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Free Online Resources for Middle and High School Educators - Classroom ECONnections from the Fed, Episode 13

In this Classroom ECONnections webinar, we’ll explore new online resources, including online courses and videos, classroom-ready activities, and more. The featured resources cover a variety of economics and personal finance concepts such as consumers, producers, human capital, saving, and spending. They can help students build their creativity and hone their problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Links to resources are in the transcript below.


Below is a full transcript of this video presentation. It has not been edited or reviewed for accuracy or readability.

Jean Roark: Hello and welcome to the Federal Reserve Classroom ECONnections Webinar. Today we'll discuss free online resources for middle and high school teachers. I'm Jean Roark from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and I'll be your facilitator. And let me introduce our presenters. We have Kris Bertelsen from St. Louis, Sarah Gunn from Richmond, and Susan Kizer from Dallas.

And before turning our call over to Kris, I'll run through our call logistics on slide two. All right. If you haven't joined us through the webinar yet, use the link you received after registering. For the best webinar experience, open the FAQ document, which can be found using the materials button in the webinar player page. I'll highlight a few important notes for you.

You can listen to the audio through your PC speakers or through the phone. If you use the phone option, slides will not sync with audio unless you change your settings. You can do this by selecting the gray gear located on the upper right corner of the slide window, just above the presentation. From there, you should see a few options in the media chooser and you should select the phone option, but you'll only need to do that if you're listening through the phone. You can expand the size of the slides. And to do that, just use the maximize button in the upper right corner of the slide window located on the webinar player page. And if you'd like a PDF version of today's presentation, you can access it using the materials button. We'll be taking questions at the end of the presentation, but you can submit them anytime during the webinar. And to submit your questions, use the Ask Question button and we'll get your questions cued up for our presenters.

All right. I'm going to turn to slide three and cover our legal disclaimer. The views expressed in this webinar are those of the presenters and not necessarily the views of the Federal Reserve Banks of St. Louis, Dallas and Richmond or the Federal Reserve System. And with all of that out of the way, I am going to turn our call over to Kris Bertelsen.

Kris Bertelsen: Okay. Thank you, Jean. Welcome everyone and thank you for joining us. Thank you for all you do for students. We really appreciate you taking time here at the end of your day to join us and so we'll make that time worthwhile for you. You can see the first slide here is our landing page for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. And I would just like to point out that I will be talking about primarily the resources behind our teacher portal, which is highlighted in the blue to the right. But before I start on that, I want to mention that you can sort and filter hundreds of free lesson plans, PowerPoints, children's literature books that teach economic or personal finance concepts with the bar below by selecting and filtering out that way as well. Those resources include things that are not behind the teacher portal, and so you're only seeing a very small sample today of what we have available.

If you go to the next slide for me, Jean. The next slide is actually how to log into our teacher portal. And the first time that you join or the first time that you login, you'll be asked information about your school, things like that. You would click the register, “Let's get you started,” register button, and then you'd be able to sign up for a free account with us. The box below that's highlighted is a new feature that I'll go over a little bit. The student has a separate login and we'll talk about that later, but I just wanted to point out that those are two different logins. Next slide, please, Jean.

So once you've logged in the first time, you would get a username and password through e-mail. And from here, they will ask you to change it and you'll get access to our teacher portal. And you see across the top of the slide, my classrooms, resource gallery, professional development and classroom activities and FRED cast. The professional development, depending on the state that you're in, you can get a one hour of professional development for every class of 15 who uses one of our online courses and completes the survey. It depends on the state, though, so you'll have to check that. But we do send those certificates to you.

Next slide, please. On the next slide you'll see how to add a class. And so I'm going to just talk you through the process of adding a class, adding students, adding resources, and then accessing the assessments. And while I do that, I'll show you a couple of resources as we go through. But we're just going to create a class here, and it's a step-by-step process. We just type the name in to begin and end dates, and we create the class. If you go to the next slide for me, Jean.

Once we've created this class and put our dates in there, then it's going to ask us to add students. And so you see the title of the slide. You can add students or have them add themselves with Google. We're very excited about this because as you can imagine with the Federal Reserve System, to have our systems work with Google was a really good accomplishment for us and we're happy that we're able to offer that for teachers. So if you do have a Google classroom or your students can access Gmail, then you can use that code. If not, you'll just use the traditional ECON Lowdown login listed below. If your students are 13 or older, we can keep the e-mail address for you so that you can e-mail syllabus information, things like that as well.

Next slide, please, Jean. So on this next slide you'll see adding resources. And so we would give the students the student code, which you can see there. They would be able to add themselves to your class through that. And then you would click the resource gallery, which is the second tab on the top, and that is where you'll access our resources.

If you go to the next slide for me, Jean. We'll go through a few of the resources here. I just wanted to show what it looks like when you first click the resource gallery. There are 355 resources behind it, including videos, podcasts, online modules, and reading Q&A. And I'm going to show you a couple of examples of each of those here in a moment.

On the next slide, if you could go for me, Jean, you'll see that I've filtered out middle school. And so there's high school and middle school options. Well, elementary as well. You see there's 104 resources for middle school filtered out here as well. So these include, as I mentioned, the online courses, which comparative advantage you see there, and capital markets, those are courses. And then on the next slide, if you could go there, I've shown a couple of examples of a video Q&A and a reading Q&A. And so you can see this is what it would look like if you were in your portal behind your account looking at your dashboard. You'd be able to access the standards, the time required, you can click view additional resources and it's linked to other resources that fit into these content areas.

Next slide for me, Jean. This one shows the online modules and there are many, many online modules behind the portal. I honestly don't know. We've got so many now. This one I've selected is a fiscal policy course. And you can see there were 597 classes enrolled in it, lists the standards, the content, the standards in economics as well as the common course standards, and then the topics across the top. And you can preview any of these from the teacher view. And if you want to add it to your classroom, you would just click select.

Next slide for me, Jean. Any of our materials you can use. You can change the begin and end date of any of those. Really easy to do.

Next slide, please. On this slide, I'm showing you the reading Q&A, which is a page one economics and focus on finance. And these are monthly. Every other month one is economics and then one is personal finance. For middle school teachers, the personal finance articles come with a middle school version, which is a lower reading level, but the content is the same. So we've got that. The article is not indicated as middle school for the student. They don't know that it's a middle school or high school. Only you would be able to see that.

On the next slide you'll see what those reading Q&A's look like from a student perspective. So if the student logs in they're able to read the article, and these screenshots are from the latest one, “Cars and Cash.” And so they would read the article and then answer questions on the screen, and when they're done they can hit submit and then you would receive the grade. I'll go over that in a few minutes here. But any of these resources that you would select, you would just add them to your syllabus, which that will be on the next slide. And when you're looking at your syllabus, you add materials, take them away, make any changes. You have these options you see across the top of e-mail, preview, and so forth, download. Nothing is changed until you hit publish. And then once you hit publish, it's in real time so students could access any materials that you want them to right away.

On the next slide you'll see what the syllabus looks like as a PDF or as the student view, so you could e-mail this. It's available electronically, or as a PDF. If you send it to the students, the option to launch the syllabuses or launch any of the materials in the syllabus is there for the students.

Next slide, please, Jean. Here you'll see this is more of a close up of the video. If you wanted to preview a video, you could do so. You see the number of classes that have watched it, the grade level, middle through high school, and then the time. Five minutes. And then the next slide I'm going to show you what the video would look like to the student. So the student logs in, the video starts, and this one you see the status bar along the bottom, two and a half minute video. When they're done they have the option to watch the video or take the quiz. If you go to the next slide for me, Jean. You'll see here questions for the students. And generally, this video has five questions. We base it kind of on the length of the video and the content covered. But the student would answer those questions and then when they're done, they would get their score. And you see at the bottom, you scored 80 percent, so that student in the videos could watch the video or retake the quiz.

Next slide for me, Jean. Once you've assigned some materials to your students and they've done the video, like in this case, these are videos, you can login as a teacher and you would see a screen like this under student progress, the number of times the students watched the video, the number of times they took the quiz, and the quiz score. And I always jokingly say we've all taught this kid who didn't watch the video, took the quiz twice and got a 42 percent. I always say we all have taught that student. But this is a nice way for accountability that you can know whether or not your students have watched the video.

Next slide, please, Jean. And on this slide you'll see the reading Q&A. And so that article I showed you before, the one about buying a car, “Cars and Cash,” so the student. It shows graded. They got a ten out of ten and 100 percent there. So you would be able to access that. Some of the reading Q&A's allow you to do short answer questions as well, and then you can go and then manually grade those.

On the next slide you're going to see what one of the online module assessments looks like. And so if you assign a student one of our online modules, that's more of a summative assessment. So the students take a pretest, they work through the course, and then they take a post test. You'll notice there the blue arrow has a reset button. So if the student has an [unintelligible 00:14:44], something like that, we've set it up so that you can reset it for them one time and so they can retake the course. If you have a student requiring additional retakes, then you have to log them in as a new student and give them two more chances that way. But it's a nice feature for you to have some flexibility.

Next slide, please, Jean. Here you will see you are able to print certificates of completion for any of the resources we have. And I'm not sure if you can see it on this screen, but it's a watermarked certificate that you can print on card stock and sign for them that they've completed the course or video, whatever you'd like. Kind of nice just to not do a percentage score on everything. So this is a nice way to do it.

Next slide, please. In my last couple of minutes here, I'll just share a couple of items from other Reserve Banks and the Board of Governors. These are all behind our teacher portal, but there's resources from other Fed districts and the Board, as I mentioned. So you see the classroom economists on the left is an Atlanta series of videos, excellent videos on the Fed. You can access all of those from behind the St. Louis teacher portal. The bank note bonanza is a US currency exhibit videos from the Board of Governors. And then the Fed FAQ, those are really short videos as well from the Board of Governors, all accessible from behind our teacher portal.

Next slide, please, Jean. On this slide, again, are just some other resources from the various banks I mentioned. “The Federal Reserve and You” is from Philadelphia. We have some of the chapters behind that. And later on, one of my colleagues is going to speak more about that, but we have a couple of those behind our portal. “The Fed Explained” is another series that goes through different aspects of the Federal Reserve Bank and Fed System. And then “Fed Functions” is a Board of Governors resource. Again, really short videos that just teach various content, various topics centered on the Fed and the Fed System. And then the last slide for my section here is just a screenshot of our website.

And if you have any questions, we'll take some at the end as Jean mentioned. But I will now turn it over to my colleague from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Sarah Gunn, who is going to show an excellent online resource. Sarah?

Sarah Gunn: Thanks, Kris. Jean, if you move to slide 29. Thank you. And before we dive into the resource that I'd like to share, Jean, if you launch our first poll question, that would be great.

Jean Roark: Hi, Sarah. Yeah. You've got it. Let me go ahead and pose that first question for our participants today. So grab your mouse. We are going to have you answer a question. So you should be able to see that question pop up on your screen, and I'll read that aloud for you as well. Okay. So the question is, do you think your students are as informed as they need to be about their options for what to do after high school? So you have three options. The first is yes, definitely. The second, yes, but there's still room to learn more. Or the third option is, no. So I'm going to give you a couple of seconds to think through your answer and provide it to us. Go ahead and select your option and I'm going to take a look and see the kinds of results I'm getting in. Okay. I have a couple coming in. I'm just going to give it a couple more seconds for you to respond. They're still coming in pretty rapidly, so I'm going to pause for another couple of seconds. Okay. I think I'm at a good place to stop, and then let's see those results. If you give it just a second, it should pop up on your screen for you. All right. And just to let you know, Sarah, in case it didn't pop up on your screen, it looks like 25 percent of our participants say, yes, but there's still room to learn more. And 75 percent said, no. So I'll turn it back over to you.

Sarah Gunn: Thanks, Jean. And so at the Richmond Fed, we felt the same way and collaborated with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco to create an online course that's been taken by over 30,000 students called “Invest in What's Next: Life After High School” to help students get more information and create a plan for their life after high school.

So, Jean, if you'd move to slide 30, please, I'll explain the course goals. So “Invest in What's Next” has two kind of broad goals that we want to achieve. The first is instructional. We really want to teach those economics and personal finance concepts and skills, but put them in the context of a student's first major financial decision, which is what to do after they graduate from high school. And we expose students to a broad range of options for the path they can take, including certificates, associates degrees, and bachelors degrees. And they weigh the costs and benefits to find the path that's right for them. Students really guide their own experience in “Invest in What's Next” through the student dashboard that you can see an image of on the bottom. It tracks their progress and assessment scores, they can save links for their research. And then additional features open up once they've completed “Invest in What's Next,” and I'll talk about those features a little bit later.

Jean, if you'd move to slide 31, please. “Invest in What's Next” is broken into three sequential lessons. Each lesson requires about 45 to 60 minutes of class time and there's formative assessments throughout. We'll kind of walk through each of the three lessons briefly. Lesson one allows the students to explore their options. They're evaluating their interests, what they want their future lifestyle to look like, and then how much income they'll need to earn to achieve their desired lifestyle. And they'll learn a little bit more about the education paths that are available to them, and they'll begin to do some research on possible schools they could attend.

In lesson two, “Budgeting for your Future,” they're budgeting for their lifestyle and they're also budgeting for their education. They'll evaluate how much money they might get through grants and scholarships to make sure they're comparing schools based on the school's net prices rather than the sticker price. And then they'll also look at what borrowing money in the form of student loans might mean for their future lifestyle and their lifestyle budget, if they can really afford the education path and the job that they've decided to pursue.

At the end of lesson two, they've really created a plan for their future, and so in lesson three they'll focus on evaluating their plan. They'll see what's included in their plan, they'll weigh the costs and benefits to see what the return on their investment might be, and they'll challenge their plan with a couple of scenarios such as not earning the income they expect, not getting the grants and scholarships they expect, or if they end up not completing the education path at all, and what impact that might have on their future as well.

Throughout all three lessons, there are optional homework assignments. And at the end of lesson three, they have a post secondary plan and a preparation assessment results that are really actionable to move into the next stage of planning for their future.

Jean, if you'll move to slide 32. And when lesson three is complete, as I mentioned early on, some additional features open up on the student's dashboard. During lesson three, students will take a preparation assessment and they'll be able to access their results from the dashboard and they can revisit those results overtime as things change. And they also get access to a plan builder where they can access the plan they created going through lessons one, two and three, and they can also build new plans. And we're going to talk a little bit more about those features. So first we'll start with preparation assessment. Jean, if you'll move to slide 33.

The preparation assessment that students will first see as part of lesson three and then will open up on the dashboard evaluate student's academic readiness, soft skill development and how well they know their options for their future. As they take the assessment they will get feedback based on their current grade level in school. It will tell them how to get back on track, if they haven't done things that they should have at that point, and even if they are currently on track, what to focus on doing next. And then through the student dashboard, as they move from one grade to the next, they can see if they're still on track and what they might need to do. This really can become a checklist for students to revisit overtime as they increase their preparedness as they approach graduating high school. It also is an opportunity to take their results and have a conversation with their teacher or with their guidance counselor or with a mentor or family member and they've given an accurate assessment of their own preparedness. So some interesting conversation starters could come from the preparation assessment too.

Jean, if you'll move to slide 34 I'll talk a little bit more about the plan builder tool. The plan builder tool, which students access from the dashboard, you can create a PDF summary of any plan. So throughout lessons one, two and three, students create a plan and they can print a summary of that plan through this feature. And then they can also create new plans and compare plans to each other. Creating a new plan allows students to explore a different education option or education path, a different career or a different school choice based on what they learned through the course. And students can even create a plan for a job of their own creation and enter their own income. So it really takes the guard rails off and allows students to explore an even wider range of options outside of the ones in the course.

If you move onto slide 35 you'll see a summary of what a PDF of a plan looks like. So you can see all of the selections that students will have made along the way. They've chosen an interest area, an education path, a job, and an area of study. They've researched this school, the school costs, the grants and scholarships. They've divvied up how to pay for it with family contributions, income and savings, and student loans making up the difference. And they've also made some choices on their lifestyle, as you can see on the right hand side, allocating money to housing, food, clothing, transportation, entertainment and healthcare. And then get some kind of fast facts about them of what percent of their income would be going to a student loan payment, what percent of their income they're planning on saving, and then because we've used an entry level income for the job, what their median pay might be at a longer term. In the plan builder they can create as many plans as they would like and update them at anytime and print them out to save them for the future.

The plan builder also allows students to compare plans with each other. So if we move to slide 36 you'll see an example of a plan comparison document. This allows students to compare two plans to each other and get some feedback on similarities and differences between the plans. So here you can see two examples comparing an in state school and an out of state school trying to achieve the same job and have the same major. One has a higher net price than the other, which would result in a higher student loan payment. The school costs, the opportunity costs, and the earnings are compared at the bottom. Depending upon the two plans that are being compared, they'll get feedback on which plan might have the larger payoff in the long run, which really gives students the tools and information that they need to make a good decision about what to do next. This is another document that would be helpful in having conversations with teachers, parents and guidance counselors about their choices.

Jean, if you move to slide 37, please. So in addition to “Invest in What's Next,” which is entirely done online, we have a lot of resources available on the For Educator page of the site, including ways to access the instructional videos that are included in lessons two and lessons three, different suggestions for how to implement “Invest in What's Next” in a classroom setting or in a counselor or mentoring setting as well. And then coming soon, we have other activities that could be used especially for using “Invest in What's Next” in a flipped classroom. So if you're assigning “Invest in What's Next” as homework, two activities that you can use in the classroom are “Human Capital Lines” or “Net Price Student Activity.” So “Human Capital Lines” allows students to explore the relationship between education and median income. And the “Net Price Student Activity” walks students through why comparing the net price of any school is more important than looking at the sticker price, because grants and scholarships might impact how much you have to actually pay. And so students practice calculating that and talking about what might make the net price for a school higher or lower.

Jean, if you move to slide 38. So “Invest in What's Next” is accessible through a website, it's Your students will need to create their own accounts to access it. All they need is their first name, its full name and zip code and an e-mail address, and they'll create a username and password. And this can access the dashboard and walk through the course through that. So we hope you will use “Invest in What's Next” with your students. If you have any questions afterwards, feel free to contact me at my e-mail address. I'm definitely excited to take questions at the end if you just want to click the Ask Question button in the webinar.

So with that, I'm going to pass the baton to my colleague, Susan Kizer, at the Dallas Fed to share some resources from both the Philadelphia and the Dallas Feds. Susan?

Susan Kizer: Good afternoon. Thank you Sarah and Kris for a great job of sharing resources that are available. Our colleague from the Philadelphia Fed could not be with us today, but I wanted to introduce a couple of important tools that they have available to educators in the Philadelphia region. So if you're familiar with the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank or had an opportunity to try some of their programs, Andrew Hill and Todd Zartman are two education experts there at the Philadelphia Reserve. And you want to introduce yourself to them and reach out to them if you have any questions about their resources.

Next slide, please, Jean. One of the things I wanted to share with you is two summer teacher workshops that are available. The first is Keys to Financial Success. This great program has been around since 2001– 2002 to the school year. It is a workshop that is a week long. So you'll be there from 8:00 to 3:30 everyday and it's hands on. It's taught by Todd and Andrew, and they update it every year to make sure that you have the most current resources that's practices around financial literacy. All the materials are going to be available to you as an attendee, and they have a lot of data on what works well in the classroom and pedagogy, so highly recommend this workshop if you're in Philadelphia or just going to visit and you're going to be in the area.

Next slide, please, Jean. The second workshop that they have is making sense of money and banking. It will be July 22nd to 26th and at this point, they don't have registration open, but please come back to their site or you see Todd's e-mail there. Contact them if you're interested in attending that workshop. Also a week long, a lot of hands on workshop activities and information that will be shared with teachers.

Next slide, please, Jean. The next slide that's coming up is going to be the Federal Reserve and You. This is a CD, but also the components to this are available to be downloaded. If you haven't acquainted yourself with these resources, I highly recommend it.

Jean, if you can go to the next slide, please. There are eight components of this, but one of my favorite things about this resource is it's really short video clips. Some of them as short as one minute and they work really well as bell ringers or as thought provokes or as prompts or short essays in class if you're practicing writing skills with your students. Everything from the Federal Reserve and You, Money and Banking, Supervision and Regulation, and then 13 common questions that we get as part of the Federal Reserve. So whether or not you're teaching history, economics or personal finance and business, this CD probably has something for you. Be sure you take a look at it.

And Jean, if you'll go to the next slide, please. So welcome officially from me. I'm Susan Kizer. I'm at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and today I want to share with you three resources that we have available on our website.

Jean, if you'll go to the next slide, please. The first one I want to share with you today is part of our “Everyday Economics” series. This series is written for high school classrooms, students and teachers, and covers key topics. Not only do we have the Federal Reserve System, but we also have globalization, international marketplace, entrepreneurship, money, but this is our latest in the series. We hope that you will order it. Again, all of our materials are available free of cost to educators. And this covers some important information about the Federal Reserve. How we were created, what monetary policy is, a centerfold featuring something exciting, GDP and unemployment, maintaining the stability of our financial system, payment and of course supervision and regulation. All of these are very readable, it's illustrated, and meant to be engaging and a fun read for students in the classroom, can be also accessed online. So if you want to just click classroom like Sarah eluded to, then you can assign this at home. It can be read at home on the computer and then the activities then in class the next day.

Next slide, please, Jean. Of course we don't want to give you a publication without some already created classroom activities. This one is “Take a Seat at a Table.” This is an actual simulation of our Federal Open Market Committee meeting. In this, students will have a chance to learn about what happens at a Federal FOMC meeting. They will actually print out “The Beige Book,” which is information that we compiled and it's available at or Board of Governor's website. And it walks the student through the process of reading that publication, “The Beige Book.” For those of you that have a standard that says read resource, or research or are technical type documents, this is a really good document to read. It has no charts and graphs so it won't be intimidating to the students, the paragraphs are fairly short and each section has a standard format, so it's very approachable by students.

Next slide, please, Jean. And the next slide I'll just show you what it looks like if you go to our website. You would click on our education tab under that, you would see Federal Reserve, and you can see that you can download the publication, you can order a classroom set for yourself, you can look at our other everyday economics, and then you'll see it shows the lessons, a little bit about the lesson, the procedures of it if you want to download that, and also a PowerPoint. The previous slide shows that's for a PowerPoint, and all of those visuals are there put together so you're ready to use them at classroom.

Jean, I think next slide, please, but then I think it's going to be time for a polling question. I want to make sure our audience has a chance to chalk time in with us today.

Jean Roark: Thanks, Susan. I appreciate that. And I am sure the audience appreciates it too. I went ahead and launched that polling question for all of our participants to see if you've joined us in the webinar. And I will read it aloud, read you the options and give you some time to respond. So the question is, when should students begin to plan for their careers and post secondary education? And your options are elementary, middle school or junior high, high school or the last option is no planning necessary. My school counselor will take care of it.

So I'm going to pause for a few moments as we watch the results come in from our participants. So grab that mouse and tell us what you think about when students should begin to plan for their careers and post secondary education. So I'm stalling a little because I'm still seeing results in and I don't want to stop that poll until we get everybody's results. I'm still getting results, so I'm not going to close it quite yet.

All right. The results have slowed at this point, so I'm going to go ahead and stop that poll and show the results. And those results should pop up on your screen in just a moment. All right. And I will share the results with the group. So Susan, it looks like 78 percent of our participants said option B, the middle school or junior high time. And then the second highest option was high school, option C. And then the third was nine percent said it should be elementary age. So I'm going to close those results and then turn it back over to you.

Susan Kizer: Jean, thank you for taking care of that, and thank you to everybody that's listening for sending in your opinions on how you feel about that. We agree with you. And one of the challenges we see is that even though students probably should start planning in middle school, a lot of times the curriculum in middle school is not really set for the students to take a deep dive into that. At the Dallas Federal Reserve, we saw this challenge as we talked to educators that we work with within our district and across the country as a whole, and so we wrote a publication called “Navigate: Exploring College and Career.” You'll notice on your slide that there's actually two different colored publications there. The blue one is a student edition. It's a bright colorful, has lots of areas to entice students to engage. The gray one is the teacher edition and has all of the lesson plans starting with all the materials needed, how long each lesson takes, all the websites you can utilize. And it's there to really guide the teacher. What we found out is many of our middle school teachers end up being in the role of school counselor, because there is just not time to have that one-on-one with every student in its school, and a lot of our middle school teachers weren't properly prepared for that. So we wanted to make this as easy as possible for them to provide the information that our students need and for the students to be able to go through that process and even take this home and share it with their parents.

We also found, and we agree with you, that nine percent of people are a little bit around that doing high school, is that even though students should have their plan for high school, sometimes they need to come back at high school and do a refresh, so we feel a lot of people also using this in high school with their students to do that refresh. I will tell you, we put this out five years ago, and in that time we've given away over a million copies of the publication. It is highly, highly utilized by middle school and high school teachers.

Jean, if you'll go to the next slide, please. So you're asking yourself, “What is in this 'Navigate?'” We made it in six units, each unit has an introduction, it has a lesson and it has an assessment. Of course the assessment is optional, but we know that any teacher that's using this in a classroom may need to have grades to put in a grade book, and we didn't want you as a classroom teacher to have to go through setting up that assessment. So we start at [unintelligible 00:43:09] doing careers first. Let's let children think about what it is that they're passionate about, and then let them do that deeper dive into that career. What do the earnings look like? What education is required? Is it a certificate? A two year program? A four year program? Or maybe even beyond four years? And then we look at college to help them learn the lingo for college. A lot of students are first generation, and their parents may be at a disadvantage for helping them understand the college process, so we want to make sure that we help them with that.

“How do we get in” is a plan of what should their high school plan look like, how much does it cost? Always important to know that. How do we pay? We talk about grants, filling out the FAFSA, grants, work study programs, loans, scholarships. And finally in the last unit we ask students to visualize what they're going to do in high school to get to this successful career choice.

Next slide, please, Jean. The next item I wanted to share to you is a personal financial literacy course that's available at scope and sequence on our website. In our district, our legislature passed an optional course for taking financial literacy in high school, but we didn't really have any resources available from the state or any funds to buy those. So myself and our colleague, another colleague in the 11th district sat down and wrote a scope and sequence so that anybody that was teaching personal finance would be able to do that.

Next slide, please, Jean. The five subject areas, which can be used by anybody not exclusively just to Texas, earning and spending, saving and investing, credit and borrowing, insuring and protecting, and college and post secondary. And I put the website on there in case you want to look at this. The exciting thing about this is all the materials are available free of charge, and we use materials that can be found from all of our colleagues across the Federal Reserve System. So we use things from Richmond, we use things from St. Louis, we use things from Atlanta. So really applicable to anybody across the nation that's teaching personal financial literacy.

Next slide, please, Jean. If you're going to be in Texas this summer, if you're one of the educators that we serve in the 11th district, we want to invite you to save the date on your calendar for some of the programs that we're going to be having in Dallas on our economic summit, our international market base in Houston, our workforce CTE development event in El Paso and economics and you at our San Antonio branch. Registration is coming soon and it will be at the Dallas Fed Educate.

Next slide, please, Jean. So this concludes our presentation portion of this. I want to thank Kris and Sarah for a great job. And I'm going to turn it over to Jean so she can let us know if there's any questions from anybody out there in our audience. Thank you, Jean.

Jean Roark: All right. Thank you so much, Susan. And we do have a couple of comments that were submitted and also a few questions. But I will just remind our participants real quick, we have about 13 minutes left in our webinar, and you are welcome to submit your questions for Kris, Susan or Sarah. I'm going to start with the first comment that was submitted. It's not a question. Just a comment. This person says, “I love the page one article. And the archive is also great. Today I was using 'Is Immigration a Substitute or a Complimentary Good?'” So I thought that I should probably share that comment with the group.

Kris Bertelsen: Jean, thank you for sharing that. I didn't mention the archive, and so I appreciate that person mentioning that. So thank you.

Jean Roark: Well, good. I love to share testimonials. That is a really important part of programs like this, so I thought it was important. All right. So we have a question as well. Is there a connection to classroom or Google Sheets that sends scores from quizzes?

Kris Bertelsen: I assume that is a question for me. And honestly, I don't know the answer to that, because I do not have a Google Classroom account to look at how those integrate. But if you would like to get an answer to that, I am happy to address that via e-mail and I can connect the teacher or teachers with our tech folks.

Jean Roark: Okay. Thanks for that, Kris. And I will make sure to provide you with all of the Q&A from today, too, so you guys will be able to connect with that person as well.

Kris Bertelsen: Okay. Great.

Jean Roark: Okay. So the next question, I don't know if it came in, Kris, during your presentation, or during Sarah's. But the question is, is there a way for me, the teacher, to see the plans and evaluate and guide?

Sarah Gunn: I'm going to assume that was for me. And thank you. That's a really excellent question. At the moment, there is not an automated way for teachers to be able to view students' plans. Because they can download them as a PDF, it's relatively easy for them to send them via e-mail to the teacher that way, or take a screenshot as well. And we are exploring other ways for teachers to be able to access those plans more directly, but at the moment I'm not able to share a date for that, but are working on alternate ways for you to get the information that you need.

Jean Roark: Great. Thank you for that, Sarah. Okay. We have another question and I think this one is also for you, Sarah. Is there a teacher portal for the so that teachers can monitor student progress?

Sarah Gunn: So similar to the last question, at the moment, there is not. We're exploring options for making that easier for teachers to keep track of their students' progress. In having students pull up their dashboard, it is a way to do a quick visual check of the student's current progress that way, as well as screenshots or there's a way for the students to also print or create a PDF of their assessment scores and share that with the teachers as well.

Jean Roark: Okay. Thanks for that, Sarah. Okay. We have a couple of more questions as well, but some comments, too. Someone has said, “Kids always love simulations. Thanks for sharing the information.” And then there's another thank you for the online information, and the teacher is saying that they'll use it with students on Chromebook, so they're very excited about that. I thought I would share. All right. We have another question. How do participants in your respective districts find out about events?

Kris Bertelsen: I think I can go first on this one. If you go to our landing page,, on the left hand side, if you click events, all of our events are compiled there together. And each bank has its own event. So if you're in the St. Louis area, you'd want to make sure you click the St. Louis event, but everything is listed there. They're all free. And registration is handled through that website right there. Any event you want, you just click Register Now and it pulls it up.

A couple of things I'll mention, we just had Women in Economics in St. Louis, which is turning into a huge event. Very well attended. And that may be going to other Fed districts, so watch for that. We have our annual AP conference. Again, very well attended that. I believe this year is in July. You would have to double check if you're interested in that, but each Reserve Bank has many events.

Sarah Gunn: And I'll just pick up where Kris left off for the Richmond Fed, you can also find information about our events on our website. It's Or you can click at the top of the home page,, there is an event link which compiles all of the events from all of the different areas of the bank. So we'll hope if you're in the Richmond, Baltimore or Charlotte areas where we have branch offices, you'll check out the resources we have and opportunities to connect with us in person.

Susan Kizer: This is Susan. I would say the same thing. So you can go to, and that will list all of the events that we have. You can click on any of those to register, but also you can subscribe to e-mail alerts, and we're happy to push those out to you if you would like to be part of that so you'll know ahead of time what's happening and also get updates from us on any interesting information we want to share in addition to our events.

Sarah Gunn: And also, we all have social media, and so if you're on social media and want to stay up to date about what our banks are doing, follow all of the Reserve Banks. Or if you want to hear about the Fed's work in economic education specifically, you can follow the Fed Econ Ed Twitter handle, which is @fedeconed. You'll get a view of what all of the different Reserve Banks and the Board are doing in economic education by following that Twitter handle.

Jean Roark: Great. Thanks for that, all of you. I appreciate it. So we have another question. Is the Navigate curriculum the best to use with middle school students?

Susan Kizer: A great question. That publication was originally written to be used by seventh and eighth grade students. We have found that a lot of middle school teachers use it, but we also find a lot of ninth and tenth grade teachers using it. Students come into high school thinking they know what they want to do, and sometimes they change their mind. So it's a great tool to make sure that students are on track, that they haven't changed their mind, and if they have, that they've really done the research necessary to pick the correct post secondary education, whatever that's going to be for their career.

Sarah Gunn: And I know that question was directed to Susan, but I'll take off that. “Navigate” and “Invest in What's Next” have similar content, but they build nicely on each other as well. So students start with “Navigate” to get an overall picture and learn the vocabulary and start creating their plan. And then as they approach graduation, to take it to the next step by doing “Invest in What's Next.” I think they coordinate and compliment each other really well in that way.

Jean Roark: All right. Thank you for those answers. I appreciate it. We have one more question, but I'm just going to give a quick reminder. You can certainly still submit your questions today and we can announce them for the presenters. And all you have to do is use that Ask Question button. So the question is, can you tell me more about the new single sign on feature in Google?

Kris Bertelsen: Okay. Yeah. We have worked with Google to get that done because we've had so many teachers who utilize Google Classroom and schools with Gmail accounts for students. And so we were able to work that out so that you can just give the student the code instead of them having yet another username and password to remember or write down. So if you have that capability, you just give the student the code and they enter it using their Gmail and are automatically added to your class, and so you don't have to put any of their information in by hand or via CSV file, which you can still do, but the Google single sign on really quickened that up for teachers. So that's a relatively recent change for us. We've been pretty excited about the response to that too.

Jean Roark: All right. Thank you so much for that, Kris. All right. We don't have any additional questions that I can see so far. So before I officially close out the webinar, Kris, we'll turn it over to you for some closing remarks.

Kris Bertelsen: Okay. Thanks, Jean. We just want to, again, thank everyone for joining us today. And I want to share with you and to ask for you to share with your colleagues that we'll have another webinar on April 10th, same time, and that one, the first section will be with Dr. Andrew Hill from Philadelphia, will share some of the research that they've collected regarding pretest, knowledge, pre-course knowledge for students in personal finance, and what they learned. It's based on the kids don't know what they don't know. And so Dr. Hill has done some research on that. For example, what do they know about credit cards, saving, investing, things like that. And so his research findings will inform the resources that we share with the educators. So we really would like you to attend that, particularly for these personal finance topics. We will tie in resources that make sense to teach based on what the students showed that they didn't know. So I hope that's clear, but we'll have information forthcoming on that just as we did for this webinar. So April 10th.

Thank you, Jean.

Jean Roark: All right. Thanks for that, Kris. We did get one more question. I think we can squeeze it in before we close out today. The last question is, are student names and e-mails given out to any other party? In other words, how secure is their identity and safety?

Kris Bertelsen: Sarah, I'm assuming you can address this for your site as well, but student information is not shared at all from the St. Louis Fed and I'm assuming not for Richmond. So we don't even have last names on the database here. There's a Federal law in that, too. If they're under 13 we can't even keep their e-mails. Sarah, did you want to address that?

Sarah Gunn: Yeah. For “Invest in What's Next,” the same is true. We don't share it with anyone. If you go to, at the bottom you'll see the terms and conditions which includes the privacy policy. But happy to connect if you have specific questions about how it works with the policies in your district. So feel free to reach out to me directly.

Jean Roark: All right. Thank you both for taking that last question. I really appreciate it. And with that, I do want to thank our presenters for sharing their time and expertise. And thank you to our participants for joining us this afternoon as well. A survey is available on your screen now. We'd love to hear your comments, so if you wouldn't mind responding, that would be great. We'll also be sending an e-mail shortly. So if you prefer to get the survey and access it that way, that's okay too. But we really do only need to hear from you once and we would love to have your feedback.

Thank you for joining us. This concludes today's Federal Reserve ECONnections Webinar. Enjoy the rest of your day.