Innovation Day Sau 16

Innovation Day 2011

Innovation Day 

(otherwise known as FedEx Day)

What is it?  

Created by an Australian software company called Atlassian, FedEx Day is a day of autonomy where employees are allowed to work on anything they are interested in (as long as it has nothing to do with their job).  It is coined FedEx Day because these employees are expected to DELIVER a project overnight to share what they have learned.  (Google has a Google 20%)

What purpose does this serve?

FedEx Day is motivating!  According to Daniel Pink, author of Drive the most effective motivators are, “autonomy (the ability to chart your own course), mastery (the ability to become an exert at something), and purpose (the idea that what you are doing serves a purpose larger than yourself).” 

From the kids themselves...

Can this same concept be transferred to the classroom?

Absolutely!  Teachers are just starting to implement Innovation Day in classrooms just like ours.  Students get to choose what they want to study, decide on what resources they will need for their learning, and design and plan a project that demonstrates what they have learned.   

Teachers guide students in developing higher level questions based on their interests.  Students will generate a list of materials they will need to bring from home to complete their projects.  They will also create a list of resources they need from school.

During Innovation Day, teachers will facilitate, coach, question and guide.  

The final step in our Innovation Day will be the presentation of projects.  We think that placing students projects on display the following morning for the primary grades to view would add to the importance of such an opportunity.  Projects will also be documented through pictures and videos.

Our Goal for the First Innovation Day

We are hoping to involve a classroom from each of the upper elementary schools in the SAU as well as an 8th grade pod at CMS.  It is our plan to connect all participating classrooms. This means, classrooms will be able to “view the learning” as the day progresses, see what endeavors and projects other learners undertook, and to collectively and individually reflect back on the day and their experiences.

How will we grade and evaluate the work?

We won’t!  The purpose and focus of Innovation Day is the learning.  It is not intended to have a rubric attached to it, nor should students be trying to figure out how to achieve an “A”.  

Where could this lead?


We hope that this will only be the beginning of Innovation Day.  We also hope others will join us as we move forward and continue to improve practice and enhance facilitation with student choice and natural curiosity in mind.