food truck schools

5 things schools can learn from the food truck phenomenon


Food trucks are becoming popular for a reason. Can schools learn from them by harnessing simplicity and specialization?

3. Social / Fun: Most of us that visit food trucks could also visit a restaurant just as easily. However, we are opting for the food truck experience because it’s usually convenient and also fun. Schools need to do the same. Just as food tastes better when we’re having fun, learning can happen at higher levels when students are having fun.

4. Mobile / Flexible: The obvious big advantage that food trucks have over brick and mortar restaurants is their mobility. They can come to the customers. This allows the customer to enjoy their food in many different and unique environments. Schools and educators could learn a great deal from this. Where can we have learners experience their learning? How many other environments are more conducive or authentic for learning beyond the classroom? For example, field trips, community locations, industry locations, field study, internships, externships, work-based learning, and more could be unique venues for learning. But even simple things such as changing the location from inside to outside can make a difference. And with technology, we now have the ability to allow students to access curriculum and programs at home, with video, at different times. We can create flexible and individual environments, assessments and projects.

5. Make It An Experience: More than anything, we are all looking for an experience. Almost everything we enjoy is about the place, the people and the unique moment. Because food trucks tend to be simple, specialized, social, fun, flexible and mobile, they create a unique experience each time. This is what is missing all too often in schools: students are not having unique, social experiences. If educators don’t shoot for that each and every day, than education often becomes fleeting, meaningless and disconnected. For instance, if we reflect upon our most impactful learning moments, we would probably identify them as experiences.

So the next time you’re eating at your favorite food truck, or teaching a class, ask yourself what could a food truck have in common with the classroom? Let’s see if our school “menus” can look and feel more like the food truck phenomenon.

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