Teaching styles are evolving quickly, and 21st century learning – based on projects and classroom interactions that help students apply their lessons to the real world – is gaining popularity.
Jim Brown, the digital art and design teacher at Antioch High School in Nashville, Tenn., is one educator who has embraced this style of education, and is using Picaboo Yearbooks as a tool in his classroom.
“What I do is project-based learning,” says Brown, “If a student can see relevance to what you’re trying to teach them, they’re more likely to have a desire to learn it.”
The logic is there, and the proof is in the passion of the students.
Brown has seen the affect of project-based learning in classes like the one he teaches on advanced photography. Rather than tasking his students with an abstract project, Brown instead presented them with the challenge of photographing the entire student body for purposes of student IDs. They had a studio to use, and the rest was up to them.
“My students in my advanced class were literally working that studio every class period every day for three weeks. They jumped in and not only took responsibility, they took ownership,” says Brown.
So, how does Picaboo Yearbooks fit into such a dynamic educational environment?
“With technology moving as fast as it is in some of these areas, the administration turned to me last spring and they asked me if I were going to do a yearbook, how would I do it?” explains Brown, “And my response was: I wouldn’t do a yearbook. I would do specialty books targeted to small groups of students. And there’s this company called Picaboo [Year]books that does that.”
Picaboo Yearbooks offers a way to create and customize yearbooks, with particular opportunities in the digital realm. “If you want to add pictures of yourself to the back of the book, you can,” says Brown, who added that the students responded very well to that opportunity.
Overall, Brown has found Picaboo to be an excellent tool in his project-based learning teaching strategy. “I think that the Picaboo yearbook system could be used for just about any project that you’re doing. I wanted these students [in another class] to have something tangible that could show off their work, and Picaboo is ideal for that.”
As educational styles move forward, the integration of technology and the digital realm is increasingly necessary. And so is showing students that the work they do today will be relevant to their tomorrow.
Learn more about Antioch High School’s project-based learning.