Virtual Business Challenge Offers Real-World Business Simulation at #DECAICDC
Addison Dorris | Portland High School DECA
For the past 18 years, DECA ICDC has been a home to one of the most revolutionary technology competitions, the Virtual Business Challenge. The innovative competition creates a true 21st century learning environment for high school students.
Knowledge Matters, a Massachusetts-based brand, provides a real-life simulation for high school and college students in the U.S. and Canada. Their Virtual Business platform is not just another basic computer game that will teach students a few buzzwords. In their challenges, students must run their business based on the information given to them and learn how to fix problems, increase revenues, and ultimately make their business successful. Through their Virtual Business Challenge, Knowledge Matters creates the highest level of competition, allowing students to face off against competitors all over the world. Plus, this is just another way DECA members can punch their tickets to ICDC.
Technology is vital in our modern world. The Virtual Business Challenge combines technology with business knowledge to create an authentic business situation for students. Just like DECA, the Virtual Business Challenge is co-curricular. It is easy to integrate into classroom instruction since it applies mandatory standards in a fun, interactive way.
“With students these days, they’re a lot less tuned in to reading and just watching videos. Even on Youtube, no kid watches a video for more than forty seconds. So, we need something to engage them that is really interactive. When you see a lot of the students playing so-called games on their phones, they’re playing games like Clash of Clans that are really interactive: they are taking an active role.That’s what we try to do with the Virtual Business Challenge; so, they look and feel like they’re in Sim City, but the students are actually able to control businesses and all of the logic is how it would behave in a real business.”
Peter Jordan, CEO of Knowledge Matters
This software connects DECA to classroom instruction. It not only provides students real business-based simulations, but also gives them the opportunity to earn their spot at ICDC in a non-traditional way. Students participate in two preliminary competitions online against students in their geographical regions.
The Virtual Business Challenge starts out with around 43,000 high school students from all over the country. Only 200 of the top competitors ultimately compete at ICDC. Students compete in teams of up to three people and each team has 15 minutes to make their business as successful as possible. They are under intense pressure and are pushing to be better than the sim-businesses of their rivals.
Knowledge Matters’ Virtual Business Challenge, which operates at both the high school and collegiate levels, has many different paths students can choose from. Have a sports and entertainment class? Use their Sports Management course. What about a hospitality class? Virtual Business Challenge has you covered in that area too with a Hotel course. This provides students with experiences that will apply to their interests and reflect on their future career paths.