All the reasons why project-based learning is the future

project based learning

It’s not a brand-new concept. It’s been around since before formal education was normalized. This concept, called project-based learning, is simply a method of learning that heavily depends on problem-solving and innovating through practical application. Let’s understand this better.

What is project-based learning?

The project-based learning model is the method of learning and grasping new knowledge through practical and project-based methods. Further, it’s known to help learners acquire deeper knowledge through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems.

While textbooks give you the foundations, real-world experiences give you the wings to fly and discover what you want to be. The conventional learning paradigm has a one-way flow of pre-prepared information. On the contrary, project-based learning or problem-based learning lets you discover interests and passions via a whole new world of innovation and creativity.

Examples of project-based learning activities include creating volcanos, monuments, or even solar systems for school projects. Finding solutions to environmental issues, pitching an innovative business idea are also some examples. Now that we know what it is, let’s dive into understanding how PBL helps young learners like yourself in the long run. 

Advantages of project-based learning

Focuses on critical thinking and problem-solving

Project-based learning is essentially an inquiry-based method of learning that relies on solving problems through projects assigned to learners. In the long run, it enables you to view things critically in order to arrive at a solution that works. These skills go a long way in making you confident, job-ready and equipped for the future.

Builds Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTs)

Lower Order Thinking Skills or LOTs include remembering, recalling, understanding, and applying. On the other hand, skills such as analyzing, evaluating, synthesizing, and creating are categorized as HOTs. When broken down, HOTs include everything from creativity, sense of inquiry, problem-solving, teamwork, and so many more skills. Moreover, these skills play a big role in shaping your future as they enable you to find your expression in the world and are better equipped to overcome challenges.

Accommodates a variety of learning styles

Every learner prefers a style of learning that suits them best. Project-based learning takes this very fact into account and allows you to work to your own advantage or capabilities. How? While project-based learning gives you a problem to solve or a project to complete, the method by which you choose to arrive at the end is entirely up to you. You can work to your strengths and build more specific interests over time.

Promotes independent learning and creativity

The ability to learn independently and test one’s creative boundaries is a skill often credited to this learning method (PBL). In this method, you are given the opportunity and tools to think out of the box and arrive at unconventional solutions to real-world problems presented before you. This not only sets you apart from the crowd but helps boost your confidence too.  

Encourages self-determined and self-directed learning

Through projects, you are given the canvas to explore and solve real-world challenges that require critical thinking. Something as simple as designing a marketing campaign for a sneaker launch can build a lifelong love for communication, maybe designing or even creative writing! It not only helps you build a deeper understanding of a concept but also encourages self-directed and self-determined learning. This, in turn, gives you all the necessary tools to understand your innate strengths and interests.

Challenges your limits

Real-world experiences teach learners skills such as resilience, divergent thinking, and perseverance. In the real world, you as a learner, get to express your unique opinions, approaches, and ideas. When you work on projects, there are no boundaries to expressing creativity. To take it further, it even allows you to push your limits and come up with 50 different solutions to a single problem, which then leads to innovation! 

Makes learning fun

A very important factor to take into consideration is that often young learners struggle to grasp complex theories, lose interest quickly, and can’t quite put 2 and 2 together. By following a project-based learning model,  you get to find your unique ways to obtain the same knowledge. Projects become intrinsically fun, engaging, and interesting. This definitely contributes in removing the intimidation that traditional learning methods often come with. 

At this point, you must have asked yourself this question at least once: Are there any downsides to this method? Let’s take a look.

Disadvantages of project-based learning

Requires time for research and implementation

Since project-based learning does not follow the rules of traditional learning, it can sometimes be hard to put a timeline to it. Learners should be given sufficient time to explore their ideas and creativity before arriving at a solution. 

Poses challenges for educators

In order to incorporate a project-based learning model into the curriculum, instructors have to drastically shift their teaching methodologies. They must find a means of assessing a student’s performance and take into consideration factors such as tasks completed, overall work, manner of arriving at a solution, communication among fellow students and team members, etc. Especially since it does not follow traditional assessment guidelines.

What are some project-based learning activities?

Here are some great starter project-based learning activities that learners can try at home:

  1. Script your own TED talk: Find a subject or topic that a learner would love to talk about and draft a script around it. Doing so will help them find their voice, express themselves and communicate about the things they’re passionate about.
  1. Make an infographic: Pick a topic the learner has researched previously and ask them to concise their knowledge into an infographic.
  1. Create a photo essay: Pictures are an extremely impactful method for learners to grasp and retain information. Task them with creating a photo essay of a topic they find challenging. 

In fact, you can find more exciting project-based learning activities and challenges on the Uable app, right here.

Is project-based learning effective?

We’ve read about the pros and cons but is project-based learning really that effective? The answer is subjective. Because the method of teaching and learning is both dependent on the teacher and learner respectively, the outcome may vary for all. Some learners thrive with a project-based learning model, where practical implementation of knowledge plays a key role. Keep in mind that every learner is different and what works for one may not work for the other. 

That said, problems-based learning or project-based learning is a great way to become an industry-fit professional and a resilient individual. A cycle of reflection and creation enables learners to identify their strengths and improve their skills. Just as one cannot learn cycling until they sit on a cycle, merely knowing a domain doesn’t add any value until you start exploring it.

Here on the Uable app, learners can start by exploring and then deep diving into fields that interest them and start creating micro-projects to test their affinity. In the long run, these challenges will help groom them not just for a job or career, but for the big, big world beyond!

How Ikigai can help teenagers find a purpose

Ikigai for teenagers

Ikigai. There’s no one way to properly describe what ikigai means; it’s a little bit of an emotion and a little bit of a state of being. But loosely translated, ikigai embodies the idea of happiness in living. It’s what drives you and wakes you up every morning with a sense of purpose. But it’s so much more than that too. 

What is the meaning of ikigai?

Ikigai is a Japanese concept, compounding two words: iki (生き) meaning life or alive and kai (甲斐), pronounced gai, meaning an effect, result, fruit, worth or use. To summarize, it’s something that gives a person a sense of purpose or a reason for living. On a much deeper level, it’s a self-reflection process. Knowing your ikigai means understanding yourself, your values and what serves you in the real world.

But why are we telling you about this? Well, ikigai can play an important role in defining your life as a teenager and potentially answering one of the most crucial questions that you inherently ask yourself: what is my purpose?

The good part is that you’re not alone. Many more young learners and teenagers like yourself are plagued by what to study next, what to do, will I do well as a dancer, doctor, scientist, engineer, artist, or any other passion you want to explore.

As a young learner, ikigai can shape your motives and help you find your true passion. It can even serve as a way of finding the ‘why’ behind your actions and make you wonder whether it’s something that brings you joy or not. There’s really no better way to truly know yourself than by asking all the right (or wrong) questions. In fact, several studies have found that following the path of ikigai not only gives people clarity in their vision but also provides long-term health benefits too!

Ikigai for teenagers

What is ikigai not?

Now that we know what ikigai is, it’s important to note that it’s not as simple as “following your passion”. A few simple factors differentiate ikigai from the latter: 

  • Ikigai is challenging. It involves a lot of perseverance and personal growth. 
  • Ikigai is a choice. You must feel responsible for your choice and journey.
  • Ikigai demands commitment. It’s a process that takes time and effort, and you won’t see a difference overnight.
  • Ikigai boosts your well-being. It encourages positive relationships and good health, leaving you with more energy to do what you really love.

How do I practice ikigai at a young age?

Life as a teenager can be filled with curveballs, full of emotions, excitement, impulsive decisions, and a lot of confusion. As a teenager, you are at the cusp in your life where you need to decide on a career, find a path, and so much more. It is at this stage that many end up blindly following unrealistic passions and wind up feeling discouraged when their dreams don’t materialize. Many others will resign themselves to careers that bring them money and status but no joy or fulfillment. The end goal of practicing ikigai as a teenager is to, as Mark Twain rightly said, ‘find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life’. 

Now, you must be wondering how you can make this happen? Here’s how. First, start your journey by asking yourself these five crucial questions:

  • What does my best day look like? (Your perfect day, which brings you happiness)
  • What’s keeping me stagnant? (Is it your insecurities, fear, or doubts?)
  • What comes easy for me? (When you feel that time has passed so quickly you didn’t even realize it) 
  • Who am I when alone? (Tap into your true inner self)
  • How can I help someone today? (Something you can offer another that also makes you happy) [Side note: An NPR research found that a teen’s self-esteem rises after volunteering or helping strangers] 

These questions might seem philosophical or too deep to answer but they’ll go a long way in helping you find your calling. This is because ikigai for teens addresses inner crises and gently nudges them towards their goals. Answering all the above questions will help lay a rock-solid foundation and guide you in finding your passion or career.

Can ikigai help me find a career path?

Yes! Ikigai can help you navigate not just your life decisions but your career as well. Here are a few things you can follow to help you along the way: 

Seek answers

Start by writing down these questions on a piece of paper and try to answer each one of them with as much honesty as possible:

  • What do you love to do?
  • What are you good at?
  • What does the world need?
  • What can you be rewarded for?

It’s good if you have all the answers, but it’s okay even if you don’t. Give yourself the time to think about them and answer them over time. 

Let’s take for example that you’re an artist who loves to tell stories. You’ll realize that you have many career options to choose from such as an illustrator, a writer, a painter, or a filmmaker. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way of finding purpose. There’s only your way. So, don’t be too quick to judge yourself. You can always add, remove, and modify your ikigai along the way.

It’s not a race against time

Ikigai is not about getting things right or becoming a millionaire. Instead, it’s about your personal growth and finding the right place for yourself in the scheme of things. Remember not to pressurize yourself along the way. But always be curious; it will take you a long way. With some trial and error, you will be able to uncover your purpose and passion.

Let your ikigai be the north star for you. And never forget, it is a process and it will take time.

Discover your ikigai with Uable’s real-world learning

At Uable, teenagers can immerse themselves in real-world experiences to explore their interests and passions, and discover what they truly want to do. We enable real-world learning with the power of challenges created by global experts on the app. They lead to immediate, bite-size learning and build excitement around the theme or the domain that interests you.

It pushes you to leverage experience, harness internal and external resources, develop a plan, and move forward to find the best solution. Along the way, there is experimentation, failure, and ultimately, success!

You can get started by exploring challenges across domains like entrepreneurship, marketing, tech, and many more. Interact with experts, brands, organizations, and find like-minded peers who share common interests. It’s an exciting place for self-discovery and finding your ikigai!

Discover your career path with these 9 tips

“So, what have you decided to do next?” 

“Which stream are you picking?” 

“What’s course are you taking up in college?”

Once you hit a certain age, everyone you meet keeps recycling these very questions. Even so, if you still feel like you’re always caught off-guard and don’t have the right answer yet, that’s normal. It’s okay to not know what you want to do next. But here’s what you can do instead. 

Explore. The real solution to career discovery is to keep exploring through real-world learning – where you learn by doing, instead of just reading about it in textbooks. It’s a crucial step to long-term life success and can help you go beyond test scores, therefore leading you to a path of self-discovery. 

How to choose the right career?

Finding your career path is an important task, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful one. We’ve put together a few tips you can explore to help you arrive at a career path you might thrive in. Read on to find out.

Explore your skillset

Before you find a career that is right for you, you must spend time understanding your talents, your skills, and your best qualities. Start by setting apart some time to: 

  • Research your available options and paths 
  • Think about your field of interests
  • Discover and optimize your strengths

Doing so can help you find a middle ground that ticks all the boxes of personal affinity towards the career, passion for the job, and your ability to excel at it.

Don’t limit yourself to passion

If you have a passion that you find scalable, that’s a great place to start. For the others, it’s important to think about your passion and still focus on the ultimate impact of your effort. About 75% of respondents to a survey in America said they had changed their career at least once, and approximately 33% thinking of changing yet again. So, finding the right fit is crucial.

Let your passion guide you, but don’t forget to put in the hard work, commitment and dedication. Think about how scalable your passion is, the work or skills it requires, and how you score on that scale. A good way to do this is by constantly indulging yourself in project-based learning activities and real-world challenges that can help give you the big picture of what the next few years of your life look like. 

Try a personality test

Personality tests are a great tool for self-discovery, allowing you to come to terms with your skills and talents. Some tests you can try include Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Big Five Personality Test. While these will not give you a definitive answer on what your career path should be, they’ll help you understand what role might suit your personality, characteristics, and skills. 

Look for overlaps

What you know, what a company expects, and what you want to achieve may differ, but the connection between the three should be clear. Learn how to interpret your skills and abilities instead of looking for any job. Look back at past experiences to guide you towards your future. What did you like to do in the past? What did you not like about it?

Shortlist your choices

Fortunately or unfortunately, you can’t do it all. Work smart, never more. After exploring a basket list of options, cut them down to the top 3 or 5 by analyzing which of your talents and abilities can actually make a good fit for a potential future career path. The best way to shortlist is by making a list of the pros and cons and really asking yourself, “Is this something I’d love to do for the rest of my life?”.

Attend career fares

Career fairs are a good place to start exploring your options. They help you acquire knowledge, open your eyes to options you didn’t even consider before, and even see which university has what you’re looking for. They’re far less intimidating than going on university visits and you can even meet like-minded individuals with the same interests as yours! 

Network your way to career discovery

When you are actively looking for a new career or trying to figure out which way to go, it’s a great way to get your feet in the water and seek help from those already in it. When you meet more people, you can gain more insight into how they work, why they love their work. Networking with like-minded people on the same career trajectory that you hope to insert yourself into is a wonderful way to get exposure without actually doing the work. Ask the right questions, find out what a regular workday looks like for them, and get the details. Who knows, you might even find a mentor in the process and that’s a career gold mine! In fact, surveys reveal that around 85% of the jobs gained are networked.

Seek professional internships

Do you know what a veterinarian does all day? Or what a PR manager does all day? There is no better way to learn a job than by trial and error, experimenting, and understanding if you’re the right fit. For example, you can always reach out to friends or family who run or work in businesses of your interest and ask for potential internship openings. They could help put in a word and you get the exposure in return. 

Hold on to what inspires you

This is an obvious step: everyone wants to enjoy their work and appreciate it. If you are afraid to talk about work, it is the most significant sign that you are on the wrong path. While passion is not the only way to fulfill your mission, most people would say that it is still important, not least because passion keeps you going through difficult times. Find what inspires you and never let it go.

There are no right or wrong answers

Here’s a bonus tip: Don’t let the process intimidate you or bring you down. Give yourself the time to explore your options before zeroing down on the final one. And while you exploring, indulge in some project-based learning exercises on Uable. Pick from a variety of subject matters and challenges, get creative, discover new talents and we’re confident you’ll find something you truly excel at AND enjoy! 

Finally, the road to career discovery is not a straight path, but it is filled with great learnings and personal growth. Keep that in mind as you decide the best career option for the future, starting today. Happy exploring!

Discover your Career Calling with the Power of Real-World Challenges

career discover
career discovery

‘Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits!’

Life, more often than not, throws various challenges at us, but how many times are we prepared to face them? While academic education helps build the foundation of a career, it doesn’t adequately prepare learners for the real world.

So how does one develop the skills and competencies to prepare for a productive future?

Unlock your potential with real world learning

Real-world learning for the 21st century is a crucial missing link between academic achievement and long-term life success. At its core, the phrase “real-world learning” means learning that is active, applied, and grounded in the world beyond school walls. It goes beyond test scores and empowers you with the skills to navigate college, career, and community, laying a critical foundation for success.

Start by engaging yourself in authentic, relevant problems, projects, and experiences that develop career awareness and readiness. 

Once you immerse yourself in learning experiences with experts, influencers, brands and purposes, your academic work finds meaning beyond the walls of the classroom. Also, this allows you to gain hands-on skills that you can use for a lifetime.

‘Challenge’ your Limits!

Attempt real-world challenges on the Uable app

A challenge lets you turn an abstract concept into a concrete and actionable output. It is a call to action to learn deeply about the subject. And by doing so, you develop essential skills necessary to thrive in an ever-changing world. It fuels collaboration to identify big ideas, ask thoughtful questions, and identify, investigate and solve complex problems. 

Uable enables real-world learning with the power of challenges created by global experts on the app. They lead to immediate, bite-size learning and build excitement around the theme or the domain that interests you. 

It pushes you to leverage experience, harness internal and external resources, develop a plan and move forward to find the best solution. Along the way, there is experimentation, failure, and ultimately, success.

Career Discovery with Uable

Uable is a daily space for learners where they can self-design their own career discovery journeys by attempting real-world challenges.

  • We know that learning is driven by motivation and instead of a one-way flow of centralized pre-prepared information, so we’ve adopted learner-generated parallel flows on the app; this helps learners to explore their talents and interests with creativity and curiosity.
  • You can explore real-life domains where they can dive deep into topics that interest them and discover new career pathways with the help of experts.
  • The more you create on the app, the stronger your portfolio becomes. Your strengths, interests, and passion are well-documented for future references. It also helps in sparking enthusiasm for further discoveries and creations.
  • It makes you future-ready as you gain relevant 21st-century skills – one challenge at a time!

Getting Started 

Explore challenges across domains like entrepreneurship, marketing, tech, and many more. Interact with experts, brands, organisations and find like-minded peers who share common interests. And of course, in the process, you also create amazing work and showcasing your talent to the world!

Each challenge/domain/theme is a contagious field of energy that spreads excitement – that stimulates each user to start discovering unknown things or work on their own skills.

At Uable, you are free to pursue and develop interests every day without textbooks, or the pressure of exams, and marks.

Start attempting challenges on the app to discover possible future pathways for your career.

Happy creating!

The Questopedia

Quest global schools event

From meeting inspirational experts to receiving stunning user creations on our app, hereʼs how Quest, global schools event, unfolded on May 8, 2021.

The Global Imprint

At Uable, we are working tirelessly to bring the mission of real-world learning to life and help every learner discover their passion and career calling.

Quest – one of its kind event for high school students – was the perfect platform to amplify our mission.

It was an inspirational moment to see students from across the world come together. We received participation from over 130 top schools globally – from Brazil to France, the UAE to the USA, Ghana to India and many more spread across 35 countries.

Quest global schools event

Solving real world problems with experts

We connected them with brands and industry experts from around the world to encourage them to apply skills, and explore domains by solving exciting real-world challenges.

Quest global schools event
Creating a guiding path for future generations to follow, one real-world challenge at a time!

At the live event, we had three experts who shared their valuable experience & career journey and gave a sneak peek into what the future holds for tech, health, environment, space, and more.

Jonathan Powers, vehicle design engineer at Tesla on the future of electric vehicles

Health Coach Gretchen Battle on the importance of health

Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy gave major space and life lessons!

Creativity at its best!

The challenges launched by the experts on the Uable app brought out some really innovative and out of the box ideas.

Quest global schools event

The Winners!

Gretchen Battleʼs Next Gen Smart Watch for the Elderly Challenge

Quest global schools event

Jonathan Powers’ Power the World’s Largest Ships Challenge

Sergey Ryazanskiy’s Mission Mars: Breathe Easy Challenge

Quest global schools event

What our experts said…

Our users loved the Quest global schools event too!

Quest global schools event

The Quest event may be over, but your quest to discovering future career pathways continues. Keep exploring the Uable app.

Generation Side Hustle: How the gig economy is preparing teenagers for the Future of Work

side hustle

High school students across the world got creative during the pandemic lockdown as they discovered new hobbies & passion projects and turned them into a side hustle.

While there were some who were busy binge-watching Netflix (remember the “Tiger King” phase?), there were many more who were selling crafts, making candles, and even selling customized poetry to make extra cash.

With abundant tech platforms available, it has never been easier to start a side hustle

You can sell your art on Instagram. Set up a Shopify store in a matter of minutes. Offer to develop websites using code-free platforms such as Wix or Squarespace or provide design services using Canva. 

The opportunities are endless. So is the growth.

A New Way to Learn

For decades, teenagers have formed the backbone of entry-level jobs such as serving food at restaurants or working as shop assistants. While these jobs help pay some bills, growth and learning opportunities are limited.

A great thing about the gig economy is that it welcomes everyone with open arms – even those who have no prior experience.

It’s a perfect starting point for teenagers who are looking to express their creativity and find out what they are passionate about. 

It is also an innovative way to learn new skills outside of academic knowledge.

According to UNICEF, more than half of South Asian youth do not have the skills necessary for employment in 2030. Another report says that young adults in the US lack important soft skills, like critical thinking and teamwork, needed to succeed at the workplace.

A hustle is a great way to fill the gap.

It teaches you to be entrepreneurial and life skills such as communication, money management and many more. In fact, a survey by Girls With Impact says that 53% of Gen Z expect they would be running their own companies -affirming the entrepreneurial spirit of this generation.

Even if you don’t start your own business, skills learnt from a hustle are valuable and are easily transferable across various career paths.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development agrees. It conducted a study in Australia, the UK and the US, and found that teenagers who combine part-time work with full-time education did better than expected in their school-to-work transitions.

So where does one start?

Getting a Head Start into the Future of Work

The first step is to explore what you are good at. Think about long-term projects and goals that can bring fulfilment. It gets you in a future-focused mindset and helps with discovering what you are truly passionate about.

Next, you can turn that into an amazing portfolio of work. Even without any prior experience, you can hop on to various gig platforms and start taking assignments. Within a few months, you will have a solid portfolio to demonstrate your talent.

Going forward, a portfolio is set to become more valuable than a professional degree. It’s a real-time showcase of your creative expression, talent and skills.

Shape your own career path, instead of choosing conventional streams. Tap into the gig economy to get started on your dream job!