Teacher: Megan N.
School: Ōtaki College, New Zealand
Grade Level: Intermediate
Use Case: Genius Hour
New Zealand middle school teacher Megan struggled with engaging her students to complete “passion projects,” finding it challenging to get them hooked on a particular topic, let alone starting, and sticking with, the project.
Megan also noticed when students left her classroom for other subjects - like tech, drama, and music - they’d return to her “hyped-up” on other topics, and unable to focus on core areas like literacy and writing.
After hearing about Tract from leading educator AJ Juliani, Megan decided to give it a try and introduced her students to her own version of Genius Hour: “Tract Tuesday,” where she dedicates an entire day for students to self-direct their learning on Tract.
"The engagement levels are so high...we are now going to be doing Tract Tuesday every week - our version of 20% Time where their program can be dedicated to Tract for half of the day."
Merging education with entertainment in a familiar way that kids love, Megan found that, by using Tract for 20% time, she was instantly able to better engage her students. “I can easily cater to each of their unique interests, while offering guidance and support for every learning level and ability, from challenged learners to those who fly through creative time.”
Along with being able to pique each students’ interest and get them more engaged in their learning, Tract brought student agency and freedom of choice to the classroom through a growing library of on-demand classes.
After implementing “Tract Tuesday” as their version of 20% Time, students from Ōtaki College are taking charge of their learning and engaging in their education in ways they never have before.
A sports-enthusiast found a learning path about the NBA, and was so excited that they spent their lunch break to continue working on the project-based challenge: a hand-drawn poster.
A few students quickly mastered a learning path on how to fold origami, and then took it upon themselves to work alongside and coach their peers toward mastering the same path.
“My students are excelling in topics and areas they might not have even thought about before - like coding!”