2020: The Year In-Person Teaching Vanished, and What We Did About It.
Updated: Jan 2, 2021
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM
#Throwback to the end of 2019.
Reactor had a supergalactic expansion plan for ASEAN that would launch us into the new year. Satellite offices, our brand new lineup of youth entrepreneurship programmes, the works.
Basically, a far cry from where we found ourselves a couple months later — in-person teaching having packed up its bags, and home-based learning making its sweeping advent.
BUILDING A SCHOOL ON MARS
Team Reactor was in foreign territory. All the deals we’d locked in for the year were facing cancellation or indefinite postponement, and it was physically impossible to get our training team out of Singapore.
In the words of our CEO Rusydi, our eventual colonisation of Mars is the ultimate startup for humanity. Fraught with challenges and extreme levels of uncertainty, rules and laws as we know them will need to be re-written — from biomechanics to architecture, medicine to food security.
The best training ground for the next generation to deal with such an uncertain environment?
The time had come for us to practice what we preach. Would the Reactor (space)ship sink first, or would we be able to adapt fast enough to change its course?
TIME TO PLACE OUR BETS
Cue the Betting Table — a meeting during which stakeholders decide what the team wants to achieve within a 6-week sprint cycle.
Our full-time team pitched experiments and projects we could complete together over the upcoming 6 weeks, ones we hoped would help us pivot in time to survive the new era of home-based learning.
We narrowed it down to the following:
1.Going Virtual, ASAP
Priority numero uno would be to convert all key programmes to virtual editions. This would enable us to deliver on most of our existing deals, especially our overseas programmes.
2. Open-Registration Programmes
For clients and partners who could no longer do a school-based programme, this would be the best way to ensure their students would still be able to join us on an individual basis.
3. Expanding to the rest of Asia
This part of the plan was unchanged. In fact, our virtual programmes enabled us to reach students beyond ASEAN, and across the Asia Pacific. We also forged stronger partnerships in our countries, to give wider access to our programmes for their students aged 13-24.
SUPPORTING EDUCATORS WITH HBL
The switch to home-based learning (HBL) was especially tough on Educators. In our Head of Sales Isabella’s Letter to Inspiring and Dedicated Teachers, we thanked the selfless Educators who braved Covid-19 when schools first remained open, and later worked tirelessly to master online teaching software and conduct online lessons.
Our Marketing Team fired up The Reactor Blog to help Educators with resources on Ways to Conquer HBL as an Educator, a fellow Educator’s perspective on HBL, and reflecting on how Covid-19 has changed Education as we know it.Join the Reactor Educator Network to receive more resources here.
AAND WE HAVE LIFT-OFF: KEY PROGRAMMES IN 2020
Reactor EntreCamp: Asia Virtual Edition
Reactor EntreCamp: Asia Virtual Edition Poster. Credit: Reactor School
With all hands on deck, our 6-week sprint culminated in an open-registration, Virtual Entrepreneurship Bootcamp open to students aged 15-18 across the Asia Pacific. From 21-22 December 2020, a class of 31 students from Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia picked up the fundamentals of entrepreneurship through hands-on learning, ideating and prototyping in cross-cultural teams to pitch a solution to a real-world problem they cared about.
Reactor EntreCamp: Asia Virtual Edition Class of 2020. Credit: Reactor School
Jam-packed with interactive digital platforms and activities, along with hands-on mentorship, we were pleased to find in the post-programme survey that 80% of participants enjoyed the workshop and 100% were likely to recommend it to their peers.
We are grateful for the strong support of our partners across ASEAN, such as Impact Collective (Thailand), BEST (Bangkok), Websis for Edu (Indonesia) and Mentori (Vietnam).
Edu2025 Policy Hackathon
Singapore's first education policy hackathon designed for educators and student leaders. A follow-up to the SG Youth Action Plan, we were thankful for the support of the Ministry of Culture Community and Youth, Ministry of Education and the National Youth Council.
Edu2025 Education Policy Hackathon by Reactor. Credit: Reactor School
We welcomed Educators interested in contributing ideas and solutions to our education system through targeted and unconventional methods, as well as Student Leaders keen on picking up entrepreneurship skills while bettering our education system.
Held across two weekends in December 2020, teams consisting of both Educators and Student Leaders applied the Google Design Sprint process over a 2-day facilitated hackathon, with mentorship from various youth social organisations (YSOs). Innovating upon existing education policies, the top proposals had a chance to have their suggestions submitted to MOE to enact real change.
Supporting Youth Social Organisations (YSOs):
ASEAN Business Youth Association
Ground-Up Initiative Labs for Development
NUS Entrepreneurship Society
The Young SEAKers
Virtual School Programmes
We converted programmes for existing clients to virtual sessions, for schools & partners such as British University Vietnam (BUV), All-In Eduspace and Yale-NUS. In general, the hands-on training and mentoring, coupled with interactive platforms, helped us ensure an equal quality of student engagement and enjoyment as our in-person programmes.
Reactor Virtual Programmes. Credit: Reactor School
OUR YEAR IN NUMBERS
Compared to 2019, going virtual gave us a more international reach with higher contact hours and equal (if not slightly higher) student engagement ratings — though a drop in school-based programmes meant smaller class sizes this year. See our full list of clients & partners here.
Reactor Track Record 2019 v 2020. Credit: Reactor School
OUR IMPACT SO FAR
Reactor Track Record. Credit: Reactor School
WHAT'S NEXT: TO INFINITY AND BEYOND
Reactor EntreCamp: Asia Virtual Edition
Early 2021 Cohort
Watch out for the 2nd run of EntreCamp Asia! An open-registration bootcamp held over 2.5 days, we are expanding the age range of participants to 15-20 years old. This programme is open to students across the Asia Pacific region.
Interested to register yourself or your child for EntreCamp Asia 2021?
Fill up this interest form to receive the latest updates and registration details.
The Reactor Alumni Network
A professional development network for the best and brightest student entrepreneurs from all over Southeast Asia. From software to hardware, mobile apps to social enterprises, our alumni are rising stars in their respective fields.
We’ve combined the best elements of a peer support group, dedicated relationship management, and a directory of membership benefits. This is a professionally managed community designed for student entrepreneurs who have raised, or intend to do so within 12 months.
To find out more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reactor School designs and develops Entrepreneurship Education (EntreEd) programmes for students age 13 to 24. We always put #PeopleFirst, we empower our students to #MoveFast, we challenge our schools to #BeBold, we #HaveFun while learning, and we excel to #BeAwesome.
We help students turn their ideas into projects, and their projects into companies. Our Vision is to be a leading startup ecosystem developer, by elevating the levels of entrepreneurial mastery in youths. Our Mission is to Cultivate the Galaxy’s Best Young Founders.
Interested to run an Entrepreneurship Programme for your School? Contact Us.
Written by Elaine Yeoh
Elaine is the Head of Marketing at Reactor School, and founder of Youth Wellbeing startup Shin.tsugi.
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