I am enjoying learning many new ways to bring more education into my classroom through technology. The flipped classroom model, in my opinion, seems like it would be difficult in a small, multigrade classroom. A teacher would need a lot of parental support to keep their students motivated at home to preview the information before the next class. Many students, just like handing them regular homework, would still not complete it. Then you still have a few sprinkling of students who did not preview the lesson, making it harder to just jump into the project/activity. However, I have never tried “flipping” my class and would be willing to try with a set of older students.
My interest lies this week in Genius Hour (GH). According to geniushour.com, this type of program is a choice based educational format. Students think deeply, with graphic organizer aided notes, about something they are passionate about and would enjoy learning how to create. It can be a tool like an app or a game but it can also be something more personal like learning a different language or creating a how-to video. The amazing thing is that the possibilities seem endless. Whatever the imagination can dream up and how far a student is willing to go in their pursuit of knowledge, will lead to some great learning outcome.
A.J. Juliani mentions in his video on geniushour.com that “[traditional education] is like getting all kids up a single mountain. Genius Hour gets kids to climb their own mountain.” The idea is that if students pursue a topic of high interest, the project will show student ownership and engagement as the intrinsic motivation kicks in to create something they wanted to create verses being told what to create.
A.J. Juliani goes deeper into the research behind having students learn from inquiry based projects on his website ajjuliani.com/research. He makes many valid points but the paragraph on meta-cognition jumped out at me.
My first few classes in college were based on Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences (see below for resources). I learned how I learn best. Thinking back to those first few classes, I was astounded to figure out my learning style. I am glad that those classes came first in my college career as they not only justified why I struggled learning one way and excelled at others but it also has allowed me to understand my students learning styles better. It certainly seems that anyone reading this, teacher or not, could say “Of course people learn differently.” But when you see it in action in your classroom and it is up to you, the educator, to adapt the learning for all students to learn, it is great to have those tools in available. GH is a project in itself to get students learning in new ways.
I believe the Mr. Juliani and the creators of Genius Hour and other sites that are promoting inquiry based education, are really onto something. I am excited to see where I could take GH with my own class.
Kesler, C. (2016) Genuis Hour. Retreived from http://www.geniushour.com
Juliani, A.J. (n.d) Intentional Innovation. The Research Behind Choice and Inquiry in Education. Retreived from http://ajjuliani.com/research/ on May 31,2016.
RESOURCES for Multiple Intelligences please visit: