Tract can engage students and get them excited about learning. Every student needs a reason to come to school, and Tract will help you do that. Tract is a personalized Project-Based Learning (PBL) platform with rich, individualized projects for students that can be tracked and managed from a centralized teacher dashboard. This blog post will share ten ways you can use Tract to create personalized project-based learning in your classroom.
1. Help Students Choose their Own Learning Path
Part of the challenge with project-based learning is finding student interests. When we do projects in my classroom, I spend a significant amount of time helping students figure out an angle that suits their passions. Tract makes this simple as students explore topics that are interesting and full of pop culture topics.
Students can perform a cool project in Minecraft (while learning probability), learn about water quality with a student leader from Flint, Michigan, or learn to program their computer and many more options.
2. Incorporate Student Interests
There are two primary ways I’ve found to engage students in learning and give them a reason to come to school each day:
- Find a task that is something they love (drawing, painting, making video)
- Relate to a topic or hobby that they love (pop culture, video game, or hobby)
Tract helps you do both. For example, if a student likes to draw and likes Star Wars, they can draw Baby Yoda.
In another example appropriate for some students and schools, students could program a sorting hat simulator like that used in Harry Potter.
Every project is screened for quality and age-level appropriateness (age 8+.) You may even find some projects created by other students. Student-created content keeps the environment rich, engaging, and relevant for students.
3. Connect Students
There are two basic ways students connect in Tract:
- By sharing work on projects
- By Joining “clubs” around common topics
As students complete projects, they share their artifacts in Tract. They can see and comment on one another’s work and discuss what they are learning. Conversations and learning happen there.
Second, students can join clubs around topics that interest them and discuss those topics. Third, moderation takes a three-tiered approach from verified and approved adults, technology detecting and blocking, and in-house moderators. (Learn more.)
4. Encourage Multiple Projects and Interests
I like how students earn coins and awards for projects completed, which they can trade in for prizes and donations inside Tract as they complete projects. Helpfully, Tract isn’t a once-and-done platform, but ongoing learning and creating are encouraged in every project.
Teachers can give awards to students, and I recommend also recognizing student work in class as well. As students earn tokens, they can select prizes to give back to others, promoting the service aspect of learning. As they are earning, they are learning to help others at the same time. Fantastic!
5. Give guidance with direct links
Students can use Tract in self-directed learning, or teachers can generate links from the projects and post a selection of options for Tract or even put them into a hyperdoc or choice board to give some specific choices if you need to be standards-aligned.
6. Create a personal portfolio
One of the best things about Tract is how students can create a personal portfolio of work. Then, as students, complete work it saves to their student profile.
Additionally, they have an option to post their photos and artifacts to the gallery. I would recommend capturing this for students to carry from year to year as they show their work and as you celebrate learning.
7. Create a classroom of creators and innovators
Classroom culture is so influential, therefore as you use Tract, I also recommend bringing the work into the classroom. Use this to support genius time (20% time), standards, or ongoing technology creation requirements. Have an “invention convention” or “genius” event where students share and present their work to one another.
8. Save Time
One of the challenges for teachers and project-based learning is the time requirements. Tract helps you save time.
Tract will help provide the resources you need to create a powerful Project-Based Learning Environment. You don’t have to understand everything about every project with all the resources built-in for you. Each project has instructions, videos, and places to ask questions.
Tract is a fantastic website to use and saves time for busy teachers.
9. Every Student Needs a Reason to Come to School
As I’ve traveled the country and met engaged students, they all have one thing in common: a passion they get to pursue while at school. Tract lets Students can create their learning paths.
In this case, I suggest having students create their learning paths as part of a discussion of learning objectives with you as the teacher. Once you agree upon the learning path, they move along!
Projects are a fast, easy way to help engage students, which flows into all of their classes. Tract can help you do that. As you tap into the creator economy (and a student's drive to be a TikTok/youtube star), you engage students in learning.
Teachers can quickly help students do this by following along in Tract’s learn through teaching lesson plan (teach.tract.app/lesson-plan)
Information from Tract About How it Works:
Download and read through the Learn Through Teaching Lesson Plan
Have your students follow along and upload their work through the class: How to Create a Learning Path on Tract
Motivate aspiring TikTok + YouTube stars through our Creator Tiers:
As your students work toward publishing their first Learning Path on Tract, those who demonstrate the ability to teach by recording their first video lesson can begin their journey toward becoming an “Affiliate” and paid “Partner” Creator at Tract!
10. It’s fun!
The tenth and best reason to use Tract with your students? It is a whole lot of fun! You and your students will enjoy your time spent in Tract, so get started today.
Teachers can request free access to Tract at teach.tract.app with the access code: COOLCATTEACHER
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Thank you for the helpful information! I love that students are able to join clubs that interest them but are still beneficial for their learning experiences.
Tract seems like a fun and engaging way for students to personalize their learning and explore on their own!
I am a grad student studying special education. This article is very useful for a new teacher who would to learn about blending classroom and gain knowledge about education technology. This blog have many tips for teachers to use and create the great classroom for students.
Thank you, Nathida. I am glad it is helpful.