WHAT IS GENIUS HOUR?
Genius Hour is a project during school that allows students to explore their own passions or wonders and make a product based on that within a set amount of time, usually 1 hour a week. It is an idea coined by Google, where their employees are given 20% of their time at work to work on their very own projects. Products such as Gmail, Google News and AdSense are among the successful outcomes of this system.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GENIUS HOUR?
Genius Hour allows students to explore their passion and creativity as they’re given the full autonomy to choose what they really want to learn, how they want to learn it and decide how they want to share it with their learning community. This learning approach promotes students’ voice and choice, a far cry from the rigid, heavily standardised, exam-oriented education system that is doing a disservice to the potential of our students.
Genius Hour is a truly “open-ended” learning experience as the students learn new skills such as goal-setting, problem-solving, time management, collaboration and communication which are highly valued skills set in the ever-competitive real-life world. It is a journey to self-discovery as they learn more about themselves; characters, strengths or weaknesses and along the way, becoming aware of their true potential.
HOW TO DO GENIUS HOUR WITH YOUR STUDENTS?
Genius Hour can be done in 6 steps as illustrated in the sketchnotes below.
Here’s a handy table showing each step or process for Genius Hour. Suggestions on useful apps or tools are shown below the description while the lists at the bottom row serve as a useful guide for teachers on what to do and which resources are needed for that particular step.
The slide show below contains detailed information and instructions for teachers who are embarking on an exciting Genius Hour journey like me!
I’ll be updating on how the Genius Hour project shapes up in my class in a couple of weeks time, so watch this space. Good luck to us! We’re all geniuses!