Invest in your Future
An online resume with experience, references, and course description.
Matt Hartman taught for 15 years before venturing out as an entrepreneur. His Computer Science certification included a Business and Technology focus and eventually he added his Masters of Education. Matt’s last four years in the classroom were at The Grayson School for gifted learners. Teachers were encouraged to think audaciously while also meeting students where they were.
In that balance, Invest in Your Future was born. The course has since been updated and modified to fit an online classroom structure. He spends most of his time running his business on the basketball court now and misses the dynamics of exploring curiosities in the classroom.
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
- Alan Kay
Invest in your Future
The purpose of this course is to increase student's ability to think like an entrepreneur, a computer scientist, and a designer. That is to consider the 30,000-foot view, the daily operations, and the beauty in between. Exploring these different perspectives will greatly impact the paths open to them upon graduation, help students navigate these various steps, and learn what their strengths are.
Using emerging technologies from today students need to create a company that takes place 20 years in the future. They will pitch their business to a group of investors and showcase the website they designed to represent their ideas.
Students will reverse-engineer their Career Path from the start of this company 20 years in the future back to the present moment. This may include which college and career options they chose before starting this company.
Just a favorite tool of some of our best thinkers including Einstein and T.S. Eliot. We'll use it to come up with new and exciting business ideas.
Students will wear many hats as they practice thinking like an entrepreneur, a coder, and a designer. They also will have to practice pitching the investors.
"Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes."
- Edsger Djikstra
Thinking like an Expert
Thinking like an entrepreneur or a computer scientist doesn’t mean you need to operate your own business or code software. Schools don’t necessarily expect students in Math and Science to major in those subjects - but developing a literacy and core competency is a springboard for their education.
Instead of presenting their final analysis and efforts to just a singular teacher replete with biases, subjectivity, and limited experience, students have the opportunity to be evaluated by their peers and a small group of adults with wide ranging experience, interests, and skills. Circumventing the “worksheet to wastebasket” paradigm, this program provides authentic feedback and incentives to help the students REACH their potential.
What if our students have no previous coding or business course experience?
Good! This course is intended for students new to this content. I can scaffold the web design units to meet any learner where they are. I don't know many schools whose students would have a business pre-requisite.
Who should be included in the final presentation?
I would need your help with this. You can open it to whoever you'd like. Typically, we'd have 6 - 10 adults (or way more!) to act as "investors." This could be admin, teachers, support staff, parents, friends of your programs, etc.
What is the role of an "Investor?"
Good question. Each adult would receive several "investor tokens" of varying amounts. For example, there might be one $50 million token (largest), two $20 million, and 5 $1 million tokens. After hearing all the student's pitches, Investors decide who to give their tokens to. There aren't enough for every student, but since several are available students are incentivized to step up.
What are the student deliverables?
1) They reverse-engineer their Career Path from the start of this company 20 years in the future back to the present moment. This may include which college and career options they chose before starting this company.
2) Create a Business Plan after studying emerging technologies from today.
3) Design a website
4) Deliver a sales pitch (several times)
Why does this feel like several subjects in one?
That's how I designed it. It's time to knock down the silos of individual subjects. We need our kids to be proficient across several domains. But, it also helps different learners key in on their strengths. Some will thrive as they come up with a business idea or map out their future. Others will appreciate the technical side of building a website or the soft skills required to convince an investor of an idea. The adults will also vote on Best Business Idea, Best Overall Website, and Best Sales Pitch. Usually different students win different awards.
Contact Matt Hartman
If you think your school is the right fit for this course please reach out: