Well, teachers have been giving the same homework from ages, parents running behind their kids forcing them to complete it in time, in fact its home work for parents as well. I recall the movie 'Pay it forward' (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0223897/) in which a teacher gives an unusual assignment to his class where the kids are asked to do good things or deeds to make the world a better place to live. There is a this kid Trevor, who actually goes an extra mile to make this happen. Trevor thinks of a mechanism where a good deed done in our everyday lives propagates, something like the butterfly effect. He calls it 'Pay it forward' technique where a favor is not returned but passed on to other people one may come across in day to day life. This brings about a revolution & influences the lives of many people. This has far reaching consequences at society level. Basically an act of kindness, sympathy is not forgotten or ended with saying thanks; I appreciate your help, but consciously made to propagate to touch the lives & hearts of other people one may come across.
Well it’s impossible to give different home works to different kids, but teachers can make a group of students of similar interests like painting, gardening, music etc...& assign them some homework so that they grow morally & ethically as well, apart from technically. Technically anyway exams make the kids to read the lessons & understand. This way kids learn to choose things in their lives at much smaller age, this goes a long way in making kids choosing wisely later in life all the things like career, lifestyle, courses they need to take. Suddenly if a kid is asked to choose between Engineering & medical, they find it very hard to choose their career directions as they basically don’t know what they are good/bad at. It may be additional work on the teacher to give separate home work to class of kids, but it goes a long way to make the kids do it with interest & not with force or compulsion in any manner since they would have chosen their field of interest beforehand.
If not homework, then this can be form of assignments say weekly or monthly. Be careful that kids don’t take the ideas totally from net; even if they take it they must do some work from their end as individual or group to bring in some appreciations by their own classmates when they present in in front of the class.