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Project Based Learning

Strand 3

Introduction to Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students explore real-world problems and challenges over an extended period of time, acquiring deeper knowledge and expertise. Applicable across grade-levels and content areas, PBL has seen a resurgence in interest. Project Based Learning, paired with the ever-growing technology access available in many educational settings, offer educators unique possibilities in unit design.

Intentional use of technology within the essential design elements of PBL provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of concepts, refine 21st Century Skills, and publish to a public audience. In this intensive workshop, participants will learn the essential design elements of PBL, define the difference between a Project and true Project-based learning. With PBL, we will identify and align student learning goals, discuss strategies to help students construct powerful driving questions to support sustained inquiry, and maximize authenticity. In addition to offering student choice and voice through the use of technology. Participants will also explore examples of PBL, identify and create assessment frameworks for PBL, and reimagine current curriculum in order to implement a Project Based Learning path in their classroom.


Shawn McCucker

Shawn McCusker has 25 years of experience as a middle and high school teacher in public, private and alternative schools. In 2006, he was recognized as a finalist for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. An innovator in the creation and organization of online learning communities such as the #sschat, #1to1techat and #engsschat on Twitter, he is an expert in both iPad and Chromebook integration in the classroom.  His innovative lessons and student products have been shared nationwide and have been featured in the Journal,  Educational Leadership, and the Huffington Post. In 2016 he was named a Top Trailblazing Educator on Twitter by eSchoolNews.

An inspiring speaker, he has keynoted the IOWA 1:1 Conference, Innovation Summit San Diego and the Illinois School Library Media Association as well as providing local keynotes at the Goleta Schools (CA), Huntley Summer Conference (IL) and Shrewsbury Summer Institute (MA). Shawn has presented at NCSS, Ipad Summit Boston, the Leading Future Learning Summit, ICE, and CASE. Shawn is a Speaker, Instructor, and presenter with EdTechTeacher and is a Google Education Trainer.  Shawn holds an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Concordia University Chicago and B.A. in History from Northern Illinois University.

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