Meet Claudett Edie, a Library Media Specialist at Leestown Middle School in Lexington, KY, who participated in PBL World last summer. We recently had the opportunity to chat with Claudett about her highlights from PBL World, an experience that has driven her to empower other educators to adopt PBL as a vehicle for Deeper Learning. 


How did your PBL journey begin and what inspired you to attend PBL World?

My PBL journey began nearly a decade ago when I received a KYSTE grant to support a Rowan County Senior High School project called 'My Heritage, My Future.' In this project, students learned about the history of our community from local historians, city and county leaders, as well as local university representatives. Most recently, I had the privilege of being part of one of the Kentucky PBL School Leader Network (SLN) cohorts, thanks to the generous support of the Kentucky Department of Education. It’s been a transformative experience (huge thanks to Charity Moran)! I’ve become an advocate for PBL, witnessing firsthand the impact it has on teachers and students. 

My PBL journey led me to apply for the Kentucky Project Based Learning Innovators contest, and I won an all-inclusive trip to PBL World as one of three Kentucky educators!  

Can you describe how PBL World changed your teaching practice and students' learning experiences? 

Attending PBL World was a game-changer for me. I attended the pre-conference, where I engaged in the one-day Slice workshop, and then participated in the three-day PBL Coaching workshop. 

The workshops at PBL World are not your typical PD sessions; they are orchestrated, immersive learning experiences that go beyond theory. It isn't some conference bubble—I've brought those ideas straight into the classroom and coaching sessions. 

Those ideas led me to change how I design PBL experiences. I now anchor the inquiry process with clearly defined standards and success criteria. I've also embraced the significance of feedback protocols throughout the inquiry process when coaching students and teachers. PBL World is not just a conference. It has been a catalyst for positive change in my teaching and coaching roles that continues to resonate in my day-to-day work.

A memorable aspect of your PBL World experience

The intentional focus on community building made the entire experience truly memorable and impactful. I felt an incredible sense of intimacy despite being a large gathering of hundreds of educators. We didn't have to jostle for space in overcrowded rooms. Instead, we enjoyed the beautiful outdoor learning spaces, working in small groups or teams, creating a close-knit atmosphere where collaboration and idea exchange flowed naturally without the typical conference rush. With a more relaxed pace, there was dedicated time for professional discussion, networking, and building connections, not just consuming information. The attention to detail even extended to the delicious meals! The whole experience was catered to fuel our learning journey.

For educators considering attending PBL World for the first time, what tip would you give them? 

My biggest tip would be don't hesitate to come alone! It may feel intimidating at first, but trust me, PBL World is a welcoming hub of friendly educators waiting to connect. I attended solo, and every meal became an opportunity to share a table with someone new. 

Something memorable and unique to this experience… 

What made it truly special was hearing educators' journeys from around the country and even the world. It's like taking a cross-country road trip without leaving your seat. You get insights into what's happening in other states, how they structure their school year, the rhythm of their day, and most importantly, how each classroom, school, and educator brings their unique spin to PBL

A tip for first-time attendees: 

My tip is to embrace the opportunity to connect and share with educators from various backgrounds. It's not just about the workshops but the enriching conversations and the network of educators you'll build.

Napa Explorations: Any recommendations? 

Experience Muir Woods National Monument and Muir Beach for an unforgettable evening adventure! Only three miles apart from each other, Muir Beach offers a serene seaside retreat. It is a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the ocean breeze.


PBL World 2024: Join us at American Canyon High School in Napa Valley from June 24-27, 2024, to begin or continue your PBL journey with four days of transformative professional development. Ignite joy through PBL - register now for PBL World 2024! For more information, visit https://www.pblworks.org/pbl-world.

✉️ If you attended PBL World and it has impacted your teaching in transformative ways, reach out to Natalie at [email protected]. Your experience might be someone else's valuable inspiration. Join us in sharing the transformative power of PBL on teaching and learning—we can't wait to hear about your PBL journey!