Learn: Technology and Entrepreneurship
About the Learn Program
Designed especially for young learners in developing countries, the Learn Program extends learning beyond the classroom with an engaging, project-centered approach. Learn is an informal education program that teaches youth the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly knowledge-based economy, with a focus on technology literacy, problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork. Taught in community technology centers, typically as an after-school program, it is administered in partnership with local governments, communities, and non-profit organizations.
Learn Program Modules
The Learn Program has more than 90 hours of engaging curriculum built around three core modules that tap into children’s interest in their own communities while nourishing their curiosity with creative, technology-driven projects. The themes of the curriculum also help foster personal and civic responsibility, demonstrating to learners how they can contribute to their communities and to their own economic self-sufficiency.
Digital Citizenship elements have been integrated in each of the three core modules. The approach adopted for integrating these elements in the curriculum is unique from traditional digital citizenship curricula in that it is not built upon videos, worksheets, and discussions. Rather the digital citizenship elements have been seamlessly woven into the existing activities of the curriculum content.
The Learn program has the following three core modules:
- Technology and Community
- Technology at Work
- Technology and Entrepreneurship
Technology and Entrepreneurship
Technology and Entrepreneurship introduces learners to basic concepts and process of entrepreneurship, and demonstrates how technology can be used to advance a business idea. Using Internet tools and office applications, learners research and formulate a business idea, and create and present a business plan for their idea. It provides an opportunity for older learners with significant prior experience with digital technology to develop advanced computer literacy and professional skills while also introducing them to some critical understandings and behaviors related to digital citizenship. All nine digital citizenship elements are addressed in authentic and meaningful ways within the context of the module activities. The course features digital citizenship content in professional or business contexts.
Learners are introduced to the course structure and course materials, including the skills they will learn, i.e. technology literacy, critical thinking, and collaboration. They get to know other class members better through a fun activity. They also learn how all the activities and projects that they will do in the Technology and Entrepreneurship course are tied to the theme of entrepreneurship, and how technology can be used to advance a business idea. Digital citizenship is formally addressed in a Digital Citizen activity. After learners are introduced to the nine elements of digital citizenship, they employ those behaviors and understandings throughout the remaining sessions.
Business Idea Development
Learners are introduced to the concept of a business idea and create a mindmap to generate business ideas. They use their technology skills to design and create a survey questionnaire to collect feedback about their business ideas. They use spreadsheet software for analysis and finalization of the business idea, and prepare a multimedia presentation that showcases the finalized business idea.
Learners use spreadsheet software to estimate startup costs for their business, and to determine an appropriate selling price for the product or service offered by their business. They also learn to plan their expenses by creating a budget that allows the business to continue making desired profit.
Learners are introduced to the concept of a marketing strategy and use their technology skills to create a marketing strategy multimedia presentation for their business. They learn to create an identity and reputation for their business and its product or service through branding and advertising. They design a logo and advertisement for their business. Learners also use their technology skills to create a Website for their business that shows their products or services.
Learners get introduced to the business operations which help in running the business smoothly and efficiently. They use their technology skills to create an operational flow chart to represent their core business operations. Learners also identify all the key people required to do the different core tasks for operating the business smoothly, and define their roles. They create a multimedia presentation on the responsibilities of various designations including an organizational chart.
Learners prepare a business plan presentation using the end products of the activities that were completed in the previous sessions. They share their business plan with the facilitator and make desired changes based on feedback. They also review their business plan presentation and practice giving the presentation. On the day of the showcase, learners present their business plan to a select audience and also get an opportunity to watch and listen to the presentation of their friends.
- Recognize what is meant by 'Entrepreneurship'
- Understand the elements of a business plan and what is required to set up and start a business
- Gain experience of internet search, multimedia, graphics, spreadsheets and word processing
- Use technology to collect, organize, and share information; and to design and develop original end products
- Understand the nine elements of digital citizenship
- Understand behaviors related to appropriate digital technology use
- Develop and demonstrate critical-thinking and problem-solving skills
- Practice effective collaboration and teamwork skills
- Create a business plan presentation to showcase to an audience
Technology and Entrepreneurship consists of a 40 hours training with trained staff facilitating the sessions. A trained staff member guides learners through activities in a series of sessions all tied to the theme of entrepreneurship.
Each session is divided into action-oriented sections: ‘Plan It,’ ‘Do It,’ ‘Review It,’ and ‘Share It,’ each of which helps develop technical and critical-thinking skills. Learners work together to collect information, analyze it, and present it to fellow learners, families, and community
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