Online move to teach students life skills a success

Posted on Monday, 1 November 2021

A $15,000 donation from Canterbury League Club during the most recent lockdown has helped The Business Concierge pivot their Survivor Life Skills (SLS) in-school delivery program to an online one, helping equip thousands of students with essential life skills.

“As soon as Covid-19 hit in March 2020, the Department of Education introduced a number of rules including stopping all outside people entering schools – this meant we went from being booked out for the year to having no work,” said Howard Smith, Director of The Business Concierge (TBS).

“When the second lockdown happened, we were more prepared and used Google Meets and Zoom to continue presenting the SLS program to students learning at home.”

The team at TBS also looked toward streamlining their content to suit online delivery with subjects like ‘Interview Skills and Techniques’ and ‘Budgeting for Life’ being reduced from the usual two-hour format to 90 mins sessions; and changing sessions from a lecture format to Q&A.

“We set up an interview set in our back pergola using a laptop, PA system and camera; an interviewer would ask questions and I would then answer in detail – it felt like when Oprah was interviewing Prince Harry and Megan Markle earlier this year!” said Howard laughingly.

“Students found the interview format in our backyard set – presented in a similar style as they would see on TV – entertaining whilst still getting the message across.”

As NSW slowly opens up again over the coming weeks, Howard and his team will be returning back to schools to do live student presentations however they haven’t forgotten all of the work that they had accomplished during lockdown.

“I am a big believer of face-to-face and presenting live to students will always be the best but following our experience during lockdown, we now have more tools and resources available to help students including online videos and short clips,” said Howard.

“It is fantastic to see small businesses react positively to overcome the disruptive situation of Covid-19 – the Board and I highly commend their hard work. Learning from home is a difficult process for students, families and teachers but content like this provides real value and gives students something different from their day-to-day learning,” said Peter Winchester, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.