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SXSWedu Preview: ProjectPals Is Your Playbook For Project Based Learning

projectpals-sxswedu-top SXSWedu Preview: ProjectPals Is Your Playbook For Project Based LearningProject Pals Is A Visual Collaboration Platform For Project Based Learning

Project based learning isn’t just a fun way to teach kids different curriculum and concepts it’s also a proven way to drive learning that’s more effective than traditional models.

Project based learning (PBL) takes curriculum, lessons and concepts out of the pages of student textbooks and digital learning platforms, and uses an immersive project to drive home those concepts. PBL helps students visualize the concepts that they have just learned.

For example, after a semester of learning about an ocean theme in 1st grade, my daughters class turned their entire classroom into the ocean. They built water out of paper and brought in aquariums. To drive home skills they learned in math they opened up a merchant store with sea shell jewelry and sand dollars. This PBL activity brought all of the curriculum together in a way students understood it by having fun and collaborating.

Teachers love Project Based Learning but one of their main problems is that it’s extremely hard to organize. First they have to come  up with an idea for the project. Then they need to put together resources to tie the project into the material. After that, teachers need to start putting together assets both digital and physical. Then, it’s show time, or project time.

Unlike traditional teaching there’s no “plan book” either digital or analog for PBL. Until now.

After years as a computer teacher and tech coordinator at several Southern California public and private schools Miriam Bogler wanted to create a platform to help teachers create, facilitate and manage project based learning. Bogler recruited the help of her son Uri who’s had plenty of experience in startups. The younger Bogler was previously the VP of Marketing at popular delivery startup Favor.

Together they’re on a mission to drive project based learning and to help improve education and prepare young learners for today’s complex jobs in the global economy.

Project Pals is the one stop platform for project based learning. It enables teachers to create a project and see it through until completion. Project Pals does this by managing the four most important aspects of PBL:

  • Planning
  • Creating
  • Monitoring and Assessing
  • Publishing

Teachers start by planning their project. It can be something totally new or they can draw from a catalog of common core aligned projects. Teachers can also collaborate with other teachers in the Project Pals community to co-author and co-manage projects, even if they’re hundreds of miles away from each other.

Creation is the next step to any successful project and in Project Pals. Using Project Pals creation tools, teachers can create project assets and import assets from all kinds of media files and even Google Docs.

When it’s time for the project to take place and for student learning, teachers can use Project Pals to monitor and assess student work, chat with teams and evaluate proficiency. Are students using and building on the lessons taught. Teachers can easily find that out with Project Pals.

After the project is over, teachers can publish project work and share it with colleagues, other teachers and families.

Project Pals keeps the teachers’ projects in tact so they can use them over and over again.

You can check out Project Pals at SXSWedu at the EDU Learning Expo in Austin, March 5-8th and find them online at projectpals.com

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