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Teachers take to video to reflect on their real-world classroom projects

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Have you wanted to bring hands-on, real-world projects into your classroom but aren’t sure where to start? A series of videos produced by teachers will help guide you through the process.

The teachers, who were participating in an AEA Online course, were challenged by the Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-based Learning to take a project from the site’s project board, teach it and then reflect on their experiences. Those reflections include the benefits and impacts of the program.

Those videos are now being made available for other teachers to watch and learn.

“We know it takes commitment to get these projects up and running,” said Jake Welchans, the clearinghouse’s manager. “But as these videos underscore, it’s well worth the time to invest in making real-world projects available to your students. Students suddenly understand the relevance of the lessons they are being taught in the classroom and, as such, they develop a much deeper understanding of the subject being taught.”

The clearinghouse is the go-to site where teachers can pair up with businesses to create real-world projects. Past projects have included producing a more effective green room for a theater as well as developing a video for a museum that, because of its age and size, is not accessible to those with disabilities. The length of projects varies from weeks to a semester.

Businesses and educators alike attest to their appreciation for the clearinghouse.

Today’s video is from Bondurant-Farrar Community School District featuring educator Donovan Hill.

“This project through the Iowa Clearinghouse allowed students to see education in the new way, allowed them to see subjects that aren't separate silos but allowed them to draw together multiple disciplines and create projects with a business - an authentic audience - that was better able to give feedback than any teacher ever could because it kind of showed the students where the rubber met the road in terms of real-world learning,” Hill said.

Here are his reflections of the project. In the coming weeks, the Iowa Department of Education will share more teacher reflections.

For more information on the clearinghouse, contact Jake Welchans at

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Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on September 21, 2021 at 4:02am.