My Take-Aways From the Jump$tart National Educator Conference

Last week, I attended the 2019 Jump$tart National Educator Conference which contained inspirational messages and personal finance updates for personal finance teachers. Below are six of my key take-aways.
¨     Personal Finance is Constantly Changing– Unlike more “evergreen” school subjects, such as English and Math, Personal Finance content must constantly be updated for new tax laws, credit rules, financial products, and other changes. Students also need to learn that the decisions they make today have future consequences.
¨     Students Need to Be Prepared– Schools need to teach students skills to do jobs that don’t currently exist. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to deliver deeply personalized learning experiences but there are privacy concerns. Classes need to focus less on teaching specific content and more on “big picture thinking.”
¨     Keep Financial Education Simple- Prepare students for the unknown. Teach problem-solving and decision-making and boil down information into a set of core concepts that students can apply anytime, anywhere. Examples include “consult research before making big purchases” and “pay yourself first” to save money.
¨     Invest in Your Human Capital– Investments in human capital, such as courses, degrees, certification programs, and internships can help workers- at all ages- increase their earning potential. Self-commitment tools on computers and cell phones can help people stick to their plans.
¨     Change to Stay Relevant- About 40% of workers today won’t have relevant job skills in the next five years because they aren’t willing to learn new skills and change. Tasks and roles that you perform today may not be important tomorrow. Speed is the currency of change. To remain relevant, you cannot become complacent.
¨     Foster Creativity in Financial Education- A speaker stated “if teachers foster an environment of creativity, students will create.” Real world simulations that allow students to fail and learn from the experience were also recommended as an effective teaching method.

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