Teachers are constantly sharing great ideas and their own stories of success to allow their peers both locally and around the world to replicate their practices and further education as a whole. Twitter is a great way to get those messages out there, with #ukedchat being a popular hashtag for educators in this country. Every Thursday at 8pm there is a dedicated hour for teachers to congregate online via #ukedchat to have real-time discussions. Last night’s #ukedchat was all about Project Based Learning, and hosted by Lenny Dutton, who recently attended our Showcase Classroom for the TeachMeet organised by MIEE Mark Martin.
A lot of the early discussion last night focussed around the logistical aspects of project based learning, and how it can be effectively organised so that doesn't prove to more distracting than it is engaging:
— Gary King (@Gary_S_King) May 14, 2015
Other questions focussed on how technology can be used to aid project based learning, and what the advantages of giving the students control can be. As is the way with this approach to education, it's just as much about the experiences and skills that are developed through the studying of various subjects, as it is about the specific subject knowledge itself. Giving students the opportunity to lead the direction that the projects go in only serves to further expand and strengthen their skill sets.
There were some great examples of this being shared during last night’s #ukedchat, including this one making use of Minecraft:
— MSComputing (@MSComputing) May 14, 2015
Anyone wishing to view all of the tweets from the entirety of last night’s project based learning discussion can find them here: UK EdChat Session 252: Project Based Learning.
Project Based Learning and Microsoft
Here at Microsoft we are firm believers in project based learning, having earlier this year launched the Enchanted Kingdom in partnership with BBC Earth and Broadclyst Community Primary School. Featuring lesson plans and activities inspired by the nature film documenting the wondrous plant-life, creatures and landscape that is Africa, the Enchanted Kingdom is scheduled to be released later this year. The children and teachers at Broadclyst who were involved in creating the lesson plans and accompanying educational eBook have already worked through the projects, and documented their progress. We’ll be profiling their videos on this blog over the course of the next few weeks.
Another Microsoft Showcase School is also planning on using ‘Enchanted Kingdom’ as a stimulus to unite six schools from a local trust for project-based learning this summer. Tom Rees, head teacher at Simon de Senlis Primary in Northampton, is organising a number of events with other schools that will see the students working in collaboration to run campaigns to make change to the world, inspired by the realms of Africa within the Enchanted Kingdom film.
We’ll bring you more information about this in due course, but in the meantime feel free to read through the Enchanted Kingdom educational eBook: