Genius Hour/Passion Project/Inquiry Learning (they're all similar) isn’t new concept. Many teachers and businesses have been doing this for a while. Companies like HP and Google started “20 Time” so their staff could pursue passions projects and make their organizations stronger. Similarly, teachers have allowed students to read any book and present a book report in any format for a while now, giving them a chance to indulge their interests while learning. Of course, the true concept of Genius Hour is more open than a book report. It recognizes the need for students to have the freedom to explore their passions and not be restricted.
However, even with all this freedom, we still need some rules. There are four rules to Genius Hour and they match the BC Curriculum almost perfectly. Here are the four rules to Genius Hour:
- What is the purpose of your Big Idea - what will it affect, how will it work,
- research your Big Idea - what do you need, what problems will come up, how do I overcome these problems, critically assess my ideas and if it's possible to do. If not come up with another idea or modification of that idea.
- Create or do what you said you would do - sequence what you need to do, projecct planning and project management if you are with a team.
- and present your findings.- how will I present my findings throughout this entire process? What goals did I set myself, and did I attain that goal? How much time did it take...
What's amazing is that they match the new curriculum from the Ministry of Education in the Grade 8 - 12 fields:
- Understanding the contexgt of what was taught (gatheer infromation, uncover needs)
- Defining the idea - understanding key needs, problems, restrains, social and economical imact, sequencing of what to do
- Ideating (generating what idea to persue,risk factors, screening ideas, critically analyzing ability to complete task, and analyzing how to communicate the idea to others throughout the entire process.
- make a prototype (testing and repairing, understanding the social/economical/ethical impact of what thay aare doing),
- Testing (gathering feedback, inspiration, changes needed, troubleshooting) and testing again.
- Making (tools needed, materials, planning for production, problems, etc.) and the needs to make.
- Sharing - communicating your learning to others inside your environment and outside throughout this entire process. Understanding needs, evaluating where one is at, learning self-assessment through this process.
- Applied Technologies - Digital citizenship, searching skills, technological skills,