It’s a well-established fact that we monkeys are big fans of all things education. Any day that we can support the important work that educators do to teach, motivate and inspire their students is a pretty awesome day in our book. We’re very pleased to welcome one such teacher to the blog–Sara White of Chicago’s John F. Kennedy High School.
Sara took time out of her busy class schedule to talk about the exciting ways that her economics students used SurveyMonkey to teach them about what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
As a teacher, I’m constantly seeking out innovative and creative ways to engage my students and get them excited to learn every day. I teach a senior elective economics class and by the end of the term, many of my students begin to “check out”. In an effort to check them back in and increase their buy-in to economics, I developed a new curriculum called the Entrepreneurship Unit. By the end of the course, students will have accrued valuable life skills that they can use out in the real world after graduation. So how’d they do it?
The students actually became entrepreneurs. Like any fledgling entrepreneur, the first step was coming up with an idea. They started with thinking about their interests and passions. How could they get others to love their idea too and of course, turn a profit? With these questions and more in mind, they created their own business and split off into three groups–technology, production, and marketing. Writing up a well-researched business plan with specific objectives was the next step and my students’ primary focus throughout the unit.
Figuring out how to incorporate technology within the marketing group, has always been my biggest challenge in teaching this unit. One of the group’s responsibilities is to identify the target audience of their product or service. Using surveys to outline the likes and dislikes of their audience for production in order to create a better product or service was the best way to collect this information. In years past, students have always done these surveys by hand–counting each of the responses and then including them in a slide on a rudimentary PowerPoint. However, this year, I wanted them to use the technology and resources most closely resembling what companies are currently using. This is where SurveyMonkey came in.
With SurveyMonkey’s educational reputation, diverse functionality, and ease of use, I knew their product would be the best for achieving our class goals. Initially though, my students were a bit resistant to using an online survey tool, saying their project research would “be easier to do on paper.” However, when they realized they could use their smartphones, it was game on from there! Students were able to take each other’s surveys in the lunchroom, during football practice, at Polish club, and even at home with their family.
Here’s a quick peek at one of the group’s business project results:
The most rewarding part for students? The data. SurveyMonkey compiled all of their findings into wonderful graphic visuals that gave their presentations a very professional look and made them that much more engaging to share with their peers.
As an educator you always learn just as much as your students by trying new things, exploring what’s out there and challenging them to always be expanding their horizons and honing their skills. In the years to come, I’m looking forward to showing my future seniors the awesome results from this last Entrepreneurship Unit, thanks to SurveyMonkey!
Questions, comments for Sara and her students? Let them know below.