Lucy Johnson teaches financial management and career and life management courses at Kate Andrews High School in Coaldale, Alberta. Since November 2008, she has been using The City in her courses. “As a teacher, I was excited about it because I could pick up the binder and start immediately,” says Lucy. “It is well laid out: it has teacher lesson plans, it has great overheads, it has assessment tools and it also has home connection assignments that you can do with your kids.”
Through the interactive resource, students learn how to handle credit, manage debt, invest and prevent fraud and identify theft. Lucy believes that her students learn the most during the final module, which requires them to create their own budget. “One of the areas that I like about The City is that the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has taken the resource and specifically dealt with it based on provincial statistics. So when my students do the reality life check as to how much is it going to cost for you to move out of the house, we are dealing with the current statistics,” she says.
Students provide only positive feedback about The City, describing it as both stimulating and fun. “The students love it,” says Lucy. “Any time you can incorporate technology into your class, they'll eat it up.”
My name is Lucy Johnson. I teach at Kate Andrews High School, which is located in Coaldale, Alberta, and I teach primarily the financial management and the career and life management courses.
Lucy: Hi, guys. I am going to show you an interactive tool. We're going to go right down here to the bottom, where it says “The City.”
I have been using The City resource since November 2008. As a teacher, I was excited about it because I could pick up the binder and start immediately. It is well laid-out: it has teacher lesson plans, it has great overheads, it has assessment tools and it also has home connection assignments that you can do with your kids. Prior resources had been kind of dull, and I found that The City was more engaging and fun for my kids and it dealt with real-life situations.
Student 1: It definitely wasn't something that you normally see in school and most of the stuff you do is pretty boring, and this was interesting and interactive. I liked it.
Student 2: There is a portion on identity theft that we talked about. I think that was very important because a lot of people don't know about that, and it really helped to show you ways of, like, to prevent that.
Student 1: They are saying things: “Don't have your birthday,” and my birthday is on Facebook, so I went and I took that off because we are not supposed to have that on there…
Lucy: The entire resource deals with how to handle credit, how to manage debt, what investments kids should consider during different life stages, how to deal with insurance, how to deal with fraud. There are tips on protecting kids against identity theft, so I do believe that it is a very relevant resource.
One of the techniques that The City uses to draw students in and make it more stimulating and engaging is they have introduced eight characters and they are at different life stages. These characters are there just in case some of the students don't want to talk about their personal financial issues, and also it gives them an idea of what some of the financial situations they will be dealing with later on in life.
Lucy: And I also have to think about a long-range plan, financially…
One of the areas that I like about The City is that the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has taken the resource and specifically dealt with it based on provincial statistics. So when my students do the reality life check as to how much is it going cost for you to move out of the house, we are dealing with the current statistics.
Student 1: You don't really realize when your parents are paying for things how much food costs per month, and it is just a lot to think about. This really helps you to open your eyes and get a better understanding of it.
Lucy: If you wanted to try this you just launch the module.
Lucy: One of the last modules in the resource is an actual financial plan based on their educational and career goals. How are we going to finance this? What types of insurance are we going to need? What types of investments are we thinking about in the near future? How are we going to handle credit cards? What type of credit card? What type of banking institute? So it is quite an intense module, but they leave with a financial plan.
Student 2: I have a job now, and this website has definitely taught me the importance of saving money. So now that I have, like, income coming in every two weeks, I definitely put more aside for my future.
Lucy: The students love it. Any time you can incorporate technology into your class, they'll eat it up.