'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/

Check out “The Genius Hour Guidebook”: an Interview With Denise Krebs & Gallit Zvi, one of my Education Week Teacher columns.

Also: Genius Hours can be ‘Transformative’ is the headline of another of my Education Week Teacher columns.

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:


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.

#GeniusHour Blog Post Index is by Denise Krebs.

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

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

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

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

Here’s The Genius Hour website.

Genius Hour and the 6 Essentials of Personalized Education is from Edutopia.

20 tips for putting Google’s 20 percent time in your classroom is from eSchool News.

Personalized Learning and Query Books is from Edutopia.

Many student handouts can be found near the end of this paper.

Five-Minute Film Festival: Genius Hour is from Edutopia.

Genius Hour: An Avenue to Better Teaching is from My Own Genius Hour.


What is 20 Percent Time? A Conversation with A.J. Juliani is from Cult Of Pedagogy.

Guest Post: “The Benefits of Genius Hour for ELLs”

How Dr. King, Jr. Elementary created a culture of innovation with 20% time is from Google For Education. It talks about a project a teacher did, and includes a link to a very helpful website she set up.

The Genius of Design is by John Spencer.

Genius Hour: Discover Your Passion is from Julie Boulton.

Ready for Genius Hour? Do This, Not That. is from Middleweb.

Using Genius Hour Projects to Help Students Find Meaning is from Edutopia.


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.

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