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PBL#4- Beyond the classroom

You made it to the last blog post in this 4 part series! If you missed any of the previous posts, you can click below to get caught up:
#1: What is PBL?
#2: Getting Started
#3: The Product
This last blog post will be about extending learning beyond the classroom with a public audience and community partnerships.
Why a Public Audience?
After students have worked hard for multiple weeks on a project, it is important to have people to showcase it to. The students should have their audience in mind as they create the product, as it needs to be presented on the appropriate level. Public audiences could include:

  • Blog readers
  • City council members
  • Elementary school students
  • Local newspaper
  • Public Library
  • School board members
  • Small business owners
  • Student government

You can either assign the groups a public audience, or allow them to choose (don’t forget voice and choice!). Also, don’t think that the public audience has to only enter the picture at the end of the project. They can be a great source of feedback for students along the way.

Community Partnerships
Students need to feel like they belong to the community they live in. Statistics show that the time many students get into trouble is the few hours right after school before they head home. If students build positive relationships with community members we can strengthen a community built on trust, empathy, and acceptance. You might be surprised at how many community members will jump at the chance to be a part of your project. One tip: You don’t have to be the one to reach out. Get your students on the phone! A lot of times adults might turn you down when you call, but if a student calls they are more willing to come and help out.

Additional Resources:

  • As I’ve already mentioned in previous posts, I have a PBL resource that is 40 pages long that goes into much more depth than these blog posts. You can CLICK HERE to check it out.
  • Check out this blog post on finding guest speakers (who can also be part of your audience!)
  • Edutopia also has a bunch of project ideas and resources at www.edutopia.org/project-based-learning

I know PBL can seem overwhelming and daunting at first, but the payoff is huge. If you need help, drop your questions in the comments below! Good luck!

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Hi, I'm Becca!

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