Daniel Pink talks about the three things that motivate: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose1 (Check out this RSA Animate version of his talk)
Schools have long focused on Mastery, but what about giving students the autonomy to develop and follow their own purpose? In the days, when the stakes are so high, how can this even be possible? Two words, Innovation Day.
The idea came from a #140edu talk that Josh Stumpenhorst (@stumpteacher)
did describing his own schools version. If you have 15 minutes, take a look at it below.
A local middle school saw the idea and Innovation Day at Crystal Middle School was born. After spring break the idea started to grow and the day was scheduled. Staff shared the idea with students using this 15 minute video to instigate ideas and creativity.
I was lucky to be able to spend a few hours there at the school to see projects in action. I didn't know really who had video clearance so that's why you don't see too many faces. This first video is snapshots of the engineering room. (I used vine to shoot these videos on the spot...how to use vine...that's a whole other post)
Here are more shots from the engineering room
This room had students using various technology to create videos, presentations, etc.
If you notice the young lady working on the video, you can see the finished product below!
There were three other students in that room who were filming and editing a video on a smart phone.
One brave teacher hosted the music room. While this video is choppy, the student on the left was the only one who knew how to play at the start of the day (2 hrs earlier) and he was teaching the other two students "Stairway to heaven".
The day went something like this. The students started off in their home rooms, then were sent to the different work rooms you see in the video's above. Students all had PE during the day and all students were out at lunch instead of a split lunch. Incidentally, there were zero issues during lunch as well as the whole day (usually at least 1 or 2 students have to visit with the principal each day). At the end of the day, students shared their projects with their home room.
Crystal Middle School plans another day this year. They have also share their resources with anyone who is interested. One of the new pieces added was a form to gather the student projects using a Google Form. Gathering, entering, and sorting the projects into workspaces was one of the most time consuming pieces of the project and the form will help streamline this process.