Tomorrow's Teaching and Learning
The posting below describes a free online archive of high-technology entrepreneurship education resources available through the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. It should be of interest to science and engineering faculty world-wide, as well as others interested in high-tech entrepreneurship.
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Tomorrow's Teaching and Learning
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STANFORD TECHNOLOGY VENTURES PROGRAM - EDUCATORS CORNER
Anders Rosenquist Director, Educational Technologies
The Stanford Technology Venture Program (STVP) Educators Corner is a free online archive of high-technology entrepreneurship education resources, built to support, guide and encourage faculty worldwide who teach entrepreneurship to science and engineering students. Although the focus in on high-tech entrepreneurship education, we hope that others will find the content useful.
The Educators Corner encourages educators to think about how entrepreneurship should be taught by giving them access to teaching methods, case studies, articles, digital video clips and an extensive network of other resources. For example, video clips of speakers include: David Neeleman, Judy Estrin, Vinod Khosla, and Jeff Hawkins.
The design of the archive is based on feedback from entrepreneurship educators regarding the challenges faced when teaching entrepreneurship to engineers and scientists. The site is organized in two ways-according to activity (What do you want to do?) and according to topic (What content are you looking for?). Sections on the site include "Build a Center", "Design a Course", and "Join the Community." Resources on the site include video clips, case studies, journal articles, conferences, and references to grant-making organizations. You may search via open keyword, choose from a select list of keywords, or browse by topic area.
The Educators Corner is just part of the larger Stanford Technology Ventures Program. STVP is an entrepreneurship education and research center within the School of Engineering at Stanford University. The project was funded by the Kauffman Foundation in 2001, and has been developed by dynamic team of educators, entrepreneurs, engineers and designers at the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP).
The Objectives of STVP are a) to encourage faculty to think about how entrepreneurship should be taught to engineering and science students and improve overall teaching methods for entrepreneurship education; b) to prepare educational resources from the high-technology industry for access and reuse by others; and c) to develop an archive of digital resources, thereby provide access to a network of resources for entrepreneurship educators.
STVP plays a large role at Stanford University in educating future scientists and engineers about high-technology entrepreneurship. STVP believes that in addition to technical skills, students need to know how to identify market opportunities and to take leadership roles in business. To meet this goal, we offer a wide range of both introductory and advanced courses, such as entrepreneurial marketing, finance, strategy, and innovation. Our courses range from large public lecture series such as the Entrepreneurial Though Leaders, to intensive, year-long work/study programs such as the Mayfield Fellows Program. In addition to our efforts on campus, STVP is dedicated to encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship education efforts in universities around the world.
As an educator, I have access to a wide range of teaching materials I can use with my students. For example, let's say that I'm an educator in the process of designing a course on High-Technology Entrepreneurship to be taught next quarter to my junior level engineering students. In my class I plan to give an overview of the entrepreneurial process, at both the enterprise and individual level. The focus of the course will be on high-growth ventures in technology-intensive industries such as computing, networking, semiconductor, medical, and e-commerce. From past experience, I know I like to use multiple methods of instruction in my courses such as lectures, case discussions, workshops, group projects, and guest presentations. I also know that my time and monetary resources are limited, but that I do not want to compromise on my teaching materials.
As I plan my course I visit the STVP Educators Corner. Once on the homepage, I immediately find links to teaching methods & support, as well as course syllabi, under the "Design a Course" section. Here I find ideas related to the various concepts I'd like to teach in my course. For example, I find links to videos organized by overarching themes that are applicable to different situations. These videos a presentations and interviews given by top leaders in the industry such as Larry Page (Google), Jeff Hawkins (Handspring), Vinod Khosla (Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, & Byers), and David Neeleman (JetBlue.) The videos are split into different sections, each focusing on a particular idea. As I browse through some of the video clips, I pull together clips on "identifying and evaluating opportunities" by Carol Bartz of Autodesk and Vinod Khosla of KCPB, "initial stages of growth" by Jeff Kawkins (Handspring) and Heidi Roizen of Mobius Venture Capital, and "Strategic issues during g! rowth" by Guy Kawasaki of Garage Technology Ventures and Kavita Ramdas of the Global Fund for Women. I also come across several case studies related to developing and marketing products, and several references to books on the topics of developing basic business skills.
On the Topic of venture capital, I find a case study on SolidWorks which illustrates a classic first-round venture capital deal and highlights career paths both in high tech entrepreneurship and venture capital. I use this as the centerpiece of my lesson. I pull together several clips from Heidi Rozen on the "Business of Venture Capital" and a clip from Vinod Khosla on "Fear and Greed" for my students to watch and discuss in both small group and full class settings. I find several similar topics taught in other courses (referenced from the Educators Corner). I read through the instructor course notes and use some information found there to prepare a set of study questions that focus on the opportunity potential of the company, advice regarding the first-round financing, and financial information related to the post-money valuation of the proposed financing.
While searching through the Educators Corner I also come up with a great idea - what if, as a midterm project, I have my students put together their own mini-course on a particular topic. I ask them to build a portfolio of materials gathered from the Educators Corner, construct teaching notes and a course syllabi, and create a "final exam" that could be used to assess understanding of the particular topic they were asked to build their course around. Having spent time gathering materials myself, I know first hand how easy it is to find and download materials for use in my own class. I'm sure my students will find this to be both an interesting and enjoyable project.
For more information on STVP, please visit http://stvp.stanford.edu. For more information on the Educators Corner, please visit http://edcorner.stanford.edu