How many times have you heard students grumble, "I'm never gonna use this stuff in real life"? Project-based learning, or PBL, is a great alternative to rote or lecture-based learning because it's dynamic, challenging, collaborative, and outcome-focused. In short, it's a lot like the real world. Plus, it hones skills that will serve students throughout their lives: solving problems, making decisions, connecting disciplines, and conducting in depth research. Its flexible technology makes Lucidchart's diagramming application an excellent resource for PBL. Here are a few ways to leverage Lucidchart in a project context. For critical thinking: 1) Brainstorm initial ideas. This is a great classroom exercise to get the creative juices flowing, and kids will love seeing their contributions appear instantly on the screen. Once you've recorded ideas, try grouping them according to merit. This can get overwhelming, but Lucidchart's keyboard shortcuts for mind mapping will help you keep up. With a few clicks, add new shapes, text, and sub-topics; you can even collapse entire mind map branches with the push of a button.
2) Organize the project flow. Once students have picked a group and topic, they'll need to plan out the next steps. Lucidchart's flowchart shapes and design options will help categorize ideas, select tasks, and report on their progress. For collaboration: 3) Collect all your work in one place. Since Lucidchart is build on open web standards, it can be accessed with any browser, device, or operating system. So when you want to log an idea, just log in. Lucidchart can link to outside sources, allowing you to organize scholarly articles, blog posts, Youtube videos, Pinterest posts, and much more. You can also add pages to a doc and expand your canvas to custom dimensions. Did you know that Lucidchart is seamlessly integrated with Google Apps for Education and Google Drive? If your school uses either of these tools, sign-on will be even quicker. 4) Head off-site. Does the project require a field trip to the local courthouse, a visit to an prominent museum, or an interview with a university professor? Lucidchart runs beautifully on mobile devices, including tablets, iPads, and smartphones, so you can connect without plugging in. http://youtu.be/Kk9MSeQcUeo 5) Streamline group projects. Lucidchart is equipped with real-time collaboration, which means that edits are instantly synced and visible to everyone on the doc. You can say goodbye to painful mainstays of group projects like schedule alignment and endless revision emails. And if you're worried about an unequal distribution of work, it's easy for a teacher or mentor to pop into the document and see how it's going. Everything you create is saved to our secure data centers, so you can refer to past comments, chats, or versions at any time. For communication: 6) Create interactive presentations. Lucidchart's interactivity allows students to present a smooth, stunning walk-through of pages and objects. Click on the image below to see an example. 7) Plan story development. A story is a deeply compelling mode of communication, whether that means creating a video, writing an article, crafting a song, or simply planning a final presentation. Lucidchart can visually chart the intersection of storylines and characters, then provide a clear resolution to your process. 8) Create physical and digital leave behinds. Any work done in Lucidchart can be published to all sorts of places, including Twitter, Facebook, blogs, wikis, and popular image files like PDF, PNG, and JPEG. You can even host your document on a permanent Lucidchart web page. These publishing options will bring work to life and help students understand that learning should move beyond the classroom. Do you have a better idea? Share it in the comments!