What are the advantages of delivering remotely?
How we are delivering remotely with 25 schools across Australia
Working from home has given Startup Business the opportunity to spend more time with family, get some much-needed relaxation and make multiple naughty trips to the fridge every so often to get our sugar fix. However, the show must go on and we are ensuring that our teachers have the resources they need during this time to keep on giving their students the best education possible.
This is the first time that the Entrepreneurial Learning in Action program has been delivered remotely which has been an exciting endeavour for the whole team and teachers involved. It has allowed us to take a step back, look at what we can do differently and think outside of the box while stuck in one, our homes. We have had to think innovatively and creatively about how we can get schools to stay engaged and connect with mentors on a remote level which we are achieving.
Our Mentor engagement sessions connect high school students with experienced professionals who are willing to offer wisdom and guidance about career development opportunities available to students. Virtual meetings have allowed for more flexibility for our industry partners, hence creating an easier process to link students learning in the classroom with a mentor who is working in action. It is definitely a new way of “Learning in Action”.
Virtual learning transcends the limitations of a traditional face-to-face classroom environment and has proven to be more engaging and effective. Students are able to communicate directly with mentors through technology such as zoom video calls which compel students to become fully immersed in the mentor experience, ask meaningful questions and become inspired by the young entrepreneurs they are talking with. The most exciting part of virtual mentoring sessions is the ability to access businesses and industry professionals from around Australia rather than those in a school’s immediate community, gaining insight from multiple perspectives.
We have loved working in an online context and can definitely see working virtual meetings and mentor sessions into our program indefinitely – especially since a plethora of the schools that are involved in the program are from regional areas.
One of our teachers from Karoonda Area School in South Australia, Carolyn Johnson, has been a huge advocate for using these mentor sessions, seeing them as an opportunity to connect with individuals whom she wouldn’t have thought of before. Carolyn has been at the forefront of organising mentor sessions with her agriculture class with interstate business owners and influential innovators from around Australia.
One of Carolyn’s mentors, Oliver Bora, ran his mentor session 2,018 km away from his home in Byron Bay. Oliver is an Ambassador for the AgriFutures program and started his own business while still at school. Students mentioned that Oliver’s story was ‘inspiring’, ‘clever’ and ‘motivating’ when thinking about their own ideas that they will pitch later on in the year. The ease of communication through such technology may seem intuitive but students are extremely well versed in utilising such technology and is such a great way to involve new learning experiences and engagement.
We are so thankful that we have had the opportunity to create unique learning experiences for students across Australia and cannot wait to deliver similar, invigorating experiences in the near future.