Peter and I ran a break out session at the 9th NACCE conference in Portland earlier this month. We called it the ‘Dark side of the moon’ and there were quite a few raised eyebrows. So here is the explanation…
If you ask any entrepreneur what they could have done differently and they say, “If only I knew then what I know now.” However the only opportunities they have to gain is experience is by experience itself – that can be expensive. Enter SimVenture- the best start up experience in the world. Now we see some nodding heads and know that almost everyone in the room understands the importance of learning from experience.
However a lot of teachers do not realize that their students need to learn not just from the experiences of other people but their own experience as well. Imagine, if you had to jump off a diving board 10 meters high (Olympic level) tomorrow. What would help you prepare for that jump – instruction at the side of the pool on technique for making the jump or actual practice dives?I guess we all know the answer to that. However, uninspiring and unreal teaching resources only allow teachers to focus on the point up to the start of the business (the light side of the moon – you know, the one you can see).
People who use SimVenture are able to go past this traditional business ‘start point’. They are able to practice a real-life scenario and are better prepared for self employment and entrepreneurship. Like a genuine simulation the learning is embedded, accelerated and fun. Lecturers are no longer stressed or struggling to manage learners. Some are now treating their lectures as a coffee-donut session – they are that relaxed.The dark side of the moon represents all the things that we don’t know therefore cannot teach our students.
We must, encourage them to take a leap of faith and go over to the dark side. In doing this sometimes teachers forget that they need to be entrepreneurial in their teaching approach and they need to come over to the dark side as well.
So that is the message of that break out session – the dark side is scary but we all need to go there – students and teachers alike.