Monday, December 14, 2015

H&R Block Budget Challenge: Get your class involved!


I first posted back in July about the H&R Block Budget Challenge and included links to financial literacy sites to use in the classroom. There is still time to enroll your high school or high-school age homeschool class in this great contest which helps students learn and, more importantly, practice personal financial literacy, as well as offering teachers and students a chance to win grants and scholarships!  

The H&R Block Budget Challenge immerses high-school students in the life of a recent college graduate who has been working for six months. Each participant receives a virtual salary and must make smart budgeting decisions regarding expenses, such as rent, utilities, car payments and more. Students are challenged to balance current and future financial needs and demonstrate resourcefulness, understanding and practical application of financial concepts

There are six rounds of the H&R Block Budget Challenge, and there are still three rounds left to participate in, so sign your class up today! The closing dates for registration for the remaining three simulations are January 7, January 21, or February 4, 2016.


The H&R Block Budget Challenge encourages students to learn personal finance in a fun, engaging way while competing against other classrooms and students for $3 million in classroom grants and student scholarships. These awards include 60 chances for classroom grants up to $5000, 132 chances of student scholarships of $20,000, and a grand prize student scholarship of $100,000!

http://hrbds.org


Since I believe financial literacy is one of the important literacies our students should attain before they graduate high school, I have blogged about ideas to enhance this across the curriculum, and I consider financial literacy one of the thirteen essential literacies. 

The H&R Block Web site also includes Budget Challenge lesson plans and student activities educators can use in the classroom. The H&R Block Budget Challenge and these lesson plans target Common Core standards for English language arts and mathematics, as well as personal finance benchmarks established by the Council for Economic Education (CEE) and the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy

FINANCIAL LITERACY INFOGRAPHICS

Once students have completed the H&R Budget Challenge, you can continue the financial literacy instruction by the use of infographics. After participating in the H&R Block Budget Challenge, the students will have the knowledge base to determine the usefulness, validity, and information included in these types of infographics. In addition, you can have students re-create the infographics by including new data, a different focus, or research data they have collected. (Additional information on how to use infographics in the classroom may be found on my Web page here.)

Here are some infographics and Google search links to get students started.

http://newsroom.mastercard.com/photos/road-to-inclusion-money-management/


http://blogs.usda.gov/2013/08/14/what-does-it-cost-to-raise-a-child/


http://www.moneymanagement.org/Budgeting-Tools/InfoGraphics/Kids-and-Money.aspx


Sign your class up today for the H&R Block Budget Challenge

This is a sponsored post on behalf of We Are Teachers and H&R Block
I received compensation for this post, however all opinions stated are my own.




Thursday, December 10, 2015

The National Education Technology Plan 2016

The new National Education Technology Plan was launched today. Having worked on the 2000 version of the plan, I was anxious to read the document entitled "Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education".

 

The #NETP16 provides a current look at successful technology practices in schools across the country and includes five major categories -- learning, teaching, leadership, assessment, and infrastructure. There were no real surprises for me in the document, and I know of many schools who have already met many of the goals and recommendations outlined in the document.

 

However, for those schools and districts who are still working on embedding technology more meaningfully into teaching, learning, and leadership, the NETP includes short vignettes that can help continue the conversation around technology in their schools. And, with a robust bibliography of resources and people consulted for these overviews, the NETP will allow those who are in the planning stage to contact the subjects of the vignettes and ask questions (or read their blog) to find out more about the steps they took to move ahead in this area.

 

The NETP document is arranged in a fashion that make it easy for all members of the education community to understand what the current best practices are in the use of technology to support teaching and learning. Higher education faculty can use the NETP to plan their instruction for pre-service teachers. Pre-service teachers can use ideas from one of the vignettes and conduct an action research project. School and district leaders can use the NETP to help board members, parents, and community members to better understand what works in today's classroom. Teachers can take each chapter of the NETP and turn it into a PLC to discuss what is best for their school, grade level, and classroom.

 

There were a few items that jumped out at me, probably because they were ideas and thoughts that I am passionate about. The first was a new phrase to me-- "the digital use divide". The student use of technology for creation rather than consumption is something that is near and dear to my heart, and that is what this phrase is all about.

 

 

The second was found in the chapter on assessment. The overview of next generation digital assessments becoming more project-based and meaningful for the student is exciting! With more powerful back-end hardware and software and robust infrastructure in schools, I believe the time is finally here that this will become a reality.
 
 

School districts should consider combining the study of The National Education Technology Plan 2016 and the New Media Consortium's K-12 Horizon Report, which provides a five-year out look into innovations in technology that can impact teaching and learning. By combining best practices with exciting new ideas, I believe the use of technology in the classroom to support teaching and learning in a meaningful and innovative way will become the norm and and help our students get ready for whatever awaits them in the future!