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Project-Based Meets Blended Learning: The Civic Action Project A Webinar from Constitutional Rights Foundation www.crfcap.org Presenters: Keri Doggett.

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Presentation on theme: "Project-Based Meets Blended Learning: The Civic Action Project A Webinar from Constitutional Rights Foundation www.crfcap.org Presenters: Keri Doggett."— Presentation transcript:

1 Project-Based Meets Blended Learning: The Civic Action Project A Webinar from Constitutional Rights Foundation Presenters: Keri Doggett & Katie Moore

2 The Civic Action Project Funded by The Annenberg Foundation Practicum for the U.S. Government Course. Five core lessons taught face-to-face. Students choose a policy-related issue/problem to address and do everything they can to make an impact. CAP web site provides additional instruction and resources to support the students. Additional classroom lessons provide specific content and skills.

3 Excerpts from Blog: project-based-learninghttp://www.edutopia.org/blog/combining-blended-and- project-based-learning Connecting Project-Based and Blended Learning This guest blog post was written by Brian Greenberg, Envision Schools former Chief Academic Officer. Dont listen to the current education reform rhetoric: There is more than one way to educate a child. In fact, sometimes very different approaches can yield terrific results when combined together. …Blended learning generally refers to incorporating online learning into traditional brick-and-mortar schools to create hybrid learning experiences for students. So how do the generally progressive ideals of PBL merge with the more reform-oriented blended learning approach? Beautifully, at least in theory… …what if PBL teachers also had online resources to help students learn content and to provide better feedback on student outcomes?

4 Rigorous and in-depth Project Based Learning: 1. Is organized around an open-ended Driving Question or Challenge. 2. Creates a need to know essential content and skills. 3. Requires inquiry to learn and/or create something new. 4. Requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and various forms of communication. 5. Allows some degree of student voice and choice. 6. Incorporates feedback and revision. 7. Results in a publicly presented product or performance. Buck Institute of Education

5 Blended Learning Face-to-face + web- based instruction. With teacher/student interaction Face-to-face + web- based instruction. No teacher/student interaction Face-to-face instruction Students use Internet for research or homework. Virtual Classrooms Online Courses CAP

6 CAP teachers and students use… - Computer labs - Laptop or tablet carts - School or public library (those still in existence) - Some students are using smart phones However, we know there is a digital divide. What ideas do you have for schools with little access to technology?

7 These focus students work and deepen their learning by centering on significant issues, debates, questions, and/or problems. 1. Organized around an open-ended driving question or challenge. CAPs Big Question Why is an informed and engaged citizenry essential in our democracy? Students will conduct investigations: A. How do people in our democracy go about solving problems and creating change? B. Investigate the relationship between: issues/problems, and policy, and citizen actions. C. Investigate the attributes of effective, engaged citizens.

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9 1. Organized around an open-ended driving question or challenge.

10 Lesson 10: Building Constituencies Overview This lesson introduces students to the importance of building a constituency to support or oppose public policies using the case study of the Montgomery Bus Boycott as an example. First, students read primary documents from the boycott and discuss how the documents show how leaders tried to build support. Then in small groups, students brainstorm how they can get support for their CAP issue. Finally, as homework, students write a plan for building support for their CAP issue. Teaching content with real-world examples… Make content relevant. Provide students with ideas for civic actions. Inspiration. 1. Organized around an open-ended driving question or challenge.

11 Creates a need to know essential content and skills. Typical projects (and most instruction) begin by presenting students with knowledge and concepts and then, once learned, give them the opportunity to apply them. PBL begins with the vision of an end product or presentation which requires learning specific knowledge and concepts, thus creating a context and reason to learn and understand the information and concepts. 2. The first two lessons set the stage for all the following lessons. They introduced the subject matter and provided students with the context of why the project would be applicable to their lives. CAP Teacher At first it was very fuzzy and unclear of what I had to do and how I was going to do it. But as the class went on and as I got help from my teacher it became easier and easier. By the end of the project I was fully aware of my issue and very informed about it. Not to mention I gained so much information on how to become an active member of society. CAP Student

12 Students rely on the classroom lessons and web-based resources to be able to: - identify an issue that matters, - make connections between the issue they select and public policy, and - Develop and execute their civic actions. 2. Creates a need to know essential content and skills. Choose a policy-related issue or problem that matters to you and do everything you can to impact that problem. As a part of this government course, you must… Whats policy? I have no idea what issues matter to me! What does she mean by policy- related? I want to solve world hunger and end unemployment and child abuse. Im only in high school…how am I supposed to impact a real community problem? I need to pass this course.

13 2. Creates a need to know essential content and skills. Making connections between your issue and public policy. From Lesson 3 (face-to-face)

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15 Web Resource. Layers of help. Always available. 2. Creates a need to know essential content and skills.

16 Policy Implications: What does the problem have to do with policy? The Civic Action Project provides you with flexibility in connecting your CAP to policy. You may not see it right away, but for most public problems, there is a policy implication. Take a look at these examples: Policy Implication: Enforcing Existing Policy Lets say you are concerned about cars speeding in your neighborhood. Even though drivers are supposed to know the speed limit for a residential street, you notice that there is no posted speed limit on any of the streets in the vicinity. Your CAP is about getting the city to better enforce the policy on your street by posting a speed limit sign. If just posting it isnt enough, a next step might be to get the city to take further measures to enforce the policy by installing speed bumps. Policy Implication: Creating New Policy You notice that huge amounts of paper are in the trash cans at school. You want your school to create a new recycling policy and place recycling cans next to the regular trash cans. Policy Implication: Modifying Existing Policy Your city has a curfew ordinance that applies to people under the age of 16. You and many people you know have summer jobs that require you to be out after curfew. You want to try to persuade the city to change the existing policy to make exceptions for teenagers who are working at night. More Help Buttons on the Web Site

17 Lesson 4 (face-to-face) Case studies with examples of problems or issues and citizens trying to eliminate, modify, create, enforce public policy. Web Resource 2. Creates a need to know essential content and skills. The Mikey video

18 3. Requires inquiry to learn and/or create something new. Not all learning has to be based on inquiry, but some should. And this inquiry should lead students to construct something new – an idea, an interpretation, a new way of displaying what they have learned.

19 The CAP Planner The CAP Planner provides a structure to guide students through selecting and addressing an issue, problem, or policy. Tips and a layer of in-depth help for students are provided for each step of the CAP process. Teacher tips for assessing each part of the process are provided in the Tools for Assessing CAP. Students hand in each document of the planner so that teachers can assess their work and approve next steps. The CAP Planner includes: CAP Proposal:CAP Proposal: Helps students focus on an issue. Provides teachers with a description of the issue, its policy implications, and students ideas for civic actions they will take. Teachers approve or ask students for revisions before students begin working on their issues. Thinking it Through:Thinking it Through: Helps students think more in-depth about the issue they are addressing. Provides teachers with a tool to assess students critical thinking about the issue, including policy implications. Students report on their last civic action and propose their next civic action, providing teachers the opportunity to approve or ask for revisions. Civic Action:Civic Action: Students report on their last actions and propose their next, as well as speak to policy connections. Provides teachers with the opportunity to approve or ask for revisions in the students plans, as well as see how students are making connections between CAP and their government course. CAP Report:CAP Report: Guides students through evaluating and reflecting on their CAP experience. Provides teachers with a way to assess what students have learned and the skills they have gained. The CAP Planner is available in an electronic format using Adobe forms or in a pen and paper format. Teachers and students are invited to use CAPs learning management system to post Planner documents and communicate.

20 3. Requires inquiry to learn and/or create something new. CAP Planner: Proposal

21 CAP Planner: Thinking it Through 3. Requires inquiry to learn and/or create something new.

22 3. Requires inquiry to learn and/or create something new. CAP Planner: Civic Action

23 The first few things I would do is write a letter to our congress to really try and persuade them to at least consider thinking about changing the legal driving age. I also want to maybe hand out a few surveys to people and get their opinions on the situation and maybe get a petition going. Next, two of us will write s to the necessary government officials about the issue, and at least try to start a conversation over the internet about it. It gave me the skills of writing a professional letter to a member of congress and using intelligent language to persuade politicians. 3. Requires inquiry to learn and/or create something new. We created a PowerPoint and sent it to the State School Board. We created a video showing the problem and presented it to the student council. Develop strategies for finding out information and taking civic actions.

24 4. Requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and various forms of communication. Students need to do much more than remember informationthey need to use higher-order thinking skills. They also have to learn to work as a team and contribute to a group effort.

25 4. Requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and various forms of communication. I learned that it is very important to be well informed on public policies and problems in order to make educated decisions about the world around me. Working on these issues helped me realize how much I could change representative's minds on issues that need changed. I learned that some things may not work in your favor, but if you persevere you will get results. I also improved my business letter and skills. I also learned who I can contact for assistance on certain policy matters. I learned more on how to be an active community member. The CAP experience is making me into a better citizen of my community and I enjoy discussing the public policies and evaluating them, along with debating on the issues. The highlight of my CAP experience was being able to learn how to effectively work with others and learning more about the issue that I was not aware of. For example, the meeting with my school resource officer helped me become more informed about the policy, the regulations, and the consequences that are entailed by this policy. What did you learn through your CAP experience? #

26 Bell Gardens – The Wall Project Teamwork Five students who did not know each other well. Collaborating with each other, then with community members including neighbors, the mayor, city council, and the executive director of a local agency. Critical Thinking/Problem Solving Policy connection – Enforce existing barrier wall height policies. Research, strategize, organize, act. Communication Public Service Announcement video – raise awareness. Letters, s to public officials, agencies. Community survey and petition. 4. Requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and various forms of communication.

27 5. Allows some degree of student voice and choice. Students learn to work independently and take responsibility when they are asked to make choices. The opportunity to make choices, and to express their learning in their own voice, also helps to increase students educational engagement.

28 5. Allows some degree of student voice and choice. My CAP experience was an enlightening one, and is still continuing. There were three things I thought very highly of through my CAP experience. These include the fact that it gives every student the opportunity to get out there, when normally they wouldn't have the drive. It teaches students that they aren't merely high school student who don't have the power to make a difference. And lastly, it showed students how to be a real, highly contributive member of society. Although I wasn't initially confident in my abilities to make change on this level, I was pleasantly surprised. I was encouraged by the amount of care that other students put into their projects. I was grateful that we could choose our own policies to change, as we were able to choose something that we truly cared about. I learned that to get anything accomplished you really need to love the issue you are working on It was a nice experience, making new policies and making our own decisions, I learned that we all have different opinions and talking about them we all got to an agreement, each student had their own point of view which was fun to listen to, it was a really fun experience.

29 This is a serious problem in our city. … The possibility of an accident is increased with a large number of bikers. However, these accidents could be reduced in occurrence or even eliminated with the proper safety measures... I would work to solve this problem in several ways. One way would be to increase the ticket fine for disobeying the right of way laws. Another would be to install more yield to pedestrians signs at major intersections that see a lot of bicycle accidents. One more way would be to increase the fine for riding your bike at night without safety lights. Whats the fuss? By Aaron - Wednesday, 16 November 2011, 08:18 Biker Safety For my Civic Action Project, I would like to focus on promoting bicyclist awareness in the city of Fort Collins. According to fcgov.com, there were 151 bicycle accidents in Of those 151, 105 resulted in injury and 1 in death. The most common type of accident was a broadside accident, or a collision at a perpendicular intersection. …Most of these accidents occurred because either the vehicle involved failed to yield to the bicyclist with the right of way, or the bicyclist was riding against traffic on a sidewalk. 5. Allows some degree of student voice and choice. CAP Blog

30 5. Allows some degree of student voice and choice. Class Issue: Animal Cruelty No-Kill Policy Enforcement at Local Shelters Pit Bull Breeding Policies Puppy Mills Real vs. Synthetic Fur Fashions Class Selects Overarching Issue Small Groups Work on Related Problems

31 Incorporates feedback and revision. Students use peer critique to improve their work to create higher quality products. 6. Peer critique and planning The CAP Planner elicits teacher feedback on an ongoing basis.

32 Feedback from peers and teachers on the web site:

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35 7. Results in a publicly presented product or performance. What you know is demonstrated by what you do, and what you do must be open to public scrutiny and critique.

36 7. Results in a publicly presented product or performance. Classroom/School- based Presentations (Los Angeles Mayor with CAP students) Culmination Events

37 Elder Abuse by Dan Will - Thursday, 12 May 2011, 06:26 PM Dear Honorable Senator Dick Durbin, Our names our Dan Will & Taylor Britain and we are juniors at Wheaton North High School in Wheaton, Illinois. Our Purpose in writing to you to show you that elderly abuse has become not just common theme throughout Illinois, but throughout the United States of America. Both of our grandparents have had valuable items stolen from their homes and we believe it is time for this crisis to come to an end. We know that bill number HR577 is not being fulfilled to its full potential and we need your help to get people aware. Elderly abuse is defined as … In closing, our solution would be to have people become community sentinel, thus allowing people to keep an eye out for those who may be vulnerable. We would also know that if you were to speak out about elderly abuse, it would receive attention because you are a very powerful power in the Senate. We need your help! Thank you for taking this time to read our letter and we hope you have a wonderful day. With best regards, Dan Will and Taylor Britain 7. Results in a publicly presented product or performance.

38 CAP Students Use Social Media

39 Rigorous and in-depth Project Based Learning: 1. Is organized around an open-ended Driving Question or Challenge. 2. Creates a need to know essential content and skills. 3. Requires inquiry to learn and/or create something new. 4. Requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and various forms of communication. 5. Allows some degree of student voice and choice. 6. Incorporates feedback and revision. 7. Results in a publicly presented product or performance. Buck Institute of Education

40 Explore the CAP website Register your students (Teachers, How do I get started?) Check out the PSA Contest Participate in a Webinar Teach lessons 1-5 Next Steps Civic Action Project

41 CAP Webinar Series Using CAP for Students College Portfolios or Senior Projects January 19, 2012, 3:30 – 4:15 Pacific Time Quality Service Learning Through Policy-Based Civic Actions February 16, 2012, 3:30 – 4:15 Pacific Time Using CAP to Teach 21st Century Skills March 15, 2012, 3:30 – 4:15 Pacific Time Register: Check out other resources from CRF:


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