From the first few pages, the author (Don Wettrick) quickly establishes that innovation is the key to unlocking vast opportunities for students. He gives great examples of what worked and didn’t work for his innovation class. Without spoiling anything, I couldn’t stop smirking after reading the press day story. He tackles each topic in his book step-by-step and injects honesty in every page. It was interesting to read about the Genius Hour concept on a bigger scale to where positive changes were happening in their community and not just within themselves.
The author also dedicates a few chapters in Pure Genius to social media. He talks about the different personalities on social media and also the benefits it brings to the classroom. Once again without spoiling anything, I can vouch that he gives great ideas on how to be proactive on social media for the benefit of the classroom. If you’re an educator and not on social media for the purpose of growing in your profession, do it! It’s free and you have the ability to talk and collaborate with different kinds of educators around the world.
I’ve always said that opportunities for teachers and students are there for the taking if you want it and it was nice to feel validated in some sorts when Mr. Wettrick was saying the same thing throughout this marvelous book. I completely understand that giving students more freedom for this type of learning might be scary for some educators. However, as long as you keep them in check and help them when it’s absolutely necessary, I’m sure you’ll be amazed by the results. For example, I see a glimpse of this type of learning in my current position as a Project Adventure Instructional Aide. When you shift the responsibilities to the students, it’s surprising to see how they handle the group dynamics while simultaneously problem-solving. Once in a while, I see a small group solve a problem in an innovative way that I haven’t seen before. When they succeed (and fail) at the activity, it’s a feeling that can’t be replicated by a teacher.
If you’re interested in more opportunities to innovate in the classroom, I highly recommend reading this book. You can purchase Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level by clicking here.