What is it?
Get Smarter About Money is an online finance website designed to help individuals with questions regarding their own personal finance. This is a Canadian website that was created by the Investor Education Fund, which is a Canadian non-profit organization.
There are four different categories that you can research information on which are: investing, planning, life events, and tools and calculators. Each category is grouped into a number of subcategories which are grouped into even more subcategories which then lead to the information that you are looking for.
Once you have found the section in which you are looking for, there is information provided which is brief but provides enough information to find what you are looking for.
What do I like about it?
– Website is appealing and engaging. Along with pictures and brief information, this website can be easily appealing to students.
– Website is user friendly.
– Information may not be detailed but it is straight to the point.
– Website is organized and easy to navigate through.
– A search engine is provided for the website so information can be easily accessed.
– Information is categorized into many different sections which is good if you only want to read the information you want to rather than look through useless information or waste time (this categorization can also be a negative though!).
– Some of the information pages have other links within the text which open up to other outside websites. These lead to related information that readers may be interested in which have been mentioned in the information pages.
– The website is made by a Canadian organization so the information will be more relevant to me and my students.
What do I dislike about it?
– There is not much about who actually created the website other than the fact that they only have an “About IEF” page (Investor Education Fund). Because of this, the reader (or maybe it was just me) just assumes the website was created by this organization.
– When looking for information, there are a bunch of sections within sections. This is nice and organized but it gets tiring to continually click in a bunch of different places to get to one bit of information. Of course it was easy to find, just tedious.
– Although the information was short and to the point, I wish that there was more detailed information so that I could understand that topic a bit better.
Where does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use this in my classroom?
This online resource fits into LeBlanc’s Personal Finance 30 curriculum. Looking at each of the objectives, this resource can help to achieve 6/9 objectives from this curriculum. The first objective that this resource can help to achieve is PF (L) 3 which states: Demonstrate understanding of financial institution services used to access and manage personal finances. This resource covers topics to help achieve this objective which includes: banking services available, different types of accounts, credit cards, commonly used definitions, service charges, and how to open up a bank account.
The second objective that this resource can help to achieve is PF (L) 4 which states: Demonstrate an understanding of income and personal taxation. This resource covers topics including deductions that may be relevant to taxation and how payroll functions, gross pay, deductions and personal income tax are related.
The next objective is only partially achieved by this resource. This objective is PF (L) 5 which states: Demonstrate understanding of personal budgets and their importance for financial planning. This resource can help to accomplish the indicator about creating and maintaining a personal budget.
The fourth objective that can be achieved is PF (L) 6 which states: Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of investing, the various types of investment vehicles and how interest can be used as an advantage. Information to achieve the indicators and this objective can be found in two places: under the planning tab and the investing tab. The basics, including reasons to invest and how to start, can be found under the planning tab; while the retirement plans and different types of bank accounts can be found under the investing tab.
PF (L) 7 is the next objective that can be achieved with this resource. This objective regards the understanding of services used to access credit options. This resource does not cover the entire objective or even half of the indicators. Even the indicators that this resource can help to achieve, it does not do a very thorough job but it can achieve a few indicators that work towards understanding the basics of credit cards, advantages and disadvantages to using a credit card, and tips on how to reduce credit card debt.
The last objective that this resource can help to achieve is PF (L) 9 which states: Demonstrate understanding of purchasing, leasing, and renting options. Because quite a few of the indicators ask to research information from Saskatchewan, this resource can help to achieve only one indicator within this objective, which is buying versus renting (although nothing about leasing from what I’ve seen, but it does provide a very convenient chart!).
In the classroom, I could use this in a couple ways. The first, which is mostly likely how I would use it, would be as an extra resource for students to use if interested or they need extra help. I could post this online to either the classroom blog or website to make this easily accessible for my students.
Also, with one of the objectives that are covered quite well with this resource, I could do an independent study, group work, or even just an assignment or worksheet that I have designed. This could be completed either in class or outside and with partners or even just individually depending on the length and difficulty level of the assignment.
Overall evaluation of Get Smarter About Money…
Overall, I actually really enjoyed this resource. It had a variety of information that can fit anyone’s interest. The pages are engaging with short bits of information which can be great especially for those with short attention spans.
The fact that this resource covers a majority of outcomes in the Personal Finance curriculum can say a lot about this resource. It is definitely one to try out in the classroom!
If I were to rare this website I would give it an 8/10.