Wednesday, November 9, 2016

TLP Entrepreneurial Adventure Launch 2016

It is an honour to be invited back to The Learning Partnership Entrepreneurial Adventure to present our journey with TLP these past 2 years and 12 years with Kamla Rambaran in our class program.

Today we started off with a great video by Derek Sivers "Obvious to You, Amazing to Others" simply because we are our own harshest critic. How can we possibly expect and encourage students to take risks sharing ideas when we ourselves keep our own ideas in isolation? Be bold, share and let the idea go! It may take new life on its own or someone can use it as a launching point to feed into their own idea.

Our project has grown over the years and it lends itself to create opportunities for authentic tasks and blended learning. Ours is a 4 month long project-based learning/entrepreneurial venture where students use a variety of skills and web 2.0 tools to develop 21st Century Competencies. Students are engaged in a series of mini lessons facilitated by the teacher for whole class or small group instruction.  However new learning is co-constructed among the students within their teams/companies using various online environments.

Constructivist-based instruction is often explored in groups and the teacher role is reserved for facilitation as opposed to traditional lecturing. (Schmidt, 2003)

Students create a business that makes a difference not only in their own lives through the experience, knowledge and reflection on learning; but in the lives of the children who will benefit from building awareness in the community while proceeds are donated to Free the Children, Pillar of Education.

Building a collaborative relationship with a business partner brings in expertise and students appreciate alternate perspectives as discussions around decision-making become even more meaningful.

As a teacher, we need to guide students through the design thinking process and the inquiry process. We need to make the shift from “knowledge as habit”. It’s the ‘how’ & ‘why’ that will allow students go about their learning to engage in inquiry; it's not just about the “what”. To make relevant, cross-curricular connections starts with knowing the curriculum inside-out; rereading the front matter of the documents provides valuable information, guiding questions and so much more (e.g., Social Studies). There are many different flavours of inquiry: knowing how to balance inquiry along with other pedagogical teaching strategies will take time to establish but it will yield positive results in student success both emotional and academic as they learn to think about thinking.

Problem solving, critical thinking and entrepreneurship are a few of the many skills students will continue to develop. One thing we cannot forgot and must always feed is that our students are kids and as kids they are naturally curious (we as adults need to feed our own curiousity too). Creating opportunities to immerse within learning to foster curiousity, critical thinking, optimism and risk-taking because we are:
-naturally curious
-committed to making sense of our world

As Kamla and I continued to share today we encourage new teachers to The Learning Partnership Entrepreneurial Adventure to start with a question when launching this project with their students: "What problem do you want to solve?"

To end our presentation we share another great video, this one by Google 'A Question Waiting to be Answered'.  For our students to be entrepreneurs, let them question, seek out answers and question some more. Share their successes and celebrate their reflections.

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