INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — School systems call them e-learning days, not weeks or months. The online education format is now the new norm for educators in this coronavirus world, and it's leading teachers to get creative.
“Nobody is obviously prepared for this," says Hobart High School engineering and entrepreneurship teacher Dan Schultz, while adding a note for his students. "If they've ever wished I had more time to do this, more time to do this, well here it is!”
Keeping engaging content for students is hard enough in the classroom, but with a hands-off approach, Schultz says educators will take anything they can get.
Seeing the need, former Noblesville teacher Don Wettrick jumped into help. He founded the STARTedUP Foundation to bring entrepreneur education to students. He recently used his vast connections to make free online video lessons with big name CEO’s and authors.
“We just want to be able to put it out for teachers and parents and students to use. I've done a podcast the last few years, and I've just been lucky enough to interview some awesome entrepreneurs, authors, thought provokers,” tells Wettrick. “One is the founder of Uber elevate their flying car division. Jeff Hoffman is working right now with Pitbull, and helped launch Justin Timberlake's career, and cofounded Priceline.com.”
“Don is extraordinary in his commitment to educating and inspiring youth. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. They are the people that see what needs to be fixed and improved in the world, and go out and do it," Hoffman explains. “I get my energy and inspiration from the youth. What we've learned is a lot of the time we underestimate the minds of our young people. The biggest question kids always have is where do I start? The concern is that the adults won't take them seriously.”
Hoffman believes this is the perfect time for students to get involved in their communities solving problems, or starting endeavors. He says it will do a lot more for their futures and the country than binge watching Netflix. He also has a message of advice for business owners looking to navigate today's economic woes.
“Instead of fretting all day long about what you can't do now because of the shutdown, try to map your skills into something you can help with," Hoffman says.
If you are a teacher looking for this content, you can find the videos here.