We are surrounded by Challenges: large, small, short and long-term. Challenge Based Learning provides an efficient framework to identify and effectively solve challenges while learning curriculum content and developing essential life skills.
We also have unprecedented access to incredible tools to harness technology and develop solutions to our Challenges. Resources like Apple’s Swift coding language and accompanying educational resources make software development accessible to all. Now anyone can look around their world, identify a challenge, learn deeply about it, and develop a solution.
Challenge Based Learning provides a purpose for coding and integrates it with curriculum content.
Take Action. Make a Difference.
Take a hard look at your school and local community, identify a Big idea (pollution, water quality, voting, communication, transportation, etc.) Use the CBL process to frame a challenge, learn about it, and develop an app that solves the problem.
Share your process, progress and apps with the world using the hashtag #CBLWorld the CBL Facebook page and we will feature your stories on the CBL website.
For computer science education week we are going to walk through the process of using Challenge Based Learning to use computational thinking and coding to solve a challenge. We invite you to join in and think about how you can identify a concern in your community and Code a Solution!
We encourage you to work with us to think through how learners can make a difference in their communities.
Big Idea: Community
Essential Question: How can we use coding to improve our community and learn subject area content?
Challenge: Develop an App that helps your community!
Sample Guiding Questions:
Sample Guiding Activities and Resources:
Big Idea: Community
Essential Question: How can we make our local community more livable?
Challenge: Reduce Urban Blight!*
*Urban Blight – Urban decay consisting of the deterioration of part of a town or city due to aging, neglect, and lack of financial support for maintenance. (http://www.yourdictionary.com/urban-blight#8hMyfez50AiSvoK4.99)
As students walked around their neighborhood they noticed that there was an abundance of graffiti, abandoned cars, litter, stray animals, broken windows, etc. As part of their government class, they started to discuss why this occurred and how it could be changed. In discussions, the initial idea was to create a marketing campaign including public service announcements to stop the behavior. But instead of immediately developing solutions they decided to step back and use Challenge Based Learning to learn more about the problems.
Process and Findings
After asking lots of guiding questions, answering them through extensive research, aligning the learning with social science and other content standards (so they could still pass the test), the students made some significant discoveries:
After analyzing the research, the learners realized that this was a behavioral, political and an organizational problem, but they had the best chance of making a difference with a structural solution. So they developed the idea for an app where users take a picture of the problem, the app tags it with a location and sends it directly to the appropriate agency. The app resulted in more rapid response times and the elimination of the issues. These apps are now found in cities all over the world.