PBL Tips

Collaboration with Project Pals: Brainstorming

Learn how to Brainstorm using Project Pals. Manage classroom brainstorming activities through a digital collaboraiton platform.


Brainstorming Using Project Pals

Brainstorming helps students improve their critical and creative thinking as well expand topics. It helps to get new ideas moving and old ideas fresh again, and Project Pals is your RIGHT-FIT brainstorming solution!

But we thought Project Pals was only for projects? 

Surprise, surprise! Project Pals can be used for so much more! What if the ideas shaping the project were collected and stored inside the same tool that will hold the actual project? This will help your learners:

  • Keep track of their ideas from first thought to finished product.
  • Collaborate with other project team members from the first steps of project management.
  • Get even more comfortable and creative with ideas generation inside Project Pals.

In addition, we know you LOVE the ability to see time-on-task and user engagement in the awesome analytics features, so now you can track engagement in the beginning stages of project development, as well!

Ok... I'm in! How do I start brainstorming in Project Pals?

Brainstorming inside Project Pals eliminates the need for you to create open (and lasting) physical space in the classrooms. Individual tabs, graphic organizers, and connected components create endless palettes to throw all the ideas onto "paper."


With Project Pals you can quickly clone the Brainstorming Template and have your class start sharing ideas on any topic.

1. Navigate to the Project Pals Catalog


2. Find the project you want to use and click Clone

3. Your project will now appear in My Drafts and can be modified for your needs.

4. Don't forget to assign this project to your entire class (for whole group brainstorming) or individual group leaders (for small group brainstorming). 


Teachers can create their own collaborative brainstorming project with a few simple steps. 

  1. Select My Drafts in the left menu.

2. Click the + button on the left side.

3. Complete the Create a New Project form in the pop-up window. You can edit the project details after completing the form.

Add a Project Name to describe the inquiry. 

TIP: Often the Project Name is the Driving Question. Learn how to come up with effective Driving Questions by referencing examples in the Catalog.

Click the calendar icon to set a due date for the project.

Upload an image to represent the project by browsing your files or pasting an image URL from a website.

4. Click the Create button to add the project to My Drafts. Don't forget to assign this project to your entire class (for whole group brainstorming) or individual group leaders (for small group brainstorming). 


Got it! Any ideas on topics we could start brainstorming together? 

As the holidays are upon us, consider using Project Pals to brainstorm class parties or even community outreach events like toy or food drives. Here are some other topic to get you started:

  • Things you are grateful for
  • Great books you think others might like to read over the winter break
  • Fantastic movies to watch during break
  • Ideas for giving
  • How you might volunteer in your community
  • Planning a family celebration
  • Collecting activies for family game night

And if you are looking for ways to structure your brainstorm tabs inside Project Pals, start with:

  • Concept Maps
  • Word Clouds
  • Lists
  • Images with Annotations

This is awesome! So do you have any advice for us newbies to Project Pals?

  • Brainstorm early and often both as a whole group and small groups / individuals. Interested in knowing why brainstorming is such a critical piece to project development? Check this out! 
  • Moderate all participants and ideas - there is not one right idea!
  • Set parameters for high-quality ideas but be open to discovering new directions.
  • Set a time limit -- constraints often push creativity.
  • Aim for synthesis. Have students throw ideas up there but invite them to summarize their ideas into coherent thoughts. 

Have some other great ideas or want to keep this conversation going? Please share your ideas or brainstorming project with us in the comments below!


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