Working together to help students learn by doing.

Getting Hands-on at NSBA with Workbench

Posted by Becky Durana on Mar 29, 2018 10:30:00 AM

When Workbench heads to a conference our goal is always to help attendees experience learning in a hands-on way with us. As special sponsors of the NSBA 2018 conference, we have an exciting range of ways for conference-goers to experience hands-on and active learning with us. In our interactive playground (National Connections Lounge, room 220) we'll be showcasing our integration with Google Classroom and previewing our integrated programming canvas, which enhances Google’s Blockly. You’ll get a sneak-peek of our CS curriculum and plenty of opportunities to get hands-on with top classroom technology like Sphero Sprk+, Parrot Mambo, SAM Labs Kits, and more. We'll also be offering mini-sessions to help attendees work more deeply with us to understand how the right tools plus Project Based Learning and STEM can help with parent engagement and meeting computer science goals.

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Tags: NSBA, National School Board Association, EdTech Conference, Google Classroom, Administrators

Building parent engagement at your school

Posted by Christie Veitch on Mar 22, 2018 10:00:00 AM

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” –Benjamin Franklin 

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Tags: PBL Projects, PBL, Standards, Teachers, Administrators, Getting Started with PBL, Parents, parent night, open house, STEM night, STEAM night, Parent involvement

Worried about classroom disruptions slowing you down? Focus on being prepared to be flexible!

Posted by Zach Zayner on Mar 13, 2018 10:30:00 AM

You and your students are in the middle of discussing plans to help a few local businesses improve sustainability practices. Group conversations are a bit noisy, but highly productive. All in all, the second day of your first project with your students is going really well on the engagement front. Then a fire drill begins, work stops, and your students lose both class time and focus.

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Tags: PBL Projects, Teachers, Administrators, Getting Started with PBL, PBL Pilot Program, PBL, Classroom Management, Classroom Disruptions, Difficult Students

Making PBL work in every Classroom: Why integration matters

Posted by Christie Veitch on Mar 5, 2018 9:30:00 AM

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

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Tags: PBL Research, PBL, Administrators, Standards, Getting Started with PBL, PBL Pilot Program, Teachers, PBL Projects, Google Classroom, Integration, Google Education

Finding Teacher Leaders: A First Step in District-wide PBL Implementation

Posted by Becky Webster on Jan 23, 2018 10:00:00 AM

You’ve read the project-based learning (PBL) success stories, researched the studies showing student performance gains, and now you’re ready for your district to dive into PBL. Your next step is finding teacher leaders. This is a critical task because these educators will add value in a few different ways:

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Tags: PBL, Teachers, Administrators, Getting Started with PBL, PBL Pilot Program

Does it work? Research on Project-Based Learning

Posted by Becky Webster on Dec 19, 2017 7:20:00 AM

Project-based learning sounds great: but does it work? Is there a way to find out what effects project-based learning (PBL) has on students? Admittedly, assessing PBL’s benefits can be tricky since it can be applied in a number of different ways and is often not the only form of instruction students receive. Luckily, as PBL’s popularity grows, there is also a growing body of research. Studies measuring the effects of PBL show significant benefits to students’ academic performance.

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Tags: Administrators, PBL Research

Aligning PBL with Standards

Posted by Becky Webster on Dec 14, 2017 9:20:00 AM

Student success and school (or school district) success is typically measured by test scores. Teachers and administrators are accountable for student performance. Home values can even rise or fall with the perceived quality of a school district. So, it’s no surprise that test scores are on the minds of educators.

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Tags: Standards, PBL, Administrators, Teachers

6 Keys to a Successful PBL Pilot Program

Posted by Becky Webster on Nov 22, 2017 11:35:12 AM

We solve problems every day, from figuring out a faster route to work to deciding what to make for dinner. Project-based learning (PBL) offers students a chance to start actively solving problems, learn through real-life scenarios, and come away with deeper understanding. PBL is a great way to build skills like collaboration, critical thinking, and communication into lesson plans, but getting started can be intimidating since PBL may be a change of pace in your classroom or school district. Here are six key ideas to remember when planning your first projects.

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Tags: PBL Pilot Program, Getting Started with PBL, Teachers, Administrators

Thinking of starting a PBL pilot program? Five things to keep in mind.

Posted by Becky Webster on Nov 22, 2017 11:34:52 AM

Project-based learning (PBL) is a powerful way to give students the opportunity to master 21st Century Skills like creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication, helping them apply what they’ve learned to their daily lives, today and in the future. This strategy isn’t a standardized model of schooling, which can seem daunting, but launching a PBL pilot program in any school district is achievable and worthwhile. PBL leads to improved engagement and can be combined with a standards-based curriculum, empowering students to solve real world challenges. Establishing a PBL pilot program requires thinking differently—not just for students, but administrators and teachers, too. Here are five things to keep in mind when getting started.

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Tags: Administrators, PBL Pilot Program

Teach with projects in your classroom, school, and district.

Have you been trying to incorporate hands-on teaching and learning? Are you seeing some success but wanting to do more or running into challenges around time constraints, content creation, and alignment to standards? Workbench can help. Learn how other teachers, schools, and districts are using Workbench to engage students and get results that matter.

Do more with:

  • Easy content creation and sharing
  • Library of standards-aligned projects
  • Integrated programming tools
  • Connections to Google Classroom and more

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