Thursday, February 16, 2012

EYE About to Launch! It's Red Carpet Time

By Mark T. Burke

Introduction:  In addition to my work at viaAcademies, I've been working on a long term project around youth entrepreneurial education.  While not an offering of viaAcademies, I wanted to share this update with everyone. Ensuring our communities remain strong means we need to foster creativity and innovation in all areas of life.  With that vision, I've given the past two years to this effort.  Musically, students can benefit from experiencing the entrepreneurial spirit, but we must be prepared to help them.  EYE can help.  Thank you for reading and sharing. -- Mark

EYE, a two year project is on the launch pad and nearing takeoff.  I am so fortunate to be working with an AMAZING team at  BLaST IU 17 including Jerry Christy, Lydia Comerford, Wade Spenser, Chris Johnson, Whitney Kline, Brian Driscoll and of course the entire Administration including Bill Martens, Gary Nuss, John Brenchley and Cori Cotner.

I can't thank  Dorie Henrie enough for her Instructional Design and Development work. She has kept me on task throughout the effort and continues to do so each day. She is a passionate educational developer, business owner and healthy eating guru.  She's kept me on track in more ways than one on this project.  I am pretty sure I may have GAINED weight without her on board.

There are many community members to thank including the our steering committee and especially our EYE Coaches, Don Brown, Katie Bell, David Stone, Jim Shillen and Kevin Langdon.  Their work with the students has paved the way for a new class of young entrepreneurs.

I also have to thank the pilot team, including Matt Fisher, teacher at South Williamsport and all of the 15 students who participated. Thank you to the administration at South for your support throughout the effort.

Over the past two years we've also had help from several others including those who helped with our commercial including Jacquie Engel from the CTL and our student actors, Ryan, Katie and Tess. I also have to thank Kirsten Labant, intern at that time from Lock Haven for all her work on our early outreach efforts.

EYE 3 Movie from BLaST IU17 on Vimeo.

So what is EYE?  EYE stands for the Entrepreneurial Youth Experience.  Youth based Entrepreneurial education is hard to find in small communities.  So, two years ago, we put our heads together and began work on an online offering.   But, we wanted the experience to be larger than just a static online course.  We added EYE Coaches who visited with students, we involved the community in the construction of the course including folks from colleges, universities and many companies throughout PA and elsewhere.  The content is also unique, no boring multiple choice questions.  Every assignment is a component of a larger project...sounds like life, right?  Don't let the phrase "online course" scare you away classroom teachers.  We piloted the program within a classrooms and WOW!  The program provided a complete educational plan that goes far beyond the entrepreneurial education standards in PA.  The online nature of the course allows teachers to FLIP the classroom (want to learn more about flipped classrooms, visit my blog  If we want to inspire kids to think outside the box, we must too.

The launch is firing up now.  We're forming a strategic partnership with Economics Pennsylvania (  EconPA works tirelessly throughout PA to bring economic education to every school district.  We're also putting the finishing touches on the course and will be doing so over the spring and summer.

If you're interested in learning more and want to prepare now to offer EYE for the summer (Hint...we're planning a summer camp for 2012) or 2012-13 school year, let me know.  We need creative, innovative, entrepreneurial youth and we need to them to stay in our communities.  Contact me if you would like to be involved in our efforts.  We're always looking for enthusiastic people to join our efforts.

Help spread the news...share with your friends.

1 comment:

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