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Part 2… 30 NCAA Basketball Lesson Plan Resources and Links … A PBL Series

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Welcome to a second post containing 15 more   amazing links to use during the NCAA Basket Ball Tournament. First, please take a moment to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and  join me on twitter at mjgormans .  You see… we really must learn to put into practice some of the best lessons never taught! Sign up and retweet… the next 15 links will be out soon. Have an exciting tournament and a wonderful week! – Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. It is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

In the last post I shared an almost PBL story that I hope you enjoyed. The post also contained 15 links to help bring the engagement and excitement of the NCAA tournament to your classroom. Did you miss it? I have the link here. When basketball can be integrated with content standards and 21st century education, everyone wins. Please stake a moment to enjoy these next 15 links.

What is a Slam Dunk? – The website Wonderapolis provides this interesting question, video, and related ideas. It could just be a slam dunk lesson!

Who Invented Basketball – You and your students can explore another wonder of the day from Wonderapolis. Students will enjoy the video, accompanying fact, and any activity incorporated with it.

The Harlem Globetrotters and Early Professional Basketball – Perhaps you can design a lesson from this podcast at the Smithsonian History Explorer. Student will discover how this group of amazing basketball players became the world’s most recognizable sports team

Math in Basketball – This is a wonderful learning interactive from PBS Learning Media. Students follow a profile of Elton Brand, an accomplished basketball player who uses math in his work, students are presented with this mathematical basketball challenge. This site does require free registration for educators.

PBS Learning Media – Check Out all of these other basketball resources that are free from PBS Learning Media. Great multimedia and ideas for your project!

Robot Basketball – This lesson comes from Try Engineering.  It demonstrates the difference between precision and accuracy. Students design a device that can shoot a basketball free-throw shot accurately every time.

Engineer Hoopsters – A great article from eGFI that lets students know you can excel in the STEM fields while also playing basketball… and winning. A wonderful article that promotes both sports and academics.

Math Basketball Games – Are you looking for a way to bring a little basketball into your elementary of middle school math class? These games can be used in the classroom in connection with smart boards and Promethean boards.

Penny Basketball – A site that poses a lesson that involves penny basketball. Best of all, students learn how to make sense of the data they collect.

Energy Transfer – This is a great lesson in kinetic energy and energy transfer. It is also a wonderful time to use a basketball to display the laws of physics.

Math In Basketball – This is a fantastic lesson plan from Get the Math.  Using video segments and web interactives, students engage in an exploration of mathematics, specifically reasoning and sense making, to solve real world problems.  Best of all,  students focus on understanding the Big Ideas of Algebra: patterns, relationships, equivalence, and linearity.

Science of Hang Time – Can your students answer the question, “How High Can You Jump?” They can experience this great video for PE, Math or Physics as students learn about the science behind the hang time in basketball. Perhaps you can create an activity around this.

PBL, Physics, Basketball, and Inquiring Minds – Check out this PBL unit with math and basketball.

Where Will it Go? – This is a lesson plan aimed at lower elementary allowing student prediction of where a ball will go when bounced. This is a perfect opportunity to use any ball… or perhaps a basketball?

Sports Science – Look for some great basketball videos from this ESPN archive. It might be the basis for a great STEM lesson during this exciting basketball season.

So there are the rest of those NCAA links. Please follow and sign up.  If this has been useful please give a retweet! It means a lot!

Thanks for joining me in my tribute to education and the need to include student voice, choice and relevance to learning. In the coming weeks you will discover 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 of  best lessons never taught.  Have a great week! – Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now almost booked through April. Perhaps you need to think about summer conference dates or PD needs. It is also not too early to think about the 2018/19 school year! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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NCAA Bracketology: Classroom Lessons Never Taught…. It’s Madness… Plus 30 BB Lesson Links

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As you might know I am a big time fan of Project Based learning.  In this post I provide a mix of educational ideas pressing full court toward the NCAA Basketball Tournament. I also have some great educational basketball lesson possibilities. Please enjoy and share this special story through a retweet or email.  I am sure you will understand my thoughts in regards to PBL as defined by the BIE (BUCK Institute).  Please let me share this special story and dream about educational transformation possibilities based on authenticity,  relevance, and student centered learning.  First, please take a moment to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and  join me on twitter at mjgormans .

 Also, please explore my Booking Info. I would like to bring practical and affordable PBL, STEM, and Standards Based Technology Workshops to your school of conference.    You see… we really must learn to put into practice some of the best lessons never taught! Have an exciting tournament and a wonderful week! – Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)

A Classroom Lesson Never Taught : Welcome to my PBL Reflection… it really is a good read… but if you want the links right away… scroll down

It was twenty minutes before the first school bell would ring, signifying the beginning of another day of learning. Students were beginning to enter and fill the classroom.  There was air of extreme excitement as the teacher looked from nook to corner. It was a typical room filled with students, desks, chairs, and a few computers. This morning seemed to be different from the others. The teacher stood perplexed, in awe of an  amazing event that was beginning to unfold. Students were using computers and  printers to produce what appeared to be a complicated worksheet. Some kids were on the floor while others were seated at tables eagerly filling the paper out! Their eyes were filled with inquiry and enthusiasm as they completed the graphical sheet from top to bottom! It was definitely a worksheet experience like no other the teacher had ever witnessed! Upon closer inspection the teacher realized the students had searched for and found the new NCAA Basketball Brackets.

The teacher watched students engaged in a true spirit of collaboration, as they learned from each other some interesting facts about various college teams. Geography was a main topic, as students discovered using Google Maps, the location of various universities. The teacher could hear students compare and contrast strengths and weakness of the various competitors, while others children used mathematics to perform some comparative scoring.  There was a massive research symposium, as students looked on the internet to find out what the experts of the newly found science of “Bracketology” thought!  Some students sought out other students ready to present their reasoning for their selections and amazingly showcased their persuasion skills. Any observer would have been amazed by the critical thinking, creativity, and reflections that the students were able to share. It appeared that that the students were in control of this very special time before education would begin. They had created their own learning experience before the bell rang. Their was engagement based on their interest in the real world. It was much like watching a game of neighborhood baseball long before the advent of sanctioned  coaches, leagues and teams.

The twenty minutes were soon past as the bell  rang, and announced yet another day of learning. The students obietiently put away their Brackets Papers, while the room came to a silent halt. Students left their collaborative groups and sat in their individual seats lined up in precision rows. They pulled out a worksheet, some only half filled out, assigned  from the day before. The teacher initiated a well thought out lecture entitled ” Making Predictions Using Compare and Contrast”.  As he described predictions as they have been made through observing math sequences, the students  appeared to listen as they took notes. After all, this was an important standard to be repeated for a test. What a change the bell had made.  The March of Madness was over.  It was now a time to learn?

NCAA Basketball Links – The First 15 (Next 15 in a later post this week… sign up now and please retweet!)

Live Interactive Bracket – Watch the NCAA live interactive bracket for this year’s tournament. Note that this page also contains a printable bracket.

NCAA Big Dance Basics – Take a look and get ideas from the STEM site eGFI. You will get hooked as your read their statement: “ From long-shot “Cinderella” teams to “field goal” averages, “giant killers” and “bracketology,” the NCAA Div. 1 men’s college basketball championship has generated a host of pet terms and traditions since it first tipped off in 1939”. This is a 2013 article …but still filled with great thoughts and ideas.

The Art of the Free Throw – It really is about STEM! Take a look at this eGFI article and video that really goes through the math and science of a free throw.

Basketball Physics – This lesson comes from Science Friday. It contains the Driving Question, “ How does physics affect your game?” John Fontanella, a physicist at the U.S. Naval Academy and author of The Physics of Basketball, explains the role of physics in basketball, from foul shots to side-arm passes. You and your students will find out what forces are acting on the ball, and what players have to do to offset these forces.

Physics of Basketball – A great basketball thinking video  from Dragon Fly TV.

Basketball For Better Verse – This lesson from Education World provide students the opportunity to look at various basketball poems and the publish their own.

The Team at Home – Another lesson from Education World that allows students to locate an NCAA basketball tournament team on a map, research the relationship of the team’s name and mascot to the history and geography of the college. This is a great social studies lesson.

Who’s Number 1? Investigating the Math of Rankings – In this amazing lesson, students explore the use of quantitative ratings by examining how Division I college basketball teams are ranked, and how specific mathematical decisions can and do have significant consequences.

Thinking About The Future… A Poem of Possibilities – This resource from Read Write Think focuses on the poem “Ex-Basketball Player” by John Updike, analyzing the details and the format of the poem. From there students are then introduced to a writing assignment in which they write a poem about themselves in five years.

Bracket Science – Do you really want a fascinating reading about the science of the brackets? This is a great read and could be a part of any language arts or math class.

Smithsonian March Madness – This is a wonderful exhibit from teh Smithsonian. Examine the multitude of March Madness articals.

James Naismith… Inventor of the Game of Basketball – This is another awesome activity from Read Write Think. Students look at the original rules of basketball, allowing a perfect opportunity for students to practice their expository reading and writing skills. Best of all, students end up with some their own innovation as they put together their own hand out to explain a game.

Should LeBron James Mow His Own Lawn? – Discover this lesson that explroes absolute advantage, comparative advantage, specialization and trade with an example using professional basketball player LeBron James.

Using NBA Statistics for Box and Whiskers Plot – You may wish to substitute a student’s favorite NCAA player for the NBA player. This lesson from Illuminations requires students to use information from basketball statistics to make and compare box and whisker plots. The data provided in the lesson come from the NBA, but you could apply the lesson to data from the NCAA men’s or women’s.

So there is my story and links… want the next 15 links? Please follow and sign up. I have them scheduled to be published before the end of this week. If this has been useful, please give a retweet! It means a lot!

Thanks for joining me on another reflection of 21st Century Learning! Please take a moment and follow me on Twitter (@mjgormans), I will return the favor and we will learn from one another. You are also welcome to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki filled with free and amazing resources.   Again take a moment to subscribe this blog by email or RSS. Read below to see some upcoming articles and if you liked this article there is a button below for a retweet! As you  follow the NCAA Basketball Tournament make sure the real winner is your facilitation of 21st century educational transformation! Put the kids in center court! – Mike

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now almost booked through April. Perhaps you need to think about summer conference dates or PD needs. It is also not too early to think about the 2018/19 school year! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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Project Based Learning and the Flipped Classroom… A Great Combination!

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I big shout out to all of you I had a chance to meet at FETC 2018 in Orlando. Also, a big thank you to the over 400 that attended my workshops and sessions. While I was at FETC I ran into Jon Bergmann who is best known for his work on the Flipped Classroom. We had our usual talk on ideas that support both PBL and Flipped Learning. In fact, you can listen to several webcasts we have been part of in the past in the links below. It reminded me that I wanted to write a post dedicated to the idea of how PBL and Flipped Learning really can be a powerful mix. I hope you enjoy the read and discover how the two can compliment and amplify each other!  As always, thanks so much for reading and sharing! I wish you the very best of weeks as you continue your journey of educational transformation! – Mike

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now almost booked through April. Perhaps you need to think about summer conference dates or PD needs. It is also not too early to think about the 2018/19 school year! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Project Based Learning and Flipped Classroom… A Great Combination (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Have you ever considered flipping your classroom and engaging students in Project Based Learning at the same time? As I study these learning processes I see possibilities that allow the two to not only coexist, but also complement each other. How might this work? They do share similar emphasis on higher order thinking skills. Another not so obvious way the two can complement each other is based on productivity and time. Let’s take a closer look.

As you might know Project Based Learning (PBL) is a dynamic process that allows students to learn and understand content at Bloom’s highest level while taking an active part in their learning. The process uses the BIE Gold Standards as a foundation. PBL provides for deep inquiry, which leads to rich and powerful understanding. Through authentic experiences, and a driving question that engages students with content standards, PBL has the ability to be a delivery method for the student centered classroom. In PBL, formative learning activities occur throughout the project. This allows for productivity between content delivery, facilitation, and student production. Of course this all takes time! How might we increse the productivity for both teacher and learner in PBL? A flipped infusion just might be the answer.

As you might already know the Flipped Classroom was first coined with the idea that class lectures are recorded and watched at home while the teacher assists students with homework in school. Technology makes this very basic scenario a real possibility. Through the years the Flipped Classroom concept has become more sophisticated with an increased benefit to the student. While lectures still may be ported for home use, teachers have found powerful ways to  utilize in class time beyond just homework help. The Flipped Classroom has become more of a Flipped Learning experience. This can be discovered more in the Four Pillars of Flipped Learning. While instructional videos may be  viewed at  home they can also shorten the “expain time” in class. Either way teachers have the opportunity to employ higher order learning activities at school. It is these activies that I often refer to as “real learning”.

As we look at the process of PBL and Flipped Learning we can begin to see how the two together can promote Bloom’s higher order learning.  Together they provide  a streamlining of valuable time, which in turn allows for increased productivity. As we continue to examine this concept several other added benefits are accomplished.

As teachers combine the PBL and Flipped experience,  they see learning spiral. This allows teachers the opportunity to bring the both the home and in class learning experience up a notch. Students can be provided open-ended questions, engaging interactive activities, and front loaded thought-provoking videos at home that can spur deeper classroom discussions and activities for the next class period. This blended experience erases the classroom walls allowing for an authentic and constant learning experience.

Instructional videos, while still used at home, can also be incorporated as part of the PBL scaffold during class time.  After-all, research has demonstrated that an instructional video can be more time productive than a live lecture.  Yes, there is often a need for explaination, after inquiry! Plus, there is also the added benefit of the student able to pause, rewind, and replay the instruction. Try that in a lecture. Please note that the teacher is still available for face to face time in order to provide any reinforcement needed in the learning process.

In this day of what appears to be numerous educational initiatives, it is exciting to see how the two are able to work in harmony with each other. In fact, as we further reflect we just might see how other initiatives such as 21st century competencies (4 C’s), technology integration, digital curriculum and literacy, 1 to 1 computing, PBL, and Flipped Learning really do blend as one. They all allow for authentic learning putting the student in the driver seat!

In closing, we just may wish to ask, how many educational initiatives there really are? Perhaps there are not as many as we originally thought. It may be time for you to see how PBL and Flipped Learning really can work in productive harmony. After implementing these two practices, you may wish to work on student centered learning next. Or perhaps you will find that you just did it!

PBL and STEM Webinars/Podcasts

PBS Learning Media: Flipped Classrooms For Real Learning: Definitions, Resources and Tools – Educators keep hearing about the benefits of flipping their classrooms, but what does that really mean? PBS Learning Media invites you to join Jon Bergmann, a pioneer in the Flipped Class Movement and co-author of Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day – along with Mike Gorman, a 21st century educational technology and learning expert.

BAM Radio Interview with Michael Gorman – Listen to Jon Bergmann author of Flip Your Classroom interview Michael Gorman who has served education for 37 years and has partnered with ISTE and various educational, governmental, and business organizations and foundations. He initiated a 1:1 laptop program along with PBL in Southwest Allen County Schools near Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He is also a  consultant for Discovery Education, ISTE,  Follet,  and November Learning. Mike is on the National Faculty for BIE (BUCK Institute) and an Adviser for Tech & Learning Magazine.

ISTE Presentation of PBL 8 Essentials With Michael Gorman – Join Mike at ISTE in Atlanta as he shares the 8 essential elements found in PBL. This is a must video for those wanting to get started with PBL

Organizations and Individuals

BIE – Learn more about PBL at the BUCK Institute. It is an amazing organization conducting some of teh best research and teacher education programs in the world!

Flipped Learning Network – Spend some time lerning about the Four Pillars of Flipped learning while engaging in this websites many resources.

Cycles of Learning – This is a must visit blog for anyone that has an interest in Flipped, PBL and Inquiry.

Edutopia – Learn all about Project Based Learning from the amazing people at Edutopia. You will discover lessons, videos, and thought provoking articles that will peak your PBL interest!

I do hope you enjoyed reading about how PBL and Flipped Learning have a place for each other. Think about ways you can bring the two together while putting your students in the center of their learning. Please take a moment and  subscribe to this Blog by RSS or Email. You may also wish to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki and follow me on twitter at (mjgormans). Have a wonderful week! – Mike

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now almost booked through April. Perhaps you need to think about summer conference dates or PD needs. It is also not too early to think about the 2018/19 school year! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

 

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Forget Real Learning???? … Get Them Ready For The Test????

Time for a little fun and reflection! I was looking at a post I did a while ago and wanted to bring it back once again with some updates.  I call it “Forget Real Learning??… Get Them Ready For The Test??  Notice that I have used the question mark extensively!! Many educators are understandably faced with that same question mark when deciding where to focus their students’ learning!  There is so much emphasis on the test that as teachers we often question our selves. My plea is to stop questioning the time spent in authentic learning; whether it be PBL, STEM, or 21st Century Skills. As long as these practices emphasize and assess standards I am certain there will me multiple signs of success. In fact, a focus on Real Learning!!…just might get them ready for the test!!. Have a great week and please smile as you enjoy the read! – Mike

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now almost booked through April. Perhaps you need to think about summer conference dates or PD needs and it is not too early to think about the 2018/19 school year! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Forget Real Learning?? … Get Them Ready For The Test????

1. Inquiry, problem solving, metacognition, reflection…. providing the facts is more time efficent ??…  get them ready for the test??

2. Relationship building to grow a culture of learning… this can’t be found on an exam?? … get them ready for the test??

3. Teaching to the “Whole New Mind”…  the right brain takes away  too much time??… get them ready for the test??

4. Putting children at  center of their learning, they may be way too inexperienced??… get them ready for the test??

5. Make connections with the real world,  isn’t it all in the textbook??… get them ready for the test??

6. Connecting disciplines and real world to bring about authentic learning….  isn’t there a good video for this ??… get them ready for the test??

7. Collaboration with other students to focus on learning, doesn’t the teacher have all the knowledge??…  get them ready for the test??

8. Technology integration to facilitate deeper learning… shouldn’t a worksheet provide the learning neccessary?? …  get them ready for the test??

9. Experiencing a multitude of learning experiences….  doesn’t this take away valuable lecture time ??…  get them ready for the test??

10. Dive into Bloom’s Taxonomy or Webb’s DOK, why won’t Pavlov’s conditioning get the job done ??… get them ready for the test??

OK, I couldn’t stop at ten??… so I saved the best for last??

11. Their future, what’s the  matter with our past??… get them ready for the test???????

Hope you enjoyed a little bit of fun! Don’t wait for the test to be over to facilitate real learning with your students.  I really do feel if educators focus on “Real Learning”, not only will kids be ready for the test in school… but will be prepared for the ultimate test in real life! Please take a moment and  subscribe to this Blog by RSS or Email. You may also wish to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki and follow me on twitter at (mjgormans). Have a wonderful week and focus on “Real Learning!!”… get them ready for life!! – Mike

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now almost booked through April. Perhaps you need to think about summer conference dates or PD needs and it is not too early to think about the 2018/19 school year! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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Over 60 Videos to Provide Some Great PBL Ideas at the Follett Challenge

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Have you ever wanted to get some great idaes that could be the start of a new PBL or school program. You will enjoy look at these videos which represent some wonderful ideas. In other words… be sure to especially take note of the link that takes you to all of the Follett Challenge winners for the past five years. 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. Last, please check my Booking Page to see how I could be part of your school PD or Conference plans.  May you have a wonderful and rewarding 2018! – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Special Note and Discount For FETC – Think about joining me at FETC this January in sunny Orlando, Florida. I am excited to be a featured speaker at this very  special conference.  Perhaps you might even attend my session or workshops. Follow this link for more information and a discount code. Hope to see you there! My sessions are below.

Workshop: Beyond the Device: Technology to Support Standards and Authentic Learning
Workshop: Making Makers Mainstream: Connecting A Maker Culture to Curriculum Standards
Workshop: Making Project Based Learning Happen in Your District or Classroom
Featured Session: PBL Splash … Project Based Learning Done Right
Workshop: The Verbs of PBL, STEM and STEAM: Dewey Meets Technology

Also, think about having me come to your school or conference event in 2018. Dates are filling fast. Think about a keynote, workshop, or even a multiple day workshop on a subject such as PBL. Check out my Booking Site.

Special Note: I will be at Alan November’s BLC18 in Boston this coming July. Hope to see you there! 

Over 60 Videos to Provide Some Great PBL Ideas at the Follett Challenge – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech.wordpress.com)

I have been honored to be selected as an annual judge for the Follett Challenge.  Over 130 schools and districts took the Follett Challenge this year and I have the unique opportunity to view and vote from the selection of finalist for the grand prize.  You can also be involve! The public voting will begin next week for the seventh annual Follett Challenge “People’s Choice” awards. The 10 “People’s Choice” prizes will be awarded to those schools/districts that receive the highest number of online votes from the public for their three- to five-minute videos, which were submitted as part of the application process. Voters are eligible to cast one vote per day for their favorite videos from Monday (Jan. 22) through Friday, Jan. 26. All the submitted videos can be viewed by visiting www.FollettChallenge.com. Voting does close on January 26.

Now let me tell you why you want to watch the videos that these students and teachers have created. Perhaps you are a teacher or librarian that is looking for some amazing PBL ideas that you can replicate in your school. You might be an educator looking for that special school project to involve students. Perhaps you are looking for something to inspire your own creative thoughts inspiring that next great lesson or project. You will be amazed as you watch these wonderful video experiences. You will see that the Follett Challenge is a program that  rewards top-notch educators who are aligning their curriculum to teach 21st century learning skills. .

After viewing and even casting a possible vote, you may decide to check out the Follett Challenge website next year for your own school or district. The program dates for this year included an entry period starting in September with culmination in December. Learn more about contest information and submissions along with this year’s prize information starting with one gand prize and two semifinalists earning a combined total of $120,000 in material. Add on another $80,000 for those “Peoples’ Choice Awards”.

Now for my favorite part of the Follett Challenge Website. I call it a wonderful goldmine of PBL ideas. In fact, I feel like a winner from just viewing some of the wonderful possibbilities. Click here to view  60 winners going back to 2013. You will find a video of each winner along with some of the most authentic PBL ideas collected anywhere. Take note that there categories include elementary, middle, and high school! Viewing these wonderful school and district project ideas will make you smile. Better yet, you might be ready to make it happen at your school next year!

Thank you for joining me as we both discover some amazing educational thoughts and ideas!  Please take a moment to share this post with other educators across the world.  Please accept my invitation to you,  which is the opportunity to be a part of another year of postings, by subscribing by email or RSS and follow me on Twitter (mjgormans). You will also find a treasure of resources covering 21st-century learning, STEM, PBL, and technology integration for the classroom.  Best wishes to you in this wonderful New Year!

Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now almost booked through April. Perhaps you need to think about summer conference dates or PD needs and it is not too early to think about the 2018/19 school year! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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Ten Ideas To Take Students Beyond That STEM Activity… And Towards The Standards

balance

Welcome to a New Year and all the opportunities it can bring.  With the New Year  comes the anticipation of classroom excitement and new learning experiences. As we begin, I would like to provide some ideas that might just turn up the learning in the area of STEM education.  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. Last, please check my Booking Page to see how I could be part of your school PD or Conference plans.  May you have a wonderful and rewarding 2018! – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Special Note and Discount For FETC – Think about joining me at FETC this January in sunny Orlando, Florida. I am excited to be a featured speaker at this very  special conference.  Perhaps you might even attend my session or workshops. Follow this link for more information and a discount code. Hope to see you there! My sessions are below.

Workshop: Beyond the Device: Technology to Support Standards and Authentic Learning
Workshop: Making Makers Mainstream: Connecting A Maker Culture to Curriculum Standards
Workshop: Making Project Based Learning Happen in Your District or Classroom
Featured Session: PBL Splash … Project Based Learning Done Right
Workshop: The Verbs of PBL, STEM and STEAM: Dewey Meets Technology

Also, think about having me come to your school or conference event in 2018. Dates are filling fast. Think about a keynote, workshop, or even a multiple day workshop on a subject such as PBL. Check out my Booking Site.

Special Note: I will be at Alan November’s BLC18 in Boston this coming July. Hope to see you there.!

Ten Ideas To Take Students Beyond That STEM Activity… And Towards The Standards – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech.wordpress.com)

“You can have facts without thinking, but you cannot have thinking without facts” – John Dewey

I am a big advocate of student engagement, exploration, and inquiry. I enjoy seeing a great STEM activity where the students are motivated and enjoying the task. In fact, this is one reason to bring STEM experiences into the school. It allows for the students to do, which is so important in education.

John Dewey often said, “You can have facts without thinking, but you cannot have thinking without facts”. I would like to believe that this thinking also involved doing. In other words, the nouns in our standards are better understood when students participate in the verbs. It seems the last ten years of education has seen an emphasis on the test which promoted the memorization of nouns, or facts. This took the opportunity for doing, which emphasizes verbs, away from many of our students. I see doing as an opportunity to actively think and work with those facts. Without this balance the results become… facts without thinking. When this happens, where is the learning?

As the STEM movement has gained momentum it seems we have a lot more students’ doing.  I see many classrooms where students are involved, excited, and motivated as they engage in a STEM activity. At the same time, I often wonder  if the doing is always connected with thinking and metacognition emphasized by the standards. Afterall, it is the standards that students will be tested on. To be “doing” with the verbs in the standards is very important. As educators practice “doing” there is a possibility of straying from the facts (nouns). I have seen this happen and often refer to it as a STEM activity or Activity Based learning. For this reason, I believe educators must deliberately find a balance between content and doing. We must make sure that STEM goes beyond an activity. STEM must become a “learning event” that supports and amplifies the concepts as students acquire the necessary standards.

It is the teachers responsibility to provide this important balance. Educators must reflect on the concepts and knowledge students walk away with after being engaged in a STEM learning experience. Note that I called it a STEM learning experience and not an activity. We must be careful, and be certain, to go beyond the activity, Teachers must provide STEM learning experiences that are rich, authentic, and connected to the standards and real world. We must be certain that standards are in place and that metacognition is supported in relationship to the STEM event and standards. Most of all, there must be some type of assessment to see if the learning opportunity provided the needed “facts and thinking”. Please take a moment to read and reflect on the ten thoughts and ideas that follow. It is my intention to help ensure that your lessons go beyond an activity and support the learning necessary for student success in the 21st century.

  1. Take some time to ensure that your standards are integrated into the learning experience.
  2. Balance time spent with standards addressed. Our educational time is so valuable. Make sure there is proper balance.
  3. Provide students with understandable learning targets they can own. Find ways to develop that ownership.
  4. Promote and emphasize inquiry allowing for student centered learning. At the same time, provide constraints to keep within the meaning of the learning objectives.
  5. Provide time for student metacognition in both peer discussions, classroom processing, and independent reflection.
  6. Find ways to connect to other disciplines allowing for increased productivity and understanding.
  7. Consider promoting, facilitating, and assessing the 21st century skills (critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration). These are a natual part of both STEM and the verbs found inside teh standards.
  8. Determine and employ assessments  to measure student success in accomplishing standards. Establish group and individual accountablity.
  9. Be actively involved with students through the process by providing guidance toward understanding. At the same time integrate  formative assessment that will support the summative tool used to measure individual learning.
  10. Connect and integrate the STEM learning opportunity with other modalities. These should be both traditional and nontraditional. Possiblities include readings, web interaction, multimedia, disccussion, simulations, journaling, and explanation.

As you can see, it is possible to go beyond the STEM activity by employing intentional thought and planning. As we do this we provide our students with exciting and engaging ways to learn by doing and thinking. At the same time the standards are supported. The best pay off may be that our students walk away with a real and authentic understanding of what they are expected to learn. As they do, they will find success and so much more on that final evaluation or test. Students will open new windows of opportunity! They will discover and create new content as they “do and think” through important facts!

“You can have facts without thinking, but you cannot have thinking without facts” – John Dewey

Thank you for joining me for another year of educational thoughts and ideas!  Please take a moment to share this post with other educators across the world.  Please accept my invitation to you,  which is the opportunity to be a part of another year of postings, by subscribing by email or RSS and follow me on Twitter (mjgormans). You will also find a treasure of resources covering 21st-century learning, STEM, PBL, and technology integration for the classroom.  Best wishes to you in this wonderful New Year!

Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now almost booked through April. Perhaps you need to think about summer conference dates or PD needs and it is not too early to think about the 2018/19 school year! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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Authentic Project Based Learning: Santa Believes in PBL… Do You?

pbl_north_pole

Did you know that Santa believes in Project Based Learning? It’s true… in fact, I have worked quite hard at finding evidence that supports this conclusion.  Upon further reflection, it occurred to me that not only does Santa believe in PBL, he practices many of its positive attributes at his workshop. By now you are thinking… what is this connection? Let me explain my reasoning by giving you an overview some of the essential elements in PBL.  Of course, I will attempt to show you how I believe Santa has put these elements into his practice.  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 magical to me. Also, please share this post with others and even provide a re-tweet. Check the provided  BIE link for some great free material on PBL and some awesome PD services offered by BIE … of which I am on the National Faculty. Last, please check my Booking Page to see how I could be part of your school PD or Conference plans.  May your holiday be filled with magic! – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Special Note and Discount For FETC – Think about joining me at FETC this January in sunny Orlando, Florida. I am excited to be a featured speaker at this very  special conference.  Perhaps you might even attend my session or workshops. Follow this link for more information and a discount code. Hope to see you there! My sessions are below.

Workshop: Beyond the Device: Technology to Support Standards and Authentic Learning
Workshop Making Makers Mainstream: Connecting A Maker Culture to Curriculum Standards
Workshop: Making Project Based Learning Happen in Your District or Classroom
Featured Session: PBL Splash … Project Based Learning Done Right
Workshop: The Verbs of PBL, STEM and STEAM: Dewey Meets Technology

Also, think about having me come to your school or conference event in 2018. Dates are filling fast. Think about a keynote, workshop, or even a multiple day workshop on a subject such as PBL. Check out my Booking Site.

Authentic Project Based LearningL Santa Believes in PBL… Do You? – Mike Gorman  https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com

It all started on a recent visit I had the pleasure of taking to the North Pole.  It was actually a once in a lifetime experience, one that I will always remember. While I promised Santa I would not divulge secrets I discovered, he did hand me a manuscript and gave me a wink. I could see the amazing sparkle in his eyes as he waited for me to discover a power he was already aware of. I looked at the cover of this torn and faded, yet delightful looking, old book.  I could tell it had been constantly used due to the lack of North Pole magical dust on its soon to be engaging pages.  I spent the next few hours looking through a wonderful collection of written journals. This manuscript was entitled “The Santa Projects”.  How did he know my yearning to learn more about projects?  I then remembered that, of course, I was sitting in front of Santa. He probably had quite a database of everything I had ever dreamed of or desired from my very first teddy bear. Here was a compilation of all of the important projects ever done at this amazing place… at the top of the world. Here were the projects that Santa had brought to his entire staff in order to engage, motivate, educate, and provide means of collaboration and communication. The first project caught my eye. I couldn’t help but smile as I read each of Santa’s journal entries. Allow me to share one of his projects with you.

The Santa Projects –

Project Name – Mission Possible…. The Big Delivery

Need To Know – (An outstanding project is based on a student need to know. It is this desire that promotes engagement and excitement in children. It provides the motivation for learning significant content.)  Santa Notes – It will be important to communicate with all of the elves and various staff my desire to travel the world in one night delivering toys to all of the good girls and boys. We will have a meeting, record everything in Santa Docs, based on what we will need to know to make this mission possible. As we answer these important questions I will mark them off our collaborative list. I anticipate a few questions such as,  “Given that the earth is rotating… how many hours do we really have for our trip?”

The Driving Question – (The Driving Question is the key to any effective PBL project.  This question must be direct and open a student-centric understanding of what is to be eventually accomplished and learned. While giving the students a sense of mission, it is proactive and open-ended.)  Santa Notes – After working with various teams we have decided that a good driving question could be as follows: How can we devise a plan to deliver presents to all the good children in the world in one night? I know this will be exciting for the elves and I am sure the reindeer will be clamoring to get their hoofs into it. I am certain our journey to finding this answer will not only raise more questions but will also provide the rigor my staff thrives on.

Voice and Choice – (An effective project must allow for all students to have a voice and a choice. This might allow students to pick an area of study or may give a selection of various final products to demonstrate learning. This voice and choice allow the project to have individual meaning and relevance to each student.) Santa Notes – I must allow all of the workers at the North Pole to participate in a meaningful way while holding them accountable to the Driving Question. Who knows what contribution each group and individual might be able to come up with. In fact, I have already heard that my engineers are drawing a picture of a sleigh. Not sure I know why, but maybe I will learn from them.

21st Century Skills – (Students must be allowed to use skills that are authentic and provide real world opportunities. Teachers must provide learning opportunities and facilitate important skills including collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. It is important to also assess these skills as part of PBL.) Santa Notes – I plan to utilize team building activities to help facilitate project success. At the North Pole, we must realize that in order to pull off this miracle it will involve a collective wisdom from the entire crowd. We will use modern North Pole technology including Santa Docs, Twinkler, and Elfmodo to collaborate. In fact, I noticed the elves are already building a new system “The Magic Net”. It is supposed to connect the North Pole with the entire world of children’s desires. I am not sure why, but I am sure I will learn from them.

Inquiry and Innovation – A good PBL study will allow students to not just come up with answers… but also discover new and amazing questions. This will allow students to think outside the box as they remix, create, and innovate. It assures a final product that shows the learning that was acquired from the initial Driving Question.) Santa Notes – Everyone at the workshop is finding out that there is not an easy answer to our Driving Question. It seems we are getting more questions than answers right now. I have encouraged our staff to use Santapedia and NorthPoleOogle but they say it does not always give the answer… again more questions. I have told everyone to tinker… something they have experience with at the toy shop. They did come up with a new gift they called Tinkertoys which could be a hit. I had to get them back on track. Outside, I have noticed the reindeer jumping from the fir trees and one is even playing with a red light bulb. I know it seems very hectic… but I do feel we might be on to something.

Feedback and Revision – (Students must be allowed to obtain feedback through critiques from their teacher, peers, real world mentors, and themselves. Through this, students must learn to reflect and revise to create a better product as they travel a road of formative assessment.) Santa Notes – I am finding myself encouraging all my workers to reflect and critique themselves and others. This is can be more valuable than always using one of my NPARs (North Pole Assessment Rubrics). In fact, I saw the engineer and elves constantly critiquing each other on what they called OBETB (Operation Big Enough Toy Bag). Perhaps if I do a little check with one of my formative assessment rubrics I will find out what that is all about.

Publicly Present The Product – (Providing students with a public and authentic audience is crucial in the design of a good PBL learning unit. It brings meaning and provides motivation for a final product that represents the quality and rigor that should be expected. This audience can be face to face or could be virtual using the World Wide Web.)  Santa Notes – I am so excited for the workers here at the North Pole. Tomorrow night they will be presenting their plan for Mission Possible…. The Big Delivery to a live audience of the North Pole Geographic  Society, Magic Bag Engineers, Animal Aviator Experts, Portable Light Bulb Innovators, The Association of Sleigh Vehicle Workers, and NEXRAD.  It will all be available on Santa Vision. Having all of these experts in the audience will ensure that all involved will take great pride in their work while demonstrating what they have learned and have now made possible.  I am still puzzled as to why we have invited the Animal Aviator Experts and NEXRAD. Sound like a high flying idea!

Significant Content – (A PBL final outcome should provide evidence that students learned the required content set forth by curricular standards. While the 21st-century skills are important… they should complement and be used as tools for learning this content. The project is the process!) Santa Notes – Wow… while everyone has become better communicators, collaborators, and critical thinkers I see that the important concepts needed to make this project a success have become a reality. All of the workers, elves, and animals understand the important North Pole curricular concepts of magical engineering, animal aviation and linguistics, possibility planning, and bottomless bag technology. Most of all, they have discovered the wonderful skill of miracle manicuring. I really do believe in PBL!

As I was sitting in front of Santa there were two more elements that appeared before me like magic. I read the text as fast as it appeared. He looked at me as he winked and smiled… as if he was about to go up a chimney. I soon realized he had even been aware of some of the new ideas found in the new Gold Standards. Of course, he was aware! I continued to read with delight as I discovered even more amazing magic!

Reflection – (It is this process that demands the important skill of metacognition. It is not until a learner thinks about the learning… that real learning takes place. Educators must allow students time to reflect as they build their own understanding of important content and concepts.)  Santa Notes – I have always enjoyed the work of John Dewey… after-all he was always on my good list. I encourage all the workers at the North Pole to reflect on what they learn while as they build and innovate on all the products at the workshop! It is amazing to see all the learning that takes place as we constantly create a wonderful experience for all the boys and girls throughout the world!

Authenticity – ( It is important that students have an authentic learning experience that is meaningful. Allowing students to make a difference to their surroundings and the world outside the classroom is essential. Education must be real and provide the students that important… so what… to learning.) Santa Notes – Authenticity might be one of the most important qualities we promote. After-all like PBL… the North Pole experience is about making it real!

As I handed this precious manuscript back to Santa,  I thanked him for confirming my belief in how powerful a project can be. Upon my return, I continued to learn more about Project Based Learning and discovered the power it has for providing authentic and powerful learning experiences for students. This knowledge just might be the very best gift I ever received from Santa. I’m still smiling as I recall the other projects I read about in the wonderful book on my very special visit. Projects with names like the ones you find below.

  1. I Can Get Down the Chimney… How Do I Get Up?
  2. The Big Blizzard… Can We Find a Way to Light the Path?
  3. Conquering the 24 Hour Cookies and Milk Dilemma!
  4. Reindeer… Keeping their Minds to the Ground!
  5. Making and Keeping It Real!

I hope you enjoyed this very special message that Santa shared with me. Please take a moment to share this post with other educators across the world.  Please accept my present to you,  which is another year of postings, by subscribing by email or RSS and follow me on Twitter (mjgormans). You will also find a treasure of resources covering 21st-century learning, STEM, PBL, and technology integration for the classroom. Again, take a moment to share this blog and even give it a re-tweet so that other educators can experience the magic of PBL. May you find the peace, joy, blessing, and magic of this very special season… and to all a good night! Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now almost booked through April. Perhaps you need to think about summer conference dates or PD needs and it is not too early to think about the 2018/19 school year! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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