Make the Future
Summit 2022
Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Digital Tools to Empower Your Students Through PBL

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : BYOD

Monday, June 24, 1:00–2:00 pm
Location: Room 117

Rachel Matz  
Explore a variety of tools and strategies for supporting project-based, problem-based and inquiry-based learning. With an emphasis on student inquiry, we will examine and discuss how technology can be used for brainstorming, research, personal inquiry, student discussion and feedback.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Project-, problem- and challenge-based learning
Grade level: 6-12
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
  • Use collaborative tools to expand students' authentic, real-world learning experiences by engaging virtually with experts, teams and students, locally and globally.
  • Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Student-centered learning is at the forefront of current education trends and what we know to be best practices. With this, many teachers are looking to project-based or inquiry-based learning experiences to empower their students and boost engagement. Using the TPACK framework, I aim to provide participants with pedagogically-sound tools and strategies for creating, managing, and facilitating project-based experiences within and beyond their classrooms. These include, but are not limited to, hyperdocs, mentimeter, Google Groups/G+, feedback notebooks, and Adobe Spark.

Participants will first engage in these types of learning activities (working through a hyperdoc, posting on a digital backchannel, etc.) and then will work to create their own digital space or activity to use with students or will brainstorm and begin designing project-based learning activities and driving questions.


--Participants will begin with a brief discussion (small groups) about project-based learning and student inquiry (in the style of a KWL)
--Next we will work through a hyperdoc-style activity to explore PBL in-depth (multiple resources provided for beginners through experts) to not only gain content knowledge but also engage in the kind of learning their students could benefit from
--We will talk about the TPACK framework for technology integration as well as the ISTE standards for educators and evaluate our own current practices against these frameworks.
--I will share examples of digital tools that can be used for collaboration and student inquiry (i.e. Twitter hashtags/backchannels, Padlet, Mentimeter, Google+, Hangouts/Skype, Adobe Spark, Google Tours, Weebly/Wordpress/Google Sites, Youtube) and look at examples of each in a variety of grades and subjects
--Participants will then have time to brainstorm how they could use one of these tools (or another that they would like to explore) to enhance student engagement/empowerment and inquiry. We will go through a brief tuning process to hone ideas
--Finally, participants will have the chance to work on designing, improving, or further researching their selected digital space/tool/resource and a brief plan for implementation.
--Before the end of the session, ideas and learning will be captured and compiled into a brief Adobe Spark video that can be shared out on social media and with the broader ISTE community.

Supporting research

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Rachel Matz, Bloomfield Hills High School

Rachel Matz is a high school English teacher and technology leader in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and holds a Masters degree in Educational Technology from Michigan State University. In her classroom, she is passionate about pursuing student-centered instructional strategies and exploring how technology can support learning, engagement, empowerment, and growth. When not teaching, Rachel can be found reading or listening to podcasts and musical soundtracks or exploring with her dog.

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