How I Use It
I used Spent in my career exploration course. After I covered topical units on careers, cost of living, and the fundamentals of money (saving, borrowing, and investing) - I had students play this game. This also tied in to keyboarding skills as students are first tasked with a timed writing to see if they qualify for a job. This reinforced the importance of good keying skills!! Students were amazed at how quickly ran out of money. Students were able to reflect on the decisions they made and the consequences that came from those decisions. Students wanted to keep playing this over and over. I even had students that kept trying to meet the keying job requirement over and over. Perhaps the most important item is the lens SPENT provides to students on poverty. I wish I would have requested students to draft a narrative of what they learned about life choices, poverty, and how this ties into the career exploration topical units. To next share in small groups, and then provide some reports back to them class. All the scenarios are fantastic and present students with some very serious "real-life" dilemmas.
I liked the ease of integrating SPENT into my class and more importantly the students were 100% engaged. SPENT allows students to build empathy and understand poverty. Subsequently, these two take-aways reinforce career exploration or personal finance topical units on money management, the importance of thinking about future goals (careers, college, etc). It would be great if there was functionality that provides teachers feedback on an individual basis. The instructor has to walk around the room to conduct formative assessments. SPENT is a tool that can be implemented quickly and have lasting impacting on students!