Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52Quarterly magazine of The Peninsula School 14 OUR Genius Hour journey all started with a simple question. How might we make students owners of learning? The result was a 10 week project based on the Google 20 per cent idea. At Google, employees have the opportunity to spend 20 per cent of their time on something they are passionate about as long as it benefits the company. “This empowers them to be more creative and innovative. Many of our significant advances have happened in this manner,” explains a senior executive at Google. So with this principle in mind ‘Genius Hour’ was born and started with a workshop with students to give them the chance to discover what it is they are passionate about and define a relevant problem. Often students are given a problem and tasked with solving it - they don’t relate to the problem or own the discoveries and often have little motivation for solving them. When students are asked to come up with their own problems to solve it can have a transformative effect on their learning. In fact, it allows students to go beyond what normal curriculum can offer them by reaching a greater depth of knowledge around their chosen project. In this case, Genius Hour presented the option for students to look for a purpose to their learning that goes beyond themselves. It encouraged students to ask ‘How will I make an impact beyond my school?’ Service learning is such an integral part of our philosophy here at The Peninsula School and having students work on projects that they are passionate about and have an impact on others helps them understand the importance of solving complex problems that will impact communities in a positive way. The framework in which our students discovered their problems was based on design thinking. “Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer's toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.” Tim Brown, president and CEO (Read more here). Design Thinking processes used for Genius Hour Our challenge with this project was to disrupt how students use content for learning. In particular, was the idea of using Google for content knowledge and that if a question can be answered by Google, it really isn’t a question needing exploration. This started the conversation and introduction for our Year 5 students with the concepts of ‘Google versus non-Googleable’ questions. It is the latter that we are most interested in for Genius Hour and that our students initially found very difficult to identify. These questions ensure our students deeply explore various ideas to fully answer them. It relies on using both convergent and divergent thinking strategies to come up with ways of answering their question and solving their problem. A non-Googleable question starts with three very simple words: how might we... A ‘How might we…’ question challenges students to explore and consider innovative ways to answer it. It doesn’t offer a solution but provides a framework for innovative thinking. The fourth word in this question is usually a verb. This provides the students with the actions and directions the project we take. How might we… educate, learn, develop, create, persuade, enhance? Genius Hour, Google and Innovating learning How might we make students owners of learning Leading the Way When students are asked to come up with their own problems to solve, it can have a transformative effect on their learning.