We are coming down to the wire for our Genius Hour presentations. Some students have almost nothing completed for the presentation that is coming up. Some students have not paid any attention to comments and suggestions I have made on their project, and some have no comments because their slide presentation has never been shared with me.
I have been entering the grades for the research document at the same time as I am entering the presentation score because I have allowed updates to the research document and been willing to re-score, provided the student emails me to say they have done updates. I have stressed to them that I will NOT go back and re-read anyone's research at this point unless they have emailed me that there is a reason to do so. No email, no re-score. I will be announcing in class on May 13 that re-scoring deadline is Friday, May 15. After that, WYSIWYG.
There were many skills incorporated into this project such as:
organization of information
analyzing and synthesizing information
comprehension of informational text
Going back to the original premise of Genius Hour, students could choose ANYTHING they wanted to learn more about, and then share what they learned with their classmates using good presentation skills and slide skills (or create a video as another option) based on their research.
Tony Wagner, in his 2008 best seller The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don't Teach the Skills Our Students Need and What We Can Do About It, (image from Amazon) sets out the Seven Survival Skills for College and Career Readiness. They are:
CRITICAL THINKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING
COLLABORATION ACROSS NETWORKS AND LEADING BY INFLUENCE
AGILITY AND ADAPTABILITY
INITIATIVE AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
EFFECTIVE ORAL AND WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
ACCESSING AND ANALYZING INFORMATION
CURIOSITY AND IMAGINATION
I hope that this project has helped our eighth graders to become more adept not only in digital skills but also in critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and time management as they head into high school. It is disappointing to see, although I have seen it before, some students pay little or no attention to deadlines because technology is a "minor subject", but in reality they should be growing in the above skills across every subject area. No learning opportunity is "minor" if it brings about some form of growth.