However, in the past, teachers assigned projects that usually required some use of materials that could be manipulated by the hands. The biggest difference I can see between the project based learning of the past and today is technology. Technology allows students to research, create, and share faster and more than ever before, making project based learning even more effective than in the past. Technology is such an integral part of students' every day lives using it in such a way allows the projects to become even more meaningful to them.
Watching the interviews with Anthony Capps, I was most impressed with his "scaffolding" idea of introducing and using technology with his students. I think this is an absolute must! This applies to all areas of learning. You wouldn't expect a student to do algebra before mastering addition and subtraction.
My question to Mr. Capps would be along the lines of classroom management. Does he ever experience a student who doesn't seem interested in the project, and how does he handle this type of situation? I might also ask if any of the projects that he assigns have an impact on serving the community in which he and his students reside. Are they learning to become good learners and users of technology, as well as, productive, caring members of their community? In my opinion, this would be the highest level you could reach for with project based learning, reaching beyond the walls of the classroom and making a positive contribution to the community through these projects.
As a fifth grade American history teacher, projects were a favorite way of mine to get standards met. I'm so excited about the advances in technology, for example iCurio, and I can't wait to find ways to integrate more of it into some of my favorite projects, as well as create new ones!
Alabama College and Career Standard:
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: CCR Anchor Standard 7: "Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitively, as well as in words."
Text Types and Purposes: CCR Anchor Standard 1: "Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence."