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Tools for Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning, or PBL, challenges students to design and engage in more authentic, extended, and complex learning. But while PBL is a trusted strategy for increasing student engagement and learning, it's not easy to orchestrate. There are tons of moving pieces, and if you're doing it right, students will be engaging in a variety of interest-driven projects all with various needs and on different schedules. So how do you manage it all? Tech can be a huge help. This list gathers some useful productivity and organization tools that can help both teachers and students keep track of, finish, and assess projects. There are also a few tools designed specifically for PBL, as well as plug-and-play PBL experiences.

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Defined STEM

Stellar collection of STEM resources supports project-based learning

Bottom Line: Excellent, well-thought-out resources for developing problem-solving skills in the classroom.

Dreamdo Schools

Sleek project-based learning platform encourages global connections

Bottom Line: An excellent tool for project-based learning; plan, create, and share learning around the world.

WeLearnedIt

Digital portfolio and management tool for project-based classrooms

Bottom Line: Impressive tool for individualized learning and managing projects is best for 1-to-1 iPad classrooms.

Seesaw: The Learning Journal

Versatile digital portfolio appeals to teachers, students, and parents

Bottom Line: Students can showcase their work in text, pictures, videos, and more.

Workbench

Find and assign STEAM tasks with dynamic project-based learning hub

Bottom Line: Dynamic resource for finding, creating, and rating lessons that support STEAM and PBL.

PenPal Schools

Collaborative lessons connect students across the globe

Bottom Line: A thoughtful, ready-to-go platform that builds global awareness and collaboration skills by facilitating authentic, cross-cultural PBL experiences.

Metaverse

Ambitious augmented-reality tool engages users, promotes coding skills

Bottom Line: This dynamic tool allows users to create and experience augmented-reality activities while learning 21st-century skills.

Mathalicious

Toughest palates can't resist appetizing look at real-world math

Bottom Line: Easy-to-deliver lessons use real-world topics tweens like.

eBackpack

Easy system to submit, review, and store digital assignments

Bottom Line: This is a great way to create a paperless classroom, but its potential for enhancing learning depends completely on how teachers use it.

Evernote

Impressive organizational tool has limitless uses

Bottom Line: This free information-management tool can help kids become tech-savvy and learn to better organize their digital lives.

Notability

Flexible note-taking tool empowers learners of all abilities

Bottom Line: An excellent tool that lets students make their notes thorough and useful in the way that best suits their learning styles and abilities.

Pathbrite

Create, organize, assess sleek digital portfolios

Bottom Line: A simple PBL tool that promotes digital literacy and lets kids create flexible, accessible digital portfolios.

Project Foundry

Helpful, yet complex, management tool for project-based learning

Bottom Line: A powerful, though sometimes complex, tool for providing inquiry-based, student-centered learning.

Bulb

Slick portfolio tool has cool features, limited feedback options

Bottom Line: A neat tool for publishing online, possibly better suited to teacher content creation than student publishing.

Meridian Stories

Unique challenges for great learning; site could offer more support

Bottom Line: As a fun opportunity for students to showcase their learning in creative ways, the site could offer more direction and incentives to participate.

Wikispaces

Powerful tool for creating collaborative websites

Bottom Line: Wikispaces.com is a rare, collaborative Web tool that's both powerful and accessible.

Educurious (with LMS)

Spark deep curiosity with PBL courses that connect life and learning

Bottom Line: Get kids involved in learning that really matters to them with these interactive, inquiry-based units.

Google Drive

Nifty tool for collaboratively editing docs and syncing files across devices or online

Bottom Line: Google Drive is a smart choice for budget-conscious schools, with its free productivity tools and file syncing.

WordPress.com

Solid blogging tool and content management system offers DIY blogs

Bottom Line: This is a great tool to get kids blogging and creating online content.

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