There are so many reasons to raise the white flag in education today, if that’s what you’re looking to do. I choose to focus on new possibilities and powerful digital learning engines. Using sites like LULU.com, Cafe Press, storyjumper, tikatok, Zazzle, Spreadshirt, Pikistore, Createspace, Blurb, Tastebook, The Game Crafter, Spoonflower, Ponoko, Shapeways, Imagekind, and a host of similar sites that allow you to create an account, design products like books, cd's, DVD's calendars, tee shirts, clocks, hats, printed art, 3-D products from your designs and so much more. These sites allow you and your kids to market them and create revenue streams if you're successful.
What can we teach with these digital lemonade stands? There is the literal product such as a book, year book, photo book, manual, calendar etc. and and kids can learn by creating these but there is so much more. Kids can learn about marketing and leveraging networks to grow markets. Kids can design campaigns and project potential profits. Kids can learn accounting and business skills and I haven’t scratched the surface.
The point is that educators and schools can get into this game for no $. Business classes can become relevant by ending at a real customer and not by discussing widgets and hypothetical products.
Can you say careers and career clusters? I thought you could. Imagine all of the careers and career skills that could be addressed in running a virtual store front where kids design and create the products.
I hope you will think outside the box when it comes to exploring the teaching and learning potential of these powerful tools. If relevance is important to learners, what could be more relevant than starting and running a classroom business and letting kids become entrepreneurs?
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