Money in a digital age

Teachers can put digital technologies at the heart of great learning in financial education by using a variety of software applications to

  • Keep financial records
  • Analyse information
  • Assess value for money
  • Prepare and use budgets
  • Make informed financial decisions
  • Simulate real life scenarios
  • Find specialist advice and information
  • Communicate with advisors and specialists

In an ‘enterprise context’ a number of schools have used and encouraged their young people to manage the finances of their healthy eating tuck shops by using ‘Excel’ on Glow.    A Fife school has used the software to manage cash flow, stock control and profit calculations.

At a personal level this can be exemplified by using a resource such as Money Talks, Family Finances which examines the inter-related finances of an extended family.   The on-line bank statements are based on ‘Excel Spreadsheets’ and young people can see  how changes in expenditure and income affect the end of month balance.  Items of expenditure can be more deeply researched using the Internet to compare best value for a range of goods and services.  This  links closely to the use of loyalty cards and text alerts which a number of banks and supermarkets use to keep customers informed of additional services being offered.  Other online services and technologies that young people should be aware of are

    • Paypal
    • Contactless technologies
    • Foreign currency conversion tables
    • Peer to peer lending
    • Crowd source funding and financing
    • Just giving – online support for charities
    • Paying or donating by text messaging – many organisations use this for television charity appeals.
    • Transport apps – Lothian buses is good example.
    • Wearable technologies

Government agencies also encourage the use of digital technologies for claiming benefits and the payment of taxes such as the ‘Vehicle or Road Tax’.

There are a range of potential risks to the use of digital that need to be recognised. In particular young people should be given the opportunity to discuss

  • Gambling apps
  • Pay day lending
  • Illegal streaming of videos and music
  • Digital security and keeping money safe
  • ‘Phishing scams’ involving email
  • Identity theft
  • Recognising secure sites

One of the main areas of risk is around the abstract nature of money and this may be an issue given that children and young people have access to mobile technology at a very early age.

 

Leave a Reply