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App review by Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2014
Field Day: Project-Based Learning Think & Do Tool

Field Day: Project-Based Learning Think & Do Tool

Well-intentioned PBL tool shows promise, needs consistency, support

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 1 review
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
4–12
Subjects & Skills
Communication & Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking
Great for

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5 images

Pros: Links page offers quality connections to other educators' insights and best practices for PBL.

Cons: Navigation and features can be inconsistent and buggy. Searching for public-domain images can yield some iffy results.

Bottom Line: A good tool for brainstorming and developing challenging questions, but has a way to go to reach its potential as a comprehensive PBL tool.

Teachers might use Field Day in the early days of launching PBL projects in their classrooms. The Questions and Summary sections can get kids thinking about how to ask deep, probing questions that address the big-picture challenges central to a PBL lesson. Teachers might also explore the links page to find ideas for implementing PBL in their classrooms.

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Editor's Note: Field Day: Project Based Learning Think and Do Tool is no longer available.

Field Day: Project Based Learning Think and Do Tool is designed as a one-stop tool for project-based learning, or PBL. Using the app, kids first name their project and give it an image, either from the device's camera roll or from a search of public-domain images. Next, in the Questions section, kids choose question prompts sorted into Bloom's Taxonomy headings (like Knowledge and Comprehension) to help them come up with driving questions; and in the Summary section, they can type, add images from the device's camera roll, draw pictures, and add "counts." Once kids have entered their data, it can be exported as a PDF and emailed.

Field Day's features for doing the investigation work of PBL are limited. The drawing tool only works in one color and has no eraser feature, and while the "counts" feature lets kids add a number to their summary page, it doesn't add much nuance. Some of the best PBL projects require significant research and reading, but there's no easy way to link to good primary-source resources or to input large amounts of text. The introductory tutorial is helpful, but users can't access it after their first login, leaving them to sort out the purpose and function of the features on their own. The resource page is similarly well-intentioned, but needs more support. Useful links are provided to websites, videos on PBL best practices, and states' standards pages, but they're offered without much context or guidance. While these are helpful, teachers new to PBL, who most need these resources, might feel overwhelmed about what PBL is and how the app can help them implement it in the classroom. 

Field Day was developed with great ideas in mind; adding better guidance and support as well as more consistent (not buggy) features and navigation could make it deliver on the ideas behind the design.

Overall Rating

Engagement

Inconsistent features and unclear navigation make it challenging to stick with it.

Pedagogy

The focus on PBL is good, but a lot more guidance is needed on what sorts of questions and what sort of research make for rich investigations.

Support

The initial guide is helpful, but it would be great if users could revisit it to get more info. Links to PBL best practices are interesting, but the volume is overwhelming.


Common Sense reviewer
Patricia Monticello Kievlan Foundation/nonprofit member

Community Rating


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