Real-world experiences are the best way for kids to learn
This trio of Year 10 students’ work in the Hack In A Box program taught them new skills and even helped their teacher. JOELYN Abacan Luna (left), Irene Baik and Stephen Egalla were among the first students in Australia to participate in the Hack In A Box program.
The students from St Andrew’s College, at Marayong in Sydney’s west, were challenged by the youth organisation Reach Foundation to find solutions for the ethical use of social media in business as part of their commerce class. Teacher Lyndal Simmonds says the students really relished their opportunity to do some practical work on a real-life problem.
“One of the units in our commerce class is creating your own business and the crossover with the Hack In A Box program was about how they can use social media and market research in a positive, ethical way in their business,” Simmonds says.
“The best thing about this program is that it gives the students real-life problems they can relate to and that makes it easier for them to engage in the topic.”
At the end of the six-week program, the students had to present their solutions back to staff from the Reach Foundation. Simmonds says it was interesting to see her students come to a topic where they were already familiar with the basics, in this case social media, which she says is a unique situation in a classroom.
“Topics like social media are areas where the children often know more than the adults, so with this topic I didn’t really have to give them any background, they already knew it,” she says.
“I’ve always been in favour of realworld experiences in teaching because I feel it’s the best way for kids to learn. And as a teacher the Hack In A Box program has given me new skills I can use in other classes as well.
“It’s more important than ever that we teach kids skills they will be able to use in a changing workplace.”