When done well, Genius Hour is one of the most meaningful experiences that we can provide for our learners. It’s personal, makes learning relevant, and makes purpose a priority. Just like any strategy or tool that is implemented into the classroom, passion-based learning should be manageable and meaningful.
I’m a big fan of the idea that any type of PBL experience should be the main course. PBLworks.org suggests that a "main course" project is one “in which the project is the unit.” In other words, it should be the way that students learn rather than an activity that happens after the learning takes place. Genius Hour gives learners the opportunity to learn through application.
I’m always looking for tools to share with teachers that will make Genius Hour or passion-based learning sustainable. I was recently introduced to Tract, a space created to deepen student passions through project-based classes and challenges.
Tract offers on-demand, project-based video lessons that challenge kids to think critically and creatively as they engage in self-directed learning on the topics that interest them the most. But wait, it gets better…many of the Tract Creators are youth influencers and changemakers, making the experience even more meaningful for your learners as they learn and create.
Challenging them is a great way to engage, or ignite a willingness to invest from, today’s learners. As learners complete challenge-based experiences within Tract, they earn coins that can be used to award their peers or make an impact on a real-world problem that is important to them. This part of the experience makes the work that they are doing purposeful. And, the reality is that when learning becomes purposeful, it becomes a priority.
This type of learning makes so much sense and should be prioritized as a way to not only engage, but empower today’s learners to value what they are learning and understand the change that they are capable of making. Tools like Tract make passion-based learning easier to implement and ultimately, more meaningful for our learners. And, I saved the best news for last. Tract is absolutely, 100% free for educators!
Do me a favor…take some time to explore Tract at tract.app. Trust me, you will be so glad that you did! I’ll make it even easier for you. Below is my code that you can use to access all that this resource has to offer. Check it out and comment below if you have any questions or just want to let me know what you think. I can’t wait to see how you use this amazing resource to make Genius Hour manageable for you and meaningful for your learners!
Want to learn more? Register for the upcoming webinar to learn specific ways that you can utilize this resource to make Genius Hour work for you and your learners. The webinar will be on Wednesday, March 23 at 8:00 pm CST. Registering will allow you to watch the webinar live or receive a recording of the event in your inbox.