TORONTO, Sept. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Engaging Canadian teens in understanding the consequences of good and bad money decisions just became easier for teachers and parents with the public release of Dollar Decision$, a new interactive scenario simulator from Investor Education Fund (IEF).
Featuring three separate age-appropriate narrative paths - "Laptop Liberty," "Back to School Smarts" and "Education Pay Play" - the modules take adolescents through a "choose your adventure" style of real-life financial decision making. At each stage, participants make choices in saving, spending and investing and learn how these affect whether or not they achieve their ultimate goal.
Along the way, they can consult online references that build knowledge and skills in budgeting, using (or avoiding) credit, holding down a part-time job and finding the financial resources they need to realize their objective. Each decision leads to a different outcome or scenario, enabling participants to try the games again and fully understand the impact of their actions. It's all done with eye-appealing graphics featuring IEF-created character "Bill Fold" who encourages Canadian teens to "Put Mind Over Money."
Designed to be accessible both online and through hand-held devices (the latter will be available as of November 1, 2013), Dollar Decision$ is available in English and French from IEF's InspireFinancialLearning.ca website. The site is a unique resource launched last year by IEF to enable Ontario teachers to implement the province's new financial literacy curriculum to grades 4-12 across Ontario.
"For any teacher or parent who struggles to get teens interested in using money wisely, Dollar Decision$ is your solution," says IEF President Tom Hamza. "Research done for IEF in 2012 found that seven in 10 Canadian high school students said financial knowledge is an important skill that they want taught in their classrooms. Dollar Decision$ responds to that interest and our experience in providing thousands of Ontario teachers with engaging financial literacy resources like our Mind Over Money lesson plans."
Dollar Decision$ was developed in HTML 5 to make it fully responsive on all platforms; its promotion is supported by social media vehicles like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Development began in spring 2013 and new scenarios targeting its core audience (students in grades 9-12) are planned for rollout in 2014. Ontario teachers who attended the summer Financial Literacy Educators Summit (FLES) organized by IEF got the first pre-launch preview.
The new Dollar Decision$ scenarios join the family of innovative financial literacy content, tools and other resources introduced by IEF. Available from its core GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca website, these include Cranial Cash Clash (a multi-episode financial learning game), themed content for Money and families, a bevy of useful planning calculators, and regularly updated posts on its perennially popular Masters of Money blog that shares practical expertise from some of Canada's best-known consumer-facing investment/finance authorities.
"Dollar Decision$ reflects the emphasis on classroom teaching of financial matters that defines our mandate," says Hamza. "It is delivered in a creative and accessible format that reflects student needs and interests at different levels of financial sophistication. We are constantly adding to our content with new initiatives to promote financial education and help young people better grasp personal finance."
Screen captures of Dollar Decision$ formatted for online and print media use are available at: http://www.getsmarteraboutmoney.ca/en/about-ief/press-releases/Pages/default.aspx
About Investor Education Fund
IEF offers unbiased financial information to consumers via GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca and to students and teachers through InspireFinancialLearning.ca and extensive classroom programs. The non-profit organization was established by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and is funded through OSC enforcement settlements. IEF is a key catalyst of Ontario's initiative to bring financial education to students in grades 4 through 12.
SOURCE: Investor Education Fund (IEF)
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