Next Gen Personal Finance

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Bottom Line

This is a useful, high-quality, well-organized resource for teachers putting together short personal finance lessons or entire curricula.

How Can I Teach with This Tool?

There are enough materials on Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) to fill an entire semester of personal finance lessons, but teachers can also pick and choose, developing smaller units or inserting a financial lesson here and there during the school year. You can assign activities or group projects to dig deep into important financial topics, or you can lead class discussions or give lectures on info vital to financial success and stability. Students can also watch relevant videos from the website’s well-curated collection. Most of the site’s resources are kept on Google Drive and thus can be downloaded and customized for your class’s needs. Each unit also has free assessments for people with free teacher accounts. The group that runs the website also provides valuable (and free) professional development options, including one-day workshops in cities around the country, webinars on financial topics, a professional learning community (PLC) of small group support, conference opportunities, and a Summer Institute, where attendees become NGPF Fellows.

What Is It?

The Next Gen Personal Finance website contains extensive free resources for teachers to put together finance lessons for middle and high school students. Topics include Checking, Saving, Types of Credit, Managing Credit, Paying for College, Budgeting, Investing, Financial Pitfalls, Career, Taxes, Insurance, and more. Each of these topics has lessons, activities, projects, case studies, financial math assignments, and links to external resources. Most of the resources are in Google Drive format, allowing them to be downloaded and customized. The site has also organized the resources into lesson plans and long- and short-term curricula, including assessments. These assessments are available to anyone with a free teacher account. The website itself isn’t really a destination for students. It’s designed with teachers in mind, who can draw on the resources and create engaging lessons for their students.

Is It Good for Learning?

It’s easy to peruse the offerings on Next Gen Personal Finance, picking out materials that are relevant to your class needs. The site itself is well organized and easy to navigate, with decent search options, but there are few frills. Students who engage with materials from Next Gen Personal Finance will come to understand financial concepts like banking, investments, credit, taxes, insurance, and more. They’ll be more prepared to make financial decisions as independent adults, and they’ll better anticipate and plan for their future financial needs. Students will learn from case studies, they will practice working out finances with Data Crunch and Number Chugs, and they’ll make some hard financial decisions in the activities and projects. Students will sometimes do this work on their own, but projects lend themselves well to being done in groups, which can replicate workplace or family financial decision-making. Students and groups can also share the results of their work with their class, so they can learn from each other as well.
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