Wednesday, July 24, 2013

5 classroom tips to nudge financial knowledge to behavior

My friend Dan Kadlec pointed out in this recent piece that "A growing body of research suggests that money reminders tweeted, texted, emailed or otherwise delivered through social media fall on receptive eyes." Kadlec also noted "A study led by Barbara O’Neill at the Rutgers Co-operative Extension found that Twitter and Facebook messages to adults raised awareness about money issues even if they didn’t always lead to behavioral change."

AmericaSaves are believers as well. This month they heavily promoted their "Pledge to Save" text messaging service. So let's incorporate these techniques into our pedagogy.

1. Remind101 is a safe way for teachers to text message students and stay in touch with parents, and it's free! For the past couple of weeks I have sent a daily text message encouraging my students to set a savings goal, set up a savings account, and regularly contribute to a savings account (ideally through a direct deposit) to reach their goal.

2. Calendar reminders in their phones should be incorporated whenever possible. As an example, all of us should check our credit reports once a year for free at Have the students set a yearly reminder to do so beginning on their 18th birthdays. Another example is to set reminders for key FAFSA tasks on important dates as you introduce the students to the student aid process.

3. Parent checklists with resources for students and parents to explore together at home are a great way to share leading edge resources like the CFPB's Paying For College.

4. Classroom Twitter accounts can be used to send encouraging texts to save, links to valuable resources, and financial tips that are relevant to students now. If you would like a few ideas, here is my classroom Twitter account. We also have our own website and Pinterest page.

5. Student Twitter and other social media accounts can be utilized as resources to connect students with where to turn when they have questions after they graduate. For example, when we were working through the consumer protection unit, I encouraged students to follow the FTC, CFPB, and Ohio Attorney General. This, of course, was after the students utilized the resources on the government websites to deepen their understanding of the content.


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