For the Online/Blended Course Prototype Project, I have joined a group who will be developing a course on Genius Hour. Kyle and Jorie sent out a message on google community looking for interest. As a result, the group now consists of Adam, Danielle, Lorraine, and myself for a total of 6 members.
As many of you may already know, Google allows it’s engineers to spend 20% of their time to work on a project of their choice. Simply put, when people are given the opportunity to work on something of personal interest, productivity goes up. For google, 50% of their projects have been created in this 1 hour creative time period! These same principles apply in the classroom! The teacher provides a set amount of time for students to work on a ‘passion project.
- Students choose a project and receive approval by their teacher.
- Research their project (usually for several weeks).
- Present and share what they have learned.
Currently, there are many educators leading the way with passion projects in their classes, but much of their inspiration came from the book The Passion-Driven Classroom: A Framework for Teaching & Learning by Angela Maiers and Amy Sandoval. A.J. Juliani also wrote a recent book about Genius Hour and 20% Time in education. It is no surprise that many teachers and students are raving about Genius Hour. A great quote found in the Genius Hour website is;
A goal of every teach should be to create lifelong learners. Genius hour projects are a huge step towards that goal.
I am looking forward to designing ways to introduce Genius Hour to my students and to share through our group’s project. I have some great ideas found in the Genius Hour website that I plan to implement but am also looking for any suggestions from anyone who has taught Genius Hour before.
Do you have any ideas that worked well in your classroom when you introduced/facilitated Genius Hour?
Are there any design practices that worked really well in your classroom and/or suggestions of what NOT to do?
I have facilitated Genius Hour in my classroom once before and it went very well so I am now looking for new ideas or suggestions to really engage and hook the students.
Fortunately, I am glad to see that the introduction video suggested by the website is the same video we (team teachers) used in my classroom 2 years ago.