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8 essential elements of PBL

By Nicole Krueger 10/10/2014

So much of schooling involves filling kids up with the knowledge adults want them to have. But what if instead students learned because they genuinely needed to know?

That’s where project-based learning comes in.

“Project-based learning always starts with a driving question,” said education consultant and technology integration expert Michael Gorman. By pursuing the answer to their driving question, students learn what they need to know along the way — all while developing Common Core skills such as creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.

“The project does the teaching,” he said. “So many times what we do as teachers is: We front load, we front load, we front load, and then we suddenly do a project in the end. Project-based learning really is doing the learning through the project.”

Below, Gorman outlines the eight essential elements for true project-based learning.

Want more ideas for using technology to achieve deeper learning? Get more than 90 recorded sessions from ISTE 2014 on topics ranging from 1:1 to flipped learning.

Nicole Krueger is ISTE's inbound content strategist and lead blogger for the ISTE Connects blog. A former journalist, she has more than a decade of experience as a news reporter and professional blogger.

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