The transition between high school graduation and the workforce is a rocky road and turbulent journey for a vast number of students each year. Even the well-researched and ambitious students may still find themselves with more unanswered questions when the time comes to take this life-changing step into adulthood.
Fortunately, high school teachers and faculty members can work with the students while there is still time to do. Thanks to the digital age and the increasing popularity of online video conferencing, there is a wide variety of options and resources available for teachers to use to help their students prepare for this type of transition long before Graduation Day.
Facilitate Online Groups Based on Common Interests
One way to prepare students for transitioning into the workforce is to allow them to explore their interests that have nothing to do with school, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While being educated, it is very difficult to see past the current chaos of the high school workload. Students may be so focused on getting out of high school and making the cut for Graduation Day that they really do not take a considerable amount of time to consider what they are going to do after they have said their final farewells to their alma maters.
Utilizing online breakout session and facilitated discussions in video conference group, such as those hosted by BlueJeans, allow teachers to combine students with common interests to collaborate and explore various career paths based on those interests together.
Host an Online Career Day with Demonstrations
Traditional career days allowed professionals to take time off work and visit local schools. The professionals would be able to explain what they did for a living, answer any questions that the students may have had and then possibly leave some sort of takeaway prize or trinket as souvenirs for the presentation. The Internet has changed the face of old-fashioned career day thanks to video conferencing and virtual environments that accommodate remote connections.
For instance, instead of inviting a fireman to your classroom, you could host a video conference with your classroom and his firehouse using webcams and conferencing software. He could give your class a virtual tour of the firehouse, equipment lockers and fire truck. They may even be able to broadcast a live reaction to a nearby fire, giving your students a front-row seat of what they may witness if they decided to pursue that specific career path. The same type of “virtual job shadowing” could be done in any field or industry, opening many doors of opportunity for learning, growth and inspiration for your students.
Invite Students on a Virtual Field Trip
With budget cuts in high schools throughout the country, quite a few extracurricular activities and ideas have been scratched from the list to save money for more popular areas of the expense report. Standard field trips have been drastically reduced (if not eliminated) in a growing number of schools that either can no longer afford them or simply want to use the money involved in those trips for something else.
Thanks to the Internet, the popularity of mobile devices and video conference sessions, you can take your students on a virtual field trip. As mentioned above, based on an article published by TeachHub.com, these “field trips” could be used to host job shadowing experiments – getting your students up-close-and-personal to the jobs that they desire the most or want to explore further. In addition, you could take your students on virtual field trips of sites and locations that may be too expensive to travel to – including foreign countries and popular tourism spots around the world. The best part is that these virtual field trips will increase the engagement of your students without having to greatly increase the amount of money you pay out because of it.
Conduct eCommerce Experiments
The Internet makes it much easier to explore the world of business from the comfort of your own home as well. Instead of waiting for your students to get jobs at brick-and-mortar stores and shops, you can introduce them to the workforce by conducting basic eCommerce experiments. Perhaps you can encourage them to open their own online store to sell various products and services. At the very least, you could walk through “experiments” on such auction websites as eBay to help them appreciate the value of making legitimate money on their own.
This type of opportunity opens quite a few additional doors, especially when you consider the aftermath of this type of exposure and what they bring along with them. For instance, you can focus on the need to exhibit excellent customer service regardless of the circumstance – a soft skill that can really come in handy for the rest of their lives. In addition, you can help them learn the value of quality financial management by helping them to explore various options for what to do with the money earned.