Welcome to Next Gen Personal Finance's December 2015 Newsletter
Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the NGPF Newsletter (#13 for those of you scoring at home):
Our focus this month: Developing Internet Research Skills
Yes, we all know that students spend a little bit of their time online:). We know that they are also conducting more of their financial activities online too. This can be both a blessing and curse:
The blessing comes from having more complete information, including customer and expert reviews, and comparison sites. Oh, and let's not forget the speedy execution once you have made your decision to buy (e.g., One Click!).
The curse comes from the information overload stemming from a simple Google search. The onus is on the consumer to figure out what constitutes a trustworthy source and what salient points to compare when making a buying decision. Oh, and that speedy execution becomes a curse when you can't control those impulsive purchases!
The NGPF web research activities and projects enable students to overcome these curses by discerning reputable sources of information and developing effective decision-making processes.
Andrew, Jessica and Tim
Building Financial Savvy Through WebQuests
WebQuests are a great way to challenge your students to conduct internet research to answer a specific question. During the discovery process, they...
See vocabulary in context,
Discern credible sources and
Analyze the structure of financial product markets.
Take any major financial product (mortgages, savings accounts, car loans, credit cards) and you will find a crop of comparison websites. These sites present an opportunity to understand the market landscape for a given product, but consumers also need to be wary of how their business model may affect their ratings system. With other purchases, students will need to conduct research to create their own comparison charts to aid in their decision-making process.
Check out a few activities we created to hone this comparison shopping skill:
This Opening a Checking Account activity takes students to a comparison website to evaluate checking account options and then make a decision on which is best for them.
Comparison Shopping In College is an activity that walks students through the process of comparing prices and features of commonly purchased products including a TV, textbook and meal plan.
Interpreting Customer Reviews
Customer review websites (e.g, Yelp), as well as reviews baked into product descriptions (e.g., Amazon or OpenTable), can be useful in providing another data point to consumers.
In this NGPF project, Bank Review, students research reviews on their local banks and interpret the results.
Discovering the Cost of Things
We are often been amazed by how little students know about how much life costs. Internet research leads to those "aha" moments where students suddenly realize that their dreams of having a new car, their own apartment and a big entertainment budget after graduation may not be possible.
Here are a few hands-on activities to help students discover the "cost of living:"
(1) Learn how to explain the many different payment options for college (grants, scholarships, loans) and give students the skills to find that "free money."
(2) Preview our most popular and best designed projects, activities, and case studies on paying for college (including net price vs. sticker price, navigating the FAFSA, and reading a Student Aid Report).
(3) Access the tools to begin creating your own high quality activities around paying for college.
Next Gen Personal Finance actively supports the financial literacy community through workshops, sponsorships of conferences and teacher professional development events. See below for a representative sample of events that we attended in 2015.
In 2016, we are committing $25,000 to support teacher professional development. If you organize or attend a workshop and are looking for sponsors, please let me know by emailing me at email@example.com.
November 18-20, 2015: AFCPE Conference (Jacksonville, FL)
November 20-21: FBLA - Fall National Leadership Conference (Baltimore, MD)
November 6, 2015: JumpStart National Educator Conference (National Harbor, MD)