Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Introduction to the Project

Welcome to an exciting time in my classroom! During the spring semester 2014, I am introducing the concept of 20 Time to my 7th grade History students at Germantown Academy.

What is 20 Time?  Based on a framework used at innovative employers like Google, GE, Skype, Apple, etc., the idea is simple. Students are given 20% of their classroom time, or one day a week, to develop, research, design, test, and refine a project on a topic of their own choosing. When applied within the classroom, this idea is meant to increase student engagement, independence, and responsibility, while allowing me to model explicit research and design skills, to provide an environment of entrepreneurship, and to give students access to feedback from authentic, real world audiences.

Please following this link for more information: http://www.20timeineducation.com/

Below, please find basic information that will guide my research and practitioner inquiry during my own 20 Time project:

My 20 Time project will be: 20 Time in Middle School- Beta-testing Long Term Research Using a Genius Hour and 20% Time Model in a 7th Grade Social Studies Classroom
My final product/goal/accomplishment will be: the successful implementation of 20 Time within a 7th grade Social Studies classroom, with students learning broad research and design skills that can be applied during abstract and open-ended research project in the future (8th grade Science Fair, etc.).
What do I need to know for my project to be successful: a grounding in the ideas motivating 20 Time and its application within middle school educational environments, specific skills and techniques to break abstract concepts and research down into manageable components, methods to break down classroom walls and connect students to other "experts" in their chosen content areas
What will be easy about this project: allowing the time for research, fast-pacing the required content within my 7th grade History curriculum
What will be difficult about this project: allowing the time for research, breaking abstract concepts down into components manageable for young adolescents, convincing colleagues of the worth of such a departure from the "traditional" curriculum.  

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