Running a business is an excellent way for students to gain the types of “real-world skills” we’ve been talking about for years. The internet has leveled the playing field for student-run businesses, allowing anyone to compete in today’s marketplace. Businesses today don’t have to be purely about profit, either – they can exist for a variety of purposes. Your students can literally change the world. I’ll show you how.
Teachers of Grades 4 to 12 will benefit the most. If you split it into two groups, I’d do 4-8 and 9-12. Tech integrators and facilitators will also benefit. Social entrepreneurship and student-run businesses are interdisciplinary, so it can be applied by math, science, humanities, and communications / literacy teachers. The audience is pretty wide – about the only teachers who wouldn’t benefit are teachers of the very young and those (like IB DP teachers) who have to focus on a content-heavy curriculum.
Warren Apel is the Director of Educational Technology at the International School of Amsterdam. He is a Google Certified Teacher, an Apple Distinguished Educator, and a frequent presenter at international technology conferences. He has worked in international education for over 16 years, including positions at Cairo American College and the the American Embassy School in New Delhi, India. He has co-founded three companies dedicated to social responsibility, including one that he formed with his middle school students. Aside from educational technology, he is an enthusiast of using exploratory data analysis to improve schools and enhance learning.