Monday, January 27, 2014

#20Time Reflections #EdChat

I've reached the midway point of #20Time this year and I thought it would be a good idea to take a moment and reflect on the project.

I had no idea where this project was really going to go when I decided to do it. I really just wanted to give my students one day a week to explore something they really cared about. I felt that if that was able to happen, anything else would just be a bonus.

Overall, my students have really embraced their projects and have down some amazing work. Here are a few I want to highlight, but there are many more students doing amazing things and you can check their blogs out here. Feel free to leave a comment and encourage their work.

Brenna B started off wanting to create a fashion app. She had a great idea and started to look into making it happen. She was ready to hang it up when she realized that it was very expensive to pay someone to do coding work. I told her that she should learn to code and pointed her in the direction of some great sites that can help her learn. She is currently applying to some coding classes at Yale for the summer. She is also working on a proposal to the school board about making coding classes part of the district's curriculum. See more of what she is doing on her blog.

Griffin M has been building items with his hands for his project. He has built some amazing things from designs he finds on a website. He has built a headphone stand, a slingshot, longbow, and a computer. The last three were built over his Winter Break. I'm actually going to ask Griffin if he can build a nice wooden case for my Google Glass. I'll be traveling a bunch in the new year and I want to keep them safe while bouncing from city to city. His work is beautiful and I trust his craftsmanship to keep my Glass safe. You can see more of what he has done on his blog.

Alexis M is working on a documentary that will follow the lives of five different people. She interested in this style of film and has dedicated her time to learning everything she can about the process in filming, editing and everything else that goes with documentary work. It is a big project that I'm very excited to see when she is done. This type of project is really what 20 Time is all about when I stand back and look at it. Follow Alexis and her project on her blog.

Lucy S came to use from Australia, but is Canadian by birth. She chose to document Detroit with her camera. She spends time traveling the city with her dad and taking photos of some of the sites in Detroit. She just seems to have an eye for seeing the beauty beyond the decay. Take a look at some of her beautiful photos she has taken and share on her blog.

Connor M was one of the first students in 20 Time to really grasp the idea of failure. He came to stressed out that he was not going to complete the project he wanted. He wanted to scale it back and try something more attainable. After a conversation, the lightbulb went off and he really embraced failure as an important part of the 20 Time process. Check out Connor's blog and support his failures and cheer his success.

Ben M has dedicated his project time to salvaging furniture as he calls it. He has done some amazing work in finding older pieces of furniture that many would toss aside and reclaiming it for his house. The work is wonderful and the hard work is evident. Again, when would a student have time to explore a passion like this outside of school? Check out his work on his blog.

Hannah C has been working on programs for Suicide Awareness. She had done some amazing work in contacting organizations and writing letters to government officials and setting up a walk in the Spring to raise awareness. She has had ups and downs with the project, but she is dedicated to making a difference and that it what the entire 20 Time idea is all about. Follow her work on her blog.

These are just a few of the amazing projects that are going on in my classroom. It's not all rainbows and unicorns thought.

There are some students that thought they were passionate about a topic and have realized that it is not for them. They have changed their projects and are finding it hard to stay motivated. Others are not really taking the time as seriously and I would hope, but that could change in the second semester as they move closer to their final speech about learning. Not every project is going to ring try to every students. That is something I have to come to terms with and learn from as I implement this in years to come.

I'm excited to see what the second semester holds for my students. Being able to host a TEDx event to showcase the students and their ideas is a great way to end the school year and this experiment. I look forward to sharing more information on 20 Time as the year rolls on.


  1. I used your site as a resource when implementing my classroom's 20% Time Projects - we are only 2 weeks in so far! Thanks for all of the great resources, and the reflections. They have been incredibly helpful!

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  3. Thank you so much for updating us on this project! I love following it, and I'm hoping to get something like this going at my school next year.


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