Garrett, Lakeland lead project-based learning event

August 2nd, 2012

News Coverage:

Garrett, Lakeland lead project-based learning event

Staff Reports

Thursday, August 02, 2012, 12:01am

LAGRANGE — Lakeland School Corp. and Garrett-Keyser-Butler Schools are hosting the region’s first Project Based Learning Conference, sponsored by the Talent Initiative.

The conference began Wednesday and continues today at Lakeland’s Leading EDGE High School in LaGrange.

About 150 teachers and administrators from across northern Indiana and the surrounding areas came to share strategies and best practices for implementing project-based learning in their classrooms.

In project-based learning, students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. Rigorous projects help students learn academic content and practice 21st century skills such as collaboration, communication and critical thinking. It aims to allow students to learn in a team environment by completing authentic projects that address: “Will I ever use this in real life?”

Wednesday, keynote speakers Leonard Helfrich of the Talent Initiative and Mark Michael of Fort Wayne Metals talked about 21st century skills, the innovation project-based learning brings to students and how it is vital to the development of talent in northeast Indiana.

“The Talent Initiative was pleased to be a partner in northeast Indiana’s first annual PBL Conference,” Helfrich said. “With support from the Talent Initiative, Lakeland and Garrett-Keyser-Butler put together a comprehensive and innovative program that will increase implementation of PBL throughout our region as well as become a mainstay of regional educational professional development efforts for years to come. We are proud to be a part of that.”

The Talent Initiative is a program of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. To date, the Talent Initiative has distributed more than $2 million in grants to educators to help encourage PBL implementation in northeast Indiana classrooms. It provided funding for start-up costs of the six New Tech high schools in northeast Indiana.