“The change we are in the middle of isn’t minor and it isn’t optional”
Summer is the time to imagine the bold classroom of your teacher dreams. One idea I had tucked away to re-examine was the “Google 20% time to tinker” idea that I first read about in Dan Pink’s book “Drive“.
I had seen Phil McIntosh (@mistermcintosh ) tweet that he was trying it.
Our conversation continued and Phil tweeted out a link to an article about “20% Time” in his classroom at the middle school setting. ( Personal Learning and Creation Time in Middle School )
At ISTE I heard of and seen many concrete example of students creating and making amazing and tangible projects (for lack of a better word).
I heard Gray Stager (@garystager ) talk about how students need to be creators and makers (think of Maker’s Faire, see CNN clip or think of Caine’s Arcade). I also listened to discussions on how we flip Bloom’s taxonomy might be need some flipping see inverted bloom’s taxonomy.
I was inspired to find a way to get my students making. 🙂
Many teachers who teach content laden courses are trapped in a deeply rooted pervasive belief that students have to know ALL (of the content) before they can DO anything. I know this because I was there!!
“The future belongs to a different kind of person,” Dan Pink says. “Designers, inventors, teachers, storytellers — creative and empathetic right-brain thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn’t.”
So the plan I have so far is to give students 20% of class time (2 classes/month) to create, invent, or make “something”.
No regurgitated research projects, essays, or information based posters.
I would some show examples of projects (High Tech High Projects, Science Leadership Academy Capstones and Inquiry). I would discuss with students the real world value of creating (MIT Media Lab) and build some community held criteria, but I really wish for students to own the time and to treasure what they feel passionate about.
I also feel that giving students time gives them the message: I trust you and I know you can do great things.
Questions I still have:
1. What if students “waste” this time ? (students already “waste” time and maybe this would inspire them to be invested ?)
2. Any assessment tied to this? So far I am thinking no.
3. What do students need to show or share at the end of this process?
4. Do I offer students a list of possible activities? (again I am thinking no)
5. What if students really do not want to do this?
What do you think? Have I forgotten anything?
Is it realistic that students find a passion to connect to in this time?
1. Huffington Post Article – Pursue Passion: Demand Google 20% Time at School
2. Blog post by teacher AJ Juliani – The 20% Project (like Google) in My Classroom
3. Thinkfinity Community – Would you ever try Implementing Google’s 20% Time?
4. Google’s 80/20 – Adopted at a New Jersey School –