The conversation was over an hour long, and while a live broadcast would have been cool, I brought my regular ol’ camera to capture the conversation just in case. We all laughed at the situation as one of our on-going mantras of The Studio class was, “Always have a backup!” I hope you enjoy the discussion as much as we enjoyed having it. There are some profound nuggets about experiential learning, authenticity in education, and the impact of relationships in a classroom–all of which play a role in well-developed project-based learning. I want to think Tiffany, Maddie, Kevin, and Abby again for their time yesterday. They are all busy college students, and I so deeply appreciate their time. Enjoy and please share!
UPDATE: Due to tech difficulties, I cannot live stream after all! I’ll have a video up this evening though, so stay tuned for that. Thanks for the patience.
Join us today! A few of my former students will be sharing stories from their high school project-based learning experience, and its potential impact on their current college careers.
On Sunday, September 18 something very cool will happen. Seven years ago I started a project-based learning (PBL)classroom with my friend Nic Carroll we coined as The Studio. When I started this blog many years ago, much of my posts surrounded me blundering my way through teaching in an immersive PBL experience. I stayed mostly positive here, but there were very real struggles. What made building The Studio worth all the trial and error and ups and downs were the students who took the journey with us. In just over a week I get The chance to sit down with five students who started and finished the journey with me. They are all successful college students in their third year of university studies. We will broadcast live here on the blog at 4PM and reflect on their time in Studio and looking at their lives now. I truly do not know what they’ll say or how they’ll answer my questions, but my hope is this broadcast will provide powerful insight into how PBL as an instructional practice and teachers and students who take it up impact our lives experiences. As much as this is my seven year journey it is theirs as well. I hope people tune in to be part of the conversation. I promise it will be worth it!
Here’s a link to the broadcast on YouTube: https://youtu.be/7NZftMcmA9M
Today’s former student post comes all the way from Virginia! “R,” as we’ll call her, was part of the Studio (my project-based learning classroom) for only a year before moving away from the county and state. Inside, R describes how that freshmen year shaped her thinking academically, and the class’s lasting effects on her today. We had lost touch for a little while, but thankfully she recently sought me out for a letter of recommendation. Losing R from the program those many years has always saddened me to some degree. As a teacher, you can go about your day-to-day routine and not always be mindful of students who have passed through your room. While R has not been on my mind all the time, her email to me recently really jogged my memory and allowed me to remember her time in my classroom–a time I think we mutually cherished. Read on to see for yourself.
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