Slaughter's Tech Moment

Creating Lifelong Learners

Genius Hour

Genius Hour

The idea of Genius Hour is for students to spend time exploring interests. Students get experience learning how to learn on their own. The goal is they will become lifelong learners pursuing knowledge of things that fascinate them.

There are four components to Genius Hour:

Question- The goal is to come up with a question that is Non-Googleable.
  • Spend some time before initiating Genius Hour on Googleable and Non-Googleable Questions and search skills.
  • Have them write up a proposal for their genius hour project. Pay attention to the students strengths and guide them. Remember, they start with a proposal, and that allows you to help make adjustments based on time and student needs. Here is an example of a project proposal.

Research- let them research freely (yes, let them google), encourage them to search out many avenues of gathering information on their topic, don't confine them to your thoughts or research on the topic.
  • Teach them to create notes or blog on the progress of their project. This does not have to be formal, but teaches them to reflect!

Create-They can create a project, presentation, blog, ignite talk, infographics, video, and more. Give them the freedom to express themselves. Support them, question them along the way, guide them, but let them work through the tough stuff. There is no such thing as failure, only reflection and moving to the next step.
  • Remember, the projects do not have to be elaborate or high-tech. Find what is comfortable and keep pushing those limits.
  • Projects may go as long as you need them to go.

Share- Give them an audience more than you and the classroom. All of us are the same in that we want to know that we matter!

Some things to consider:

  • Start small, but make it part of your lesson plans for the week. Try an hour a week, if that is all you can work in.
  • There are a lot of ideas out there about Genius Hour. Research and create an environment that works for you.

Bringing the World to Our Kids

The Google Cultural Institute brings the world's exhibits to everyone. You can take a Virtual Tour of Museums from all over the world. The Cultural Institute allows students access to pictures, videos, art and more that would have never been possible for them to see.

Check out the Historical Moments for topics and ready-made galleries of historical events. If you want a more personalized exhibit for your class, use My Gallery to build your gallery from their resources.

Another great feature to check out is the compare button. You can drag two pieces of art or artifacts into the boxes and have students discuss them side by side. Share the galleries you create. Another idea would be to have students create galleries and explain the reasoning behind the pieces they chose.

Google Cultural Institute: How To Use the Site

Google Cultural Institute Resources