Five-Minute Film Festival: Genius Hour Imagine if you were allowed to use a whole workday every week to explore any project you wanted. With no restrictions on your time or what you could do, think of the ideas you could come up with and the things you could learn about! In the workplace, this practice is called 20 percent time. It first gained widespread notice at Google, but many companies have allowed employees to work on side projects as a way of fostering innovation. Since it's not often possible for teachers to sacrifice an entire day of schooling to allow for individual creative pursuits, the idea has been reinterpreted in many schools as a "Genius Hour," where students get one hour per day or week to focus on a project of their choice. The practice combines well with classroom pedagogies such as project-based learning and inquiry-based learning. Video Playlist: 20 Percent Time in the Classroom Watch the player below to see the whole playlist, or view it on YouTube. More Resources for Using Genius Hour in the Classroom
30 Of The Best Apps For Group Project-Based Learning 30 Of The Best Apps For Group Project-Based Learning Project-based learning is a matter of identifying needs and opportunities (using an app like flipboard), gathering potential resources (using an app like pinterest), collecting notes and artifacts (with an app like Evernote), concept-mapping potential scale or angles for the project (using an app like simplemind), assigning roles (with an appp like Trello), scheduling deadlines (with apps like Google Calendar), and sharing it all (with apps like OneDrive or Google Drive). With that in mind, below are 30 of the best apps for getting this kind of work done in the classroom, with an emphasis on group project-based learning apps for both Android and iPad (and even a few for plain old browsers). 30 Of The Best Apps For Group Project-Based Learning
35 Educational Resources to Encourage Inquiry & Inventive Thinking This is a sponsored post. I’ve scoured the internet, including all of my favourite social media sites, to bring you a fantastic collection of online inquiry and inventive thinking resources that I know will inspire and motivate both you and your students. The collection includes Lego, science, practical activity ideas, engineering, videos, animation, technology and a tonne of fun facts – so there is sure to be something for everyone! Sean Kenney Lego Certified Master Builder’s YouTube Channel: Best-selling author and artist, Sean Kenney, uses LEGO toys to build anything and everything you can imagine. CSIRO Crest: CREativity in Science and Technology (CREST) is an Australian non-competitive awards program supporting students to design and carry out their own open-ended science investigation or technology project. Pinterest is a veritable smorgasbord of great ideas across all grades and subject areas. What are your favourite online resources for inspiring kids to think? You may also like:
A World of Project Ideas (You Can Steal) One of the advantages of project-based learning is the flexibility. PBL is an effective instructional strategy within individual content areas as well as across disciplines. It's engaging for young learners and teens alike. Fortunately, you don't have to start from scratch. Draft on These Ideas Some 600 educators spent the past week thinking hard about project design during the PBL World conference in Napa, Calif., sponsored by Buck Institute for Education. Here's a sampling of driving questions at the rough draft stage, along with suggestions about PBL planning to fire up your thinking: Who were the most influential leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in terms of impact upon today's society? Notice the phrase, "most influential." How can we use our knowledge of math to convince our families, our school, and our community to go solar? This question sets up a real-world application of math and science. How can we make life sweeter in our community? How can freshmen be heroic for others?
The Pedagogy Project We are so proud and excited to announce the Pedagogy Project! This project started when several professors asked for specific suggestions on digital or collaborative projects they could do with their students. We asked the HASTAC Scholars to provide specific assignments, in-class exercises and other projects. The response was awesome - over 80 specific and proven suggestions to shake up your syllabus! The Pedagogy Project is organized into nine sections, with numerous examples of projects, assignments and concepts in each area. How to use the Pedagogy Project: Are you currently planning a syllabus? How to contribute to the Pedagogy Project: Register on the HASTAC websitePost your own blog on HASTAC. Thank you to the following HASTAC Scholars who helped me to organize the Pedagogy Project: Staci Stutsman, Syracuse UniversityAmanda Starling Gould, Duke UniversityKalle Westerling, The Graduate Center, CUNY, and HASTAC Scholars Co-Director
10 Apps For More Organized Project-Based Learning Project-Based Learning, by definition, is flexible. It encourages learner-centeredness, provides the possibility of more authentic work, and allows learners to self-manage and self-direct in places they used to have their hands held. But this has its drawbacks. Learning is a capacity-building endeavor that seeks to, well, build capacity will ironically depending on that same capacity to progress, There are a variety of ways to support students in project-based learning, including organized digital learning spaces that support creative thinking, collaboration, and ultimately project management. 1. Platform: iOS How It Can Help: Pure overkill for most classrooms, but if an extremely powerful productivity and project management is what you need and you’ve got a $50 iTunes card burning a hole in your pocket, this could be just what the doctor ordered. 2. Platform: iOS 3. Platform: Android & iOS How It Can Help: 4. Platform: iOS 5. Platform: Android & iOS 6. Platform: Android & iOS 7. 8. 9. 10.
How Can Your Librarian Help Bolster Brain-Based Teaching Practices? Flickr/Kevin Harber Inquiry-based learning has been around in education circles for a long time, but many teachers and schools gradually moved away from it during the heyday of No Child Left Behind. The pendulum is beginning to swing back towards an inquiry-based approach to instruction thanks to standards such as Common Core State Standards for math and English Language Arts, the Next Generation Science Standards and the College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards. “This is so new for teachers, whereas librarians have been doing this for ten years,” said Paige Jaeger, a school librarian turned administrator and co-author of Think Tank Library: Brain-Based Learning Plans for New Standards. As grade level and content-specific teachers begin to incorporate inquiry-based approaches into their classrooms, they should look to collaborate on lesson planning with their librarian, Jaeger said. “We have a limited capacity for short term recall,” Ratzen said.
A Project-Based Learning Cheat Sheet For Authentic Learning A Project-Based Learning Cheat Sheet by TeachThought Staff Like most buzzwords in education, “authenticity” isn’t a new idea. For decades, teachers have sought to make student learning “authentic” by looking to the “real world”–the challenges, technology, and communities that students care about and connect with daily. You’ve probably been encouraged in the past to design work that “leaves the classroom.” Reach beyond the school walls. We’re going to take a closer look at progressive approaches to teacher planning whenever Terry Heick can be convinced to finish that series. The function of this image is to act as a kind of brainstorm–to help you get your own creative juices going to decide what’s most important when designing an authentic project-based learning unit–audiences, technology, habits, purposes, and so on. You obviously don’t even have to use these categories; they are just a sampling of the kinds of thinking that can help you make the shift from academic to authentic learning.
Social Media for Teachers: Guides, Resources, and Ideas Although students are evermore connected to the social web, many of these networks remain out-of-class digital playgrounds where students congregate. In a 2014 survey of 1,000 teachers, just one in five said they use social media regularly with students. Of course, it can be a challenge to incorporate social media into lessons. There are many gray areas for teachers to navigate, like setting guidelines, accessibility at school, and student safety. More Great Reads From Edutopia In addition to those great guides, there is a lot of useful information right here on Edutopia. Integrated PBL Projects: A Full-Course Meal! In the project-based learning field, we use the metaphor that projects are the "main course, not the dessert" (as coined in an article from the Buck Institute for Education). Projects are intended to create the need-to-know content and skills, and the opportunity for students to learn them in an authentic context. When teachers first design PBL projects, they are often limited. In fact, I recommend that. Teachers and students must learn to become better PBL practitioners, so limited projects can lead to more ambitious projects. One of the criteria for a more ambitious project is to integrate the disciplines. Teachers develop PBL curriculum for the coming year. Photo Credit: Andrew Miller Use a Variety of Planning Strategies I wrote about many of these strategies in a previous blog post. Larger Part of the Meal Not all integrated projects are equal when it comes to the disciplines. Many "Courses" in the Project