Donny Khalaf

Give Students 20% time to explore and create….

In Website on May 14, 2013 at 7:45 am

Wow, I can’t believe how 2012-2013 school year went by so fast! This what got me thinking about what I can do to improve myself. My goal is to be a successful technology mentor and providing better technology support for faculty and elementary students. I remember when I was in school, I love the way teachers teach the class by allowing us to do whatever we want as long as it is subject related during our free time. This gave me time to think and explore of what I want to do when I grow up. Here is an article that I found that I believe is very true. This will help student to collaborate well with other student to develop their mindset on what they want to be when they get older. Here is an article below:

When you’re hired at Google, you only have to do the job you were hired for 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time, you can work on whatever you like, as long as that work advances Google in some way. This has been incredibly successful for Google (think of all the amazing innovations that they are making).

If this works in the business world, might it work in education? As educators, we know that we are more likely to learn when the topic is one that we are passionate about. So could you implement 20% time in your classroom and still ensure that students are mastering all of the curriculum? Some teachers have tried, and they say “yes.”

How educators implement the 20% time varies. But the concept is simple: Give students 20% of their class time to learn what they want, as long as it’s related to that subject area. Some teachers call it “Genius Hour,” while others embrace a “free project on your choice of topic” or “Curiosity Fridays.”

What are the results? Teachers report the following:

  • Students are able to go in depth on a topic that interests them.
  • Because students are trying to solve a problem that they are interested in, they work for a solution and not just a grade. There is also increased peer pressure to be successful as they share their results with each other.
  • The teacher doesn’t have to worry about differentiating the curriculum as that is handled by the students themselves.
  • Learning is retained longer because students are more actively engaged.
  • It’s the perfect way to model life-long learning.

Check out the site called Designing 20% Time in Education to give you an idea to help students to develop their own creative time and to learn how to collaborate well with other student.


Donny 🙂


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