Genius Hour as MOOC – What’s the purpose?

Last week on TTT, a group of us got together to talk about intergenerational MOOC participation and what might happen if there were a cMOOC focused on the idea of Genius Hour. Here’s the video:



Toward the end of the session, Peggy George asked “What’s your ‘purpose’ for offering it and what would be the kids’ purpose in wanting to be part of it?”


Great questions so I’m answering them here.


My purpose for doing this would be to create richer learning environments and experiences for myself and for others. I believe that when people of a variety of ages learn together, we all learn more. Specific to educators, I believe that when student voices are included in our conversations, we learn more about learning.


For youths’ puposes for participating, I guess that’s what we’re trying to determine. Where would the value lie for them? The thought behind structuring this like Genius Hour was to let each of us explore our own passion. In many ways, we’d all be defining and creating our own value proposition.


You’ll notice that formal incentives such as credit or pay are missing from these answers. It’s my own bias that I think that learning done to gain external rewards tend not be be as rich. However, if a local group wanted to somehow grant credit for something like this, that would certainly be welcomed.


What do you think about all this? And more importantly, are there youth in your community that might want to have a voice on how something like this is designed?