Digital Project Based Learning, D-PBL, is a teaching and learning framework where a student works together with peers to study real world problems, create solutions to these problems, then construct and write plans to present and publish these solutions using a variety of Web 2.0 Tools. Similarly, the implementation of Common Core State Standards, CCSS, is a 2012 initiative of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, and requires teachers focus attention to reading, researching, and writing across the curriculum.
Both D-PBL and CCSS return to teachers, the freedom to draw from their own teacher preparation, the skill in which they are confident, and from their own intuition to create lessons, projects, and activities that reach far beyond the scripted teacher manuals and pre-prepped lessons with which they have often been provided. Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum with the framework of Common Core State Standards and its sister, Digital Project Based Learning force not only students to think critically, but also teachers too. This much needed initiative calls for teachers to abandon fill in the blank and multiple choice worksheets and text questions to embrace the art of teaching and learning as it was intended
Connecting Project Based Learning, Common Core State Standards, and Writing Across the Curriculum
Consider this, as we continue to connect, Common Core State Standards, Project Based Learning, and Writing Across the Curriculum, the driving question for teachers is; “How can I best prepare my students to meet these demands?" Though core content area teachers are impacted the most by the implementation of CCSS. Math and English Language Arts are under the radar the most. CCSS makes it the responsibility of all teachers to ensure students are more than literate, but proficient and thinking critically. One of the best ways to share the responsibility for CCSS is for teachers to design interdisciplinary PBL units. Problem or Project Based Learning, no matter what content area, promotes the critical thinking skills we want to see in our students. Common Core State Standards is Project Based Learning and every project should have a either an expository or persuasive writing component, if not both.
No More Poster Boards
Digital Project Based Learning provides a motivating and enjoyable approach to learning that promotes the development of lifelong habits leading to self-directed habits of mind. By digitalizing project based learning student artifacts, teachers afford students opportunities to enhance motivation, increase engagement, and add to the fun using more than just a proverbial poster board. When students are engaged in the rigor involved with carefully planned projects, they are involved in the complex skills needed for the world of work. They not only learn the content but they learn to manage their project, organize, compare and contrast artifacts to rubrics, collaborate, research, write, communicate though, and publish their work for other students someplace else in the world. It is time to digitalize PBL.
To deepen learning students should also be required to generate expository and persuasive essays using online Wiki's and other Web 2.0 tools for publishing that offer an association with video development, , images, and text.