I just finished reading The 20time Project by Kevin Brookhouser (@brookhouser). Kevin clearly outlines the idea behind the #20time project which is based on the idea of the 20% time that is used at Google. The premise of the 20% time is that people are given 20% of their time at work or in class, to persue a project that is based on their passion and will ultimately improve the life of someone else.The project allows students to implement a long term project that will allow them to demonstrate creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, organization and communication skills in real-life, authentic learning opportunities.
I have tweeted out what I thought were relevant and intriguing points throughout:
What I found myself continually reflecting upon while reading this book was my own classroom experience. Kevin did a really good job of outlining how his #20time project runs and has evolved. He also provided helpful hints, and resources to help educators who are new to the #20time experience feel more comfortable. His sound knowledge based on his experiences with the #20time project helps educators understand the process so that they can implement the shift in thinking and learning in their classrooms.
It is the shift in thinking and learning that resonated with me. This book is more than just the theory of how student-centred and student-led learning is to occur. This book documents the incredible, powerful (albeit nerve-wracking!) journey of removing yourself as the educator from the centre of the learning and simply facilitating the learning of the students.There is tremendous pressure to cover the curriculum and providing time to students to focus on their interest based project can be difficult to understand and support. BUT we need to provide students with the opportunities to use their existing knowledge and flip that on its head to solve real-world problems in a collaborative environment. As a global community, we don’t need more people who can answer back perfect answers on a test. We need learners who can critically look at a problem and persevere through all the obstacles that will come their way in their journey in making a change for the better.
There is nothing more powerful than watching our students learn about the world, and themselves while making an effort to improve the life of someone else. Isn’t that the type of student we want to help nurture? The shift in how student learning works is profound. The outcomes,although measurable, create the conditions for life-long learners who can take what they know and re-work it to solve the problems that we have yet to be even faced with. The potential impact on educator practice, and student engagement and learning are truly only limited by the limits we place on ourselves. The concept is exciting, challenging, invigorating and a little messy-the perfect mix for authentic learning for all involved!
A must read for educators in all areas of education!
No such thing as a bad idea?
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