Baltimore, MD – June 26, 2017 – Edtech company Workbench and Baltimore County Public Schools, Maryland’s third-largest school district, have partnered to launch an online learning hub that will help the district expand its project-based learning initiatives to all 9,076 teachers and 112,139 students. The hub will pull content and project-based lessons into a single online portal, powered by Workbench, where BCPS users can browse, build, share, assign and assess more project-based content.
"We chose Workbench because their platform will help us scale Project-Based Learning in our district,” said Nick Schiner, Team Leader for BCPS’ Office of Innovative Learning Projects “Giving teachers the ability to create and share their projects while also accessing a global library of projects will help our teachers use the PBL approach to improve student outcomes."
The partnership with Workbench is the latest example of how Baltimore County Public Schools has been on the leading edge in bringing hands-on learning experiences and innovation to its classrooms. The Workbench platform will allow the district to capitalize on its investments in classroom technology, professional development and a Mobile Innovation Lab – a converted school bus that serves as a makerspace on wheels, by making these initiatives more impactful for teachers and students.
The hub will also allow teachers to author and share projects across the district and it takes advantage of the technology investments the district has made and provides access to an ever-growing amount of content.
“Baltimore County Public Schools is at the forefront of the maker movement and bringing project-based learning into the classroom,” said Chris Sleat, CEO of Workbench. “Our Workbench platform will expand the district’s ability to provide hands-on lessons to spark curiosity and creativity, and to improve teaching and learning. We look forward to helping BCPS build on the innovative work it is already doing and make the most of its technology investments.”
The hub will launch at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.
Workbench partners with schools, libraries and industry leaders such as Sphero, Parrot, and Makey Makey to create online communities where educators, students and fans can access and share free lessons using drones, programmable robots, 3D printers and a growing list of cutting-edge technology and educational products. Teachers use their district Workbench to assign project-based lessons and track student progress. The communities provide access to hands-on, project-based lessons to turn students into makers and help educators teach with anything. For an example of a Workbench community, visit www.workbenchplatform.com/cwists/category/.
The Workbench mission is to make Project-Based Learning (PBL) accessible and scalable in schools, districts, and libraries across the globe. The solution reduces the burden on teachers who want to teach PBL by providing a straightforward framework for project authoring, delivery, and sharing coupled with a library of easily accessible projects teachers can leverage every day. This allows districts to move away from direct instruction as they embrace the PBL approach. The solution is supported by high-touch implementation, including professional development and gear/hardware sourcing which maximizes a district’s investment in PBL.
Workbench not only provides districts with equipment for maker education and a secure hub to implement and share projects, it also serves as the backbone for many of the Maker Education Industry’s top learning communities including Sphero, Parrot, Makey Makey, and SparkFun Electronics.
For more information, visit https://www.workbenchplatform.com/what-we-do/.
About Baltimore County Public Schools
With more than 170 schools and upwards of 112,000 students, Baltimore County Public School system is the 25th largest district in the US and the 3rd largest in Maryland.