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Next Gen Personal Finance
Pros: Weekly content; regular PD; expansive curriculum with videos, activities, and assessments.
Cons: Optimized for those in the Google ecosystem. Third-party links might have ads and/or be tied to financial institutions and products.
Bottom Line: One of the best sources for relevant and useful materials for in-depth units or just grab-and-go discussions and activities about financial literacy.
Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) offers nine-week, semester, and year-long courses, but teachers can also pick and choose, developing smaller units or inserting a financial lesson into their existing curriculum. Math teachers can use the math-focused lessons and free Desmos activities to reinforce real-world applications. Assign activities or group projects to dig deep into important financial topics, or lead class discussions on financial success and stability. Students can also watch relevant videos or participate in high-quality simulations from the website's well-curated collection. Most of the site's resources are kept on Google Drive and thus can be downloaded and customized for your class's needs. Each unit also has premade assessments for users with free teacher accounts.
The NGPF blog and social media accounts post new content daily. Get students talking with the Question of the Day, participate in Math Mondays, and spice things up with FinCap Friday, a competitive multimedia activity that focuses on current events. In addition to the standard curriculum, there are also Mini-Units that cover a variety of topics, from philanthropy to cryptocurrency to racial discrimination in finance.
Note that lessons often feature third-party links. Teachers will want to review these prior to teaching, since some are better than others. These external sites might also feature ads or be tied to financial institutions or products.
The Next Gen Personal Finance website contains extensive free resources, both created by NGPF and sourced from other reputable platforms. The site is organized into a few key sections, including an arcade with simulations and games, a curriculum browser with units and multiweek pathways on personal finance topics, and a math section with focused activities that build math skills. Resources range from videos and discussions to full lessons and assessments. Most of the resources are in Google Docs, Slides, or Sheets, so they can be downloaded to your own Google Drive and customized. Teachers can also access a library of free professional development (PD) resources, including webinars, conferences, and courses.
Next Gen Personal Finance is not your parents' finance class. Sure, you still learn how to file your taxes and pay your power bill, but you also learn about the pros and cons of the gig economy and the perils of becoming an influencer. There's a focus on responsibility, future planning, and decision-making, but also critical thinking about the complexities of the ever changing world of finance and wealth. To this end, NGPF provides a lot of resources -- everything from videos to handouts to interactives -- that help ground students in current events and compelling debates around finance. If you aren't following their curriculum step-by-step, it could be a little overwhelming. However, the site is easy to search, and all lessons and materials are modifiable. The more recent focus on weekly content, like the plug-and-play FinCap Friday videos and slide decks, make layering in a little discussion on finance, investment, and money easy.
The lesson activities promote collaboration and hands-on learning. Students will learn from case studies and authentic simulations, and they will practice making hard financial decisions as they work through well-designed projects. NGPF does a good job of taking topics that most adults fail to grasp and presenting them in a way that not only builds understanding, but empowers students to build successful futures.