My Genius Hour Project

A Love Story

How it Started

As a rising Senior student at the University of Georgia, I explored my options for a summer class. EDIT 2000 was recommended by a friend of mine. She said she learned a lot and that was cool and creative. So, I signed up, kind of knowing what I was getting into. But my expectations did not match what I have learned about schools, teaching, technology, and a little bit about myself.

So that's kind of how I met my Genius Hour Project. It starts with signing up and ends kind of staying with you. Hope you enjoy.

Teachers Trending Tech

How We Met


· Genius Hour Question: With technology becoming more integrated into the classroom and today’s technology quickly outdating itself, how do we prepare our teachers to keep up with the latest trends and teaching skills?

· It’s one thing to discover new technology, it’s even harder to find the best use of it to help us learn and better teach for tomorrow.

· Students may already have experience and skills that exceed that of their teachers.

· Following: Technology Teachers (@techneachers), Education World (@education_world), and Forbes (@Forbes)

· #trendingtech and #edtech can help with explanations on technology, its pace, and its financial cost.

We Got to Know Each Other...


· Most Genius Hour Projects involve technology and disability. Also, they seem to see how specific technological advances, such as social media, can change or impact a specific subject in school. Some are asking whether teachers have the training and resources to implement technology in a positive way.

· On Twitter, many people I follow have been lacking to tweet that week. However, their blogs are much more helpful, with class assignments and student work.

· Twitter Chat Experience: I participated in the #flipclass chat on Monday night, May 18th. The flip class chat allowed me access to educators with ideas on technology’s impact on the classroom and their skills.

· Twitter Chat Experience: The ever-expanding technological world has made something’s more simple and other parts more challenging. We need teachers to identify the trends so they teach the students and themselves.

Then We Started Dating...


· The pace at which technology is being adopted in households is increasing. According to the New York Times, with new opportunities and barriers being removed, the penetration levels are increasing (see below).

· The adoption pace is more important than the pace of technology. With barriers being broken down and more players being involved in the market, it gets schools involved earlier.

· Textbooks and overhead projectors are quickly leaving the classroom, with tablets and ebooks coming in. Classroom adoption use to be behind recreational technology adoption. Now, schools are ahead of the curve.

· The prospect of a paperless classroom can increase group learning and decrease the individual’s reliance on him or herself. Students will learn more about self-correcting and peer editing skills.

· We also need proper integration from the teachers for maximum benefit for the students. Not only does their need to be an investment in technology but in professional development. There should also be annual updates and teachers should receive peer editing with feedback from their fellow faculty and superior.

· Schools will find a way to reduce time, effort, and spending, but that does not mean that learning will decrease. In fact, it can make teachers more creative to get their students to be more creative.

· For teachers to be ahead of the curve, they should be early adopters of technology and recognize how they can reach and teach their students.

And It Was Getting Serious...


· Interview: Robert Conklin (my brother), who is a substitute teacher.

· Believes Fourth and Fifth grade are taking more advantage of technology because “it is really when independent research starts” and “technology and information are at their fingertips for the first time.”

· Thinks students should be allowed more autonomy, and technology definitely helps in that aspect.

· Considers older teachers are more at a disadvantage because younger teachers grew up with similar technologies. They are able to regulate and learn innovative ideas to implement them.

So We Moved in Together...


· Resources are huge factors in how well students learn and how effective teachers are. The new resources are so reliant on technology. Do even most in the United States have the most basic technological needs?

· Numbers suggest that is safe to assume 100% classroom Internet access is possible and could even be a fact by now.

· Can teachers monitor and effectively handle how students use handheld devices? An effective teacher can engage students by using technology to do just that.

· We might assume that successful engagement is closely related to a teacher’s relationship to technology, which are growing stronger, making the classroom more connected and a better place to learn.

But Things Weren't Working Out...

Summary: I would love to share my Genius Hour Project with the class by either making a short video, or a poster on a webpage. I loved making videos throughout the class and would like to end it with a short, creative video.

Next Thing I Knew, It Was Over.


· Most parents and teachers are putting pressure on their school systems to be early adopters. This pressure has led to accepting new ways to teach students for the new world. Both group learning and autonomy have increased with more involvement with technology.

· Although I have heard and seen so much that fills me up with hope and promise, there is still doubt in my mind in how big and effective the change really is?

· There is more left to be learned with technology’s pace and the latest teaching trends. We need to find the problems teachers are having now and in the future, and by sharing the problems and solutions, students can learn more and gain more skills. That is why students go to school, to learn. Students should always strive to learn more, better, and faster. Technology can accomplish that.

That's It!

Thanks for seeing and enjoying the journey that was my Genius Hour Project. Have a great day!