14 Tech Tools to Enhance Project-Based Learning

Bob Lenz (@pblbob) and Sally Kingston (@SallyKingston5) shared 17 Teacher Tech Tools for High-Quality Project-Based Learning.
Many of these tools can be used to help facilitate PBL and to best meet the needs of students working on projects. 
At the Buck Institute for Education PBL World event this week, we attended an EdSurge workshop and learned about some additional tools that can be used to help address PBL questions you might be having:

Where can I see other PBL educators and learn how to improve my practice?

  • Insight Advance allows teachers to use online, video observation, evaluation and feedback. 
  • Kyte Learning is a digital library of edtech professional development videos created by teachers. If you want to learn about a tech tool (i.e. Google Earth), use Kyte to learn how to use the tool and find examples of projects of how it can be used in your PBL classroom.
  • Torsh TALENT is a video-based teacher instructional support platform.
  • Ed Leadership Simulations provides simulations of real-world school challenges for PBL leaders and educators to help improve their decision making.

Where can I find PBL instructional resources to use and adapt?

  • Think Through Math provides rigorous adaptive curriculum, assessment, and tutors for math. 
  • CraftED Curriculum is a marketplace with lessons aligned to Hewlett’s Deeper Learning Competencies. Jenny Pieratt from CraftED said it provides teachers with “tools for the messy middle” of big projects.
  • Mathalicious has real-world lessons that support inquiry-based teaching. Use Mathalicious to find great driving questions for PBL.

What tools are available to help me with PBL assessment?

  • QUIO Learning Map is a grading and reporting tool that allows teachers to align student’s work with performance levels. Teachers can collect evidence from student projects to save in online portfolios.
  • Novare Platform provides teachers with assessment tools to help schools measure student proficiency. Teachers may use this to help students during the critique and revision stage of a project.
  • FlexTime Manager can be used to manage activity periods and keep track of projects.


Where can my students collaborate or work on projects?

  • Piper provides game-based learning in engineering and design. Students can use Piper to build a public product for their projects.
  • Scrible Edu allows students to save webpages, annotate and share research with peers (with added student edition features). A great tool for the sustained inquiry portion of a project.
  • Waggle provides educators with adaptive, common core-aligned practice and assessment for math and english students in grades 2-8.
  • PaGamO is a massive online education game for any subject-area.
Piper Games, an engineering set for students

Emerging Trends

Aside from emerging tech tools and resources, educators and leaders at PBL World also shared with us what they feel are new PBL trends. Several educators shared they are looking forward to seeing how students can use technology tools to connect globally on projects–both synchronously and asynchronously.
Many teachers mentioned that using the Next Generation Science Standards in PBL was on the top of their list for the upcoming school year. Other educators shared that they are working to really personalize PBL for their students, finding new ways to make the learning even more individualized. Nicole Assisi (@DOCAssisi) from Thrive Public Schools shared the following:

I am excited about taking projects deeper by blending them with personalized learning. Through a mixture of technology supported work, to differentiation and real world outcomes, we can get all students a better shot of their future by making them college prepared and career inspired. (See our recent feature on Thrive.)

This blog was created at this year’s PBL World conference. Follow along at #PBLWorld and contribute your ideas by submitting short answers to our PBL World form.
For more on PBL, continue to follow the movement with the It’s a Project-Based World campaign throughout the year and watch what went on at the Buck Institute for Education PBL World event: http://bie.org/x6ax
For more on project-based learning, see:

Stay in-the-know with all things EdTech and innovations in learning by signing up to receive the weekly Smart Update. This post includes mentions of a Getting Smart partner. For a full list of partners, affiliate organizations and all other disclosures please see our Partner page.

Emily Liebtag

Emily Liebtag, Ed.D., is Education Reimagined's Senior Partner for Systems Transformation. Formerly, Emily served as the Vice President of Advocacy at Getting Smart.

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joão marques silva

thank you for the ideas and the tools

Karen Murray

Looking forward to the update

Jacqueline Evanecz

Great resource list! I thought I would put these new free PBL resources on your radar too.

Student-Led Project ideas: https://spinndle.com/pbl-project-ideas
Student Workbooks & Teacher Planning Templates: https://spinndle.com/pbl-project-planner

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