Today we were in the computer room: students working on their part of the project, me working on the webpage at wix.com. For me there was a sense of excitement as I demonstrated to the class what we were working on and how their parts fit together with the evolving product. As groups were finished I invited each group over to see what I’d done to their information.
Aside: due to internet filtering, students are unable to create their own website so I had to manage the details for them. So, unfortunately the final product is my vision, but I’ve tried to get students’ okay on each of their sections, which is the best I can hope for at this stage.
As I was working on this, students had to work on another personal interest project and submit it to edmodo. Unfortunately some were playing games and mucking around, which annoyed me. Here I was working hard to make a real product for a real audience using their info and they were wasting time! Part of me says, “what do you expect? They’re kids and they’ve done what you asked! Get over it!”
What I’ve found interesting about this whole process of PBL is that, at the moment, my students are happy to hand in whatever, to just “get it done”, so to speak, without really looking at what they’ve created and who they’re creating it for. Part of the problem lies with me, perhaps I didn’t make my case strong enough in the beginning, but I think it is also the mindset we’ve created in our students: ‘get the answer and move on!’ I am hoping that with further engagement in the PBL process and being able to see the “real world” results of our first project will spark greater engagement in the future.