This week I am more overwhelmed as compared to previous weeks. I am having troubles wrapping my head around the concept of problem-based learning (PBL) using technology in the classroom. As I work towards my GAME Plan goals of being able to link student learning with content and technology, I am realizing that it has definite benefits and challenges. According to Dr. Ertmer, some of the benefits of PBL are it supports self-directed learning, collaboration (a 21st century skill), integration of core subjects and authentic learning (Laureate Education, 2009). Students are engaged in inquiry-based thinking while determining solutions for a problem that has meaning to them.
The challenges that I am trying to overcome is how to link the learning with the content (standards) so that it is more than just fun and I am comfortable knowing that my students know the standards. I am not sure how to teach this or model this. Is it something that I teach? Do the students learn it naturally during the process? Dr. Ertmer suggests that as students progress through PBL, have them reflect on their learning through journaling, using checklists or blogs (Laureate Education, 2009). Since my students have not done this previously, I would need to model how to articulate one’s thoughts using a journal or blog. These items would provide a formative assessment as the learning progresses and reassure me that the students are mastering the standards in addition to learning how to think on a higher level.
I will continue to work on my PBL unit plan to help fulfill my GAME Plan. My PBL unit plan supports the STEM initiative in my state.
Is anyone else experiencing the same concerns?
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Program 8. Spotlight on Technology: Problem-Based Learning Part 1. [Educational video]. Baltimore: Author.