Project based learning is a new teaching tool that is being heavily touted and although I certainly believe in its benefits, as a teacher it can be very difficult and timely to create an execute a project in the classroom. If I was able to pair with a business it would actually reduce the pressure on my shoulders and increase the value of the project. Work smarter, not harder :)
I think the question of during the school day or after-school would have to be handled school by school - and what it would really come down to ultimately is transportation availability and scheduling for that particular school.
I know in our school specifically we have four 90 min blocks, end at 2:05 and then another late bus at 5:15. So we would be able to accommodate both during and after school depending on what the project needed - another school may only be able to do one.
I'm curious about that! What did the students learn from the experience? And how were you able to integrate it into your curriculum?
I have a dumb question, in return to your question - do you mean my question about trusting in high quality? If so, what I mean is, if I'm a business paying students to help me with work, I need to know they're going to do a good job. How will I be reassured that I'm getting what I paid for? And how would we get a critical mass of businesses to believe that in order to make this work?