4 - 2012

Online Personal Finance Education Helps All Age Groups

Many of today’s economic problems could have been avoided if businesses, governments, and consumers had been more cautious financially. While it’s too late to reverse many of the economic difficulties that the worldwide recession caused, many now realize the value of personal finance education. Teachers, students, and parents have all taken steps to encourage financial education online and in the classroom, in the hopes of strengthening the next generation, and the current public’s financial responsibility. Thanks to online games, courses, and resources, students of all ages can begin to improve their understanding of personal finance.

Games & Courses

Online games, like Gen I Revolution, engage students in an interactive learning environment. It uses fun, competitive “missions” structured around financial scenarios to draw students into learning about personal finance.[1] Because it takes a different kind of approach to teaching financial lessons, Gen I motivates students to applt the lessons they learn while playing to their own lives. If students aren’t interested in game play, there is an abundance of free online courses that can facilitate financial learning. Some classes are offered online from universities like Utah State, UC Irvine, and Michigan State.[2] Other classes are offered by news institutions like CNN’s Money 101, and still others are offered by educational foundations, like MoneySkill from the AFSA Education Foundation.[3]

Online Resources

Besides courses, classes, and games, there are several online organizations that actively provide their members with valuable personal finance education. The Women’s Institute or Financial Education (WIFE), for example, is a nonprofit that provides women with financial counseling and education. They also connect women with resources they can use to “prosper financially.”[4] Jump$tart, another nonprofit organization, works from Washington to help students from pre-K to college improve their financial literacy. They offer online access to a variety of tools and materials that “create, distribute, or promote financial education.”[5]

Progression to Classroom

While these resources are all available online, Jump$tart invites educators to use their best practices to help students learn about finances. They encourage in-class financial education as much as online education; through grants and donations they sponsor a National Educator Conference and provide teacher training in finance-specific lessons.[5] Other sites, like Econlowdown from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, offer teachers free classroom resources — like Personal Finance 101 Chats, the No Frills Money Skills video series, and a sequence of slides that review basic economic principles.[6] The online availability of financial education makes it easier for teachers and students to spend more time learning about finances. With stronger financial education, both online and in the classroom, students of all ages will be better equipped to deal with the turbulent financial situations that the world economy can experience

Rachel Schramm writes articles for Check ‘n Go about online commerce, responsible borrowing, investment, and budgeting. Check ‘n Go is a responsible payday loans and cash advance lender.

References [1] Council For Economic Education, . “Overview.” Gen I Revolution: Online Personal Finance Game. n.d. n. page. Web. 3 Oct. 2012. < “http://www.genirevolution.org/overview.php”>. [2] Vohwinkle, Jeremy. “20 Free Online Finance Courses – Take Money Classes From the Comfort of Your Home.” Generation X Finance. n.d. n. page. Web. 3 Oct. 2012.[3] “6 Free Online Personal Finance Courses.” LIving Richly on a Budget. n.d. n. page. Web. 3 Oct. 2012.[4] “WIFE Mission and History.” WIFE.org. n.d. n. page. Web. 3 Oct. 2012. http://www.wife.org/about/wife-mission-and-history/> [5] “Jump$tart Coalition Resources.” Jump$art Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. n.d. n. page. Web. 3 Oct. 2012.. [6] “Economics and Personal Finance Education Resources.” Econlowdown from the Federal Reserve Banks of St. Louis. n.d. n. page. Web. 3 Oct. 2012..

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