As featured in the ASCA Smart School Purchasing News – Term 4 2019 – Spring Issue.
Are your primary and secondary students prepared for the future of work?
With the school year coming to an end, it’s time to start preparing for 2020 – but is your school set up for 2030? ASCA asked Rob Moschetti, Head of Education at OfficeMax and Winc, to share a few insights into how best to set your school, students and parents up for success – for the short and long term.
“As two of the largest suppliers of education materials, OfficeMax and Winc have been supporting schools and educators in their quest to deliver exceptional education for over 45 years. We have now come together to form a single source supplier for all the education products you know and value. I’ve been in the education space myself for a long time now, and it has definitely changed a lot. Right now, and moving forward, the focus will very much be on providing a dynamic learning environment that encourages thinking skills, both analytical and creative,” says Rob Moschetti.
In a report from The Regional Australia Institute, it was revealed that one in two Australians will need skills in programming and software development to be competitive in the 2030 job market. But it’s not just about hard “tech” skills. The Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) shares in its “Skills and Capability for Australian Enterprise Innovation” report that interpersonal skills such as collaboration, communication and leadership along with critical thinking and flexibility is what will be required in the future workplace.
Step up innovation
STEAM (or STEM as it is known in NSW) is a term that has been around for a long time but the importance of developing core skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics has never been more relevant than now. These skills are inquiry-based approaches to teaching and learning.
“For children in school today, technology has always been part of their life and they are quite tech savvy by nature. It’s important to draw on that interest and encourage creativity and innovation – that’s why I really like educational products designed to develop STEAM skills. It’s forever changing and it’s something I recommend schools have more of” explains Rob.
Earlier this year OfficeMax and Winc gave away $50,000 in STEAM grants thanks to a smart algorithm called Grant Bot who was responsible for short-listing entries for a human judging panel to decide the final winners. Teachers wanting more STEAM resources for the classroom were encouraged to enter. “We had so many great entries. We had over 1,400 flooding in from all over the country. It was really inspiring to see so many teachers passionate about creating new STEAM based opportunities for their students,” adds Rob.
In addition to having the right tools and resources, Rob Moschetti says that a simple way of encouraging collaboration and innovation is to get students into the habit of asking questions and solving problems together. “By facilitating activities where students work together to figure out the best way to do something, they learn to listen, challenge and brainstorm.”
Stock up on essentials and textbooks
Digital tools might be here to stay, however Moschetti says there are still a few reasons not to throw out the books and post it notes just yet. “Studies have found that we remember things better when we write them down, so it’s important to continue to stock up on those writing essentials. It also helps you focus. With the use of paper and notebooks it’s near impossible to attempt to multi-task. In a school environment, it also means less distraction.”
Plan what’s best for you
OfficeMax and Winc support the drive to inspire creativity and out-of-the-box thinking in schools by equipping teachers and learners with everything they need, so they can focus on what matters most. What’s more, everything required to kick start the new school year is on offer.
OfficeMax and Winc have three different ordering options to give schools flexibility and convenience. The options are ‘bulk order’, which means one shipment to each school. The second option is ‘standard packs’ which parents can order and collect from the school. OfficeMax and Winc also offer the ability to head online and build ‘customised packs’, which is the third option. This means each year level within the school can have a unique pack that parents can purchase and get delivered to their home.
“The OfficeMax and Winc booklist builder, which is used to create either a bulk order, standard packs or customised packs, is incredibly easy to use, even showing the price of products as you build your booklist. You can save your list while you’re working on it, returning whenever you’re ready to continue. It’s not just text books and stationery that we offer either. We also assist schools with arts and crafts supplies, technology needs, furniture, cleaning products and more,” says Rob.
For those interested in learning more about how OfficeMax and Winc can assist with preparing for 2020 and beyond, please visit officemax.winc.com.au or contact our Back to School Team on 1800 004 427.
Read more articles from Winc on our blog.