Are you teaching an introduction to business course? Where do you get fresh ideas for your introduction to business lesson plans? We’ve gathered some helpful information here in one place for you. You’ll learn how other teachers are developing their introductory high school business curriculum. You’ll also find information about our Business&ITCenter21 content and what it covers and how you can use it!
For a teacher that will see approximately 400 students this year, tools and resources that are easy to use and help manage the classroom are like gold. This is true for Bernadette Green, a teacher at Southeast Guilford Middle School in Greensboro, NC. One of the tools that Green uses with her 6th, 7th, and 8th graders is the online program, Business&ITCenter21. In fact, Green uses the program extensively for her 7th grade Computer Applications course and her 8th grade Business Finance Information Technology course.
On Mondays, Green gives her students their assignments for the week, due on Friday. Students then work through the Business&ITCenter21 content online independently throughout the week. The students like the control and independence this arrangement gives them. If students fall behind, they can catch up at home with the anytime, anywhere aspect of the online resource. Early on with the program, Green noticed that although Business&ITCenter21 is engaging with media, audio, video, and interactivity, some students still struggled to take in all the content. And so Green spent some time developing study guides for each lesson in the program. Now students get a packet of materials at the beginning of each unit and they fill in outlines and answer questions as they go through the program. Green believes that if you can correctly answer a question posed in several different ways, that you’ve mastered that content. Additionally, Green makes use of the quizzes and tests included in the program. She is able to set up her courses to allow students to reset their own quizzes a few times, giving students even more control over their learning. When students have completed a unit, Green has them do practice and reinforcement activities. Some of these assignments are included in the program. But Green has also created some assignments for students to complete.
“I like the way Business&ITCenter21 is designed. It introduces an idea, and then breaks it down into manageable chunks. Then it asks questions and students get immediate feedback,” she explains.
“Students like best that they are more independent with Business&ITCenter21. I let them know what they need to do for the week. They set their own pace to get from Monday to Friday. They can work from home or in class."
Green and her students have also made use of the free unit, Digital Responsibility. This unit helps prepare students for independent online work by discussing online and environmental distractions and now to cope with them. In today’s crowded classrooms and increasing amount of standards to cover, tools that help teachers keep students on task and moving forward through content with success and proof of learning are invaluable to teachers like Green.
Startup Weekends are 54 hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and students come together to form teams, build products and launch startups. The events aim to be the best experiential entrepreneurship education available. You can think of it as FBLA for a wider audience. At this Startup Weekend, I experienced and observed some things that you should be sure you are including in your introduction to business lesson plans.
I volunteered as a mentor/coach as soon as I found out that Startup Weekend was coming to Lancaster, PA. My job was to mingle with the teams and remind them about the importance of business plans, customer validations and revenue streams. Some of the participants were experienced entrepreneurs and others were students and regular folks who wanted to participate and learn. It was exciting to watch teams and individual develop understanding in the short period from Friday evening to Sunday evening.
The event was also great for me personally. I know that textbook learning can provide a background but experiential learning is much more powerful, even in your introduction to business lesson plans. You can be the best lecturer in the world, but students will still learn better by doing.
The teams were working hard on their business concepts but the organizers kicked them out of the building Saturday. Why? There is a limit to what you can learn by staying inside and thinking. You need to get out into the world and talk to your target market.
Do your introduction to business lesson plans include sending your students out to talk to businesses and consumers?
I explained the concepts of content marketing and long tail keywords to several young people over the weekend. One of them told me that it was better advice than they have ever received from their marketing consultants. Your students need to know these things, even though they don’t appear in the textbook.
Things change fast on the Internet. Are you keeping your introduction to business lesson plans up to date? Will your students be ready?
Some of the participants may continue working on their projects, while others will return to their normal jobs. It doesn’t matter if there are successful companies launched over the weekend. What matters is that everyone learned about entrepreneurship by practicing in a safe environment.
Find the passion inside your students, connect it to your subject matter, and let your students create something real.
One thing that our health and business teachers have in common is the desire to equip students for the workforce. At first glance the similarity between health and business education may seem to end with that ideal. However, we have a group of teachers using our product in an interesting way. They are making the most of our library of online content to help students prepare for their professional lives by using crossover content. Business education lesson plans tend to be an area where crossover is common.
So when you are shopping your content libraries to create your courses, don’t overlook content simply because it is listed in another area of study. There are many aspects of CTE education that are valuable for all students. So when you have your content basket in hand, make sure you browse all the aisles before you check out.
For example, a good portion of our Medical Office Assistant library of content can easily be used in business education lesson plans. Those units include:
Likewise, we have health teachers that borrow business education lesson plans for their health courses. Here, Hope Oliver, a health science teacher at Whites Creek High School in Nashville, TN, describes how she not only uses blended learning in her classroom, but even incorporates business content into her courses.
Is the subject of entrepreneurship viewed differently by those who are raised in a family where the entrepreneurial spirit is lived out? As a teacher, how do you get students to learn about that spirit in your introduction to business lesson plans?
When I was little, my father was a partner in a small business – he was an entrepreneur. In fact, with four little kids, he and my mom decided that he should leave a stable well-paid job as an engineer at RCA and move half way across the country to return to family roots and start the business. A gutsy move by most standards.
In my growing up years, household conversation was often about the business. And as a teen and later a college student, the business provided some opportunities for summer jobs for me and my brothers. My father was very ‘pro’ on entrepreneurship. Without realizing it, I and my siblings spent our formative years immersed in an entrepreneurial culture. To me it was the most natural thing in the world to start and pursue my own business. Many of my siblings and cousins have traveled similar paths.
It isn’t always an easy journey, but there are many life lessons and personal rewards along the way, and sometimes even financial rewards. It wasn’t until many years later that I realized, with respect to “making your own job” by starting a business, my upbringing was not the norm.
Today, it is wonderful to see that entrepreneurship is taught in many middle and high school courses. Students gain exposure to these concepts at a young age. Some even try out their own business ideas as fledgling entrepreneurs in the relative safety of a business education course. This is valuable learning indeed.
If you’re a business education teacher, here is an 18 minute presentation that is worth watching–and showing to your students. In this 2010 TedTalk titled Jessica Jackley: Poverty, money — and love, Jessica tells the compelling story of how she founded Kiva.org. Her story and the passion with which she tells it are a compelling model for young people everywhere. Kiva.org is an online community that helps individuals via small loans, called microloans. They help entrepreneurs throughout the world. After viewing this presentation, students could also check out the Kiva.org website, read about some of the entrepreneurs applying for micro loans and discuss their evolving views of entrepreneurship – and how it has the power to change lives!
Keeping students engaged in any class can be a challenge—there is such diversity among each group of students! How do you meet all of their needs? Variety is the key. (They don’t call it the “spice of life” for nothing) Here are some instructional strategies we use in our computer applications and introduction to business lesson plans to support your learners as they construct knowledge:
Also called the anticipatory set, this is where you get the student’s attention—which you need before any learning can take place. A great way to draw students in is to share a story. And while generating interest is certainly one benefit, using stories also has additional value. They can provide a context for the learning that’s about to take place and help students relate new information to something they already know.
Once you have their attention, the next challenge is keeping students engaged, especially during direct instruction. Presenting information through multimedia is an effective strategy to overcome this obstacle. Again, it’s about more than just looking pretty. The “multi” part means that more senses are being engaged as students get information through both visual and verbal channels. When you combine images and words in a meaningful way, it fosters deeper learning. See our related post on the importance of media in student engagement.
Once students “get” information, they need to do something with it in order to make it “stick.” And it’s also good to make sure that they understood it correctly early on. Questions and interactive exercises embedded throughout the computer applications and introduction to business lessons support active learning. They typically focus on asking students to apply knowledge through examples and answer “why.” They also provide automatic feedback individually to each student—it’s almost like having your own private tutor!
Assignments give students a chance to “put it all together” in a real-world context. For example, students may take on the role of a small business owner and practice their word processing and writing skills by creating a memo for their “staff.” Assignments extend the active learning process, but with less guidance. Sample answers are provided, and feedback can come from self, peer, or teacher review.
We are always thinking about keeping students engaged when designing any lesson, including creating computer applications and introduction to business lesson plans. Not only does it promote better learning for the student, it also helps you with your work as a teacher—a WIN, WIN! For more thoughts on this topic, see our related posts on 5 Ways of Keeping Students Engaged and Keeping Students Engaged.
According to our blog statistics, our most popular posts involve lesson plans. And today, talk among us at AES says that our new Introduction to Economics content is pretty slick. So, you want lesson plans + we have some cool new content = a blog post on business education lesson plans for economics!
I’m just going to go ahead and give you our lesson plans, people. Even if you don’t have our online resource, you can still use our outlines for these three business education lesson plans for economics.
This unit introduces the topic of economics to students by first examining the definition of economics. During this examination economic concepts such as scarcity, choice, and rational self-interest are taught. The student is then shown why money exist, the functions of money, and some effects of product pricing on consumer behavior and business profits. Finally, the student learns about competition, market structures, such as a monopoly, and the effects of barriers to market entry.
Businesses don’t use database management systems as much as they have in the past. Cloud subscription services like Salesforce, NetSuite, Freshbooks and BaseCamp reduce the need for custom database applications. Even though use of database management systems has declined, states with business education standards often require teachers to cover database topics with a tool like Microsoft Access.
Computer application teachers need to create Microsoft Access lesson plans, but they haven’t really mastered the software. These teachers end up asking us for help with the lesson plans. They want to help students, but don’t have the necessary experience.
We have been working on new lesson plans and e-learning projects for Microsoft Access and I would like to share some of our project ideas. You might be able to use these ideas in your classroom.
Students will learn database concepts through a scenario based on the familiar experience of posting messages to Facebook. We talk about how the information travels through the Internet and that fact that it ends up in a database in the Facebook data center.
We talk about the kinds of information that need to be stored and how that information is organized in the database (Tables, Records & Fields). Students are also introduced to the concept of data integrity and learn the importance of making sure data is stored is correct and stored in the right place.
Finally, student are given a tour of the Microsoft Access user interface and are asked to click through a simulation of the software.
Students open a small database in Microsoft Access to explore the user interface. The datasheet view will be used to update a record, delete a record and add a new record. Students also use a form to perform the same operations. Throughout the lesson, vocabulary from the first lesson (Database, Table, Record, Field, Data Integrity) will be reinforced.
Students will create a new database (blank, not from a template) and create a table. We will talk about the fields required for the table and the process used to determine those fields. Students are walked through the process of adding fields and selecting data types. The concept of a primary key is introduced and will be covered in detail in later lessons.
Students will start from a blank database and create another new table. This time students aren’t given as much information and are expected to remember some of the steps from the previous lesson. Once the table is ready, students will create a form and use the form to enter a record.
This lesson gives the student a larger database (over 10,000 records) to work with and starts to introduce concepts that will be used in the next lessons (queries, relationships, foreign keys & reports).
Students will open one table (customers) search for a particular customer. They will write down the customer ID (primary key) and then use that primary key to filter a second table (orders). We are teaching the skills and walking students through a manual simulation of a join query.
Students use the same 10,000 record database and define a relationship between the two tables. Then students will create a query that uses the relationship to show information from both tables at the same time. We discuss primary and foreign keys and compare the process to the work that was manually performed in Lesson 5.
Students build a summary report (sales per state) by creating a summary join query and then building a report from that query. The report design tool is used to change the location and appearance of fields.
Hopefully you will be able to use some of these Microsoft Access lesson plans for your students. Feel free to sign up for a free trial to see other lessons for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
We have been working feverishly to get more business education resources ready for you and your students. And even if you aren’t using our program, I thought you’d still find this relevant, in case you are looking for some inspiration on International Business or Entrepreneurship, or if you want to just do a sanity check against what we are including in these lesson plans against what you include in yours. So here’s what we have…
The wait is over! The first unit of International Business, The Global Economy, is now available in the catalog. The lessons for this unit include: Global Economics, International Trade Part 1, International Trade Part 2, and Influences on the International Business Environment.
In addition to these learning objectives, your students will hear new terms such as goods, services, products, imports, exports, etc… On top of all that great information, we endeavor to help students have a little fun. We’ve got a great character named Chuck (a tennis shoe) helping them along the way, a student worksheet to help them take notes, lots of questions and interactions, and even some cool music.
The first unit of Entrepreneurship has been released as well! In this unit, students will attend a workshop on becoming and entrepreneur. In Being an Entrepreneur, students are not only given the definition of entrepreneurship, they are given many examples of well-known entrepreneurs. They also have the opportunity to hear the experiences of three self-made business owners who are eager to share their stories.
If you have some time to audit these units, we’d love to hear from you! By taking a look at these courses, along with their additional materials (teacher manuals and PowerPoint presentations), you can get a jump start on working these modules into your lesson plans for the upcoming school year.