My role in a PBL teaching/learning process will definitely move into a facilitator role instead of the instructor. I will use modeling to help guide the students in their learning, meet with students to monitor their understanding of the content, and assist the students during the inquiry process and synthesizing of information. I don’t have all the answers and with technology ever changing, they know more about what is out there than I do. Students need to take a more active role in their learning, taking the driver’s seat and I am the passenger.
Eventually students will learn the essential skills, 21st Century skills and competencies needed for the future. However, we need to model, scaffold the skills and build each year. Through the PBL method it becomes more of a personalized learning. When students are able to have voice and choice in their learning, they are more inclined to learn the content and produce the work required. They see purpose and meaning, instead of the “memorize this for a test” and then forget it. If a teacher offers opportunities for inquiry, collaborative and constructivist approaches, our students will be prepared for the future.
What does this mean for me? I am no longer in the classroom, but I am working with the Technology and Learning Coaches and teachers across the district. Our district is moving into the PBL approach, giving training to the teachers at schools each year. As a Technology Integration Specialist I need to give teachers guidance, assurance, modeling, and assistance in effectively transitioning into the PBL classroom and make it successful. As a TIS team, we are creating templates for PBL and Blended Learning to make this easier for the teachers. We are coaching the TLCs for both methods so they can also be in the classroom assisting the teachers. Once the teachers build that confidence, they will be able to move forward with PBL and Blending. Giving teachers ongoing assistance, but not doing the work for them, will keep the energy alive and the desire to continue with PBL, personalized learning, and Blended Learning.