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
- 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.
The ability to work with numbers is an essential part of being financially capable. This has been recognised recently in a number of support materials recently published by Education Scotland. The first of these is the National Numeracy and Progression Framework. This includes a progression pathway on money (linked to the experiences and outcomes for money in Curriculum for Excellence) One of the key aspects of this framework is the concept of understanding finance in a digital world.
As well this there is also a set of benchmarks that will support teachers in assessing learning. These Benchmarks were published in August 2016 as draft documents. There is currently an online consultation which can be accessed via the National Improvement Hub. This consultation will close on 31.3.17 and the final Benchmarks will be published in June 2017.
There are many activities that will support young people’s learning across a number of different levels to ensure that financial education can provide memorable experiences and powerful messages. In a number of practical situations the following opportunities can be provided
- investigating value for money
- deciding on costings for design and manufacture
- discussing types of bank cards and costs involved
- designing coins/notes – shapes, patterns, etc
- taking part in money games
- investigating exchange rates
- discussing various methods of payment and costs involved
- using tally sheets and producing graphs/pictograms
- engaging with money transactions – different combinations of coins and notes
- comparing prices
- using Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and other ‘money’ machines
- calculating profit/loss
In addition to this engaging with numeracy and mathematics helps young people make the jump from dealing with concrete examples to the much more abstract nature of ‘money in the digital age’.
Much has been done over the past ten years or so to improve the quality and quantity of the financial education delivered in our schools. This has been achieved by working across the financial, education and cultural sectors to raise the status and profile of financial education but also to improve the confidence of teachers to address the issues in this area of the curriculum. The main reasons for a continued focus on financial education are the ever changing economic, political, social and environmental issues that continue to have a wide-ranging impact on all our lives. These contexts are a central feature of ‘learning for sustainability’ . Financial education has an important role in tackling poverty, reducing financial and social exclusion and improving the employability skills of all our young people. This will benefit both the individual and society in general.
Financial education is about helping young people meet the financial and economic challenges, now and particularly in ‘post-Brexit Britain’. The best way to do this to make sure they receive powerful messages about money and their experiences in and out of the classroom are memorable. Economics, politics and philosophy are at the heart of the development of financial capability underpinned by numeracy and literacy skills. It should be recognised that developing financial skills will make a contribution to an individual’s economic wellbeing which in turn improves physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing. Issues such as
- High levels of personal debt (including student debt)
- Increasingly sophisticated financial products
- Pay day and other high cost lending
- ‘Food banks’ and increasing levels of poverty
- High pressure advertising particularly around gambling
- Pension regulation
- Probable increase and fluctuations in interest rates
- Changes to taxes and benefits
mean that there is an even greater need for individuals to take a much more active and informed interest in their own financial futures. Low levels of financial capability can be a cause and a symptom of poverty with the resulting impact on all aspects of health and wellbeing. It is really important that schools work with a range of stakeholders including credit unions to improve the financial skills of our young people.
Join us on the National Numeracy and Mathematics Hub
What is the hub?
Easy to use, professional, online learning community for practitioners across Scotland, provided by the numeracy and mathematics team at Education Scotland.
What does the hub offer?
Innovative, rich CLPL in different aspects of numeracy and mathematics via dialogue, sharing resources, interactive Glow TV broadcasts and research
Please join us for the next instalment of our SSLN support which focusses on estimation and rounding on 01/11/16.
Some questions to consider:
National Numeracy and Mathematics Hub
Join in the debate on our National Numeracy and Mathematics community.
The following materials will be of interest to anyone who would like to explore connections between numeracy/mathematics and the world of work. It includes an interactive financial education resource, Money Talks, an article on how mathematics is used in the workplace from the Mathematics Association of America and Citizen Maths, a site for people who want to become more confident in using maths at work and in life. There are also links to the National Numeracy and Mathematics Hub, a virtual learning environment for all practitioners and a copy of the latest Numeracy and Mathematics Resource Guide.
This new guide developed by teachers and businesses together with the Royal Society in response to its call for closer collaboration between education, industry and academia. It aims to provide support school or college-employer partnerships mainly through the lens of STEM. The guide sets out 5 simple steps for companies planning to engage with education or extend their educational partnerships along side a number of case studies that highlight key features of a successful, mutually beneficial educational scheme.
You can access the ‘Making education your business’ guide here.
“All of the programmes featured in this publication by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning share valuable experiences and lessons. They reflect a view of effective learning families whereby each child is a member of a family, and within a learning family every member is a lifelong learner. Among disadvantaged families and communities in particular, a family literacy and learning approach is more likely to break the intergenerational cycle of low education and literacy skills..” (Elfert and Hanermann 2014)
This report presents findings from a study of family literacy programmes in England carried out by the National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy (NRDC) at UCL Institute of Education (IOE) between July 2013 and May 2015. This mixed-methods study was funded by the Nuffield Foundation and explored: 1) the impact of school-based family literacy programmes on young children’s progress in reading and writing; and 2) how parents translate and implement what they learn in these classes into the home literacy environment. This study provides evidence that after attending family literacy sessions children improve their literacy skills and there are positive changes in the home literacy environment.
Briefing 1 – Differentiated learning in numeracy and mathematics
This briefing summarises research on differentiated learning and considers how it could be used to improve learner outcomes in numeracy and mathematics.
Study the briefing and any follow-up research you can and then please give us your views on these challenge questions:
• Tell us how you differentiate for learning in numeracy and mathematics within your classroom? What range of strategies can we use?
• How do we work out if these strategies are effective?
• How to do we make learners aware of what differentiation is and how it helps their learning?
Big ask I know. No single one of us has all the answers but together? Let’s co-create some wisdom on this topic!
You will need your Glow username to take part.
Desmos is a graphing calculator which millions of students around the world use for free. Desmos also create activities on top of that calculator, helping students use a powerful tool to experience all the curiosity, beauty, and sense that math has to offer. Those activities were used so often by so many teachers around the world they created an Activity Builder, helping every teacher create digital math activities that equal and exceed the activities they create themselves.
Using this activity builder the National Mathematics Development Group has created online support for the SQA National Qualifications.
Please log on to GLOW and visit our blog which has handy hints and tips for practitioners alongside activities linked to the SQA Assessment Standards for National 5 , Higher and Advanced Higher Mathematics.