As of June 2008, over 220 million people in the US, which is 72.5% of the country’s total population, now use the Internet. Over 100 million of those users have purchased products and services on-line. The annual growth rate in total online spending has consistently more than doubled and often tripled the rate of annual growth in total spending for the past decade. More business is being done on the Internet than ever before and business experts predict that trend will continue for the immediate future.
This means that any high school business instructor who is teaching a marketing, management, entrepreneurship, or finance course that does not fully integrate e-business concepts and techniques is actually teaching from an outdated curriculum.
eComm Kits have been designed to provide teachers of the above courses everything needed to integrate fundamental concepts of doing business and marketing on line. The Kits include comprehensive lesson plans that employ case studies of real-world Web sites to help students discover and master those concepts. But what really separates eCommKits from any other resource you’ve used in a business classroom are the template-based wizard-driven Web sites each Kit includes. Your students get to use these sites to create and manage their own real-world business and marketing activities from inside your classroom.
Studies have proven that high school students become more engaged in those classrooms that make it easy for them to connect what is being taught with the knowledge and skills they will need to be successful in life after school. Students in classrooms that use eCommKits become the employees of real functioning businesses. They get the opportunity to immediately apply what they are learning to real job tasks that have real and measurable impact on the performance of their student-run business. This immediate classroom-workplace connection is why students participating in an eCommKit course or project can’t wait to get to your class during the school day and then don’t want to leave it when the bell rings.
The eCommEd Kit is a forty-lesson plan package that presents the fundamental concepts involved of managing an online business. New York’s high schools have successfully used this kit for both full-year and half-year e-commerce courses and have incorporated significant portions of this kit into marketing, entrepreneurship, business ownership, web design, and computer applications course presentations. Niskayuna High School currently uses the eCommEd Kit in their full-year Ecommerce course. This is the 2008-09 version of the Web site Niskayuna’s Ecommerce students are managing from inside this classroom.
The eCommSports Kit is a seven-lesson plan project curriculum that teaches students the fundamental concepts of promoting a sports team. It takes between eight-to-twelve weeks to complete this project. Participating students get the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned to help one of their school’s sports teams increase fan interest and attract more spectators to the team’s games. Troy High School’s Sports Marketing class uses the eCommSports Kit and you can visit the 2007-08 version of their in-class sports marketing company’s Web site, here.
The eCommPublishing Kit is a five-lesson plan project curriculum that teaches students the fundamental concepts involved in publishing a book. It takes between six-to-ten weeks to complete this project and it involves a working partnership with at least one teacher in your high school’s English department. Students participating in this project get to publish a book of short stories that all take place in your community, written by the best student writers in your school. Here’s a demonstration Web site of this brand new Kit in action.
The primary objective of eCommKits is to involve students in the dynamic process that exists in the business world, and is sometimes overlooked through traditional textbook teaching. Getting students to understand the changing face of business, as it relates to the myriad advances in technological resources available, promotes creative problem-solving, analytical and critical thinking, teamwork and enhanced communication skills.
Additional standards addressed by the eCommKit programs include the NYS Career Development and Occupational Studies Learning Standards. The program content and hands-on learning experience gained by students greatly support various performance indicators in CDOS Std. 1: Career Development (Students explore the world of work, career options, personal skills, aptitudes, and choices in future career decision-making.), Std. 2: Applied/Integrated Learning (Students demonstrate how academic knowledge and skills can be applied in the workplace and other settings.); Std. 3a and 3b (Std. 3a: Universal Foundation Skills (SCANS Skills)(Students demonstrate mastery of the foundation skills and competencies essential for success in the work environment.) and Std. 3b: Business/Information Systems (Students who continue on to post-secondary programs in the area of business, e-commerce, or marketing will have acquired the career-specific technical knowledge/skills necessary to progress towards gainful employment, career advancement, and academic success.).
Ask the teachers and students who have actually used the product. The 2008-09 school year is the ninth consecutive year eCommKits have been used in New York State schools. Genium has put together two short videos of actual eCommEd Instructors and students discussing their experiences with the resource.
Visit some of the active Web sites being managed by eCommKit user classrooms. A complete list of links to the current eCommEd user schools is also available.
If you'd like the names and e-mail addresses for the eCommEd instructors in any of these schools, send an e-mail requesting them by school, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional written testimonials from professional educators can be reviewed at your convenience.
The cost of a license to use the eCommEd kit for a full school year is $2,500. This includes passwords for 2 Instructors and up to 25 students. Additional student passwords can be purchased at $15 each.
The cost of a license to use the eCommEd kit for half of a school year is $1,500. This includes passwords for 2 Instructors and up to 25 students. Additional student passwords can be purchased at $10 each.
The cost of a license to use the eCommSports kit during a school year is $499. This includes passwords for 2 Instructors and up to 25 students. Additional student passwords can be purchased at $10 each.
The cost of a license to use the eCommPublishing kit during a school year is $499. This includes passwords for 2 Instructors and up to 25 students. Additional student passwords can be purchased at $10 each.
Grants are available for any school wishing to try an eCommKit in an existing e-commerce, marketing, entrepreneurship or computer applications course during the current school year. These grants fully subsidize the cost of trying the Kit in your school for a portion of the current school year. There are only a limited number of these grants available and they are awarded on a first-come first served basis. To apply, call (518) 339-3506 or contact Mike Cinquanti via e-mail at email@example.com. Include the following information in your message to Mike: Your name, your position, school at which you are employed, mailing address of that school, your at-work phone number, which eCommKit(s) you’d like to trial during this school year, the names of the course(s) in which you’d like to conduct the trial. We will send you a grant application with instructions.
ECommKits do qualify for both, textbook and software aid as well as Perkins funding.
The New York State Credit Union Foundation (NYCUF) has been a big supporter of eCommKit use in New York State High School Business programs. Contact your local credit union check to see if they are members of NYCUF and ask them if they’d be interested in sponsoring your classroom use of an eCommKit. If they say yes, let Genium know and we will have an NYCUF representative contact them with all of the sponsorship details. We can send you a brochure describing the NYCUF sponsorship program when you’re ready to contact your local credit union(s.)
Schenectady County Community College in Schenectady, NY has incorporated high-school level courses that use the eCommEd curriculum into their institution’s University in the High School program. Find out how your students can earn college credits and your high school can receive additional funding by using eCommEd in one of your high school’s business courses.
Business classrooms using eCommKits have established a successful tradition of generating revenue from the operation of the in-class real-world businesses they manage as part of an eCommKit curriculum activity. Catholic Central in Troy, NY has reported annual revenues exceeding $7,000 have been generated by the student-run eCommEd business that operates within Catholic Central’s Ecommerce course classroom. These revenues are generated via the sale of ad-space at the Site to local businesses, the operation of an on-line school store, the proceeds from on-line auctions, and promotional and marketing partbnerships with other school groups and activities. Catholic Central’s school administration has chosen to fully fund the cost of their school’s eCommEd license with school funds, however, and permits students in the Ecommerce classroom to decide how the money raised by their in-class business is to be spent.
The new eCommPublishing Kit is designed to be a significant revenue generator for those schools who wish to use it for this purpose. The cost of printing small quantities of perfect bound paperback books has fallen dramatically in this age of digital printing which means if your business class can sell just 500 copies of a 100 page book of short stories written by the best student writers in your school, it would generate thousands of dollars worth of profits and more than enough to pay for any of the eCommKit licensing fees.
Do you need technical, programming, or advanced computer knowledge to start and maintain eCommKit Web sites?
Anyone with minimal computer knowledge can easily navigate through, and maintain, the Web sites included with each eCommKit. Our Designers have incorporated an extremely easy-to-use wizard approach for loading these sites with appropriate content. The sites are designed to be 100% user friendly for both students and teachers alike. Genium recognizes that schools have teachers who may not be comfortable with the technical intricacies of complex computer manipulation. As long as you can read and click a mouse, you will find the eCommKit Web sites fun and easy to use. No previous html or web design skills are. Plus, in the event that you do have any questions, technical support is always available to assist you through your difficulty.
(Note: Although you don’t need even a bit of html or Web design knowledge or experience to create and maintain a professional eCommKit Web site, those that do will be able to apply those skills and experience to implement some advanced content concepts at their eCommKit site.)
You set up your eCommKit Web site not to compete with but to complement existing websites operated by your school or district. Getting students to effectively communicate with the group that operates the official school web site is a great way to get kids to network and coordinate efforts. Also, setting up links between the sites and creating joint publicity campaigns or marketing strategies can actually serve to improve traffic at both sites. For example, the sites maintained by the schools who participated in the eCommEd curriculum during the 2007-2008 school year were drawing cumulative site traffic of 250,000 visits a month to their ScoresUp websites.
Genium Group, Inc, publisher of the eCommKit packages and provider of their affiliated Web sites, fully recognizes the sensitive, and often controversial, issues involved when a school interacts with the Internet. As a result, our products are specifically designed to assist your school in protecting both students and staff from any form of commercial or physical exploitation that may otherwise come from the use of the Internet. Genium Group will never divulge, rent, or sell access to the identities of any members of your school who participate in the program in any way. Upon request, Genium Group will review your school's Internet usage policy and guarantee in writing that your school's ScoresUp.com participation will not in any way violate or compromise that policy.
Each of our existing user schools must also comply with their own District’s policies for protecting the identity of their students and each has been able to do so without sacrificing the quality or commercial performance of their own Web sites. Genium would be happy to provide examples of how actual schools have used our product in full compliance Internet usage and student security policy requirements similar to those in your school or district.
Your School maintains total control over all content of your Web site pages at the eCommKit Web site. All information that appears on your school's eCommKit web pages must first be authorized by the program's instructor and access to all content-control areas is strictly password protected. In addition, only solicited, and instructor approved advertising will be permitted on your school's eCommKit Web site.
The resources and facilities needed to present eCommKit curriculum and engage in eCommKit activities in the high school include computer workstations and Internet access. Each class needs a minimum of 1-2 computers with Internet access, although it is recommended that the ratio of computers to students is at least 1:2, wherever possible. It is mandatory for the instructor to have a computer, while it is optional for there to be a projector and display screen used in conjunction.
eCommKits require current versions of Internet Explorer or Firefox.
Your school will need to have a Broadband Internet Connection. If your school has filtering software enabled, this may cause some eCommKit curriculum links to third party Web sites to become inaccessible from your school's computers. Your school's Network Administrator will need to configure access to ScoresUp pages if this occurs. This has been done in existing schools without allowing access to restricted sites or compromising measures implemented to ensure Internet security within the school.
Any PC or Mac workstation purchased within the past five years should be relatively modern enough to ensure sufficient speed and capability with any eCommKit resource. Please note that the performance of the Wizards that are used to control the content of eCommKit Web sites does tend to decrease in those situations when fifteen or more students are trying to use the exact same Wizard simultaneously. This is not a common occurrence and can be avoided by applying the recommended division of labor guidelines found within “Company Formation” templates included in each eCommKit.
Because all materials are online, and the program is entirely web-based, there are no other requirements. Genium hosts the eCommKit server and nothing needs to be downloaded onto school machines. Teachers or students may want to have printers available to them for printing various online curriculum items, however, this is not necessary.