Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Respect, Motivate, Achieve - GTAUK part 5

Last month I attended the Google Teacher Academy UK.  It was an amazing experience, and following it several of the teachers who attended have been writing their own blog posts about the things they got out of the day.  Today I was reading this post by Tim Bleazard where among other things, he reflected on the "Google way of working":
The Google way of working was amazing. Everyone gets 20% of their time to work on projects of their own choosing. This has led to a number of new features and apps being developed. It makes you think if there would ever be a way we could get this into schools. You must be motivated so much more when you literally have ownership of what you are doing.
I have written before about our school's mission statement (Respect, Motivate, Achieve), and it strikes me that, just as Tim said, having ownership of what you are doing is very motivating and empowering.  This has set me thinking about what I would like to do in my action plan and how I could present it to the school, and I think I would like to try to introduce a little bit of the Google 20% into what the students are doing in IT.  Each year our students, who are doing the IB PYP, study 6 units of inquiry.  I'm thinking about giving them one of these units as their IT 20% (well not quite 20% of course since 100/6 is actually 16.6%, but you get the idea).  Perhaps for just one of these units they could have the choice of showing their learning in any way they choose.  Perhaps letting them work on a project of their own choosing will lead to greater motivation and therefore greater achievement.  It's definitely worth a try.

Photo Credit:  Salcombe: 20 by Kevin Paul Jones

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a fabulous idea Maggie! I wish schools everywhere would implement the 20% idea not just for students, but also for staff. I wonder what amazing things teachers would come up with if they were given the 20%?