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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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Makers Empire

Stellar 3D design hub promotes innovation, collaboration, and creation

Bottom line: This is a great design and creation tool that teachers and students can use to be innovative and share ideas with a vibrant community of makers.

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.

Seesaw: The Learning Journal

Versatile digital portfolio appeals to teachers, students, and parents

Bottom line: A powerful multimedia learning and communication tool that demonstrates student progress over time.

Workbench

Find, create, and assign lessons in dynamic project-based learning hub

Bottom line: A dynamic resource for finding, creating, and rating lessons that support STEAM, PBL, and flipped or virtual classrooms.

PenPal Schools

Give students global perspective with pen pal projects in any subject

Bottom line: A thoughtful, ready-to-go platform that facilitates authentic, cross-cultural collaboration.

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

Organize digital content with full-featured web clipper and notebook

Bottom line: Students and teachers can learn to better manage their digital lives via this comprehensive organizational tool.

Google Drive

Nifty tool for collaboratively editing and syncing files across devices

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

Microsoft Teams

Collaborative platform helps manage multiple groups and projects

Bottom line: It offers a ton of options for integrating learning; the lack of some typical LMS features may make it a better fit for small groups or nontraditional group configurations.

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.

Notebook - Take Notes, Sync

Curate and organize all kinds of content into customizable notebooks

Bottom line: From the novice to the super-organized student, Notebook's versatility is a rare free find.

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.

Google Applied Digital Skills

Practical PBL lessons teach critical computer skills

Bottom line: Thorough digital literacy curriculum offers mix-and-match options to fit any classroom.

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.

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.

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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