Bring project-based learning home with Bennett Live
Even a pandemic cannot dampen the creative spirit. Each challenge offers opportunities to innovate and learn in new and different ways. Knowing this truth, Bennett Labs, the innovation and learning development division of Bennett Day School, an independent PreK-12 school in West Town, Chicago, launched Bennett Live, an app and portal filled with educational programs. attractive designs inspired by Bennett’s project-based learning. model.
“Project-based learning is what we do at Bennett Day School, and now anyone can do it at home. Here are teachers in your pocket on an app and you can access experiences to create, create and do at home, ”says Kelly Page, Ph.D., creator of Bennett Live and director of Bennett Labs.
What is Bennett Live?
Created at the start of the pandemic, Bennett Live offers engaging programming for children ages 3 to 18, guided by the educational principles of the Bennett Day School’s Progressive Learning and Child Development Philosophy. “What’s great about Bennett Live is that it ignites joy and creativity in learning and inspires a growing mindset in young creators and designers,” says Page.
Bennett Live debuted on the school’s YouTube channel and Facebook page when the school first closed to offer projects for families to do at home – then expanded to its own social channels . “We wanted to demystify project-based learning and show how sometimes projects can be very small, like cooking or gardening. We asked ourselves, how can we democratize this and make it accessible? Page explains, adding that his team released 240 episodes of Bennett Live over six months.
Today, Bennett Live is available in two ways: through YouTube and Facebook (videos only), and through a subscription-based app that includes videos as well as learning resources, guides, flip cards and fact sheets. project, to provide information on project-based learning and emerging programs. to families, educators and schools.
“We are releasing new content and our vision is to develop it as a resource for families who focus on creativity and love to learn through projects and to inspire young people to become designers,” says Page. Much like the learner-centered philosophy that begins in Kindergarten at Bennett Day School, each video offers choices based on how the learner wishes to engage.
How Bennett Live works
With an engaging format led by professional educators, Bennett Live draws children in through creative and imaginative games inspired by Reggio Emilia and visual storytelling. Children can explore outdoor adventures, experiment and solve problems through design thinking. They can create games, explore photography and films, or learn about architecture. Each program is layered and offers a choice of exploration and is listed by interest and age.
“The outdoor adventure is a big hit and the instructor, Ms. Fairity, is unpacking the kayak apprenticeship. Participants learn the many ways to explore nature through water and can still complete a project even if they can’t kayak, ”explains Page.
The value of project-based learning, Page explains, is the internal motivation it generates. “There are always things that we have to learn, so we integrate that math or science into something that might be of interest to a learner. Cooking involves math and science, just like movement and dancing, ”she says. “This philosophy recognizes that when we allow young people to follow their interests, internal motivation kicks in. It’s a different way of learning for many parents.
How to engage with Bennett Live
Which family does not have a list of projects to do? Bennett Live can help create a “culture of project achievement,” says Page. “Set aside project days – like Saturdays – and work together around the house or garage. Young children may need help cutting paper or obtaining materials, but older children can work alongside parents and everyone is engaged in a project. “
Or, make it social. “One mom told us her son loves active play with Coach Carson, and her daughter loves doing what her brother does, so they’re doing activities together and creating a culture of project-based learning at home. Says Page. “We have seen this emerge for families.”