Coffee, collaboration and connectivity: Bringing the startup culture in your classroom

What’s it like working while sitting on a couch, and igniting ideas?

Inspired by the passion and a desire to bring significant positive changes in workplaces, startup culture has redefined the world of business. The same technique can be applied to education. No wonder, many educators, teachers and schools are welcoming the ‘do it yourself’, or DIY methods for learning and creating  collaborative environments.

While standardised assignments or programmes are not equipped enough to do so, bringing the ‘startup culture’ in today’s education system can make students future ready, to tackle real-world challenges.

How can this organisational culture be used to help students? Let’s look at the new ways to improve learning and bring entrepreneurial thinking into classrooms.

Mind the space

To understand this, let’s talk about a tech startup or any startup for that matter, starting from its workplace. Considering its unpredictability and volatility in nature, free thinking plays an important role in success. To aid that, the work environment has to be designed to support collaboration and flexibility in mind. In order to bring the similar innovative workplace culture into a classroom one does not require a hefty budget. One only requires some creativity, flexible furniture, elements students can experience and play with and can connect with the real world. This encourages students to learn startup-like traits like exploring freely, learning by experiment, finding out their own unique strengths, and integrating learnings into their real life.

Adaptation in mindsets does not happen overnight and the same applies to substantial transformation in culture. Many schools and educators have been working towards cultivating such environments that give students opportunities to find meaningful solutions to problems.

Establish a relationship

Have you noticed that great leaders have been opting for a no-door office cabin to establish transparent relationship with their employees? A no-door or open-door policy not only promotes open communication, but also demonstrates the people-first attitude. This can be incorporated into a classroom as well by welcoming students to participate in group conversation, making them share their hobbies, the movies/songs they love and sports they play. Establishing meaningful relationship and connections, healthy conversations and socialising can have a big impact in building a better community.

Dare to be different

“Being different leads to innovation”. Individual and novel way of thinking is another important factor of a successful startup. Classrooms that follow startup cultures are strategically designed to celebrate the special uniqueness in you. Every student is unique and gifted with different talents. Purposeful pedagogical lessons/activities aim to appreciate and accentuate such uniqueness. This can transform the traditional educational programmes into blended make-to-learn programmes; an absolute amalgamation for achieving success.

Gradual but continuous change is the key

Bringing one or more elements of startup culture into classrooms requires gradual changes over a period of time. A disruptive change may not work well in a well-established classroom-based system which focuses more on learning concepts than on experimentation. A planned way to introduce these elements can help students to get tuned to new ways of doing things without overburdening them.

tl;dr

The startup culture has impacted on our education system by fostering innovation and giving rooms for open communication and collaborative environment.

 

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Pragyan Parimita Barik

Pragyan Parimita Barik

Parimita is a media professional and has been working in the overarching space of editorial and content-driven strategies. She is also a member of IEEE, an editorial contributor to Getty Images and a volunteer. Her endeavour over the period has been to work with underprivileged communities with a mission to up-skill individuals on digital literacy to create a sustainable environment, and work on the positive social and economic impact for them. She volunteered for the United Nations as an SDG Advocate to promote awareness about quality education and climate changes and its consequences at various levels. She is also a part of a nonprofit orgnisation.

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