How to use PowerSchool Learning for Project-Based Learning

January 18, 2017

PowerSchool Learning is conducive to project-based learning, or PBL, and has almost limitless options of how to use tools and features for PBL assignments. To illustrate an example, we’ll take an example of a project and show how it could have been done using PowerSchool Learning.

In 2015, a high school in Texas assigned a “one take” video project to its students called “So You Think You Can Dance?” They used principles of project-based learning in creating this video. (For the backstory, read more about it and watch their one-take video.)

Note: A Maceo Smith New Tech High School did not share the final deliverable requirements for this project, so this is just an example of how their project could have been accomplished using PowerSchool Learning’s fully integrated learning platform.

Option 1: Collaboration through WikiProjects

The teacher needs students to collaborate on their one-take project, providing them with a means to post and provide feedback on group work. The teacher can create a WikiProject, set the parameters of the assignment, create groups, assign members, and set due dates.

Teachers have a variety of options in setting up and editing a WikiProject.

From that point, students can:

  • Embed YouTube clips of dance moves they found and think would be good to use in the video. Alternatively, they can upload a video of themselves (or someone else) performing the dance moves they think would be appropriate.
  • Add a text block to explain why they chose those moves.
  • Embed a presentation from their Google Drive to show dance steps in sequence.

As a group they must:

  • Upload (or embed via YouTube) a final version of them practicing their moves.
  • Upload (or embed via Flickr or Google Drive) a picture of everyone in their agreed-upon costume.
Students have a lot of choices when it comes to adding content in a WikiProject.
Students have a lot of choices when it comes to adding content in a WikiProject.


Here's what the start of a WikiProject page could look like with one student's submission.
Here’s what the start of a WikiProject page could look like with one student’s submission.

Option 2: Conversation through Discussion Forums

Just like WikiProjects, Discussions enable teachers to structure forums in different ways: one-to-one communication between teacher and student; small group communication; and class-wide communication.

In the one-take example, the teacher will create small groups in the Discussion Forums, so each group can only see and discuss answers to questions like these within their small group:

  • What dance moves would you like to do?
  • What dance moves are you uncomfortable with?
  • Provide feedback to each other on your rehearsal video.
  • What costumes do you want to wear?
  • What is going to be your agreed-upon practice schedule?

The beauty of integration

Because assigned activities—any item with a date—are fully integrated into the class calendar, students and parents can drop by to take a look at what’s due when. Plus, if the teacher has details to add, or comments to clarify, he can post an announcement, which students and parents can opt to receive via text message.


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