To be clear, I was absolutely going for a bit of a science pun with having “adapt” in my title today. Did it land? Eh, in any case, I’m excited to share with you the conclusion of the five week Oceanography project with Mrs. C’s class. Being Mrs. C’s first foray into project-based learning (PBL), there was plenty of concern about where to start and how to finish, but as her reflection today will show the mess in concern to PBL I am always talking about was worth it. For anyone reading not familiar with the start of this process, you can check out part 1, part 2, and part 3. Inside today’s post, I’ll share some reflections, but most of what you’ll read is from Mrs. C herself. Check it and out see for yourself how our adventure concluded! Continue reading
The video above is the product of a former student of mine–Tiffany–who is closing out her third year at Georgia Tech. In one of her design classes, she was given the choice to develop media of her choosing on a topic of her choosing. She choose to highlight project-based learning (PBL) and use the opportunity to explain succinctly what PBL is and its potential value. She agreed to let me post the After Effects animation here to share. While a short video certainly cannot explain the complexity of PBL, it will serve as a quick primer for students, parents, and teachers alike unfamiliar with the instructional strategy.
When Tiffany shared her first draft of the video with me several months ago, she wrote in an email–
It’s… 1:10am…My final project is finally due today, and while I am still planning on fixing a few minor things, I have finally finished the PBL PSA.Looking back, it isn’t exactly what I was imagining and honestly is quite imperfect, but after spending over 60 hours laboring over it, I think I am as happy as I can be.
Overall, as I was making this video, I could not help but smile at all the amazing memories I had as a high schooler. Both you and Coach Carroll truly made my high school experience so one-of-a-kind and so worthwhile, I just cannot thank you both enough. And I know I have really delayed sending you my “blog post” that may or may not ever get to you (Hopefully it does! Summing up a life-changing portion of your life in a page or 2 is SO challenging), I hope you both know that while this video does not say it, I truly appreciate you both changing my life and showing me how far passion can take you. PBL taught me to truly put my all in everything I do, to play far outside the box, and to follow my passions no matter what (as cheesy as it is).So Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. (Bold emphasis from the original email)
Monday, April 28th, was a bittersweet evening for me, my colleague Mr. Nic Carroll, and our students. After four stellar years of student projects and the celebration of them each semester, that Monday became an important memory and mark in history for all of us. For me, it is an end of era that has changed my entire pedagogical perspective. I think back on my educational philosophies just four years ago and marvel at how much they’ve changed in that short span of time. I am in awe from what I’ve learned from my students and our experiences together. Within this post, I’ll be reflecting on my four years, but more specifically that night and the kids who all helped change my life. Continue reading