The NMC has selected three innovative learning-focused organizations and institutions to join the Sparking Entrepreneurial Thinking program. The goal of this initiative is to stimulate forward-thinking educational experiences that feature the learning and demonstration of real-world skills. Three $4,000 USD mini-grants have been awarded by the NMC to organizations that will facilitate opportunities for teachers and students to gain critical entrepreneurial knowledge and experience, leveraging HP LIFE e-Learning — a series of online courses designed to build business and ICT competencies within teachers, students, and entrepreneurs across the globe. “Professional development is at the heart of the selected mini-grant projects,” said Samantha Becker, manager of this program at the NMC. “All of the awardees have acknowledged that ongoing training is critical for both teachers and aspiring business owners. We look forward to seeing the tremendous impact these projects will make on each organization’s learning community.” We are pleased to announce the Sparking Entrepreneurial Thinking awardees: Making it Happen: Entrepreneurship & Education Bootcamp Athens Technical College The Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) of Athens Technical College (ATC) will host five faculty bootcamps looking at a different HP LIFE e-Learning course each week. Participants will attend weekly meetings to discuss topics and brainstorm ideas about how e-learning concepts can be used in the classroom to stimulate innovative thinking, as well as providing tools for faculty to assist in supporting students interested in starting their own businesses. A weekly blog post will encapsulate discussion and provide opportunities for reflection and collaboration. Participants will complete a brief pre- and post-camp survey, prepare a potential lesson plan, and participate in weekly meetings. A group blog will be publicly available and used to communicate information about the program. Potential outcomes of the program include incorporation of innovative teaching practices using entrepreneurial ideas in the 21st century classroom and establishing a community of practice focused on innovation and entrepreneurship. The Bootcamp will serve ten teaching faculty who will be selected from an application process by the CTL. Faculty will develop innovative teaching practices using entrepreneurial ideas in the 21st century classroom, based on the HP LIFE e-Learning courses. Together, they will create a lesson plan to be implemented with a class of students in the spring. There is potential for model that can be scaled to the entire student body. Going Cross-Curricular City of Orivesi / Finnish National Board of Education The aim of this project is to help Finnish teachers in creating cross-curricular learning projects required by Finland’s new curriculum. Special emphasis is being placed on authentic learning approaches and transverse skills such as problem solving, multi-literacy, collaboration, and creativity. The themes of the learning projects will focus on cultural and lingual diversity, sustainable development, human rights, digitalization, and globalization. HP LIFE e-Learning courses and resources will be used for designing, monitoring, and facilitating an online course that supports teachers’ professional development and networking as they adjust to the new national curriculum. The project aims to reach over 3,000 teachers across Finland, with 20-30 participants in the pilot. Brand Storytelling: Put a F.A.C.E. on your Business World Upside Down Leveraging the HP LIFE e-Learning resources, World Upside Down is creating a course that is a combination of exploration and practical, hands-on experience. Participants will focus on four key elements of brand storytelling: Feelings, Actions, Characters, and Engagement (F.A.C.E). How to give a face to an otherwise faceless brand, business, or company will be dissected and put into practice through a number of discussions, projects, and simulations. World Upside aims to engage 1,000 participants in the brand storytelling workshop. Please join us in congratulating our three awardees, and watch this space for project updates!