Project-Based Learning Keynote and Workshops

Think back to your most memorable educational experience. Chances are, it was an epic project. As teachers, we can design epic projects to make this happen! But what about the time constraints? What about the standards? What happens if students struggle to collaborate? These are the big questions we explore in our PBL workshops. Meanwhile, the keynote is designed to address the larger “why” question and ignite a passion for PBL.

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Although I work full-time as a university professor, I also deliver keynotes and provide workshops on empowering students with voice and choice. My style is hands-on, engaging, practical, and fun. I infuse each learning experience with storytelling, humor, and movement. While I tailor each the learning to the needs of your staff, here is a sampling of what type of workshops I lead.


Project-Based Learning for All

Teacher Expertise: Any

Description: PBL can seem daunting when you have time constraints, standards, and a curriculum map. Often, the push for better test scores and “basic skills” means certain students (English Langauge Learners, Special Education students) fail to have access to these projects. However, PBL can work for all students and in this workshop or keynote, I lay out the blueprint for making this a reality.


Getting Started with PBL

Teacher Expertise: Novice

Description: PBL can seem daunting when you have time constraints, standards, and a curriculum map. What does it look like? How do you even get started? In this workshop, we begin with the “why” and move into the “how.” As a group, we will do a mini-project and plan out an initial PBL unit.

Making the Shift to PBL

Teacher Expertise: Emerging

Description: So, you’ve tried PBL but you’ve had mixed results. In this workshop, we focus on how to improve student collaboration through specific structures. We also explore ways to build additional student ownership into the inquiry, research, and project management processes. Finally, we examine specific assessment processes to improve self-reflection and metacognition. In the end, we do a project revision to take PBL to the next level.

Taking PBL to the Next Level

Teacher Expertise: Expert

Description: In this workshop, we focus on how to increase student voice and choice within our PBL units. We explore specific structures to build interdependency and boost collaboration within student projects. We also focus on taking student self-assessment and peer assessment to the next level to maximize metacognition. In addition, we get into ideas like personalization and compacting to take differentiation and choice to the next level. The goal here is to share the collective wisdom of the teachers in the room so that we can all learn from one another.

Contact Me About Leading a Workshop:

    Common Questions

    The following are some of the common questions people ask about the PBL Workshops:

    What can we expect from a full-day workshop? 

    You can expect a hands-on, fun, thought-provoking experience. I will focus on “the why” and share relatable stories. However, we will also practice specific structures and ultimately design a PBL unit.

    What is your expertise in PBL?

    I used PBL as a classroom teacher for 12 years. I also coached teachers in my district, spoke about PBL at the White House, and shared practical strategies online. As a current professor, I have helped both preservice teachers and current teachers implement PBL and I am currently doing research on PBL and professional development. But also . . . I’m a project person. I’m always engaged in creative work and this adds a practical element to what I share.

    That said, I ultimately believe in the collective wisdom of the people in the room. As a workshop facilitator, I want to help everyone share their expertise so we can grow.

    What do you offer beyond the workshop?

    Often, a school or district will have me do one-on-one coaching or work with teams in their planning after an initial workshop. I also offer affordable self-paced online professional development that I can bundle into the workshop. Furthermore, I will provide sample projects, structures, and handouts that teachers can use the moment they leave a workshop.