By Kim Miklusak
This year I have started doing a version of the 20% Time Project in my American Literature classroom. You can read more about my experiences in this learning process on my other blog: This is Why We Write. There are also several links on earlier posts that share the documents I provided to my students including background on 20% Time and specific requirements for our project.
I first learned about 20% Time when we attended the ISTE Conference over the summer. The session hosted by several teachers in this field blew my mind; however, it was a connection I made via Twitter with Joy Kirr that really opened up the amount of resources available. Through speaking with Joy, I was able to access the many links she has hosted on the Live Binder site, her own personal experiences, and more contacts available through Twitter. Another resource I leaned heavily on was Tom Driscoll's Flipped History site, which provides not only excellent materials, but also insightful reflection. Much of what I did in my classroom is modeled off the work he has done and shared.
Now there is an excellent new resource available that I highly recommend--not only for teachers consider starting 20% Time in their classroom, but also for those of us who have just started like myself. There can be a steep learning curve in unveiling this project for the first time. Kevin Brookhouser's book The 20Time Project: how educators can launch Google's formula for future-ready innovation explores the why and the how of 20% Time from theory to practice including a letter home to parents and example timelines of student projects. He provides practical steps that are easy to add to your own classroom. This is a must-have for any teacher thinking about adding a student choice project to the curriculum!