At the start of the 2018 school year, PLP added something new to its design: a course called Personal Growth Plan or PGP for short.
This credit course, which meets outside the timetable, came about for a variety of reasons, but mostly based on the requests we heard over and over from PLP learners and their families. Our learners needed more help. Help in getting organized. Help in prioritizing. Help in task completion. Help in perfectionism. All the other things that creative, critical, and collaborative thinking can require that isn’t content or just skills for content attainment.
So the PLP teachers sat down and started thinking. What would help PLP learners to best get at some of these topics? We have dabbled with some before (growth mindset, SMART goals setting, etc.), but this needed more thought.
One big aspect was the concept was the idea of getting organized. As we all know, getting organized is a multi-faceted beast. So we began with that task in mind.
In many ways, the idea of getting organized goes way back to the founding of PLP 10 years ago where we thought that changing to a 1:1 device design would change everything!
Well, someone who doesn’t have a system in place can be just as disorganized with an iPad as they can be with paper. This was a cruel realization to us over the past 10 years – a recognition that despite the use of the best suite of apps for project delivery and reception that we could find (a big shout out to our educational partners in crime: Showbie and Basecamp), PLP still lacked something that our learners needed.
And that is when Things walked through the door. And it really did change everything.
We first introduced the use of Things with the very helpful support of the school’s administration in purchasing licences for each PLP learner from the resource budget in the fall of 2018. From then on, it became a staple in our instruction.
What is is about Things that made it stand out for us as PLP teachers? Well it is more than just a to do list. As you can see in their introduction video, Things is truly a task manager that helps PLP learners achieve their goals.
As Business Insider writes, “it’s really best for tackling more complex projects”. This is exactly what our PLP learners were asking for. In addition, Things does this with easy input for multiple types of work with flexible organization that allows learners the ability to document their productivity and task completion. If you want to read more about why Things over other apps, this review at The Sweet Setup really says it all.
As we all learned together the amazing depths of Things, we all came away with a new respect for how well Things can handle the reality of project management in a PBL classroom. By the end of the 2018/19 school year, we were thrilled to see the PLP learners reflect on their use of Things as an educational tool.
As Jordyn writes, “I remember when Things was first introduced to us and I refused to use it. I just continued using my paper agenda until the teachers finally made me try it and I haven’t gone back since. If I had this app on my iPad last year… Wooooeeeee!! Things would have been much easier”. Rhiann even created her own dance which shows her life before and after Things.
So as we begin the 2019/20 school year with Things as our newest educational tool, the PLP teachers are excited to see how our newest PLP learners will take to it, and how our continuing learners will continue to grow with Things!
(And if any of our learners have forgotten the power of Things, remember you can add the Tutorial Project to your Things by going to Settings!)