Project Based Learning Connects To Flip Learning… Plus Hundreds of Resources

3/23/2015 4:50:00 AM

Welcome a post that is a companion to my PBL Flipped Learning Presentation.  You will see that Flipped Learning really does connect with PBL plus find 100’s of resources.  Those at my presentation will even learn more!  First, to ensure you do not miss a valuable post or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration, please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Have you ever considered flipping your classroom and engaging students in Project Based Learning at the same time? As I study these learning processes I see possibilities that allow the two to not only coexist, but also complement each other. How might this work? They do share similar emphasis on higher order thinking skills. Another not so obvious way the two can complement each other is based on productivity and time. Let’s take a closer look.

As you might know Project Based Learning (PBL) is a dynamic process that allows students to learn and understand content at Bloom’s highest level while taking an active part in their learning. PBL provides for deep inquiry, which leads to rich and powerful understanding. Through authentic experiences, and a driving question that engages students with content standards, PBL has the ability to be a delivery method for the student centered classroom. In PBL, formative learning activities are scaffolded throughout the project. This allows for productivity between content delivery, facilitation, and student production.  Let’s consider a way to allow for even more student productivity in PBL, which can  exponentially spiral learning,  How can this increased productivity for both teacher and learner take place? A flipped infusion just might  be the answer.

As you might already know the Flipped Classroom was first coined with the idea that class lectures are recorded and watched at home while the teacher assists students with homework in school. Technology makes this very basic scenario a real possibility. Through the years the Flipped Classroom concept has become more sophisticated with an increased benefit to the student. While lectures still may be ported for home use, teachers have found powerful ways to  utilize class time beyond homework help. The Flipped Classroom has become more of a Flipped Learning experience. While instructional videos may be  viewed at  home, teachers are providing higher order learning activities at school to compliment the home learning experience.

As we look at the process of PBL and Flipped Learning we can begin to see how the two together can promote Bloom’s higher order learning.  Together they provide  a streamlining of valuable time, which in turn allows for increased productivity. As we continue to examine this concept several other added benefits are accomplished.

First, as teachers combine the PBL and Flipped experience,  they see learning spiral. This allows teachers the opportunity to bring the home learning experience up a notch. Students are provided open ended questions, engaging interactive activities, and front loaded thought provoking videos at home that can spur classroom discussions and activities for the next class period. This blended experience erases the classroom walls allowing for an authentic and constant learning experience. Instructional videos, while still used at home, can also be incorporated as part of the PBL scaffold during class time.  After-all, research has demonstrated that an instructional video can be more time productive than a live lecture. Plus, there is also the added benefit of the student able to pause, rewind, and replay the instruction. Try that in a lecture. Please note that the teacher is still available for face to face time in order to provide any reinforcement needed in the learning process.

In this day of what appears to be numerous educational initiatives, it is exciting to see how two are able to work in harmony with each other. In fact, as we further reflect we just might see how other initiatives such as 21st century competencies (4 C’s), technology integration, digital curriculum and literacy, 1 to 1 computing, PBL, and Flipped Learning really do blend as one.  In closing, we just may wish to ask, how many educational initiatives there really are? Perhaps there are not as many as we originally thought. It may be time for you to see how PBL and Flipped Learning really can work in productive harmony. After implementing these two practices, you may wish to work on student centered learning next. Or perhaps you will have already done it!

Now… Discover Links to Hundreds of Resources

Webinars and Podcasts

PBS Learning Media: Flipped Classrooms For Real Learning: Definitions, Resources and Tools – Educators keep hearing about the benefits of flipping their classrooms, but what does that really mean? PBS Learning Media invites you to join Jon Bergmann, a pioneer in the Flipped Class Movement and co-author of Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day – along with Mike Gorman, a 21st century educational technology and learning expert.

BAM Radio Interview with Michael Gorman – Listen to Jon Bergmann author of Flip Your Classroom interview Michael Gorman who has served education for 37 years and has partnered with ISTE and various educational, governmental, and business organizations and foundations. He oversees a one to one laptop program and digital professional development for Southwest Allen County Schools near Fort Wayne, Indiana and a consultant for Discovery Education, ISTE,  Follet,  and November Learning. Mike is on the National Faculty for BIE (BUCK Institute) and an Adviser for Tech & Learning Magazine.

ISTE Presentation of PBL 8 Essentials With Michael Gorman – Join Mike at ISTE in Atlanta as he shares the 8 essential elements found in PBL. This is a must video for those wanting to get started with PBL.

PBL Links

BIE Tools – PBL Project Search – Here you will find a collection of 450 proven lesson plans to set any PBL desire into action. Look at the database found on the right hand side of the page.

West Virginia PBL Project Data Base  – This is a wonderful site where teachers can search through the subjects of reading, language arts, math, science, social studies, dance, visual arts, theater, and music. You can select from grade two all the way through grade twelve. These are PBL projects made by teachers for teachers!

Learning Reviews – This website claims to connect kids to learning on the web. It really connects kids to awesome, engaging, rigorous, and relevant projects. It points to numerous websites on the internet that house some great PBL possibilities. Be sure to check out all of the subjects and grade levels.

Here are more than 30 websites with free PBL examples, guidance, rubrics, and templates.  To see project-based learning lessons sorted by subject go to:

Edutopia – Learn all about Project Based Learning from the amazing people at Edutopia. You will discover lessons, videos, and thought provoking articles that will peak your PBL interest!

Flipped Learning Network – Network for those wishing to learn more about Flipped Learning

Turning Learning on its Head – Wonderful site from Jon Bergmann devoted to flipping the learning.

Cycles of Learning – Ramsey Mussullam provides some wonderful insight into flipped learning

Other Links from Mike’s Flipped Classroom and PBL Presentation

Flipped Classroom Resources – A goldmine of Flipped Resources

PBL Super Highway - 45 Links to some great resources to help with PBL

170 Ways to Use Wordle in the Classroom – Yes… Mike really did come up with 170 ways!

10 Tools to Engage Students in Academic Discussions –  These tools are a must read fro anyone facilitating elearning

10 Pointers Academics in Online Discussions – Don’t miss this article focusing on Digital Citizenship and learning.

Engaging Classroom Lessons with Simple One Take Video – Flip your classroom, engage in PBL, encourage student creation.

57 Digital Interactives for All Teachers – Check out these amazing possibilities for formative learning in class and at home.

Pre-search Strategies – Great ways to begin that search

Multimedia for PBL Content and Flipped Video

PBS Learning Media – Launched within the last year, PBS Teachers is an awesome place for all kinds of educational multimedia. PBS Teachers is PBS’ national web destination for high-quality preK-12 educational resources.

The Khan Academy – At Khan, students and teachers are encouraged to “Watch… Practice… Learn almost anything for free”. The academy has a library of over 2,700 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and 276 practice exercises.

TedEd – The the makers of TED… these really are some wonderful flipped lessons with formative tools built in. These are definite lessons worth sharing! You can even make your own.

MIT K12 Video – A wonderful collection of videos that cover some difficult STEM concepts in a very simple way. Join these MIT students as they try their best to get K12 students to understand.

Discovery Education – This outstanding pay service also has a section that is free, found via this link. Discovery Education offers a broad range of free classroom resources that complement and extend learning beyond the bell.

Some Content Making Tools for PBL and Flip

EduCannon – Create video and even insert questions for formative assessment along the way. A great tool for those who Flip

Jing – A screen capture tool great for explaining content or showing students how to perform a task.

Screencast-o-matic - Another tool perfect for content creation and flipping the classroom.


Flipped Learning Network

BIE Store

Michael Gorman oversees one-to-one laptop programs and digital professional development for Southwest Allen County Schools near Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He is a consultant for Discovery Education, ISTE, My Big Campus, and November Learning and is on the National Faculty for The Buck Institute for Education.  His awards include district Teacher of the Year, Indiana STEM Educator of the Year and Microsoft’s 365 Global Education Hero. Read more at
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