In setting goals for our students, especially during a project based learning unit, there are important elements we need to remember. Many of you may use the SMART method.
- Is the goal SPECIFIC, significant and realistic?
- Is the goal MEASURABLE or meaningful?
- Is the goal ACCEPTED, attainable or action-oriented?
- Is the goal REASONABLE, relevant, or rewarding?
- Is the goal TIME-BOUND or trackable?
During a PBL unit, teachers may want to set the goals for their students and others may want the students involved in setting the goals of the unit. Is the product the goal? Or, is the goal giving solutions in solving a problem or challenge? And, students need to periodically reflect to make sure their action plan is working during the project.
There are many apps available that help us attain our goals. Personally, I would rather write them down and post them in my closet. Nozbe and GoalsOnTrack are a few of the apps that adults can use to organize their life and achieve goals. During a PBL unit, I recommend different mindmapping apps such as Popplet, Idea Sketch (changed to Ideament), Mindmeister, and Simple Mind. Some of these are collaborative so multiple students can work on the goals together. I also recommend purchasing the full version because they have more features that are beneficial during the project.
Have you tried Simple Mind? Besides being so easy to use, I love this app because it adds color, different types of text boxes, video, images, photos, icons, voice, and links to navigate to websites. It can be synchronized to Google Drive or Dropbox, saved as an image or PDF, shared as a presentation, and imported into documents.
I recommend that you practice using the app as a group with a simple, achievable, personal goal. Then, list tasks that need to be completed to achieve this goal. One goal I use is Organizing My Closet. (BTW, I did achieve the goal of organizing my closet!)
The Essential Project Design Elements can be individual goals during a project based learning unit. Each element can be broken down into individual goals in order to complete the project.
I created a sample mindmap about my Endangered Animals Project Based Learning unit. Some of the goals and tasks (activities & ideas) are from my PBL unit. Simple Mind can be used by students to create a mindmap about a project based learning unit. As students brainstorm ideas, they can be jotted down using Simple Mind. Websites are marked with a globe next to the text.
If you're interested in implementing project based learning in your classroom, just click on the image below or HERE for easy, engaging units for your classroom. And, if you want to read more, I recommend Hacking Project Based Learning: 10 Easy Steps to PBL and Inquiry Learning in the Classroom.