For a great internet research challenge, try “A Google A Day”. At the bottom of the search page, there is a question for that day. You are timed on how long it takes you to submit a correct answer. You can get hints as well as tips for how to search for the solution. If you are looking for a particular date, you can change the date in the URL in the address bar. This would be a fun quick challenge for kids in a 1:1 classroom. You could also do it at a station, and have students record how long it took them. For further differentiation, assign students to create their own challenges.
My last post was about the concept of applying Google’s 20% Policy to the classroom. 100 Minutes of Genius is a similar idea. Tia Henriksen got the idea of calling it “Genius Hour” from another educator, Mrs. Krebs, who is referenced on this blog post. Also, there are links to how Mrs. Krebs introduced the idea to her students and a report of their progress that includes a Rubric of Creativity. This appears to be an idea that is spreading like wildfire, and I think that it can be adapted to many different types of learning situations. Giving students more choices that allow for creativity could be a way to reignite the passion for learning in our country.
Last year, a friend of mine told me about Google’s 20% Policy, and I immediately thought of its applications for the classroom. It was among many of my ideas that I had for the new school year that just didn’t come to fruition. And now, I find that a teacher named AJ Juliani had the same inspiration – but is actually following through with it. You can read all about Google’s Policy, and how Mr. Juliani is applying it with his students here on the “Education is My Life” blog. Be sure to read the comments that follow, as well. It makes for an interesting discussion!