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STEM across Curriculum…. Ten Ideas to Transform STEM from Nouns to Verbs… and Facts to Thinking

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Welcome to another STEM related post. I hope you enjoyed  the 35 STEAM Ideas in the last post. There are a lot of ideas floating around in regards to STEM education. As I reflect on my observation of STEM practice in my travels across the country I have become more convinced that STEM is a verb, and not just a set of nouns. In fact, STEM action is something all content areas can embrace as they engage students in authentic learning. Before investigating this idea further,  please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way this school year…So Sign Up Now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – 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, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10%

STEM across Curriculum…. Ten Ideas to Transform STEM from Nouns to Verbs… and Facts to Thinking

“We can have facts without thinking but we cannot have thinking without facts.”  – John Dewey

Let’s take a moment and investigate the STEM acronym, after-all it is being used quite a bit across the United States and the world. Often we hear the content areas; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math as being the basis of STEM. While this is a wonderful collection of nouns that can be used to put together a cross-curricular, transdisciplinary, or project based learning unit of study; it seems to leave out many of the other disciplines through this content definition. By focusing just on these four areas we are losing the powerful and authentic learning opportunities that STEM thinking can bring to the classroom.  In fact, we are also leaving some of the most important teachers from other subject areas  out of the equation, or the limited definition does not make them feel a part of an exciting possibility!  Perhaps that is why we see schools and districts adopting STEAM (infuse the arts), and STREAM (add on some Reading. As we see these new models perhaps we should turn it into STREAMIE (include everyone), from there we can go to STREAMIER and STREAMIEST! Better yet, how about STREAMING… wow… it’s a verb! While the idea could make everyone smile, let’s take a look at what STEM might and could actually look like if we facilitated and promoted and all-inclusive subject area model.

I have often stated that one could look at STEM as the content and PBL as the process, but even in this mode of thinking, it seems to leave out important content. Perhaps it is important to think of STEM as a verb and not a noun.  What if all disciplines viewed STEM as a thinking process?  This is what many true STEM leaders have been promoting. Yet many programs and initiatives focus on STEM as a noun. It could be due to the many logos we see promoting the four disciplines. John Dewey stated:

“We can have facts without thinking but we cannot have thinking without facts.”  

Think beyond the STEM content nouns and facts, contemplate the skills and thought process it takes to work within a STEM content area. Consider the skills that must be learned for an eventual career, or multiple careers. The action found in the STEM process allow students to practice and develop the ability to problem solve, authentically learn, think in critical ways, invent, produce, persevere, collaborate, empathize, and design.  In doing so, the nouns of STEM work with the important acts of doing and thought. This STEM style thinking opens up a whole new world of possibilities to facts! The facts in the curriculum become real and understandable, opening up a world of real learning to students.

With this mind, it is possible to include all subject areas including language arts, social studies, the fine arts, the practical arts, foreign language, business, plus so much more! Every subject should own STEM thinking! In fact, this style of metacognition becomes even more important as teachers begin to infuse grit and rigor into their lesson plans. Activities that incorporate such thinking build a strong and necessary foundation for project-based learning and transdisciplinary learning. In fact, I ran across a Discovery Education statement that suggested STEM as “Students and Teachers Energizing Minds”.  Wow, verbs that allow students to do can be powerful! All of us have to step out of the STEM nouns and find a way to bring the verbs of STEM to every student!

The Ten Ideas to Transform STEM Thinking from Noun to Verbs and Facts to Thinking

  1. Think of STEM as a verb, not a noun. What are the skills that make up that STEM-based occupation? It can be seen that these skills not only include the Four C’s, but also components of each C.
  2. Create a clear vision and mission for STEM in the school or district. Make sure this definition is understood by everyone including those educators that may not think of themselves as STEM.
  3. Incorporate STEM thinking into lessons in all content areas. This STEM thinking includes the ability to problem solve, authentically learn, think in critical ways, invent, produce, persevere, collaborate, empathize, and design.
  4. Emphasize the skills that are needed in those future careers, not the career itself. While it is beneficial to learn about different careers, it is important to note that these will change and students may go through multiple careers. Many of the important skills will remain the same.
  5. Integrate digital technology in STEM when appropriate, and it is able to amplify the standard. An example might be to teach with real protractors before using a digital protractor.
  6. Incorporate PBL (Project Based Learning) and/or Transdisciplinary Learning with STEM thinking.  These methods can provide the process for student ownership, engagement, and authenticity.
  7. Look outside of the classroom to incorporate STEM as an authentic learning experience. Use the community, country, and world to allow students to contribute  while allowing them to see  real world connections to content and skills being taught.
  8. Intentionally facilitate and assess not just content, but also the STEM (21st century and beyond) skills. Find, or build rubrics, that address the 21st-century skills which include the 4 C’s of Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Creativity. Understand that each of these C;s includes indicators and subsets that can be assessed. An example might be that  empathy is a part of collaboration or active listening is part of communication.
  9. Make sure that students are doing. This doing must include not only hands-on activities but also important metacognition. Students must not only do, but also think about what they are doing (which should be connected to the standards). It is only when students do… and then think, that real learning takes place.
  10. Go beyond STEM activities and making. Build a STEM culture that builds inquiry, is supported by authenticity, promotes rigor, and allows for student self-regulation and  ownership of learning. Always keep the necessary curricular standards and skills at the forefront of STEM. As you examine those standards you will note they also containing those important verbs.

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of the 21st century (and even before that) learning. Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the 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 blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week.  Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10%

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, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

 

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35 Resources for the STEAM Classroom… Putting the Arts in STEM

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Welcome to a post that recognizes that the Arts must be in STEM! This brings in the important 21st century skills!  Take some time to enjoy this wonderful journey of STEAM Resources.  First, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way this school year…So Sign Up Now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – 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, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessions. Do you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10%

35 Resources for the STEAM Classroom… Putting the Arts in STEM by Michael Gorman at https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

It actually is quite obvious that the Arts should be included in STEM education. The idea of STEAM brings out the skills of creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication that are so important in the work place. A look at the works of Leonardo da Vinci will attest to this! The very first time I heard the idea of integrating the Arts into STEM education was while watching a keynote made by Daniel Pink at the NECC  Conference in Washington DC… yes prior to ISTE Conferences!  Pink presented strong evidence that educators must include right brain lessons in addition to the inclusion of historical left brain activities. A reading of his book, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule The Future, is a must for any educator, especially those interested in STEM education. It is evident that inserting the A (Arts) in STEM and creating STEAM allows for true innovation, and it is innovation that will allow students to be successful in a flat world. Bringing the Arts to STEM allows students to remember the creative juices that come with the smell of a Crayola Crayon, the engagement of Tinker Toys, and the creation and remixing of that first Easy Bake Oven. It is the STEAM that allows students to not just be technology consumers, but technology creators! Proper infusion of the Arts will create a STEAM culture that engages and promotes intrinsic learning. In the space below I have included some sites that may just allow educators to integrate the Arts, allowing STEM to become STEAM! While there is a lot of talk on STEAM Education, it can be difficult to find a lot of material. I hope you enjoy what I have gathered and please let me know what I should include in an update post. Time to go full STEAM ahead!

The 35 Resources

  • NPR Where Science Meets Art – Some exceptional Podcasts integrating Science and Art. Many of these titles will allow for student reflection and questions as they begin to see how the Arts and Science can be integrated.
  • Arts Edge – A fantastic resource from the Kennedy Center hosting numerous lessons that integrate Art into the curriculum.You will discover a focus  on ways to support innovative teaching with the arts, and meet changing trends in education and to accommodate the ever-evolving impact of technology in our lives. This amazing collection of free digital resources—including lesson plans, audio stories, video clips, and interactive online modules—has been streamlined for easier browsing and upgraded to leverage best practices in educational media and multimedia-supported
  • BabbleDabbleDo –  This is a site that allows students to explore and engage with their right brain. This is important in our tech saturated world. This site provides that creative angle that puts kids in that out of the box mode while exploring concepts in science, math, and engineering.  The site proclaims that the best part of creating is the process.And I truly I believe that EVERYONE IS CREATIVE.
  • STEM to STEAM -The STEM to STEAM initiative, championed by the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), is supported by teachers, researchers, policy makers, students, and business people from RISD and beyond.
  • Why Scientific Innovation Needs The Arts – Explore this wonderful article from the Guardian that explains the connection between science and the arts. Great read to support STEAM thinking in any educational setting.
  • OER Commons – Take a look at these results from a search I did for  STEAM based activities. There are some powerful lessons that bring the arts into the classroom. Since it is OER (Open Education Resources) it is free.
  • Teach Hub Technology and STEAM – Take a look at these possibilities for connecting standards, technology integration, and STEAM.
  • Edutopia STEAM Resources – One of the finest education sites brings STEAM to the forefront. Enjoy this engaging journey.  You will discover information, examples, and tools related to incorporating aspects of the arts, design, and the humanities into STEM-based school activities.
  • Odyssey of the Mind – This  international educational program provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems.
  • Lemon Lime Adventures 50 STEAM Projects and Activities – Take some time to look through the various links on this page. You are bound to find some great possibilities that will fit your standards.
  • Autodesk Digital Steam Workshop – Digital STEAM projects are designed by Autodesk’s network of expert educators, designers and student alumni as exciting complements to core Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Art (STEAM) curriculum. Each project aligns with common core and national standards and delivers measurable learning while using free software.
  • Education Closet – This site supports teachers, leaders and artists using arts integration and STEAM education through world-class, comprehensive professional development and resources.
  • National Gallery of Art  – You will find organized into thematic units, each grade-level-specific lesson plan focuses on a single work of art and can be executed within one to two class periods. These lessons meet the National Art Education Association (NAEA) Visual Arts curriculum standards
  • Exploratorium – Take a look at the entire site, but especially explore the Art related material.  In fact this link brings you to the Tinkering STudio. You will find lessons that allow you to connect with other subject areas including the STEM disciplines. You will get a new definition of exploring through the Exploratorium,
  • The Art Institute of Chicago – Explore these wonderful lessons that cover Science and the Arts. It just might have you and your students look at Art in a whole different way. Best of all you will discover some STEAM possibilities.
  • Lesson Plans and resources for Art Integration – This Edutopia Article has a rich assortment of lessons and resources to integrate Art into curricular areas including Math, Science, and Design. A great read that will lead to some wonderful opportunities.
  • CIESE Online – CIESE  (Center for Innovation and Science Education) sponsors and designs interdisciplinary projects that teachers throughout the world can use to enhance their curriculum through compelling use of the Internet.  Each project has a brief description and links to the National Science Standards and NCTM math standards it supports
  • Masterpieces to Math – A wonderful article that focuses on how to incorporate art in math. Learn how to use Art to teach fractions, decimals, and percent equivalents. You will look at Math in a whole new STEAMie way.
  • Space School Musical – Your students will enjoy joining teenager Hannah on a trip through the solar system in this ultra-cool edu-tainment “hip-hopera” that uses song and dance to introduce the planets, moons, asteroids and more. Educators can download the lyrics for students to learn and perform the routines for themselves or just play the videos in class. There are also links provided for more in-depth activities.
  • Cardboard Challenge – Not everything needs high tech and expensive resources. A lot can be done with a cardboard box and a lot of imagination. Check out this amazing challenge from the Imagine Foundation. Take a moment to watch the video. You and your students will want to be involved with this amazing low tech, high engagement possibility.
  • KinderArt – Discover Fine Art lessons as they apply to all different subject areas. Lessons are searchable by grade and subject. Some great ideas to integrate with.
  • Share Space Foundation – The ShareSpace Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring children’s passions for science, technology, engineering, arts and math by providing innovative, interactive educational tools to educators across the country.  ShareSpace has reached more than 250,000 children across the globe through strategic partnerships and the engaging Giant Mars Map™.
  • Scratch –  With Scratch, kids can program their own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively . All of this is possible while essential skills for life in the 21st century are facilitated. Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge.
  • Teacher Vision Art and Math –Students will enjoy participating in math class with our art activities for teachers of any grade level, from elementary to high school.  You will find opportunities to mix numbers with creativity and art activities that your students will love. There are lessons for creating counting books, crafts that encourage measuring, geometry printables to color, sculpting activities, and much more!  Introduce new concepts or reinforce topics your students have already learned.
  • Eurekus – This is a site with STEAM powered discovery. Discover the many free lessons that bring the left brain world alive in the the right brain.
  • Left Brain Craft Brain – Discover this blog with great activities and possibilities to engage the whole brain in the engineering process. It is a self-proclaimed mega monster of STEAM posts.  You will find some of the coolest science, technology, engineering, art and math projects from some of the most creative bloggers out there.
  • What is STEAM ? – This is an amazing resource site from the Education Closet. here you will find some great lessons that are aligned to the standards of STEM and Art curriculum. Be sure to read the blogs, links, news, and research. Be sure to check out all the possibilities on this site by clicking the menu. You will even find a STEAM-based magazine.
  • The Stanford Design School – Get ready for some innovative lessons that include the design process. You will find an abundance of material and resources to bring innovation to your STEAM program.
  • National Association For Music Education – Take some time at this site. Explore the curriculum along with awesome teacher resources. This is a great site that might tune up some of that important STEAM education.
  • STEAM Art Lessons – Take a look at these wonderful STEAM based art lessons from an amazing elementary Art teacher. There are some wonderful ideas for bringing the curriculum together.
  • How To Smile – This is an amazing collecting of some of the best educational materials, learning activities, tools, and services. They are all designed especially for those who teach school-aged kids in activity-based settings. This site is sponsored by a group of science museums dedicated to bringing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) out of the academic cloister and into the wider world. This is a great place to Make STEM happen!
  • New York Times Lesson Plans – I include this because you will find a collection of amazing lessons that cross all areas. Best of all, they bring the creativity and innovation into these lessons which is the foundation for the arts.
  • Art in Action – Take a look at these mini Art lessons that allow students to get in that right brain frame of mind.
  • PBS STEM Collection – PBS Learning Media has great resources. Check them all out. This link brings you to the STEM Collection.
  • Project Pals – A great article that looks at STEM/STEAM possibilities in the world of PBL for all grade levels.

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessions. Do you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10%

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week! – Mike (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. While 2018 is just about full, it might be time to begin thinking about next January and 2019! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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A World of PBL… 25 Authentic Resources To Connect Students Beyond The Classroom

 

connectWelcome to a post that has taken some time and research to put together for you. I believe that connecting our students to the world is so important. The internet provides many possibilities. In this post I want to introduce you to 25 of of them. Take some time to enjoy this wonderful journey.  First, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way this school year…So Sign Up Now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – 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, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling. Also, take a moment to check out FETC 2019 in Orlando, Florida this January. I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Join Me!

A World of PBL… 25 Authentic Resources To Connect Students Beyond The Classroom

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” ― John Dewey

Learning must be authentic and meaningful in order for the content to really be understood and usable. While there are several education models that promote this idea, it is a necessity in a well-planned Project Based Learning (PBL) Unit. While memorizing and reciting facts may actually give some positive results on a test, it demonstrates only the lowest levels of learning as represented at the bottom of Bloom’s Taxonomy. PBL provides students that authentic learning experience that allows for real world applications, immediate purpose, student relevancy, and an audience beyond their classroom walls. The idea of authenticity is amplified when connections are provided!

Why are these connections important? Knowledge does not thrive in isolation. In fact, content knowledge is only useful to students when applied to concepts found outside the classroom. For students, PBL allows for connections that provide important links from their knowledge acquisition to their real world experiences.  Sometimes these connections allow student to use areas of past knowledge to understand and construct new knowledge… many times the role of a PBL Launch or Entry Event. Equally important are connections to future career and college possibilities.  Let’s not forget how valuable connecting with experts and institutions can be. Of course, collaborating with other students on a meaningful topic across the district, town, state, country, and world can have a great impact on learning.

While teachers have always found a way to make connections for students, the internet provides a wonderful and exciting opportunity. There are numerous organizations and sites that can help make this happen for you and your students.  I wish to share with you some that I have discovered. Please enjoy your journey through these. I am certain you will get excited as you explore new ideas and possibilities. At the same time, we must remember to connect to the content standards while facilitating and assessing 21st century skills. Last, always be sure to check your district AUP and administration before putting students online in this way. You may need to get parent permission.  I also see a need to provide students appropriate lessons on proper digital citizenship. Whether it is a short lesson, or a PBL unit connecting beyond the classroom walls, connecting with the real world will provide an authenticity that makes learning come alive!

The 25 Resources

  • Roots and Shoots – Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots is the Jane Goodall Institute’s (JGI) global youth-led community action program, comprised of thousands of young people as they connect knowledge and service with the real world.
  • ePals – Another wonderful site allowing students to collaborate across the globe. Check out the amazing possibilities. It provides ways for teachers to connect with other teachers and decide on projects their students can do together.
  • Pen Pals School – Are you interested in implementing more project based learning in your class this year? Check out Pen Pals School. Whether your students design robots with PenPals in Asia, write poetry with PenPals in Europe, or create environmental solutions with PenPals in Africa. Keep in mind there may be a cost to this service.
  • Taking it Global – Visit one of the world’s leading networks of young people learning about, engaging with, and working towards authentic solutions to world challenges. TakingITGlobal is one of the world’s leading networks of young people as they collaborate and learn with each other.
  • The Globe Program – Take a look at this organization that inspires to promote the teaching and learning of science, enhance environmental literacy and stewardship, and promote scientific discovery.
  • iEarn – Join interactive curriculum-based groups where students are creating, researching, sharing opinions and becoming global citizen. This is a wonderful program with years of experience behind it. There may be a small cost.
  • Edutopia Resources for Building Community Partnerships – Learn how schools can benefit from the support and expertise of local businesses, organizations, and individuals, and discover strategies for fostering successful business and community partnerships
  • Empatico – Empatico empowers teachers and students to explore the world through experiences that spark curiosity, kindness, and empathy. We combine live video with activities designed to foster meaningful connections among students ages 7-11.
  • Global School Net – Explore a site that combines education and technology to strengthen communities and benefit humanity. You will discover support brain-friendly learning and improve academic performance through content-driven collaboration.
  • Skype in the Classroom – You will enjoy this free community that offers live transformative educational experiences for students including Virtual Field Trips, talks from Guest Speakers, classroom to classroom connections, and live collaboration projects.
  • Dream Makers – This is an organization that focuses on providing consistent exposure to career opportunities and dynamic professionals.
  • Virtual Field Trip Data Base – This is a spreadsheet that I discovered filled with over 300 virtual field trip possibilities from multiple sites. Discover something that connects to your curriculum.
  • Global Learners Project – The Project includes several topics and activity suggestions to create engaging and interactive class to class connections. Each topic includes at least one activity that requires little to no prep, while other activities take students deeper into learning. Use this for ideas, you will still have to find a school to connect with.
  • Worldvuze – Take some time to explore this map-based question and answer education platform where elementary and secondary students around the world can learn directly from each other!
  • The Global Read Aloud – The project was created in 2010 and had a simple goal in mind; one book to connect the world. From its humble beginnings, the GRA has grown to make a truly global connection with more than 4,000,000 students having participated. This is a project that usually starts in October.
  • Projects By Jen – This a wonderful site that has been successfully encouraging teachers since 1999 to use online projects in their PreK-6 classrooms.
  • Flat Connections – Flat connected learning is where all learners have freedom to communicate across borders rather than up or down – with no hierarchy. There may be a small cost for portions.
  • Teachers’ Guide To Global Projects – This organization id made possible through the support of the Longview Foundation, iEARN-USA has compiled an online Teachers’ Guide to Global, Collaborative Teaching and Learning.
  • Online Collaboration Curricula –  Explore this awesome collection of ideas that students can collaborate on using the internet. You may need to find that partner classroom.
  • Art In All Of Us – The objective of the AiA Pen Pal Program is to promote creative and artistic communication among children worldwide. They have setup a network of schools around the world, through which schools are paired and exchange informative artworks on their own country and culture.
  • Journey North – Now in its 25th year, Journey North is one of North America’s premiere citizen science projects for children and the general public. The project has broad participation, with over 60,000 registered sites in the US, Canada, and Mexico — including families, teachers, schools, nature centers, professional scientists and novices.
  • The Global Math Challenge – Global Math Challenge (GMC) is a worldwide math competition held online and hosted by Sony Global Education, Inc. Great brainteasers in this contest will excite & fascinate math lovers both young and old. Enjoy competing with math fans all over the world.
  • QUADBlogging – QuadBlogging was born in 2011 and since its conception, over 500,000 students from over 65 countries have taken part. The concept is simple, once signed up, you will be allocated a Quad containing 4 classes including yours. Each Quad will have a Quad Co-ordinator attached to it. Once contact is made between the four teachers
  • Kids Go Global – Green Fairs, theatre about global issues, water audits, wetland protection and lots more. Share your projects with others. See what the rest of the world is doing. There may be some cost to some projects.
  • Biblionasium – Explore this site that is the fun, reading-focused social network for kids in elementary and middle school. The site emphasis is to connect kids in an encouraging community of friends, family and their educators, Biblionasium excites, engages and encourages a love of the written word. Kids can log their reading, play games, complete reading challenges and earn rewards. Requires parents to sign children up.

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of connection possibilities for the classroom!  Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the Flipped Classrooms, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, PBL, STEM, technology integration, web resources, makers, computational thinking, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week, and a enjoy this wonderful new school year. Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

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… Dates are going fast, with time up to and including December just about filled,  and I am  taking 2019 dates.

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Ten Inspiring Lessons From An Almost Analog Native … Back To School 2018

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It is back to school time 2018 for many of us in the United States and beyond… welcome to the future! I dedicate this post to all of you wonderful educators . It is my hope that as many educators as possible read this post as they begin a new year journey… I hope you share and make this happen!  (Via school emails and retweet to your friends). Please enjoy this reflective journey and send to others what I hope to be a teaching inspiration.  I wish all of you the very best as you enter a new school year! I hope you enjoy this timeless lesson… one that really does have a place in 21st century education. It is a reminder that teaching truly is an amazing art. Let’s all keep up the wonderful painting.  Please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way this school year…So Sign Up Now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – 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, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling. Also, take a moment to check out FETC 2019 in Orlando, Florida this January. I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Join Me!

10 Inspiring Lessons From An Almost Analog Native – Mike Gorman ((https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

It was a normal first day back to school. The building was still quiet and still. I could sense there was an air of extreme excitement and anticipation in the air. I sat at my desk and pondered the reality of a new year wondering about the new faces I would greet.  I already knew that all too soon I would be waving good bye to another group I had come to know so well. It is amazing what the short period of a school year brings to both educators and students.  Suddenly awakened from what was either my deep reflection or possibly a type of relaxing nap that only the whisperings of being another year older can bring, a panicked voice was heard at my classroom door.

He was a brand new teacher dressed as one who just might enlighten the downtown business club, yet he stood with the glazed eyes of a student still waiting for that moment of enlightenment. I had seen it all before, perhaps even in the reflection of a distant mirror over thirty-seven years ago. He was summoning me to his room, not that I regarded it as his room… at least not yet. You see, I had great respect for the educator who had been a part of the four walls that this soon to be teacher was leading me to. As he led me through the doorway of his new headquarters for dissemination of information I couldn’t help but notice a peculiar feeling of past warmth that was missing. There was a indescribable void, covering a large aura which had been in place for nearly fifty years.

As he motioned for me to look at the archaic blackboard behind the new, still packaged, and not yet plugged in interactive whiteboard I couldn’t help but smile. There, still written with chalk that  had the smell of fresh dust, were the words “A Message from an Almost Analog Native”.  Then I heard the young teacher’s voice asking how he might  get rid of the words. He pleaded that, after all, he saw no button to push to dissolve the print. I smiled and walked to the board and picked up the eraser. I cleverly planned to display to this obviously digital native, one of this school’s first such inductees, the magic of an eraser. I even had my strategy for providing a professional development moment on the use of chalk. After all, improper use of chalk can lead to an annoying screech that will send most students diving under their desks. As I held up the eraser I walked to the board and began to perform the ancient teacher ritual of erasing a black… not green,board. Amazingly, it did not work out the way I had planned. As I observed the pupils of this brand new teacher’e eyes grow large, I turned to the board and took a step back in awe. Not only were the words not disappearing… but new words were beginning to appear underneath. It was now quite obvious that we were both extremely engaged in the lesson that was about to begin. I have recorded for you the amazing script that came before my eyes that very day.

The Ten Lessons

Welcome to your new classroom. I am sure you are going to explain and teach in a way that I might never understand. You see, I come from a day of filmstrip projectors that beeped, ditto paper that left my fingers blue and the students enjoying the scent, bells that really did ring out a mechanical melody, 16 millimeter films that, if in color, amazed the kids. In fact, if these films were shown backwards it provided bonus entertainment. In recent years I have heard words that are so strange to me. These words include foreign terms such as twitter, blog, wiki, Skype, web 2.0, clickers, and interactive whiteboards. I have heard all this talk about 21st century skills and I am not even sure if I can tell you what they are. So there you have it. I am not one of those digital natives, nor am I a digital immigrant! I may not even be an analog native or immigrant. So, even though I do not know all the new terms, I thought that I might give you a list of ten items I feel just might ensure success no matter what century it is.

  1.  You come to school to serve your students. Put them at the center of their learning. Find great books, integrate fascinating projects, and include engaging resources.  As you do this, always remember that students must be at the center of their learning.
  2.  As you teach you will come upon some amazing tools. My very first full sized erasable blackboard was wonderful and I was amazed by the pull down map. I remember the very first time I used colored chalk and our very first classroom set of encyclopedias. Imagine having almost all the knowledge of the world in your classroom. Please remember that tools are only as effective as those who use them. You will be introduced to amazing new tools. Make sure these tools become the servants and not the masters of your teaching.
  3. Realize that every student is truly gifted. It may be that your job is to find that special gift and make the student aware of it. Each gift is different and will ultimately lead that student to an interest and vocation that they find great pleasure in while contributing to society. They may even come back some day and thank you for revealing that gift to them.
  4. Learning does not just happen in the classroom. Open your students to the world by introducing them to experts, authors, cultures, and multiple disciplines. Teach them to become lifetime learners who will embrace learning beyond the classroom and beyond their school experience. It seems this world is ever changing and, in order to keep up with things, they may need to someday be their own teacher.
  5. Allow your students the experience of searching for success. This involves allowing multiple attempts, occasional failure, and eventual triumph. Learning does not always need to be graded, but must always be guided. Remember, it is not always the destination, but in most instances… the journey. Allow your students those journeys with multiple opportunities and outcomes.
  6. Encourage cooperation, teamwork, and healthy competition. Teach your students that the thoughts and contributions of many can be so much more powerful than just the contribution of one. Emphasize true discussion and listening, and allow for discourse. The ability to work, plan, and play together has been, and always will be, an important skill.
  7. Promote thinking that is outside what many might consider the box. Allow your students to have their own ideas, play with possibilities, and invent what doesn’t exist. Not everything in life can come from your textbook. Remember, what we believe as facts today could change in twenty-five to fifty years. It seems that information probably doubles every hundred years. I suppose that might even speed up a bit as time goes on.
  8. It seems that all of us learn best by doing. Allow your students to not just hear it or read about it. Provide them with real life experiences and allow then to do it. Guide them as they are doing so they are learning relevant content and gaining new skills. Give them some say in what they are doing.
  9. Remember your humanness. Always have a sense of humor and be yourself. Remember that teaching is a people business. Enjoy the laughter, the stories, the victories, the accomplishment, and the small (but really big) moments that can only happen in a real live classroom. Some say that someday robots or some kind of two way wireless radio will take over education. I truly think this will never happen because teachers will always show that the human element is essential. A smile from a real person sure beats that of a  robot or a distant person on a wireless radio covered in distant sounds of static.
  10. Always remember that you teach children… not subjects such as science, history, arithmetic, ciphering, citizenship, reading, English, and shop. You see, it is the teaching of children that convinced me to get into this amazing business… and it is the reason that most great teachers have a hard time giving up a classroom like this.

Please take good care of this classroom. It never was mine, only one that I was allowed not just to educate children in, but so much more. It was a classroom in which I was allowed to perpetuate a culture of learning for almost fifty years. You see, not all of these ideas were mine. I found them on an old slate lying in a back closet when I first entered this room. I was so happy I had a pencil in hand, because no faster had I made my copy than the words on the slate disappeared. I think I may have made a few changes. I know I will have a chance in my retirement to read about some of these new tools and even learn about these 21st century skills. It will probably give me a chance to think about what I might have done to make learning in my classroom even better. When I find out… I might even send you a message. Until then, please take care of this old classroom and, more importantly, take even more care with those children who will enter tomorrow and thereafter. I know you will perpetuate the culture of learning that has permeated these four walls for more years than even those I taught.

You know… there wasn’t much to say. I looked at the new kid who seemed even more ready to teach. His eyes appeared already a few years older. As we both stood there we saw the old blackboard magically erase and turn a clean dark shade of black. I picked up the eraser that I had dropped during this unusual encounter and handed it over to the new guy. He opened the closet door and threw it in. I heard a gentle thump as it landed on something that may have been a slate. Together, we both unpacked and plugged in his new interactive whiteboard. He carefully positioned it so he could still see a portion of that old blackboard from his desk. We both knew why. As I walked out of the room that day I couldn’t help but think about the history that just might occur in that old classroom in the next fifty years. But, I had plans to make and students to get ready for as I was incorporating many of those new 21st century skills I had been reading about all summer. I was so excited about providing so many new opportunities for my students. After all, this is a new era for new techniques and strategies and yes… some that have always been a art of learning.

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of 21st century (and even before that) learning. Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the Flipped Classrooms, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, PBL, STEM, technology integration, web resources, makers, computational thinking, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week, and a enjoy this wonderful new school year. Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

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… Dates are going fast, with time up to and including December just about filled,  and I am  taking 2019 dates.

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Part 2: Computational Thinking: Over 50 Resources To Teach CT Across the Curriculum

ct

Welcome to part two on this series based on Computation Thinking. This second post will provide a goldmine of resources to get you started with your students. In the prior post I provided 10 ideas to promote Computational Thinking across the curriculumn. You will not want to miss it!  Also, please take a moment to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and  join me on twitter at mjgormans . I have some great posts coming your way involving PBL, STEM, tech integration, and a continuing series on Professional Learning Communities!  Most of all, thanks for being one of those over 30,000 visitors a month and over 14,000 subscribers. Also, remember that I can come to your conference or school district and provide engaging authentic, practical, and purposeful professional development . Please note I will be at BLC18 in Boston (July) and FETC19 Orlando (January) supporting teachers in PBL and more. See booking info and please contact me anytime at (mjgormans@gmail.com). Thanks so much.  Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech).

Part 2: Computational Thinking: A Goldmine of Resources – Michael Gorman

The goal of computational thinking is really about getting students to use computer type thinking to solve real world problems. So often we are the users of algorithms, but rarely are we creating them. Facilitating this skill for our students will allow them to innovate,  understand, and find purpose. Most of all they will be equiped to fast a world which is constatnly changing.  It is from the book The power of Computational Thinking by Paul Curzon and Peter W McOwan we find the following quote:

“The beauty of Algorithms is that steps can be followed without those involved having any idea of what they are doing and why”

I can personally relate with this quote. I found myself many times in school following algorithms of which I had no idea for their meaning. I did pass the ACT because I had answers for which I had no understanding of. We as educators must go that next step, providing students a way to problem sovle and come up with algoritms that provide the solutions.

For thsi reason I provide to you some resources I hope you will find valuable. Keep in mind that Computational Thinking can use devices, robots, and computers to support learning. It also is valuable to do some “unplugged” activities that allow students to dive deep into their own thinking leaving the digital object to the side. I have tried to provide resources that support both. Last, the ability to undertand the workings of a computer is only half of the algorithm. Keep in mind that human element. How do we find a way to use the power and speed of the computer along with the comprehension and metacognitive abity of the human mind. Enjoy the quote and resources that follow.

“The computer is incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid. Man is incredibily slow, inaccurate, and brilliant. The marriage of the two is a force beyond calculations” – Leo Cherne

Main Site Computational Thinking Resources:

Puzzles for Computational Thinking

Articles, Inormation, Ideas

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week! – Mike (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. My 2018  calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January and 2019! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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Part 1: Computational Thinking: 10 Ways To Promote CT Across The Curriculum

ct

Welcome to part one on this series based on Computation Thinking. This first post will provide the “what” along with some steps to promote this important practice. The second post will provide a goldmine of resources to get you started with your students. You will not want to miss it!  Also, please take a moment to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and  join me on twitter at mjgormans . I have some great posts coming your way involving PBL, STEM, tech integration, and a continuing series on Professional Learning Communities!  Most of all, thanks for being one of those over 30,000 visitors a month and over 14,000 subscribers. Also, remember that I can come to your conference or school district and provide engaging authentic, practical, and purposeful professional development . Please note I will be at BLC18 in Boston (July) and FETC19 Orlando (January) supporting teachers in PBL and more. See booking info and please contact me anytime at (mjgormans@gmail.com). Thanks so much.  Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech).

Part 1: Computational Thinking: 10 Ways To Promote – Michael Gorman

As you might know, I believe all transformative practices must be based in the standards. These standards must include both content and process standards (4C’s). Too often, I see wonderful activities that engages students… but also see important standards that could have been made authentic to students through deliberate metacognition engaging the mind and the heart.

In this post, I would like to review a thinking processes that can be applied across the curriculum providing a process for authentic understanding of standards.  The cognitive process I am referring to is Computational Thinking (CT). This type of thinking is important not just in high stake testing, but also success in that world after school. Perhaps you have come across the idea of computational thinking in education.  The best way to describe computational thinking is to look at the way a computer thinks… or at least runs a program. This is actually the most important concept a student learns through coding and developing computer programs. We must keep in mind that it is not the coding that is important… but the thinking process. After all… one can use a computer, but not actually use computational thinking skills.

So, what is this skill set found in Computational Thinking? They are best described as the important steps taken to solve a problem and come up with a solution. As you read these steps think about your own curriculum. Where do you want your students to use computational thinking skills?

  • Decomposition – This involves the ability for students to look at a problem. and through careful observation students break down a problem or system into smaller, more manageable parts.
  • Pattern recognition – Now that the problem is broken down students must look for similarities among and within the problem. What patterns can be seen and what does this mean?
  • Abstraction – At this stage students begin focusing on the valuable information only, ignoring irrelevant detail. It really is time to look at the specific trees while blurring the forest. While determining what is important… how does this relate to a possible solution?
  • Algorithms – At this point students should be able to develop a step-by-step solution to the problem. They maybe able to also identify rules and procedures to solve the problem

As you can see these abilities are an important part of critical thinking. They allow us to use our human ability to go beyond the computer program. We have long used subroutines of thinking in class such as determining reasons for a civilization’s decline, the twists in a story, the answer to a math story problem, or the use of a dichotomous key. In past practice, we as the teacher often provide the steps necessary to find the answer. What would happen if our students created the algorithm itself, at least part of the time? How might we assess them in this style of thinking that provides deeper understanding. What if our hour of code turned into solving a real problem? What if we brought a Makers Culture into the classroom and facilitated and assessed computational thinking while emphasizing authentic and real understanding of the standards?

“We can have facts without thinking but we cannot have thinking without facts” – John Dewey

I believe John Dewey said it best with the above quote. We must provide our students opportunities to critically think. We must assess them, and they must assess themselves.  We must go beyond engaging activities for the sake of engagement. We must engage the mind!  As Dewy reminds us, providing students the opportunity to think about and do something with content is what real learning is all about. Best of all, a new and real understanding will be achieved that no standardized test can stand in the way of.

Ten Ideas to Expand Computational Thinking in your Classroom

  1. Take time to embrace the verbs in the standards… doing is learning.
  2. Facilitate and assess the 4C’s… assessment should be by teacher, peers, self, and mentors.
  3. Encourage metacognition and the “Habits of the Mind”. We must have moments that we think about thinking.
  4. Promote and assess collaboration as it expands and enriches the understanding of all involved. Realize that this is a foundation for critical thinking.
  5. Embrace, demand, and facilitate rigouous and continuous inquiry.
  6. Think Webb’s DOK and upper Blooms and make sure it is a part of a high percentage of lessons.
  7. Remind students…. algorithms are steps that anyone can follow, not as many can write one. They must become the creators of algorithms.
  8. Support students making and using computational thinking to expand standards while connecting to real world and other disciplines.
  9. Support standards by aligning and assessing through student making and thinking.
  10. Provide students important content connected with thinking,,,  plus doing and making

In the next post, I will provide you with a Gold Mine of resources to further investigate Computational Thinking. Please take the time to visit and learn.

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week! – Mike (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. My 2018  calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January and 2019! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

 

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Part 2 Starting PBL: 30 Amazing Resources To Help Plant A New PBL Idea

startPBL

Welcome to Part Two of starting a PBL project.   In this series I wish to help educators find ways to get ideas for a PBL they may wish to do with their class. I often think that the hardest part in PBL is coming up with an idea. In Part One I provided thoughts that can help you get that idea . In Part Two (this post) I will provide some valuable web resources. I do hope you enjoy!  Also, please take a moment to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and  join me on twitter at mjgormans . I have some great posts coming your way involving PBL, STEM, tech integration, and a continuing series on PBL!  Most of all, thanks for being one of those over 30,000 visitors a month and over 14,000 subscribers. Also, remember that I can come to your conference or school district and provide engaging authentic, practical, and purposeful professional development . Please note I will be at BLC18 in Boston (July) and FETC19 Orlando (January) supporting teachers in PBL and more. See booking info and please contact me anytime at (mjgormans@gmail.com). Thanks so much.  Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech).

Part 2 Starting PBL: 30 Amazing Resources To Help Plant A New PBL Idea

I sure hope you enjoyed that last post on ideas to get you started with that PBL unit. If you missed it then be sure to check it out here. As you know, the web provides us with many possibilities. As you suspect, there are a lot of PBL ideas out there. I often tell people you can begin a search in some of the following ways:

  1. Go to google and use key word PBL along with some other keywords… what do you find?
  2. Check out Twitter… use hashtag PBL along with some other keyword(s)… what might your tweet uncover?
  3. Perhaps there is an online competition that you have used or just come across… how can you turn it into a PBL?
  4. You may have found that perfect lesson at your favorite curriculum site… can it be expanded to a PBL?
  5. Don’t forget your local newspaper or favorite news outlet( local, national, and world)… what interesting story might engage students and also start a project?

There are also specific sites that are geared toward Project Based Learning.  Some provide an entire project. Others will give a lesson or activity that could be turned into a project when mapped out. Let me share some of those with you in the space below. Keep in mind that I am trying to keep it simple so you have a starting place. You may want to consider your subject area and organizations that support that specific curriculum. This will allow you to do your own search. Let’s get started!

1. BIE Tools – This is the BUCK Institute Project Search Database/ Here you will find a collection somewhere around 450 proven lesson plans to set any PBL desire into action. Look at the database but also click on the BIE home tab to view the entire site.

2. PBL Projects – This is a list of PBL possibilities for all grade levels in multiple subject areas.

3. Edutopia –This link brings you to a wonderful PBL treasure chest of ideas, resources, and research.

​4. Unit Starter Resources – These are from the Read to Be Ready Program in Tennessee and provide some great possibilities for building a PBL.

​5. Sites Supporting PBL – Use these resources for your Project Based Learning and collaborative based teaching. While you are using PBL in the classroom, search here for data sources, biography and inventor topics. Check subject area topics for development like math, science, and weather, and projects on countries and continents. There are projects for elementary levels as well as project ideas for middle and high school. Also listed are Problem Based Learning topics. Please explore them all! You will find great ideas for PBL learning

6. Learning Reviews – This website claims to connect kids to learning on the web. It really connects kids to awesome, engaging, rigorous, and relevant projects. It points to numerous websites on the internet that house some great PBL possibilities. Be sure to check out all of the subjects and grade levels.
Here are more than 30 websites with free PBL examples, guidance, rubrics, and templates. To see Project Based Learning lessons sorted by subject go to:
PBL Language Arts Projects by grade level
PBL Science Lesson Ideas by topic
PBL Math Project Ideas by topic
PBL Social Studies Project Ideas by grade level

7. TeachThought – Here you will find a long list of ideas for Project Based Learning. Take some time to explore for inspiration.

8. ​New Tech – A great collection of resources from an amazing school (New Tech High School). You will find authentic student owned PBL.​

9. Google Project Slide Resources Ideas – While not full-blown PBL there are some possibilities fo using Google Slides for presenting a PBL.

10. Seventeen Examples of STEM PBL – Take a look at this list of STEM activities that can be brought into PBL.

11. PBL Math Ideas – This is a wonderful collection of Math possibilities from  various location made possible by Thomasville City Schools.

12. Fifteen Classroom Literacy Ideas for Early Childhood – The folks at NWEA have assembled a wonderful list of real literacy ideas to bring your students not just in their early education years, but also ideas that can be adapted for older students. They can also work into a PBL. I like these as a base due to the authenticity possibilities.

13. Fifty Student Competitions – I mentioned competitions and how they can build into a PBL. Take a moment to check out the possibilities.

14.  Real Projects – Inspired by approaches pioneered in the US, and developed through a partnership between Innovation Unit and High Tech High in California, REAL Projects are now being used by schools all over England.

15. PBL U – Here are several great project already designed by the people at BIE. Take a look and learn more!

16. Global School Net – This organization supports 21st century, brain-friendly learning, and improves academic performance through content-driven collaboration. They engage educators and students in brain-friendly 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.

17. Imagination Foundation Cardboard Challenge – Take a break from digital technology and devices and find a way to bring old fashion technology in the classroom such as… cardboard! You will imagine some great PBL possibilties.

18.  iEarn – Join this interactive curriculum-based groups where students are creating, researching, sharing opinions and becoming global citizens.

19.  Roots and Shoots – Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots is the Jane Goodall Institute’s (JGI) global youth-led community action program, consisting of thousands of young people as they connect knowledge and service with the real world.

20.  ePals – This is another wonderful site allowing students to collaborate across the globe. Check out the amazing possibilities for PBL.

21.  Taking it Global –  Visit one of the world’s leading networks of young people learning about, engaging with, and working towards tackling global challenges.

22.  The Globe Program –  Take a look at this organization that inspires to promote the teaching and learning of science, enhance environmental literacy and stewardship, and promote scientific discovery.

23. New York Times Learning Reviews – Check out these wonderful and thought-provoking lesson plans that could be built into a PBL. You will be amazed!

24. NASA Search – Take a look at this data base of lessons and activities that could be empowered into some PBL possibilities. Not only might you get the idea for a PBL, you could also get specific lessons to put in your PBL map.

25. Arts Edge – One of my favorite places for the Arts from the Kennedy Institute. You are bound to find some wonderful ideas for a PBL.

26. The Exploritorium Tinkering Studio – Tinkering is at the very heart of formative learning, allowing for iterations that encourage revision and reflection.  Kids develop an understanding of how to learn from failure and setbacks in order to experience eventual success. The Tinkering Studio is primarily an R&D laboratory on the floor of the Exploratorium, but whenever possible they try to share their projects, activities, and developing ideas following an “open source” model. Learn how you too can enjoy their activities in your classroom while allowing your kids to Tinker and Make!

27. EGFI – If you are into STEM… than take a look at EGFI and all of its possibilities. Many of these activities and lessons can be scoped out to bring about a PBL. Give it a try!

28. Project Approach – Reading about—and seeing—project work in the classroom provides an excellent way to learn about or enhance one’s use of the Project Approach, a kind of project-based teaching and learning. The projects compiled here are sorted by grade level, with many making use of local surroundings and resources, integrating technology in purposeful ways, raising awareness about “green” issues, and achieving other goals aligned with best practices in 21st-century education.

29. PBL Clearing House – This University of Delaware site provides some interesting possibilities for secondary schools and PBL.

30. High Tech Elementary – Their high school projects are awesome. Take a look at these student projects aimed at the elementary

There you have it! I do hope you enjoy these thirty possibilities. I do plan on adding as I get more resources. If you know of one please let me know at (mjgormans@gmail.com) or on twitter at mjgormans.  I wish you the very best as you come up with that new PBL idea. Perhaps you now have at least one from your journeythroug this post. Enjoy the PBL journey!

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week! – Mike (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. My 2018  calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January and 2019! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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