Enjoyed enormously participating Thursday at the second annual Education in a Changing World conference at Montevista Christian School in Watsonville, CA, near Santa Cruz. Sir Ken Robinson and Alan November headlined, and I was glad to join new friend Aaron Sams (co-author of Flip Your Classroom) and others as featured presenters. My thanks go to Headmaster Stephen Sharp for the invitation and warm welcome.
I did two sessions on PBL: Why, What and How, and one on Digital Citizenship: Fighting Fire with Fire.
This first set of slides on PBL draws in part on great resources from www.bie.org/diy, High Tech High, and www,pbl-online,org, It lays out my case for PBL for a wide array of reasons, most of all because there is no better strategy we have to support our students in developing the skills and mindsets for becoming life-long learners.
We also took a short section to discuss the difficult tension within this PBL model between teacher directed and standards (or defined knowledge outcomes) PBL and student-directed, individual passion pursuing PBL: a tension every teacher should recognize, own, and confront in his or her curricular development.
Regarding Digital Citizenship, my argument was a fight fire with fire argument. There is no better way to overcome and fight back against nasty and problematic digital citizenship than with positive and pro-active digital citizenship, In this presentation I share multiple examples of inspirational digital citizenship by youth, make my argument with examples, such as the exemplary Dan Savage program “It Gets Better” and with a reference to the excellent Harvard Berkman Center report by danah boyd and John Palfrey, “What you must know about to combat youth bullying.
I then, , offered four strategies to develop positive digital citizenship in our schools: renewing and revising our RUPs to become Bills of Rights and Reponsibilities for digital participation, Modeling it by Educators, Establishing the Norms and Expectations with curricula, including an awesome PBL DIgCit curriculum from Greenwhich, CT, and finally, practicing good habits in our classrooms with recommendations around specific key literacies drawing on Rheingold’s Net Smart.