Project Based Learning
Boys Town Jerusalem has become the first high school in Israel to pioneer a “Project Based Learning” (PBL) technology course. PBL involves learning through identifying a real-world problem and applying technology to develop a solution. Here, the students are at the helm, generating the direction and scope of the learning process with nominal guidance by the instructor.
The 20 eleventh graders in the PBL course, all computer or electronics majors, are devoting their after-school hours to the extracurricular 2-year course. The rewards are significant: these students will be in top demand by the Israeli Army and the high-tech sector.
Each two-student team began by conducting a thorough inquiry into a real-world need, surveying existing conditions and consulting with experts in the field. After analyzing the results, the teams have applied their technological knowledge to create a prototype or program to address the problem at hand. Seeking to improve efficiency in industry and commerce, students are currently developing a reliable data traffic system for banks, new solutions for water desalinization plants, a streamlined communication system for restaurant chains, and more.
Instructor Serok, who guides and coordinates all 20 students in their quest for technological solutions, formally teaches the class in after-school sessions each week. Yet he is constantly on-call via the class’s WhatsApp group, providing answers and suggestions. “This class is much harder to teach,” he declares. “Keeping up with the students is a major challenge!”