Mar 28, 2017

Resource Lists for Financial Educators (courtesy of Barbara O'Neill of Rutgers Cooperative Extension)

What does a distinguished professor do during her sabbatical? Curate personal finance resources, of course! In this blog post, Barbara O’Neill shares the fruits of her hundreds of hours of labor in putting together three awesome resource lists (see bottom of post for links to her lists), including what what she considered the “best of the best” from the NGPF library. As she describes below, the purpose of her odyssey was to replenish her “well” of creative learning activities. I hope that your “well” overflows as you find resources that will work in your classroom. Thank you Barbara for this tremendous gift to the community! Your commitment and dedication to improving financial literacy in this country inspires us.


Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®

Distinguished Professor, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, New Brunswick, NJ

NGPF Blog Post: Resource Lists for Financial Educators

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In my capacity as financial resource management specialist for Rutgers Cooperative Extension, I provide financial education professional development (PD) programs for professionals including librarians, teachers, and military financial counselors. Currently, I receive dedicated annual state funding to provide financial education deliverables for the state of New Jersey including annual teacher professional development (PD) workshops called Financial Education Boot Camp, webinars in partnership with the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education (NJCFE), and financial education lesson plans that support New Jersey core curriculum content standards.  Combined, these three outreach methods conservatively reach 500 teachers annually. I am also an avid Twitter user and regularly tweet information about financial education research and resources to almost 2,400 followers. My Twitter handle is @moneytalk1.

I’ve had a passion for financial education for 30+ years and regularly seek out professional development experiences to build my knowledge and skills and the human capital of the professionals that I provide PD programs for. Currently, two regularly-recurring grant-funded projects with the state of New Jersey and the Department of Defense, as well as my undergraduate Personal Finance course at Rutgers University, require me to develop creative financial education methods and materials. After five years of work on both grants, my “well” of creative learning activities was running dry. What to do? I applied to take a sabbatical from my position at Rutgers University to replenish the well.

I have just spent the equivalent of two months of work during my six-month sabbatical vetting and curating financial education resources. I looked at about 2,000 videos to find about 250 decent ones, took dozens of financial quizzes, reviewed hundreds of lesson plans and dozens of infographics, and tested hundreds of financial calculators. Initially, I had just planned to make a list of resources for myself. About two weeks into this work, I realized two things: 1. The scope of the project was much larger than I had anticipated and 2. Other financial educators could benefit from my work. The time that I spent vetting resource materials can save others valuable time, which is an awesome multiplier effect.

I am pleased to share the resource lists that I developed. Each list is saved in my SlideShare account with a link. Note that my lists are not a total compilation of every available financial education resource. That would be virtually impossible. Rather, I simply made lists of resources that I thought I could personally use in my Rutgers class and/or my two grant-funded projects.  My key selection criteria were content accuracy, ease of use (e.g., quizzes and calculators), cuteness (e.g., videos), creativity (e.g., lesson plans and infographics), and a non-commercial, educational focus.

Below are the links. Resources are categorized by personal finance topic areas.  I hope that you find them useful.


About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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