Genius Hour 2.0

Location: Room 005

Explore and create Sold out!

Registration code: B226

[Explore and create : BYOD]

Monday, June 26, 1:00–2:00 pm
Location: Room 005

Benjamin Boesch   Edward Gonzalez  
Gain a working knowledge of technology-driven project-based learning through the implementation of Genius Hour. You'll leave with examples of student research, presentations, animation and 3D models along with the resources to immediately implement these experiences in your classroom.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: PC, Chromebook, Mac
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: None
Focus: Technology infrastructure
Topic: 1:1 programs
Grade level: 6-8
ISTE Standards: Teachers : Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments
Students : Empowered learner
Related exhibitors: SketchUp

Digital tote resources

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Genius Hour gives students the opportunity to follow their own curiosity in an authentic project-based setting using the multimedia and tools available on computers or smartphones. Like a farmer without a plow or a mechanic without his garage, a student without the ability to research or use basic software is a student who will feel lost in the process of inquiry. With the power of 21st century tools available in a simple Chromebook students have a wealth of software and resources available for them to produce quality content.

Upon participating in “Genius Hour and Project Based Learning” educators/students will learn:
The inquiry process for students to create projects. Our notable examples include a presentation created by a middle school student on the Celiac disease, a collection of Greek Gods, historical 3D models, and animation.
Interchangeable software and strategies for peer-tutoring based on the success of authentic classroom examples. Software examples include: GoAnimate and Powtoons for animation, Google Slides and Prezi for presentations, Blogger for web design, NewsBooth for video editing, and 3DTin as well as SketchUp for 3D models.
How to roll-out genius hour in a classroom using the Gradual Release of Responsibility model (GRR) through which teachers lead and model the initial phases of inquiry and gradually release the responsibilities to the students . Using the GRR model participants will receive sample lesson and unit plans aligned to Common Core standards that transition into a fully student-led Genius Hour.

Evidence of success for the presentation include:
The outline of a Genius Hour proposal created by participants.
Participants posting collaborative posters to the Twitter feed #ISTEGeniusHour.
Review and feedback as given by our questionnaire.


(5-minutes) Introduce Ben and Edward’s previous experiences teaching and demonstrating classroom examples of PBL work and genius hour. Ben is a former classroom teacher, academic coach, and educational technology specialist. Edward is a classroom teacher with experience working in intervention settings at the 6th-12th grade levels.

(10 minutes) Ben and Edward will review literature on student-led inquiry and PBL as it relates to Genius Hour. The focus will be on closing the achievement gap with PBL based on the research of Han, Capraro, and Capraro (2012) with “How science, technology, engineering, and mathmatics (STEM) project-based learning (PBL) affects high middle and low achievers differently: the impact of student factors on achievement.”

( 20 minutes) Ben and Edward will demonstrate methods for implementing Genius Hour in the classroom using the GRR model. Attendees will be given online access to lesson plans and unit plans, resources to scaffold instruction, and rubrics. Sample projects will include the research created on Celiac disease by a student with the diagnosis, a mini-library of Greek god biographies, 3D models based on historical locations, and animation.

(20 minutes) Attendees will be broken into groups to begin filling out poster sized outlines for the integration of potential Genius Hour for the subjects represented in the presentation . In the last 5 minutes attendees will share their posters and evidence of learning to the Twitter feed #ISTEGeniusHour.

Supporting research

Han, S., Capraro, R., Capraro, M., (2012) How science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) project-based learning (PBL) affects high, middle and low achievers differently: the impact of student factors on achievement. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education. 13(5), 1089-1113.



Benjamin Boesch, Bakersfield City School District

Edward Gonzalez, Bakersfield City School District

Edward Gonzalez is a middle school teacher and lecturer at California State University Bakersfield. In 2016 he graduated from California State University Fullerton with a Master’s in Educational Technology and was awarded the Edwin Carr Fellow for promise in educational leadership. Currently Edward is in the inaugural doctoral studies program at CSUB researching the implementation of technology in his community.

learning starts here

San Antonio

June 25-28, 2017

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