Today Ms. L. and I launched our unit on PBL and the Progressive Era. Ms. L. teaches at X Miiddle School, which is a charter school. The class is an eighth grade class of mixed ability and like hormone levels! Our driving question was – Did the Progressive Era create a just and free country for U.S. citizens today?
In order to launch with a bang, Ms. L. and I created a museum of past and present day quotes, political comics, pictures and presidential information that was situated around the classroom for students to discuss. The result was engaged students, peeked curiosity for what’s to come and ideas for change in our country.
Although the launch did in fact prompt the students to think and question freedom as we had hoped, I would like to see what we could have achieved if we had used technology a bit more. The use of technology could have opened doors to a virtual fieldtrip where Obama speaks of immigration, directly following a clip demonstrating Roosevelt’s ideas on immigration. Technology could have taken students out of the classroom even more with clips of past child labor issues and those of today. Because X middle school has two carts of laptops for the eighth grade, it is challenging to reserve them at times. The reluctance to use technology makes me wonder, however, if there were more professional development surrounding how to use technology in the classroom as well as why its so important, maybe there would be more interest in incorporating it into PBL. I hope we can thread it through a bit during the unit. We’ll see!!