digital), Character, and Cyber (Technology). In fact, there are even more and be sure to investigate the Habits of Mind in the link below. If your district has incoporated a Portrait of a Graduate, include that as you plan,

Resources for the Center: Learning Goals, Key Knowledge, Understanding, Success Skills – I am including just a small set of resources that might help you fill that content standard and 21st century (success) skill container. There are only five, I hope thuis allows you to really investigate and find something you can blend tomorrow, I realize there are so much more… but that will be for a later Blog or Book!

OER Commons – Wonderful place to find lessons and blended learning ideas that can cover standards that fit into a PBL or just a single lesson. You could use ideas here to build out a PBL or scaffold inside of the PBL. While some provide blended lesson opportunities, other could be reenginerred to make this a possibilty,

PBS Learning Media – Great multimedia, lessons, and resources that will provide a blended experience in a PBL bringing out the Gold Standards. There are ideas that will support a multitude of standards. Again, some of these resources might be the PBL focus… or just a lesson inside. You will find videos, lessons, readings, simulations, and other leanrning possibilities. Best of all, its free and already for your Learning Management System in the blended and elearning classroom!

PBLWorks – The main page for PBL around the world. You can spend an hour or a week! Make sure you not only look at the projects, but also check out the rubrics for 21st century (sucess skills). As you check the projects, think how they could unwrap in a blended environment.

Microsoft Rubrics  – This site connects to some great rubrics that promote the 4C’s of Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Creativity. This is a great way to start tomorrow! Keep in mind the teacher does not have to do all the assessment. Student self-assessment is powerful. Use the entire rubric, or just focus on different indicators. How might these fit into online discussions and journaling?

Habits of Mind Rubric– This link brings you to a great rubric that really captures the success skills talked emphasized in PBL. It also brings out some of those Social and Emotional (SEL) concepts so important to learning. You may want to visit the main site and explore the 16 Habits of Mind. You may even find the included chart quite useful.

Reflection on the Center
The acquisition of content knowledge that has been deemed important by society is one of the key functions of education. Project based Learning honors this by immersing students in important content providing that needed foundation. In a world that is seeing content multiply at an expositional rate, it is also important to help students become seekers of knowledge and lifetime self-learners. Along with those additional 21t century and Success skills, PBL provides the avenue to both build the content foundation while activating the natural ability to learn that is inherent in all humans.

Next Post: Challenging Problem or Question Resources… Sign Up Now!

Booking Info –  Look for contact information at the Booking Site. I have a distance learning workshop and session entitled “STEM is a Verb”. In fact… the Workshop is also a Verb! I also have a new 1 hour workshop “Preparing for  PBL”. It really promotes that 4C Classroom. Perhaps you wish to investigate PBL in the eLearning and Blended Classroom in another practical workshop. All of these and more can also be built into a 1/2 day or full day session, and are very interactive! Schools have loved it! Talk with me about your winter,spring and summer… or even fall planning for 2021.

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