We are in our second round of Genius Hours. Students presented a few weeks back on their learning and projects from the first time around. We had websites made, iMovies created, video games were designed, a fundraiser organized and a lot of other amazing final projects.
A little background:
The search-engine giant, Google, allows its engineers to spend 20% of their time to work on any pet project that they want. The idea is very simple. Allow people to work on something that interests them, and productivity will go up. Google’s policy has worked so well that it has been said that 50% of Google’s projects have been created during this creative time period. Ever heard of Gmail or Google News? These projects are creations by passionate developers that blossomed from their 20-time projects. Another origin of genius hour projects came from the book Drive by best-selling author, Daniel Pink. In a blog post he writes about how the Google-time projects are also used in other corporations.
Again, the goals of this project:
*to promote, support, and model creative, innovative thinking and inventiveness
*to allow students an opportunity to discover/investigate one of their passions and reflect on/share their learning with others
*provide students and teachers an opportunity to develop skill sets that are valuable in any learning situation (research, experimentation, collaboration, creativity, problem solving and critical thinking)
We just finished writing and approving proposals for their projects. Round two has left these students more inspired, more motivated and taking bigger risks! Please have a conversation about your scholar asking them what their Genius Hour project is! I’m sure they will be happy to share.