I just noticed a LinkedIn post from Macmillan Learning, that they are hiring students for Summer 2019 to test and evaluate some Macmillan products. I did something similar with students in a college algebra course I was teaching and the experience completely changed my career. Here is what happened: On the last day of class, I passed around a sigh-up sheet for anyone in the class that was looking for a summer job. I was writing a college algebra text and I wanted the students to give me their opinions on some of the features in the book and to proofread and edit the book. Six students signed up. The first thing we did was have them take 45 minutes and read one section of the book - approximately six pages. Then we met and discussed what they liked about the section, and where they thought it could be improved. Their comments and insight about what I had written were impressive. But more than that, their conscientiousness for what they were doing surprised me. I knew them fairly well after spending a whole semester with them. But I had never seen them this enthusiastic about anything we had done in class. After working with them for a week, I was curious to see what would happen if I put them in the TV studio to record them working problems. I was surprised by how easily they took direction, and how they improved their presentations with very little coaching. They were much easier to teach in the studio, than they were in the classroom. (I believe this was because they knew their videos would end up public for other students to watch on YouTube.) So we changed direction and spent the rest of the summer doing videos. The result was MathTV.com.
Four of the students in the photo above were from that original group of six students. We used the photo for the banner across to top of the first MathTV home page. A couple of years later we started XYZ Textbooks. The creation of these companies completely changed my career, and it started with those original six students from my college algebra class.
Macmillan Learning is on the right track. If they give their summer students a little room to be creative, and if they listen to what the students are saying, it could be a very exciting summer at Macmillan.
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