19 Jan Passion Project & Genius Hour
A “passion project” is something that you feel excited about working on, but isn’t necessarily in the scope of your job description. Although it’s outside of the range of your day-to-day activities, this project still aligns with the objectives and bigger picture of the organization. Furthermore, it allows individuals to practice their creativity and can ultimately provide a sense of fulfillment.
Google introduced a policy that would allow employees to use 20% of their time a week to focus on a “passion project.” This means engineers, computer science coders, marketing experts etc. could focus on something else that they were passionate about. The policy ended up giving rise to innovations such as Gmail, Google Talk and Google Reader. Due to its success, it has since been employed by many other companies throughout Silicon Valley. Apple started a similar policy called “Blue Sky” and LinkedIn has made an “InCubator” which can allow engineers anywhere from 30 to 90 days off of work to focus on a “passion project” or innovation.
World Class companies are offering this type of learning opportunities and benefiting from them, doesn’t it make sense to employ something similar in our school systems? This is exactly what Genius Hour is doing across schoolboard’s and education systems. It is where teachers allow students to work on whatever project they want during this time. There’s always students in the classroom that aren’t motivated by traditional school environment, thus, genius hour provides a path to intrinsic motivation. When student’s have an active role in their education, they have higher levels of confidence, become much more engaged, and the learning process is more enjoyable.
At Prepr, we strongly agree with the Genius Hour mindset and believe that everyone should have a passion project. Whether you’re a teacher wanting to implement a passion project program in your classroom, a professor trying to engage and inspire your students, or an enterprise looking to innovate, Prepr is a great tool that can help. Through our interdisciplinary PIE teaching framework, we encourage students to follow their passion to solve a problem, and then share it through our network of other students, businesses, leaders and innovators. The old ways of traditional teaching, education and even day to day business is changing dramatically. It’s vital that as a business, teacher or institution you don’t get left behind in outdated strategies. This ever changing area requires constant professional development to ensure the most effective strategies for driving innovation, encouraging thinking and breeding growth.