Posted by Larry Short
Students today are getting complex projects as early as the fourth grade, but have little or no instruction on how to organize and complete them in a methodical way. It is important to teach the basic principles and techniques for project planning to ensure the successful completion of projects. This means well-organized projects completed on time and without last-minute panic. (2009, John Byrne, PMI Implementation Guide)
With the exception of Microsoft Math, which directly correlates to the STEM initiative, the majority of Microsoft’s discussions with K12 educators are around add-ins to Office or some very innovative tools created by Microsoft’s Research and Microsoft’s Live@edu and Office 365 offerings. This helps to drive the value of Office software, but does not assist educators introducing project management to their students. Microsoft is not alone in their lack of PM direction; Google is lacking the same focus. Google also offers free email and collaboration tools for schools, but nothing specifically connects the dots with the current direction many educators are going.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) Education Foundation has been working with both the Washington and North Carolina Departments of Education who are implementing project based curriculum for high schools. The PMI Education Foundation has a substantial curriculum they have developed for both teachers using the program and students taking project based training courses. For example, the Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has been adapting the PMI’s curriculum as part of their Business, Management & Administration initiative. In North Carolina project management curriculum is part of the Student Credentialing program.
PMI’s Learning Zone includes a great collection of case study videos that highlight student use of project management techniques and tools in the classroom.