Thursday, December 16, 2010

Teaching Finance in the 21st Century

Kids have very different experiences then we did. Panasonic is introducing a 3-D television, video games such as ‘Black Ops’ look and feel as if you are in the game, iPads and iPods allow children to be connected to the world-wide-web anytime. Many of us played kick the can and bounced balls against the wall for fun. Fellow teachers - - we have a lot more to compete with, and we have to adapt.

Why not use Podcasts in class to differentiate instruction? Why not participate in online stock market simulations? Why not allow them to create magazines with your content material. If they are capable of creating facebook pages, shouldn't they be capable of creating something using finance education content? A recent study funded by the Gates Foundation in conjunction with Harvard University quantified techniques that work in the classroom and techniques that do not. The net conclusion was that teaching to the test is ineffective.

I am not suggesting a complete abandonment to contemporary instruction as such a suggestion would be irresponsible. What I am suggesting is that we keep in perspective that as instructors we are responsible for student learning. We need to embrace quantifiably proven new ideas that actively engage the current generation of students. For example, according to this recent study, Harvard University believes that a simulation is the most effective teaching tool. More specifically, financial educators are responsible for preparing students for financial choices throughout their lives. Why would simulations not be accepted as the most effective teaching tool for financial educators?

A financial educator’s greatest responsibility is to empower future generations to make understood and responsible financial choices in their lives. There is no greater method for accomplishing this then learning through real life scenarios that prompt teachable moments and guidance in an engaging way. To be clear, we must present our students with simulations that allow them to experience the rewards and the consequences of their own financial choices.

The Awesome Island Game was designed by a teacher who is passionate about financial literacy. The simulation began in a single classroom and evolved as it was used in classrooms and conferences across different demographics in Southwest Ohio. Each time the game was played it was slightly modified based on feedback and gameplay until an effective final product for all kids ages 12 and up was created. It incorporates all of the national financial education standards, rewards appropriate financial choices, and introduces financial literacy in a fun and engaging way for the students.

The Awesome Island Game works. Please visit for more information.

1 comment:

  1. As a stuudent it is easy to become distracted in class, however new and engaging ways to learn keeps students focused. Teaching is not just a job, it is ispiring a new generation to become the best possible version of themselves, so keeping students focused is key
    Zack Morgan, TeenDollars,