eAcademy: Learning Outside of the Traditional Classroom

Student Blog Post- Written by Students from the Class of 2023: Ella Connelly (Sharon), Natalie Ostheimer (Sharon), Emma Knauf (Hickory), and Ella Labbiento (Sharon)

There are many benefits to learning outside of the traditional classroom, or more specifically, at the eAcademy. Here at the eAcademy students venture out into the community and visit small and growing businesses to gain a better insight into what it means to be an entrepreneur. They also learn to have better social skills by meeting new people outside of their home district with the intent to expand social bubbles rather than being surrounded by the same people for over 12 years. The eAcademy provides teens with many opportunities to speak publicly to other people in the community as well as in the class.

A large benefit that comes from the eAcademy is the opportunity to go on many field trips and host speakers within the classroom. In a traditional school, students typically go on 1-2 field trips per year, or in some cases none at all. At the eAcademy, a large importance is held over getting out into the real world, and seeing how places operate firsthand. In comparison to traditional schools, the class has the opportunity to visit Daffin’s, Joy Cone, Cycle Life, and Thyme in Your Kitchen. Students also get to experience business pitching firsthand as they are invited to Grove City College to participate as Junior Judges in the Wolverine Venture Battle. In addition to this, they partake in adventure-based counseling at George Junior. At each of these places, students are shown the importance of entrepreneurial character traits in every field and aspect of life. Instead of just listening to lectures about how to be a professional, students got to see how being an entrepreneur or running a business truly works. There are also chances for students to hear about the successful lives of professionals in their perspective fields and those from all career paths. This ensures that no matter what career path a student aspires to pursue, they will glean inspiration and advice from those who currently do that job or have in the past.

Another benefit the students at the eAcademy get is being able to meet and work with other students from different schools. At their home district students are surrounded by the same kids since kindergarten so getting to meet students from other schools is refreshing. Students learn to collaborate with people of different backgrounds, working styles, and personality types. Students are treated like adults at the eAcademy. The program is a launchpad, introducing students to the rest of their lives. Throughout the year students are allowed to learn about themselves and how to interact with others. This time allows them to slowly figure out what the next steps of life will be with the encouragement from the new students they just met.

Students at the eAcademy benefit from many opportunities that are offered in the classroom including public speaking. A major part of the program is presentations with the intent to get the students used to speaking in front of a large group of people. This is a necessary aspect of entrepreneurship as it introduces the students to presenting in front of successful business owners, and maybe even Shark Tank judges in the future if the students are determined enough to keep their business creations going. Dolphin Tank is an event that is very similar to what it would be like to attend Shark Tank. It helps students learn how to speak in front of CEOs from small and big companies and also helps students learn to take constructive criticism. Public speaking is a huge part of life for most successful people. By the time students graduate from the eAcademy program, public speaking doesn’t seem as scary as most say it is.

In conclusion, learning outside of the traditional classroom holds many benefits for eA students. The eAcademy opens up all of these opportunities such as going on field trips and talking to speakers about how they built their corporations. Next, working with new people doing collaborative work such as group projects, or creating a new business. Lastly, it allows students to be comfortable with public speaking about any subject, with little preparation. Each of these is very beneficial for all students who are getting ready to embark on a new career or continue their academic career.

For more information about the eAcademy, contact Program Director, Katie Parr, at kparr@lindenpointe.com