Students, Educators, and Sleep (Part Two and Project Idea)

winks-2383407_1920Last week I addressed for the first time at FaithEdTech questions about sleep and rest for students and educators (click here for the initial blog post). The second post was designed to study the impact of sleep deprivation on educators, including myself. However, though I will still address this in future post, I am compelled to alter my process a bit.

Each year in our project-based Lights Academy which I lead we encourage students to create a project that innovates in some way, either with a new creation or through an improved iteration of an existing idea. Typically I complete a project along side my students. I do this for the following reasons:

  • I want them to see me as a life-long learner and have a pattern to follow.
  • I seek to challenge myself to explore something new simply for the joy of the experience.
  • I desire our learning experience to be something that is shared rather than something directed only one way.

As I reflected on the initial post on sleep, students, and educators, it occurred to me that this would make for an excellent innovation project. While the idea that lack of sleep results in many different problems is not new, perhaps I can create something that can help other educators guide their students (and themselves) in dealing with this issue.

My students return to the classroom today. We will embark together on our innovation project, completing these over the next two month. I will be joining my students on this journey and will be sharing this journey with you as well.

I don’t have all the project details worked out, but I will embrace the process of creating a project planning document to guide my inquiry as my students do the same. This document will help me hone my thinking to turn this idea into a truly workable innovation project.

In case you are interest, the following requirements are those that my students and I will be fulfilling as we create our planning documents. Perhaps this will be a template that is helpful to readers as they explore project-based learning. Here are the planning document expectations:


Topic: Connected to some sort of innovative idea you have. Our working definition of innovation is what follows:

A way of thinking that creates something new and better. Innovation can come from either “invention” (something totally new) or “iteration” (a change of something that already exists), but if it does not meet the idea of “new and/or better,” it is not innovative.

  • Driving Question (this is something that will need to be approved by Mr. Black)
  • A minimum of 15 auxiliary question related to the driving question
  • A description of the innovative idea you would like to explore. Please explain why your idea is new, better, or both.
  • A specific entry event needs to be planned. Examples of acceptable entry events include a book or series of articles you read, video content you view, an interview, a site visit, etc. Please also share when you plan for your entry event to be complete.
  • Please identify a minimum of five sources of information you plan to use in putting together your project.
  • Please identify one interview that will be used in your project.
  • One digital sharing strategy: document, presentation, website, video, blog, audio, combination of strategies. Your final work should share your driving question, a clear introduction, a clear conclusion, answers to both driving and auxiliary questions, your research process and what you learned, and an MLA list of sources. Your new innovation should also clearly be shared here.
  • In class sharing strategy: presentation, lead a discussion, in-class activity
  • Identify one new tool or digital service (to you) you will use in the creation and/or sharing of your project.
  • A detailed explanation of what you hope to accomplish  by each assigned checkpoint. For this project, I have established the following checkpoints: Tuesday, January 30th, Tuesday, February 20th, and Tuesday, March 6th.
  • Final Project is due Friday, March 16th.
  • Presentations will begin Monday, March 26th, after Spring Break.


Please contact me if you have any questions about these requirements and how they are used. I am happy to share my experiences with any educator.

I hope you will follow the progress of this project over the next two months. Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “Students, Educators, and Sleep (Part Two and Project Idea)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s