Genius Hour in the classroom is a movement that allows students to spend 20% of their time exploring and developing their passions, as long as the learning is driven by research and productive. Genius Hour provides educators with an opportunity to engage students in real world learning experiences and encourages them to invest in their own learning The potential for student growth and well-rounded development is abundant. Teachers serve best as facilitators of learning within the Genius Hour environment, guiding them and taking advantage of the teachable moments to encourage them to work harder and dig deeper to develop their ideas.
The well-executed Genius Hour can be an amazing learning experience, but getting it all started can be a bit overwhelming. Perhaps a good place to begin is by proving students with tools and a virtual space to collect and curate content.
Collect and Curate Genius Hour Content
Genius Hour provides educators with an opportunity to introduce content curation to students to help them collect and organize information about ideas they are passionate about. Curating content helps students begin to understand how the Internet is organized so they can begin to manage their own part of this shared virtual space. Introducing a push button tool for curating content will help them collect content.
There are many digital tools that are well-suited for collecting Genius Hour content. Choosing the right tool for the trick depends on your comfort level and personal learning style. Here’s a peek at some push button tools designed for education.
EduClipper is a visual bookmarking tool that has been compared to Pinterest for students The tool allows students to clip content to personal or collaborative boards. Teachers can create classes and upload students without the need for email addresses. Members of classes can share and collaborate on boards. The tool is unique because it supports many file types, including PowerPoint. It’s loaded with additional teacher features and certainly worth exploring.
Lesson Paths, formerly MentorMob
Lesson Paths is an efficient and effective tool for curating content and organizing it into learning playlists. Students can use the push button bookmarking tool to quickly capture the results of their research. The learning playlists can be embedded into their own blogs for quick and easy access. Teach them to use tags to help them find and share content within the Lesson Paths community. Students can collect content available within the Learning Paths community or create their own playlists.
Live Binders for Education is a virtual 3 Ring Bider for collecting and organizing content. While many of the existing binders are considered resources for educators, the setup works nicely for student collections. LiveBinders even has a portfolio template worth exploring. At first glance the organizational structure might be a bit confusing for students so providing them with an example like the one you see below is a good idea. Install the handy LiveBinder It bookmark to help students collect content on the go.
Curated Genius Hour Content
One of the things I like to do during my Genius Hour is weave digital tools together to design and invent. I created this interactive image to collect and curate Genius Hour content. Please explore the resources I’ve collected so far.