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Taking Genius Hour to the Next Level

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Wednesday, June 26, 1:30–2:30 pm
Location: Terrace Ballroom IV, Level 4 (near Posters)

Andi McNair  
Learn how to take Genius Hour to the next level. How do you help students move from creating projects to creating change? In this learning experience, I will share to introduce benefit mindset to help learners design projects that will help them make connections and make an impact.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Library media specialists
Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Personalized learning
Grade level: 6-12
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Global Collaborator
  • Students use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.
Innovative Designer
  • Students exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.
For Educators:
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants that attend this learning experience will be able to...

1. Design a Genius Hour experience in their own classrooms that encourage learners to create change or make an impact.

2. Use the Global Goals to help students to connect to global issues as they pursue innovative solutions.

3. Understand how to weave the standards into the Genius Hour process while encouraging learners to take risks and design for change.


I will engage the audience using Google Slides Q&A.

1. Changing the Rules (student ownership) 10 min.
2. Intro to the 6 Ps of Genius Hour 10 min.
3. Global Goals 5 min.
4. The Wonderment 5 min.
5. Outside Experts 5-10 min.
6. Service Projects 5 min.
7. Experiencing Real Learning by Creating Real Change 10 min.
8. Q&A 5-10 min.

I will also share a hashtag for participants to use as they share ideas and reflections throughout the learning experience.

Supporting research

Genius Hour: Passion Projects that Ignite Innovation and Student Inquiry by Andi McNair

Pure Genius - Don Wettrick

Shift This - Joy Kirr

The Genius Hour Guidebook - Denise Krebs and Gallit Zvi

More [+]


Andi McNair, ESC Region 12

Andi was a classroom teacher for 16 years before pursuing her passion to change education. She is currently a digital innovation specialist at ESC Region 12 in Waco, Texas. Andi is passionate about using meaningful technology in the classroom and finding innovative ways to engage today’s learners. Andi was named one of the Top People in Education to Watch in 2016 by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. Andi has published Genius Hour: Passion Projects that Ignite Innovation and Student Inquiry and is in the process of working on her second book, A Meaningful Mess.

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