Educating the coming generations is our priority. By the 21th century, it became essential to help students to keep up with technological evolution. And why does technological evolution matter in this case?
The exponential growth of technology
Remember, when the radio was invented? Most likely not, because you were rather nonexistent that time. From 1895, for the radio, it took 38 years to reach the target market of 50 million. For its little brother, the television, it took “only” 13 years. When internet came around, everything seemed to move faster ahead as the time spent for the information highway to reach the specified 50 million, was 4 years only. And the list continues including but not limited to the iPod (3 years) and Facebook (2 years) as the statistics say…
The number of internet devices in 1984 was 1.000. By 1992, the number increased to A MILLION and as you probably can see, the evolution never stopped: by 2008, the number grew to 1000x more = A BILLION.
The amount of new technical information doubles every 2 years. Imagine, that you attend to a uni to start a 4 year IT degree, and when you reach the end of your first 2 years, your knowledge will be outdated by the third school year.
Learning new skills
Having a competitive knowledge never mattered as much as it does in Generation Y. Many of us were born and raised being surrounded with all kinds of technical tools. And when it comes to these tools, the popular social media sites and all kinds of evolutional products, we should never forget about one, and probably the most important fact: all of these evolutionary inventions are made and developed by us, humans, from idea to prototype and to actual product that sells.
New trends in job markets of XXIth century are palpable. Fields of sciences will merge as e.g. artificial intelligence (neuroscience, robotics, software engineering etc). Internet of things and big data will change our security system that our legal order has to adapt to. Our lifestyle will change that sociology and psychology have to trace. So what can we teach to the new generation to hold their own in this world?
– the high school mentoring program
Matija, founder of uSchool seems to have found the answer to this question. His initiative trains high school students to be the Tom Sawyers of the twenty-first century. The half year long program aims at developing the students’ aptitude, entrepreneurial spirit, project management and communication skills, and a lot more through helping them set up their very first business project. He underlines that his initiative does not aim to reform the today’s education as it is as the general knowledge acquired in high school is a necessary basis. Instead of reform, U-school rather enhances education in order to broaden the scope of opportunities for children.
“uSchool teaches high school students how to earn a living by doing what they love. That way they will not be bound by their circumstances.”
The Slovenian president patronates the initiative and what is more, the American Unreasonable Academy named them one of the most promising educational programs in the world. Invendor Ltd., the host of the program in Hungary, (also running this blog) in consortium with Aera Ltd. now have an open call for inspiring young mentors and hosting schools that are willing facilitate the entrepreneurial student groups. Read on to get more details about it.
The concept of uSchool
uSchool implements a proprietary methodology along the 6-8 months long program that adopts the concept of Stanford University’s Design Thinking. According to that, at the first stage students are forced to step out of their comfort zone by performing unusual tasks, such as contacting the mayor for a selfie. After the first trainings, business simulations and teambuilding games, students have to brainstorm on a project that they want to transform into business. Then, miniature startup teams couple up for the given project, and start to work on it following their mentor’s guidance. The mentors are young entrepreneurs themselves who meet with the students on a one week regularly basis.
The second half of the course put emphasis on acquiring the basic business knowledge: testing and prototyping the product, validating the business idea, then engage in sales. Students are challenged to speak up to their project twice before public. First to the first potential customer i.e. interested parties on a startup weekend where the kids receive intensive pitch, marketing and sales training as well. Secondly, they have to present their finalized project to a greater crowd of invited guests, investors and other stakeholders that holds the possibility even for further valuable business connections.
Young and entrepreneur? Be a uMentor!
uSchool Hungary delivered by a consortium of Invendor and Aera Ltd. is now looking for inspiring young mentors who can dedicate 5-10 hours per months to their entrepreneur kids. “Entrepreneur” qualifies for any business experience or entrepreneurial activity that the person has had in life. Requirement from the mentors is to follow the proven curriculum that is provided to them. This includes concrete, game-like practical challenge to complete with the students during that week’s session of the entrepreneurship club, and many more.
While uSchool believes being a mentor is valuable in itself as it is a profound life experience, it also works to give back to the mentors as much as possible. All the mentors receive a stipend of 100 euro/month for their work, as well as invitations to several mentor-only gatherings. These range from fun, networking to educational events. On top of that, the mentors are invited to take part in the annual study visit to Silicon Valley.
Are you a school? Join us!
Wheter you need more detailed information, or you would like to join the program, feel free to contact our project coordinator, Borbala Tolcser at email@example.com