The timing has never been better for virtual partnerships between businesses and schools. The pandemic has created a situation in which teachers and students are searching for meaningful learning and internship opportunities. And at the same time, businesses and organizations smust innovate and pivot towards more virtual engagement with clients. If you detect a win-win in the air, then read on!
I would like to suggest a few classroom or student internship projects that could tie directly into the needs of businesses (including nonprofit organizations), in the areas of
- Writing: documentary, social, and creative writing projects that tie directly to the needs of businesses to promote and engage their customers; writing projects can be posted on business websites and promoted to social media
- Qualitative Research: businesses can benefit from projects that examine a business’ niche and brand, in terms of market competition, customer personas, effectiveness of websites and marketing, etc.
- Photography: most businesses are in need to photo shoots and photo galleries, to be used on marketing materials and websites
- Videography and voice-scripted slideshows: every business has a story to tell, and video and slide shows are a great way to do it!
- Fine Arts: promoting businesses and organizations through drawings and paintings
- Quantitative Analysis: researching website audience behavior in terms of online traffic and engagement, including to websites, social media, and online business listings.
Partnerships obviously require a matching of between the interests and resources of schools and organizations, which might include:
- Identify school resources: especially counselors, department heads, and teachers who would oversee students and classes that might benefit from partnership opportunities.
- Identify business resources, especially business owners and leaders of nonprofit organizations who have the energy and enthusiasm to engage in partnerships; community outreach might be part of the business model of some organizations, and businesses owned by the families of students might show an interest in partnership projects.
- Identify costs and how to fund a project; these would inquire an investment of time to match resources, and allocation of time and materials on the part of businsses. In my capacity, I work with a handful of businesses and organizations that might benefit from partnerships, and would be willing to initiate some projects.
After identifying a school-business partnership, the next step would be a dialogue that might look something like
- Preliminary conversation between school and business to identify scope of the project
- Business sends relevant information, to be reviewed by teacher
- Zoom call with the class (or intern) to introduce the business to students
- Teacher works with students on their (independent) projects
- Opportunity for exchange between students, teacher, and business
- Presentation of results to business
High Peaks Media can donate some time and resources to testing some partnerships between businesses and schools. Please contact me (Spafford Ackerly) for information.