Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Student Reflection.

This student was chronically late every morning.  I was teaching Information Technology in the first period which meant a 8:00 start and a early morning bus ride.  Because of this the student was almost always late and sometimes not even bothering.   I was trying to motivate her to come early, trying to do a hook that would make her want to go through the extra effort of getting up early (and not for pay!!) and be awake enough to learn.  I tried Photoshop with personal pictures, web designing (absolute dismal failure with her) and along came Genius Hour (20%) every Friday.

The first challenge was to get her to come on a Friday (our Genius Hour Day), and when that didn't work, talking to her about Genius Hour when she did show up.  I kept explaining her options, discussing her interests, and what was possible for her to try that would be of interest to her as well as what I could support in my classroom as her mentor.  In the end she shows Audacity, a program that lets you edit music and has a manual on the website.  Once she saw what the program was capable of, once she had success right away in editing a song, that was it.  The power of SUCCESS, the look on her face when she realized she could accomplish something was priceless.

The power of Genius Hour transferred over from Genius Hour slow but steady successes to the rest of her work.  It was amazing to watch.  She not only started to do work in Photoshop, but she also was doing 110% in effort that was reflected in her work.  She wanted one on one help, but she paid attention, she listened, she came to class.  To assess her  learning I observed she teaching a friend who also was not highly motivated.  It was almost like the movie "Pass it on", students teaching students.

Most people talk about the motivation of choosing what you want to learn, or "Passion Learning" ( explains their philosophy on this means of learning and I concur) .  But although I witnessed was the phenomena of "Passion for Learning",  mostly I believe it was the  success of knowing "I did that, I'm capable, I'm smart".

Realizing that you are capable of anything as long as you try is a lesson that is priceless.

Genius Hour:

To be honest when my teacher Mrs. P had brought up the idea of genius hour I was kind of like what the h*@l is she talking about this sounds so stupid, I don’t think I’ll be interested nor have any fun doing this. Eventually my partner and I had to pick an idea and I’ve always thought about how music is a big part of my life and I don’t go a day without listening to it, so I thought why not learn how to remix music myself because I usually listen to remixed music rather the original song anyways. So my teacher had downloaded audacity for us and I honestly had no idea what I was doing the first couple of days we had the chance to work on our project. I felt like it was way too confusing at one point, but there was a manual to help you and clips to teach you how to use audacity which made it a lot easier towards the end. I loved discovering new things about audacity, things I never thought I would even learn, for an example how to crop a certain part of a song, adding two or more songs and making it one remix, using effects and making it your own style. There was days where my partner and I would get frustrated because some things wouldn’t work out the way we wanted it too, so sometimes I did feel like giving up, but I felt the end result was great and we did remix two songs and made it our own. I would definitely do this project again. 


  1. SUCCESS! And THIS is why I will continue to have Genius Hour / 20% time in my classes. Thank you so much for sharing, Nicole!

  2. wonderful information, I had come to know about your blog from my friend nandu , hyderabad,i have read atleast 7 posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your website gives the best and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for, i'm already your rss reader now and i would regularly watch out for the new posts, once again hats off to you! Thanks a ton once again, Regards, winnie the pooh quotes

  3. Almost agree with your article, if someone wants to achieve the aim, she/he needs to pay more attention to the job, and make it harder!


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