Financial literacy is an essential skill in today's world, but it can be difficult to teach.
As our world becomes more complex and interconnected, so do the finances that our college students must navigate. It is essential that we use every tool at our disposal to help our students develop these skills.
One of the most powerful tools we can use to do this is digital technology.
Today's college students are digital natives who grew up with technology, and they are accustomed to using digital tools to manage their daily lives.
According to a recent study, 95% of college students own a smartphone, and 73% use their phones to access financial accounts and manage their money.1
This demonstrates how students are embracing technology and utilizing digital tools to make their lives easier, including managing their finances. As a result, financial literacy programs that incorporate digital tools are more likely to engage students and provide them with the skills they need to succeed financially.2
We need stronger financial literacy programs for students, and there are several key reasons why you must build digital tools as an essential component of your program.
Let’s look at them in more detail.
Create Engaging and Interactive Experiences
Digital tools are essential for financial literacy programs because they allow educators to create engaging, interactive experiences that are tailored to the needs of each individual student.
Whether it's a mobile app that tracks spending or an online course that simulates real-life financial decisions, digital tools allow students to learn in a way that is intuitive and enjoyable.
Digital tools also provide immediate feedback. In the past, financial literacy programs relied on paper-based materials and in-person instruction. While these methods are still valuable, they can be slow and difficult to scale.
Digital tools, on the other hand, allow students to receive instant feedback on their progress. They can see how their decisions impact their financial outcomes, adjust their behavior accordingly, and get immediate benefits in their financial wellness.
Another advantage of digital tools is that they are accessible to a wider audience.
Traditional financial literacy programs often require students to be physically present in a classroom or workshop. This can be a barrier for students who have work or family commitments.3
With digital tools, however, students can access financial literacy programs from anywhere, at any time. This flexibility allows students to learn at their own pace and ensures that financial literacy is accessible to all.
Digital tools enable financial literacy programs to be more personalized and tailored to the needs of individual students. Online assessments and quizzes can identify the areas where students need the most help and create customized learning paths to improve student success in those areas.
How to Build Financial Literacy Programs That Prioritize Digital Tools
To build financial literacy programs that prioritize digital tools, educators should consider the following strategies:
- Collaborate with technology partners: Financial literacy programs can benefit from partnerships with technology companies that specialize in developing digital tools for education. By collaborating with these partners, educators can access cutting-edge tools and technologies that can enhance the learning experience and improve student outcomes.
- Conduct needs assessments: To ensure that digital tools are effective, financial literacy programs should conduct needs assessments to identify the areas where students need the most help. This information can be used to develop customized learning paths that address the unique needs and challenges of each student.
- Incorporate gamification: Gamification techniques can be used to turn financial education into a fun and rewarding experience. By incorporating elements of competition and rewards, educators can motivate students to engage with financial concepts and develop the skills they need to succeed financially.
- Leverage social media: Social media can be a powerful tool for engaging students and building communities around financial literacy. Financial literacy programs can use social media platforms to share tips, resources, and success stories, as well as to connect students with peers who are also on a journey to improve their financial literacy.
By adopting these strategies, financial literacy programs can build digital tools that prioritize student needs, engage students in meaningful ways, and provide them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed financially.
A Digital Financial Literacy Program Is a Powerful Tool
Of course, digital tools are not a cure-all. Like any tool, they must be used wisely and thoughtfully. But when used correctly, digital tools can be a powerful tool for financial literacy education.
They allow educators to create engaging, interactive experiences that provide immediate feedback and are accessible to a wider audience. By using digital tools, we can help ensure that our students are equipped with the skills they need to navigate the complex financial landscape of the 21st century.
This is where award-winning tools like iGrad Financial Wellness come in. iGrad is a state-of-the-art, fully customizable financial literacy platform that can help your school build a successful financial literacy program for its students.
iGrad has already collaborated with hundreds of schools across the country and has put together a comprehensive, free guide for the best practices to utilize when building out your program.
Explore iGrad today and embrace digital tools as an essential component of financial literacy education to help prepare our students for a brighter financial future.
1 - https://library.educause.edu/topics/student-success/student-technology-use
2 - https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/72146/1/Arora_Neha_201606_MT_MTRP.pdf
3 - https://askearn.org/page/technological-accessibility