Students Speak about Authentic Project Based Learing at #TMNJ11

Students from the TEAM Academy Present at #TMNJ11

Yesterday was the inaugural TeachMeetNJ. The event was organized by Jason Bedell and Mike Ritzius. I was pleased to be able to offer the space in the building I work at (CMSCE, Rutgers). I was equally pleased that the wireless held up all day.

Since I was helping Shelly Krause with registration in the morning and making sure all the rooms were set up correctly, I actually only got to one session during the day (and moderated another as well). I do, however, want to share with you the story the students from the TEAM Academy in Newark, NJ shared with us.

Kristen Sigler is the Technology Teacher (5th-8th grade) at the TEAM Academy, a KIPP Charter School in Newark, NJ. She has designed her program using the Project Based Learning (PBL) approach. Her Google Site, Play, Design, Share, lists the options that the students have developed on their own for their course of study.

If you are not that familiar with PBL, take a look at the video the students from the TEAM Academy created.

Camden School District teacher chats with Team Academy student

The three students that facilitated the session were amazing. Using https://sites.google.com/site/teachmeetnj2018iclass/ to guide us through the session, students had us work collaboratively to brainstorm ideas on possible projects. They then introduced the group to Prezi. They articulated how they designed their PBLs and what they learned from the experience. They really worked the room making sure those that needed help received it all while chatting with the participants.

On the class Google Site, Ms. Sigler lists the skills the students have acquired through these PBLs:

  1. Utilize Microsoft Office
  2. Locate and learn how to use web based applications.
  3. Collaborate through web 2.0 applications.
  4. Research reliable websites and cite them using MLA format.
  5. Research and apply the best practices for building a positive digital footprint.
First time with an iPad? No problem

Most of what the students chatted about with us was how self directed they had become. Osamu spoke about how she went to office hours with Ms. Sigler because she wanted to, and now she is a tech teacher in the building. All the students made a point of discussing where you can go when you don’t know how to do something. They talked about Youtube as a valuable resource for them. “The resources are endless”, said one of the students referring to the wealth of information available to them on the web.

These students and their teacher really did a fantastic job yesterday. I truly appreciated their enthusiasm and knowledge. Their presentation at #TMNJ11 was a success!

Teachmeet NJ

Calling all NJ educators!

If you haven’t already registered, now is the time!

What is Teachmeet NJ?
A free conference for educators focusing on innovative practices in pedagogy, assessment, and technology integration.

Where will it be located?
(At the Center where I have worked for the last nine years!)
Rutgers University – Center for Mathematics, Science and Computer Education
SERC Building 118 Frelinghuysen Road Piscataway, NJ 08854

When is it going to happen?
8:00am-5:00pm on Saturday, March 5
Free Registration:
http://tmnj.eventbrite.com
Website:
http://tmnj.org
Schedule:
http://tmnj.org/schedule
Who is the conference designed for?
The conference is primarily geared towards teach-ers, administrators, and educators, although any-one who is interested in or concerned about educa-tion is welcome.
There will be sessions that are relevant to all posi-tions, content areas, and grade levels. The primary foci of the conference are:
· Effective Technology Integration
· Innovative Pedagogy and Assessment Practices
· Meeting the Needs of All Students

Innovative Format:
All sessions will be hands on and interactive. There will be 3 main types of sessions:
· 1-hour sessions and panel discussions that go in depth on topics.
· 15-minute sessions that are organized around a topic. These are fast-paced and expose edu-cators to many new ideas that they can imple-ment.
· 5-minute participatory sessions where mem-bers of the audience get to share their ideas on a particular topic.

Share in the experience – join us!