In my previous post I speculated with adopting Google’s 20% own projects to education. I had one personal experience of such, from a school in China. Since that blog post, I have come across entire movements related to the idea. Check Twitter hashtags #20time and #geniushour for yourself.
I am especially interested in the tools and content students use during their own projects time. I asked around using those hashtags. The core idea in these approaches is that the students can themselves choose the topic they want to investigate. It is only natural that they come up with something quite different from the curricular education, just for a change. For example stop-motion animation, videogame design, backpacking guide, and recording an album:
In such topics material designed for curricular education can assist only partly. Geography & history materials can help in backpacking guide, programming studies can provide a basis for building videogames, and so on. However, in projects like this it is very important to teach how in addition what. How to find the relevant information sources, how to verify their trustworthiness, and how to combine the scattered data into a coherent picture?
In other words, 20-Time and Genius Hour are quite research-oriented and inquiry-focused forms of learning. The students are handed some tools to find the appropriate content, rather than the content itself. Oliver Schinkten was kind enough to provide me with a resource designed for just this:
— Oliver Schinkten (@schink10) January 19, 2014
As we shift from printed educational materials to online content and tools, I can see a bright future for approaches like 20-Time. And there are good possibilities also in utilizing the curriculum-related digital content and online tools in these multi-subject projects.
Being able to search across the materials enables the students to pinpoint the pieces of information they need in their current tasks. This information can be stored in online portfolios, modified, and shared with peers for enrichment. And these peers can be anywhere in the world, not necessarily in the same classroom.
For some additional 20-Time and Genius Hour resources, check these links kindly provided by Joy Kirr:
— Joy Kirr (@JoyKirr) January 19, 2014