Project Based Learning Video

I’ve been working with several teachers over the years in our district on the using project based learning. We’re by no means experts but are doing some nice work. These three high school teachers have taken the bull by the horns and restructured the school day to provide some learning not easily done in our traditional 40-75 minute classes. This 5 minute video tells part of their story.

From a storytelling perspective, I struggled with this one. I have about 90 minutes of footage including about 65 minutes of interviews. Trying to edit that down to something that captures the essence of a story without leaving out any key ideas is challenging. I also had difficulty finding a style that would work.

As you can see, I decided to write a short narrative to provide some background at the beginning and also included another short description in between. After spending the hours I did on this over a 4 month period, it’s hard to tell if you’ve communicated the message you intended. I hope I have.

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  • JenWagner

    Hey Dean —
    and teachers and students —

    Thank you for sharing that. I enjoyed it very much!!

    I have just one question –
    could you expand more on how the teachers talked with admin about getting this to work? I am sure that there is a story there that would be helpful to MANY of us as we are trying to be creative….make the best of our students time…..and be productive…..

    yet, not exactly sure how to approach admin.

    I would truly enjoy hearing more on how that was accomplished.


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  • Jen,

    First off, they have a great and supportive administration that wants what’s best for kids. It was really a logistical issue. How do you create a course where students register for 3 courses at once? They could tell you more about the nitty gritty and I can give you their emails if you like. (Actually it’s

    In essence they give up some of their prep time and other things to make it work. I actually have more footage of the details but didn’t include it here. I’d suggest talking to them directly, they’d be happy to share, I know.

  • I like how you captured the reflective nature of the teachers– Al describes the impediments to rigorous learning that caused them to ask for an integrated morning, Melanie reflects on how they got at meaningful content they wouldn’t have otherwise, Lona sees –and helps kids see– that technology is a means to an end and she seems to relish the opportunity to make their tech learning relevant.
    Thank you!
    .-= Jane Krauss´s last blog ..Tea and Conversation =-.

  • Thanks for this video, Dean. I passed it along to my principal and instructional coach.

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  • Dean Loberg

    Hey Dean. Nice job, and and excellent group of teachers. We (MLTC) are starting a PBL/IBL program next year. Any suggestions, resources, tools etc. that you would recommend? Do you think this group would be open to a visitor or two?

    • Dean,

      We began with some work with the Galileo group out of Calgary. A number of teachers, including the ones in the video had 4 days of inservicing. We didn’t use any specific resources but simply focused on the concepts.
      The teachers here knew that they’d never be able to fulfill the concepts of PBL, without a change in their day. That was the key. As far as visitors, I know they wouldn’t mind. Let me and I’ll set something up.

  • Experiential Education is the future of the education system. I wish more schools adopted project base learning, it brings the love of learning back to kids of all ages, and shows them how they can apply skills to the real world.

  • Carlan Gallello

    Fabulous job! You are blessed to have the support of your administrative team! I love to see pbl beyond a gifted classroom. Your students are very lucky!

    I have one quesion, though. When you begin with the students, do you let them know the learning outcomes before they begin? I realize that the students will go well beyond them, but am curious as to how you make sure they are covered.

    • Our district has been very focused on student learning outcomes in the past 2 years. Specifically, making them student friendly and making students clearly aware of the expectations and outcomes. Most of our teachers, including the ones in the video have been very diligent in being up front with outcomes with students.

  • Dean,

    Thanks very much for sharing this video. It looks very useful indeed.

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