Yesterday, we held the first ever Project Learning Swap Meet 2013 Baltimore! For the last month and a half, I planned and planned and with the help of Bianca and Lee Hewes, the originators of this beautiful unconference, my husband Andy Hanes, my two incredibly supportive colleagues, Frannie Morrissey and Jennifer Robinson, I wouldn’t have been able to pull it off! The day began with a video message from Bianca and Jim. Their enthusiasm about PBL and mission was inspiring to say the least.
Although we had a small number of participants (only 12), we had a great conversation about what we thought PBL was and what we knew it wasn’t. Everyone at the Meet were pretty new to PBL, but enthusiastic to learn more about it. After a short break, we gathered in a classroom to Skype with Suzie Boss! Suzie had just returned from a trip to Turkey at 2 am in the morning, Portland time. She generously woke up early in the morning just to Skype with us. This was such an incredible part of the day! Participants were able to ask her questions and get ideas, a lot of ideas, to use directly in their own classrooms. It was like a personal tutoring session about PBL from an expert! So, so cool!
Although some participants weren’t able to stay, we gave resources and offered our Edmodo group again as a space to share our PBL journey and also, most importantly, get and offer support. After that, we ate lunch and chatted about what we thought we wanted out of the rest of our day. We then helped participants form driving questions for their projects and plan a bit. I loved watching new connections happen between people and also watching new enthusiasm about PBL grow.
A few of us have talked about doing a second PLSM14 in February or March but holding it on a weekday so that more people can attend. I look forward to sharing and growing from our new PLSM13 Baltimore community on Edmodo and hope it continues to grow and grow!