Genius Hour

What if...

  • Your classroom was a place where students could explore their passions?
  • Your classroom was a place where students felt they could ask questions...and hunt for the answers?
  • Your classroom was a place where your students could learn from experts and not just you?
  • Your classroom was a place where students felt they had a global audience?
This is possible!  Genius Hour gives your students the chance to take ownership of their learning and have an audience so much bigger than you.  Read my story below...

When I started teaching middle school technology, I recognized I was less likely to directly teach my students about technology and more likely to coach them into learning something new and exciting.  They will be able to do and create more using technology in their lives than I ever will.  Knowing that students will work harder and learn more given projects they are interested in, I took a page out of Google's employee plan.  As you may know, a Google engineer is given one day a week (20% of his/her time on the clock) to work on projects of self-interest.  Many of Google's ever-reaching software has grown out of this 20% Time.

My middle school course, Tools for Technology, is set up for students to spend one day a week working on Innovation Projects.  Essentially, students must have a technology aspect to their project, but otherwise are given broad criteria to work with.

Since breaking ground on these projects back in January 2013, I've come to realize that my genius of an idea is not supremely original in the educational world. Of course, Project Based Learning has been around for years, but Genius Hour has also been making forays into schools too.  Still, it's exciting to be a part of this movement and can't wait to see the fruit of these projects over the years. 

Overall, I'm proud of the work my students have done and the things they have produced.
 I'm putting all my Innovation Day links here for quick and easy access.  I hope this is a good resource for you.  I'm always open to constructive criticism and would love to hear what you think about our projects.  Please contact me if you have questions!

@cncdky on Twitter

#GeniusHour at #OETC15. A wrap up of my talk at Ohio Ed Tech Conference on 2/11/15.
Innovation Museum: A curation of some excellent projects.

I am putting together a group of Ohio educators who want to dive into Genius Hour, collaborate together on the joys and struggles, and maybe -- just maybe -- present our work at OETC16. Care to join us?  Please contact me for the Edmodo join code.  We'd love to have you!

J-Term 2015
J-Term, Genius Hour, and OneNote
Innovation Update, Day 3 of J-Term
Day 4 - Last Full Work Day
Final Innovation Projects - January 2015

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