I introduced the general idea of the 20% project to my Civics class Monday, as soon as I was back from the Google Apps Summit. What they will be doing is similar to their Culminating Project for the course, but I hope that by working on it 1 day a week, the depth and connection to the project will be greater.
The project is centred around the idea of being a purposeful and contributing citizen of Canada. The students will be asked to determine which issue they want to learn about. The issue should be of a local, provincial or national importance. To this end, I have enlisted the Teacher Librarian to help the students with research methods.
Once the students have identified an issue, they are to determine a way to both inform the public about the issue and contribute in some way to helping the issue. In the past this has included: fundraising, letters to MPs/MPPs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, blogs, videos and websites. I try to keep the whole project as open-ended as possible so that the students direct their own learning.