NGPF Podcast: Brian McFall, Blended Learning Innovator at Washburn Rural HS (Kansas)
Thanks to Brian McFall, Personal Finance and Business Instructor at Washburn Rural High School (KS) for recently joining the NGPF podcast to discuss his blended learning curriculum and the student-run coffee shop at his school.
Brian shares his insights and answers the following questions that may be on the mind of many educators:
- What are the 21st Century skills that you are developing in your course?
- What exactly does a blended personal finance course look like from a student perspective?
- What is the role of the teacher in this new environment?
- What lessons can students learn from running a coffee shop on campus?
Washburn Rural personal finance class teaches about mutual funds, wealth management, real estate (Topeka Capital Journal)
Textbook: Personal Finance by E. Thomas Garman and Raymond E. Forgue, 2014, CENGAGE Learning, 12th edition.
Online Learning Platform: Desire 2 Learn
Personality tests to measure investor risk tolerance: http://tests.marketpsych.com/
personality_test.php AND http://www.learnvest.com/2010/ 10/whats-your-investing- personality-the-lv-risk- assessment-quiz/
- On his favorite activity: “I found some activities where students could take a personality/investor risk quiz and at the end it told them what type of investor they would be from conservative to aggressive. Some of the students were very surprised at what type of investor they would be.”
- Investment advice he gives students: “I am a strong believer in being an aggressive investor when your young. I tell the kids, “you can afford to take risk.”
- On teaching in blended environment: “I have learned to constantly monitor my students to see where they are at and then provide instruction and any kind of scaffolding when I can.”
- The student-run coffee shop: “The students are responsible for making the lattes and the smoothies and developing new products. They are responsible for its success or failure…The students get paid one drink per shift and class credits.”
- On the coffee shop profits and how they are used: “Profit wise we make about 20,000 dollars a year. The money goes to paying off the loan and now the money goes to scholarships that business students can apply for…every freshman gets a t-shirt.”
About the Author
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.