All posts by Penny Bishop

TIIE Director Penny Bishop is Professor of Middle Level Education at the University of Vermont where she teaches future middle grades educators and conducts research on schooling for young adolescents. Penny has served as Principal Investigator on numerous grants, bringing over $12 million dollars to Vermont schools to improve the learning and lives of middle grades students. A former middle level English and Social Studies teacher, Penny was appointed to the National Middle School Association's Research Advisory Board and is President of the American Educational Research Association's group on Middle Level Education Research. She is co-author of five books on effective middle grades practice. She has served as policy advisor on fellowship to the New Zealand Ministry of Education, providing input and research on effective schooling policies for students in the middle years in that country.

The Problem with Genius Hour

Shouldn’t every hour be a genius hour?

the problem with genius hourAnyone paying attention to education in the US lately has seen the proliferation of the “Genius Hour.” Presumably inspired by Google’s 20% rule, through which employees of the search engine giant spend a day a week on projects of their own choosing, many schools are adopting a model described by best selling author Daniel Pink as “60 minutes to work on new ideas or master new skills.” By setting aside an hour of instructional time, schools enable students to connect, construct or create, without the constraints or distractions of business-as-usual. What could be better than that?

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What does “blended learning” really mean?

Here at the TIIE, we talk a lot about the gap between students’ in-school and out-of-school technology lives. As this gap narrows, the terms ‘blended learning’ and ‘hybrid’ have become pervasive in our edu-speak. But what is blended learning? Is it truly the disruptive force, as many claim, stimulating positive educational change? Or is it simply a matter of smattering of technology tools across lessons?

This infographic, created by Knewton and Column Five Media, provides several models of blended learning and, perhaps even more helpfully, examples of schools where we can find those models in action.

Blended Learning Infographic

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media