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The Best Resources For Applying “Fed Ex Days” To Schools

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'Disney Supervising Animator and 3D Alumnus Lino DiSalvo Reviews Student Reels at VFS' photo (c) 2011, Vancouver Film School - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Author Daniel Pink has written a lot about “Fed Ex Days” and describes it this way:

One of the best ideas I’ve heard in the last 10 years is the FedEx Day. Created by the Australian software company Atlassian,FedEx Days give people 24 hours to work on whatever they want — so long as it’s not part of their regular jobs and provided that they show what they’ve created to their colleagues when the 24 hours elapse.

Why the name? Because you have to deliver something overnight.

Dan has also written about a version of it in The Genius Hour: How 60 minutes a week can electrify your job.

Several teachers and administrators have picked-up on the idea and have applied it to the school setting.

Of course, having students work on projects of their own choosing is not an entirely new concept — many teachers have done this for years. For example, at the end of the year I have students create a unit using teaching/learning strategies we’ve used and then have them teach part of in small groups. You can see the general plan and access hand-outs here (that particular post relates to their doing an ethnic studies project of their choice, but it can all be adapted easily to any topic they want) and I have a complete lesson plan in my book, Helping Students Motivate Themselves.

You can also find additional related resources at The Best Posts On Helping Students Teach Their Classmates.

But “Fed Ex Days” (by the way, Dan Pink just posted that Fed Ex would like a different name used for the project and the Australian company is seeking suggestions) tend to be a little less structured and more shorter term. I’m going to put some more thought into them over the summer and try it out next year.

I thought I’d put together a few posts and resources developed by educators who have tried Fed Ex Days — either with students or with teachers for professional development. Most of the posts shared here also include downloadable hand-outs.

Please share links to additional resources in the comments section.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources For Applying “Fed Ex Days” To Schools:

DOING IT WITH STUDENTS:

Josh Stumpenhorst wrote about what he called Innovation Day and Dan Pink wrote about it at What your business can learn from a 6th grade classroom.

4th Grade do Innovation Day is by Pernille Ripp. That’s her post from 2011, and here’s her post from 2012 — What Is Innovation Day and Why Should You Care?

#GeniusHour Blog Post Index is by Denise Krebs.

Here’s another version: Inspire Drive, Innovation, and Creativity: The 20% Project in the Classroom.

Here’s a nice video students made to publicize their “Genius Hour” activities:

A Year of Genius Hour – What Have I Learned? is from Dare To Care.

Here’s a project from our class blog that can be easily adapted for any “Fed Ex” type project.

The #GeniusHour Wiki has a variety of resources related to…Genius Hour. Here’s how it’s described: “Genius Hour is a precious time, loved by all my students. It is when they are allowed to develop their own inquiry question about whatever it is that they want to explore. They are then given about 3 one hour Genius Hour sessions and then they are usually ready to present their learning to the class.”

Why 20% Time is Good for Schools is from Edutopia.

20 Time In Education

Cybrary Man also has many resources related to Genius Hour.

20% Time MOOC

20% Time In Education is a Google Plus Community.

10 reasons for Genius Hour; 10 signs it will fail is by Sylvia Martinez.

DOING IT WITH TEACHERS:

FedEx Prep: A Reflection is by principal Chris Wejr.

Inspiration delivers is by principal Lyn Hilt.

Fed Ex Day – We Delivered!
is by principal Brian Downing.

FedEx Day: Putting Autonomy Back in Professional Learning is from Mr. Wastler’s Office.

Additional suggestions are always welcome.

(Time off to innovate: Good idea or a waste of tech talent? is an article in Computer World that also might be worth a look)

10 Reasons To Try 20% Time In The Classroom is from Edudemic.


Primetime: Putting the conditions for intrinsic motivation into homework in 2nd grade
is from The American School of Bombay.

Parents Said No to the Test is a good post about “Genius Hour” by Greg Miller.

‘Genius hour’: What kids can learn from failure is from CNN.

Here’s The Genius Hour website.

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You might also want to explore the over 900 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

5 Comments

  1. Hi! I thought you might want to see a short series I did on my blog related to this idea about something I tried with my students called “Genius Hour”. http://engagetheirminds.com/2012/05/15/genius-hour-update-part-iii/
    My students loved it!

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  4. Thanks, Larry, for sharing some of my genius hour resources! I love what so many teachers and students are doing with this transformative idea. I think school all around should be more like genius hour. That’s what I’m working on.

    I like your work on student-led units. Thanks for sharing that, and for sharing this post and getting more people to consider it.

    I hope you and your readers will check out the #geniushour hashtag on Twitter, and we have a #geniushour chat the first Wednesday of each month at 8:00 p.m. CST. Here’s a link to our geniushour wiki too. http://geniushour.wikispaces.com

    Thanks,
    Denise

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