Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Beginning Bloggers: Sharing our Research

Welcome to 2nd block.  This is my group of inspired researchers. They are learning about music production, about the perceived value of homework, about opening a bakery, and how to tell if someone is lying. And they would love to learn with you. You'll find their blogs connected in the image below. Please read, share, connect - learn with us!


The basic premise of our #HavPassion project is that it is student-driven, passion-based inquiry research. The idea behind this project started with Daniel Pink’s book Drive.  Pink, a former speech writer for Al Gore turned author, cites an idea that started with the 3M company and was expanded by Google. Google encourages its employees to spend one day each work week, 20 percent of their work time, focusing on their own projects. Why? It turns out that when people have autonomy over their work, time to master their skills, and a clear purpose, they are more motivated to learn. And scientific studies and research supports this claim. In fact, Google’s philosophy of 20 percent time is how we have Gmail!


What do you want to learn? Each Friday during the second quarter my students and I will be using our time to research the topic of our choice, an idea we are passionate about. Our goal is to become an expert on that topic. But this project is not just about researching…it is about doing something with what we learn. To complete this project successfully we will:
  1. Pick a topic we are truly passionate about, something we want to learn. Students may work alone or in small groups. Keep in mind what we learned about the origins of the word "passion." Passion is rooted in suffering; what is it that you are willing to suffer through, to push yourself to learn?
  2. Find a book to guide our learning.
  3. Pitch the project idea in a project proposal to the class for topic approval. Students will submit both a written proposal and produce a video proposal to be posted to our class site for our community of learners to vote on.
  4. Connect with an expert to interview.
  5. Blog each Friday reflecting on our progress. Each post should also incorporate reflections on how our selected mentor text is guiding our research.
  6. Produce something – a presentation, a writing piece, a show, something tangible – to share with people outside of our classroom.
  7. Reflect on what we have learned in a TED-style talk.
  8. Share all of our work on our online portfolio.
This is not simply a research project.  Once we’ve finished the research phase of this project, we must do something with our new found knowledge.  Students will be creating products and presentations (either individually or in small groups) that will extend beyond the classroom, such as documentary videos, web pages, pamphlets, newspaper or magazine editorials, an article for the school or local newspaper, letters, public speaking presentations, fund raising, music, plays…or whatever we can think of to best make our community aware of our research topic.  The idea is to reach an audience outside the doors of our classroom in order to share our research.  We will need to identify leaders in the field of our research in order to connect and engage with those thought leaders. 

Need some inspiration? Here you go!

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