The prototype assignment looks very interesting and I am interested to see where this will go in the development of all the different aspects related to the learnings that will occur over the next couple weeks. At this point in time I have joined a group (@kyledumont2, @GilroyBeck, @MissHuber6, @mrsmaley, @reindrp). We are currently looking into completing a project that would focus on Genius Hour. It has the ability to provide the opportunity for students to learn and/ or build something that showcases the skills they have built on. This could also be an adult project that could directly relate to a credited course learning. I have heard people compare Genius Hour to that of researching for a PHD at the University level. Although the children’s project is slated as a percentage of time, the PHD student would be making it their full time job while they explore and research the area they have chosen.
Photo Credit: Flickr mrsdkrebs
After meeting with the group it was determined that Genius Hour was the program that we would be touching on. Now that it is confirmed, we have looked at the modules that we will be taking on and how that might begin to look in a blended learning format. We had a great discussion on different age levels and how it could be incorporated in younger classrooms, middle years’ classrooms, and at a university level. Seeing how out group has a large variety of different teaching areas and expertise, we are working to make this a prototype that would be able to work at any grade or age level.
Google was the initial creator of the Genius Hour idea. By allowing their employees a maximum of 20% of their work time to develop and improve on different ideas, the company was able to create and integrate a number of new systems that it would use in its suit of Google products. Some of the applications that were developed using this idea included Gmail, Google Talk, and Google News. By allowing the employees to focus on a passion of their interest, Google was also able to increase the overall productivity of the company through engaging its employees. The idea is that students who are allowed to work on a project of their own passion, will produce engaged students who want to know as much as possible about their project.
This could also open the doors for students to create the solve to a problem that may be encountered around their community or the world as a whole. There is a really well done Ted Talk that explains how a student (Richard) in the Maasai community in Kenya was able to problem solve the lion issue. IT outlines how the lions in the community were attacking livestock in the community at night. Richard was able to try a number of different ideas in this community in order to try and scare off the lions from the livestock area. Although it took him a couple tries and the development of his idea, he successful in the end of his independent study. Have a look at this video as he explains how it was possible and the large impact it has made on his overall community because of the creation of a lion light.