1st Time #20Time: My Intro to 20 Time Projects

Wednesday, May 13, 20156:30 PM

We are around a month into my English 10 20Time projects and I've been trying to share my students' work and my process and progress for #20Time. This is my first try with 20 Time Projects, and I am loving it. The students who "get it" are doing some of the most meaningful work I've ever seen. Their projects, interests, passions and products have show such a range and great thinking.

I have been tweeting out my students's blogs and live streamed some elevator pitches over the past week, which have gotten a great response. It seems like last week's #geniushour chat caught my posts, and I received a lot of questions about my workflow so I decided to start a series of #20Time posts to share the awesome things my students are doing.

Today I'm writing about how I introduced #20Time, my goals, and my expectations.

I first told students about 20Time by having them explore the term. I split the class in half and had boys research 20 Time Projects and girls research #geniushour. The students then summarized their findings and shared resources on our Google Community. Later, I formally introduced the concept with this Slides presentation. It is living and breathing, and constantly updated.

Students had freedom for self-directed learning and growth. My focus with the project was to spend one day a week for one quarter of the school year with students' becoming an expert on something that mattered beyond my classroom. They were required to investigate a topic or question, curate research and create their own, consult with experts, and produce something. I followed a lot from Kevin Brookhouser's book on 20 Time Projects and adapted a little bit as necessary.

The big ideas that I wanted to stick to include:
  • Students must blog about their learning and progress
  • Students must curate and conduct research and consult with experts to become one 
  • Students need to develop their own passions, interests, and futures
  • Students must produce something
Besides these more philosophical views on the work, I am requiring students to complete a formal written proposal, elevator pitch, and annotated bibliography.

All of the academic work in my class is run through Google Communities and Classroom, and I wanted to separate this work from the rest. Instead of my individual class Communities, I created one English 10 2015 #20Time Community for all of my learners. I loved the idea of having one place that was removed from typical class work to organize our learning. 

I also created one running Google Doc to list all of the 20Time class work and due dates. This, too, is evolving and changing as I write. Find the Task Sheet here.

To organize student blogs and provide feedback, I created a Google Form to submit blog links. After brainstorming for a while on how to best do this, I used conditional formatting and functions like sort and vlookup to color code a master index of student blogs. This was complicated, but not as crazy as it looks/seems I hope. Next time, I will walk you through this workflow. Find the product here.

Another understanding with my students is that all 20Time work is for an authentic public audience. Thank you to those of you who have read, shared, and commented. My students and I would love your help! Please continue to read, comment, and share their work. This workflow even got the endorsement from Mr. Brookhouser himself!

I really want the to expand their mindset and growth by writing for authentic audiences and creating more meaningful content. I appreciate your consideration!

Check back next time for #20Time Blog Workflow!

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