If you are in secondary education, implementing a senior project for high school students has likely crossed your mind. You've mulled over the costs and benefits of senior projects, the time commitment, how to develop a senior project program, what your senior project would look like, and more.
I have had many people reach out over the past few months asking about experiential learning in k-12 classrooms. What is experiential learning? What is an example of experiential learning? Where can I get experiential learning activities? How do you use experiential learning in the classroom?
I have even had educators reach out that are in the process of starting experiential schools. That is really exciting, and from what I'm gathering, also a little scary and chaotic for these educators.
5 Reasons to Integrate Current Events into your Curriculum
High school current events in the classroom, or at any age and in any place for that matter, are not only essential for 21st century learners, but they bring an important component of experiential learning to life.
Applying current events to your learning curriculum adds real-world context to learning, making the experiences deeper and more meaningful to students.
How to Teach the 21st-Century Skills and Content Knowledge
Content knowledge and 21st-century skills? Can educators teach both to 21st-century learners? The answer is yes, they can do it all, and at this point, they must.
Not long ago my husband and I got into a conversation about the importance of 21st-century skills. What is more valuable, skills or content knowledge? I argued (and have argued here before), that you can't have one without the other, and it is one of our greatest responsibilities as educators to provide opportunities for development in both.
Teaching 21st-century skills is essential for 21st-century learners. That is the truth of it. Content knowledge is important, but soft skills are as well. As the world around us transforms, the value of and need for particular skills shifts.
Why are 21st century skills important for 21st-century learners? In short, soft skills are essential for modern day life and the workplace. Therefore, teaching 21st century skills to students, in my opinion, is as important as teaching content. But why?
Let me paint you a little picture...
"I would love to start self-directed project-based learning, but I'm a beginner and I'm feeling really uncertain and overwhelmed by the learning curve". I get this comment in my inbox quite often and my response is always that you have to start self-directed project-based learning somewhere. You might as well start now and with a few tricks of the trade in your back pocket.
I am never the most tech savvy person in the room. There is so much out there and it's always evolving. It's tough to know where to start and just when I feel I've gotten it, everything changes. Education technology can be intimidating and time-consuming to learn. Time isn't something teachers have in abundance.
My family of four has traveled like crazy the past few years. We've been to seven National Parks, flew to Copenhagen, took a handful of long distance road trips. It has been absolutely exhausting. No question. But I don't regret any of it.
I get a lot of questions about self-directed project-based learning. I think the benefits of project-based learning hook people, but the execution or facilitation is daunting.
Self-directed project-based learning is when students design the project-based learning experience based on their interests, skills, challenges, goals, and more. It is customized and personalized PBL.
To provide innovative educational resources for educators, parents, and students, that go beyond lecture and worksheets.
Sara Segar, experiential life-science educator and advisor, curriculum writer, and mother of two.