Smart About Money
Smart About Money is an online, comprehensive site regarding financial literacy. While it is not strictly from an adult education framework, it is designed to address many different scenarios, for as many students as possible. The site is divided into three sections: Courses, Tools, and Topics.
The Courses and Topics sections cover most of the basic content areas associated with personal finance and financial literacy. Both present information in one-page chunks that use short sentences and common vocabulary. Some pages have graphics that help to convey the content. The self-selected, self-paced courses help users make empowered decisions to improve their financial literacy. These in-depth guided learning experiences take approximately 45 minutes to complete and include tools and resources (e.g., worksheets, calculators and quizzes).
Smart About Money allows users to explore collections of resources (e.g., informational articles, calculators, graphics, videos, and tools) organized by topics such as: crisis and fraud, education and career, family and finances, holidays and money, housing and transportation, insurance and taxes, retirement and aging, saving and investing, and spending and borrowing. Users can also easily find materials available in Spanish in the Topics section.
The Tools section has worksheets, questionnaires, and frequently asked questions that would be helpful tools for a teacher developing learning activities around this content. Tools includes a new resource, Common Money Questions, which provides guidance on common scenarios, including what to do in times of transition and crisis.
All of the resources are available without registration; however, registration is free and allows a user to save personal budgets and other worksheets.
Smart About Money is a 21st Century financial literacy resource with the capacity to support adult learners at every step in their financial education. Aligning with financial literacy supports to assist adult education trainers in strengthening students foundational knowledge, as well as the ability to provide continued learning opportunities for students, it provides easy to navigate, well-presented financial literacy training for educators and their students.
The ease of design and use in Smart About Money is what makes it so helpful. It's easy to navigate, search, and find what is specific to the individual, while allowing them to see what else may be of interest at a later time or next in their learning. The Money Basics course is a good place to start for individuals who might not be sure where to begin. Alternatively, individuals can search on their own to find courses of interest.
Smart About Money is an excellent content resource for adult education practitioners who wish to use authentic materials to teach financial literacy and related concepts. It has a user-friendly interface with a clean design/layout and clear, intuitive navigation. The content is directly relevant to the needs and situations of participants in adult education programs (and the teachers, too) and provides many helpful tools such as worksheets and calcularors, and encourages users to continue to explore and develop their knowledge on their own.