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The Top 5 Ways SolidProfessor Can Enhance Your PLTW Curriculum


Sep 4 2019

Have you ever heard the phrase “two heads are better than one”? The sentiment behind it is sound: Two people can solve a problem more effectively than one person on their own. This is also true of your classroom. There’s no one perfect tool that will inspire and educate all of your students. But if you get the right combination of tools, you can create an enriching learning environment that gives students the real-world skills they need. That’s what you get when you integrate SolidProfessor into your Project Lead The Way (PLTW) curriculum.

Together, SolidProfessor and PLTW give your students important CAD, CAM, and BIM skills and the ability to apply those skills to real-world designs. In this article, we dig into the top ways you can get the most out of your PLTW curriculum by integrating SolidProfessor’s online tutorials and training resources.

READ MORE: SolidProfessor named the Official Training Partner of PLTW

Add more software-specific instruction into your curriculum

One of the biggest benefits of PLTW is their emphasis on project-based learning. As students tackle these projects, however, they often need extra instruction to learn how to best navigate their CAD, CAM, or BIM software. And learning how to leverage these powerful tools isn’t easy or quick — it takes time and practice.

That’s where SolidProfessor comes in.

Our short, bite-sized online videos give students the software skills they need to execute their PLTW projects. PLTW Master Teacher and high school engineering instructor Cliff Greer explains, “I initially decided to incorporate SolidProfessor in our engineering program to help my students learn Inventor and Revit. Our students were struggling to really get the hang of the software, so I wanted to find something that had enough instruction and practice activities.”

FREE eGUIDE: Why combining SolidProfessor with PLTW curriculum results in higher achieving students

Prepare your students to earn a software certification

Learning how to navigate CAD, CAM, or BIM software is a great way for students to gain skills that are directly applicable to a career in engineering, architecture, or manufacturing. The next step? Encouraging students to earn a software certification. It’s an impressive accomplishment to add to their resume and helps them stand out from other students and job candidates.

SolidProfessor’s dedicated certification prep helps students feel confident in their ability to pass the exam, plus we provide a number of practice tests in a simulated exam environment so students really feel prepared when the big day comes. Greer says, “We use SolidProfessor for certification preparation because what we do in class doesn’t give them enough training to pass the exam. My students typically spend at least a month and a half preparing specifically for the exam in addition to their work on projects.”

Our most popular certification preparation courses include

SolidProfessor’s certification prep courses are easy to follow and understand, helping students as young as 6th grade earn their certification.

READ MORE: Earning industry certifications and learning tangible skills

Flip your classroom and assign SolidProfessor videos for your students to watch at home

One of the biggest benefits of pairing SolidProfessor with your PLTW curriculum is you can easily flip the classroom. Quick refresher: To flip the classroom, or even just a lesson, students need to complete independent study on their own time and work on a project or assignment in class that challenges the skills they learned on their own. This is an incredibly popular teaching methodology with a recent survey revealing that 96% of teachers who flipped a lesson or unit recommended the practice to other teachers.

To get started, assign SolidProfessor videos for your students to watch at home. Then, have students work on their PLTW projects during class time, giving them the opportunity to put their new skills into action while you monitor their progress and answer any questions. And with SolidProfessor’s teacher dashboard, you can see which students completed their video assignments — and which ones didn’t.

READ MORE: How to flip your classroom in a few easy steps

Teach students additional topics like AutoCAD, Arduino, 3D printing, and more

Students often need to learn how to navigate additional topics — like AutoCAD — to gain the skills required by the industry. Greer explains that he teaches AutoCAD in their Engineering Club, as most engineering firms still require that software experience. To help you incorporate more CAD, CAM, and BIM software instruction into your curriculum, SolidProfessor offers courses covering a variety of software titles and engineering methodologies, making it your one-stop-shop for design tutorials.

Greer says, “The reason I chose SolidProfessor specifically is because it teaches all the different CAD software programs, so I can use it to give more instruction on Inventor and Revit in addition to AutoCAD.”

READ MORE: How to enhance your PLTW curriculum

Give your students the tools to explore their CAD, CAM, or BIM software on their own

You’ve probably heard of the acronym VARK, which stands for each of the different learning styles: visual, auditory, reading, and kinesthetic. Being able to provide opportunities that appeal to each of these individual learning types is a great way to ensure students’ are absorbing and retaining information.

At SolidProfessor, we understand that learning at your own pace and through various styles is the foundation of effective learning. It’s the opportunity to learn in visual, auditory, written, and kinesthetic ways that make SolidProfessor a unique training solution and so much more impactful than one-dimensional learning experiences.

READ MORE: Appeal to every learning style with multimodal learning

Free Guide: How to Create Your Best Engineering Program with PLTW and SolidProfessor

Teachers across the country have found that using their PLTW curriculum in tandem with SolidProfessor’s online training videos provides their students with the most all-encompassing, hands-on education. Our free guide details exactly how it works, including examples from real classrooms.

Kelly Mantick
Kelly Mantick

About the Author

Kelly Mantick

SolidProfessor academic content marketer and amateur hula hooper.