Genius Hour is an enquiry-based learning process. As a student-directed learning model, it is intended to give students the opportunity to explore their own interests while developing their knowledge, skills and understanding. The idea for Genius Hour was originally started by Google, in which it allowed its engineers to spend 20% of their work time on their own passion projects. Many of Google’s services such as Gmail and Google News are thanks to its policy of having Genius Hour.
By allowing time for students to study topics they are curious about, Genius Hour can be seen to encourage students’ creativity and motivation, while paving the way for them to become lifelong learners. The workshop style of Genius Hour, in which collaboration is encouraged, should also benefit students’ social skills and confidence.
As shown in the images below, Makerspaces can provide particularly conducive environments for Genius Hour projects.
This video provides a good summary about Genius Hour for teachers and students:
There are five key steps for students to follow:
1. Students pick a topic.
2. Develop an enquiry question.
3. Students do research based on their enquiry question.
4. Presentation from students about what has been learnt.
I have put together this presentation and accompanying resources (planning and reflection templates) below, which can be used to introduce and guide students through their Genius Hour learning process.