Sunday, January 21, 2018

Seeking Partners, but here's why to hesitate. Reason #4

In earlier posts, we shared  elements of simCEO that make it a valuable (and much-needed) way for students to learn in the 21st Century.

1) Students who move beyond recall and produce solutions with content.
2) Social Learning: Learning from and with one another.
3) Contextual Learning: Authentic roles & goals

The list above represents a change to what students experience in schools. But like any change, it does not come easily. These are challenges we have to overcome; we want to be up front with those challenges.

Do we have tested solutions to overcome all of these challenges? No.  But we believe deeply they can be solved, and they need to be solved.

That's why we are looking for partners who can help us overcome these challenges. But we want to attract the right kind of partner. With that in mind, we have come to the last in our 4-Part series we call:
The list of reasons you shouldn’t partner with us.
Reason #4: Can we utilize the cloud to allow instructors to share curated customized resources for the simulation with other instructors?

SimCEO represents an open-ended learning environment. The simulation naturally focuses on entrepreneurial and financial literacy concepts. However, because of its open-ended nature, content from different disciplines and ability levels can be easily integrated into the simulation by the instructor to target student needs.  For example:
  • University marketing professors can push in specific marketing concepts or tasks directly into the elements they wish to see in the students’ business plans. Or, they can share news articles to highlight changes in marketing trends to determine how CEOs will alter their business plan (or their investment philosophy) as they adjust to these articles.
  • ·7th Grade History teachers may wish to emphasize mission statements and demographics within a unit on the American Revolution set in Boston in 1770. Students can first address these business aspects within their business plan as they learn about the demographics  and historical events in Boston in 1770.  New articles can target specific events (real or fictional) to see how students will adjust their strategy within simCEO.

Within both of these examples and countless others, the open-ended nature allows the simulation to be customized to an instructor’s desired preference. By giving instructors a platform to customize, we want to harness those ideas into a searchable directory for use by other instructors.
A model such as this is also new and only possible when the simulation is open-ended and where content can be implemented by the instructor  in an authentic context. This is similar to what is happening with . We believe simCEO has similar potential.

But this is a change from the status quo of a traditional online learning resource. It requires that our future partners see us through the same lens that we see ourselves.

Although simCEO addresses and assesses content, we do not see ourselves as content providers; we see ourselves as context providers, engaging students to apply content in a real-world environment that can be customized by instructors to target specific learning goals.

Within that context, the cloud will be a powerful way to showcase the creative solutions that instructors around the world have.  With the addition of each curated resource, we increase the tools available to future educators.

This is a big and bold goal. It’s a pathway to opening up a far more effective learning tool than we could do in isolation; implementing this effectively requires an expertise we currently do not possess. It’s where we wish to go, and it’s a challenge we hope our future partners will embrace and provide guidance.

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