*Characteristics of Engaged Learners
Responsible for their own learning
They invest personally in the quest for knowledge and understanding, in
part because the questions or issues being investigated are drawn from
their own curiosity about the world. Projects are pertinent and questions
are essential.
Energized by learning
They feel excited, intrigued and motivated to solve the puzzles, make new
answers and reach insight. Their work feels both important and
They make thoughtful choices from a toolkit of strategies, considering
carefully which approach, which source and which technique may work
best to resolve a particular information challenge.
They work with others in a coordinated, planful manner, splitting up the
work according to a plan and sharing good ideas during the search for

Planning for PBL:
The Planning Process
Start with the Essential Question
Design a Plan for the Project
the Plan with Online Mapping Tools
Define Roles and Responsibilities
Gather Resources for Students with
Customized Google Search Engines
Create a Project Schedule & Post Online for Students
Monitor the Process and the Progress of Individual Learners
Assess the Outcome

New York State & ISTE Standards
Share Experience & Outcomes

Criteria for Effective Essential Questions
Open-ended and resist a simple or single answer
Thought-provoking, counter-intuitive, and/or controversial
Require students to draw upon content knowledge and personal experience
Non-judgmental and succinct
Are framed to provoke and sustain student interest
Can be revisited throughout the unit to engage students in evolving dialogue and debate
Lead to other student-posed essential questions.
Are at the heart of the discipline
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Explore & Critique
Using the key components of PBL and the criteria for developing essential questions, review the three examples of PBL units below. What strengths do these projects have? What weaknesses?
o Protect. Preserve. Be Proud.
Students learn about conservation and the need for preserving open space in their community.
o Core Democratic Values LIVE
Cross-grade level student teams work together to explore core democratic value of their choice.
o Human Footprint
Students consider the ecological and environmental impact that humans have had on Earth in this project from National Geographic.

Other PBL units are available on the Apple Learning Interchange (ALI), an online community of educators. Review an ALI PBL unit and consider how teachers adhere to the key components and essential question criteria.

Project Ideas & Examples

Collaborative Project Planning Form
Using Google Docs to Share Resources
Join the LIFE Google community
Preview the Google doc and talk about your ideas for a PBL Form Collaboration unit
Enter your basic data and your project topic
You will be able to edit and revise your responses at any time
Discuss your PBL plans with colleagues

Implementing your own Project-Based Learning Unit
Information, Communication, Technology (ICT)
Planning an ICT-Assisted PBL Lesson
A Seven-Step Implementation Process
1. Develop Project Content.
2. Develop Project Goals
3. Develop Teams and Groups - Define Roles and Responsibilities
4. Create and Share Timeline
5. Provide Resources and Materials
6. Build and Share Assessment Tool
7. Reflect, Share and Publish

Create an Online space- Blog:

VII Technology In Design

Below are examples of how
Web 2.0
tools can be integrated into PBL activities. Explore these projects and think about how you might be able to integrate some of the tools into your PBL Unit.
Moving Forward wiki
This page contains resources related to K-12 student podcasting.Google Earth: Google Lit Trips
Students use Google Earth to explore the geography behind some of the greatest road trips.
Wikis: Horizon Project
Students are challenged to collaborate with others around the globe to investigate, research, discuss, analyze and evaluate one of the six trends or seven meta trends referred to in the Horizon Report 2008 about social media trends

VIII Evaluating your Projects:

PBL Checklist:
To help you start using PBL,view these customizable project checklists for written reports, multimedia projects, oral presentations, and science projects. The use of these checklists keeps students on track and allows them to take responsibility for their own learning through peer- and self-evaluation.
Create customizable rubrics to evaluate your projects.