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Edtech Solutions
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Edtech Advocacy &
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Project-Based Learning for TK-1 Students With a Real-World Impact

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Monday, November 30, 2:15–3:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

David Benavides  
Julie Garcia  
Lauren Leathers  
Cheryl Steinemann  
Derek suzuki  
Claudja Van Orden  

Join us as we explore project-based learning for primary students. See curriculum driven by Next Generation Science Standards and an interdisciplinary STEAM approach where strategies and tools lead to positive student outcomes that make a difference in the world. Walk away with projects to try with your little ones.

Audience: Teachers, Principals/head teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: GSuiite and Flipgrid.
Topic: Innovation in early childhood/elementary
Grade level: PK-2
Subject area: STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
For Students:
Knowledge Constructor
  • Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.
Global Collaborator
  • Students use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The Instructional Technology Department will share its experience contributing to the TK/K/1 STEAM initiative in San Diego Unified School District. They will share the rationale for the program, the development of curriculum and PD, and how it aims to engage young learners and decrease the dropout rate in the district. The team will share how purposeful integration of technology in curriculum writing and lesson design supports project-based learning and students engaging in real-world projects with an authentic audience.

Participants will understand how SDUSD has implemented NGSS based Project-based curriculum in grades TK/K/1 as a district initiative.
Participants will see how GSuite, Flipgrid, Adobe Spark, Spheros and Ozobots can be written into project-based learning curriculum for TK/K/1st graders.
Participants will practice real-world phenomenon-based lessons with community-based solutions.
Participants will receive sample unit plans to implement with their students.
Participants will reflect on lessons from SDUSD and see how they can create their own project-based learning with young learners.


Presenters introduce themselves and discuss the rationale for the Project-Based Learning STEAM initiative and how it took hold in SDUSD. Next the team will share their experience with planning for NGSS and Phenomenon Based Teaching to include STEAM strategies.

For the units listed below, the team will present the unit overview, expected standards, and student outcomes. Not only will the audience see the lessons and final project, they will engage in an activity from the unit. Last, the audience will learn about the final project and its real world impact.

Wild About Weather
Robots to the Rescue
Amazing Apps

The session will culminate in sharing resources around unit/lesson design and tools for developing project based STEAM lessons.

Supporting research

San Diego Unified School District studies and employs strategies from Zaretta Hammond and "Culturally Responsive Teaching." She teaches that in order for students to engage in learning, they must see how content is connected. The project-based STEAM curriculum this team will present shows her research in practice

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David Benavides, San Diego Unified School District

I have been in Education since 1994 and an IT professional since 2010. Working in K-12 schools helping students and staff with Instructional strategies, computer issues as well as any other technology used at the school (PowerSchool, Google Drive, Classroom, BoxLight Panels, and Promethean boards, etc.)

Julie Garcia, San Diego Unified School District
Lauren Leathers, San Diego Unified School District
Derek suzuki, San Diego USD

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