Project-Based Learning, Ed Tech, and EF

Project-Based Learning, Ed Tech, and EF

From ed tech and project-based learning to fab labs and makerspaces, innovation in education and technology is the way of the future. The time has come to make the shift in education towards hands-on project-based learning systems that incorporate technology and foster students’ creativity, problem-solving, and engagement.

The real magic of learning happens when students integrate basic skills with executive function strategies and simultaneously express their creativity. However, developing this type of school-based program for different types of learners is not easy. To build successful project-based learning programs infused with technology, one must implement the appropriate structures, professional development, and culture.

Teaching for the Future

In the ever-evolving landscape of education, teachers are called to equip today’s students with the essential skills needed for tomorrow’s challenges. As technology advances and global issues become increasingly complex, educators play a pivotal role in preparing children to thrive in the future. The emphasis on cultivating problem-solving abilities, critical thinking, and empathy is paramount. Integrating a broad range of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) skills becomes the foundation for fostering innovation and adaptability.

Strategy #1: Project-Based Learning (PBL)

Implementing project-based learning allows students to tackle real-world problems, fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Teachers can design projects that require collaboration, research, and the application of STEAM concepts. This approach engages students in hands-on experiences, encouraging creativity and a deeper understanding of complex subjects.

Strategy #2: Incorporate Technology and Coding

Integrate technology into lessons to familiarize students with tools relevant to the future workforce. Teaching coding and computational thinking not only enhances students’ technical skills but also promotes logical reasoning and systematic problem-solving. Utilize educational apps, coding platforms, and interactive simulations to make learning STEAM subjects more dynamic and engaging.

Strategy #3: Cultivate Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)

Recognize the importance of empathy and interpersonal skills by incorporating social-emotional learning into the curriculum. Create activities that encourage communication, teamwork, and understanding of diverse perspectives. By fostering emotional intelligence alongside academic proficiency, teachers help students develop into well-rounded individuals equipped to navigate the complexities of the future with empathy and resilience.

  • Caitlin Vanderberg, M.Ed., SMARTS Associate

SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org

Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org