Problem Based Learning (PBL) teachers’ challenge

| March 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

The norm in daily school life is that teachers are the instructors, facilitators, designers and assessors of the learning process. At the Microsoft Local Education Exchange (E2) event, held at Showcase School, Steyn City School, this norm was flipped. Teachers became the learners and were challenged with a real-life problem. In this ever-changing, face-paced, often complex technological world, Problem Based Learning (PBL), enables learners to find joy in their learning and discover creative solutions to real life problems. There are several definitions of PBL but for the purpose of this narrative, PBL is defined as a constructivist pedagogical approach that organises curriculum and instruction around carefully crafted “ill-structured” problems as the focus for learner engagement.
Unlike Project Based Learning, Problem Based Learning (PBL) is a continuous non-linear problem finding challenge. The PBL pedagogical approach drives learners to construct their own knowledge, and to do this, teachers do not provide any content prior to learners undertaking their own research. The effectiveness of PBL should be evaluated against certain criteria such as:
Flexible knowledge;
• Effective problem-solving skills; • Student-directed learning skills; • Effective collaboration skills,
• Intrinsic motivation.
Microsoft Training Partners, Computers4Kids http://computers4ki; Technology Training Academy (TTA) and Qberty
provide STEAM solutions to promote 21st century skills and Problem Based Learning.

Microsoft in Education has developed a carefully structured Problem Based Learning course for teachers to unpack the benefits and explore the unique assessment opportunity in the learning environment. The PBL course is available on the Microsoft Educator Community (, accessible using an Office 365 or Microsoft account.

Microsoft Local E2 – Smart City Challenge facilitated by CRSP dsgn

Microsoft Authorised Education Partner, CRSP dsgn, facilitated an exciting Smart City Challenge at the Microsoft Local E2, over a period of two days in September 2018. The event provided Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts the opportunity to develop their knowledge base in robotics, coding, as well as critical 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity, which were infused into the PBL challenge.

Teachers were challenged to develop a Smart City that involved building the city of the future, which covered elements of Smart Communications: Smart Energy, Smart Mobility and Smart Infrastructure. A particularly exciting twist to the challenge was that each teacher was assigned a role that included current jobs such as engineers, programmers, brand managers and journalists, as well as jobs that will increasingly be available in the future such as vloggers and social media marketers. The overall experience for the teachers was captured in their excitement to continue the path to support their learners in the development of competencies and skills that will place them in good stead for the Fourth Industrial Revolution!

For additional information on Microsoft Teacher Professional Development, contact:

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Category: Autumn 2019

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