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Filene colloquium: Monopoly, apps, simulations teach fin lit
ATLANTA (2/5/13)--Credit unions experimented with the board game Monopoly, mobile applications and simulations in pursuit of ways to improve members' financial literacy at the Filene Research Institute's Experiential Learning Colloquium Thursday in Atlanta. 

"Credit unions have always been committed to financial literacy and members' well-being, but traditional outreach, especially to large groups like students and select employee groups, often falls short," said Ben Rogers, Filene research director. 

Filene brought together five experts to explore the foundations of financial literacy and to help credit unions more effectively use the money they spend reaching out to teach members how to make better financial decisions. The emphasis was on experiential learning. Each speaker presented ideas credit unions can use to help their members learn through doing.

Presenters and topics included:

  • Lou Centini--Experiential Learning Foundations. Centini, professor at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, explored the theoretical foundations of experiential learning.
  • Tim Vandenberg--Young Tycoons: A Better Way to Teach Math. Vandenberg, an accomplished Monopoly player, star of the 2010 documentary Under the Boardwalk, and sixth-grade teacher, explained how he uses gamification to bring a record number of disadvantaged students past state standards and teaches them to love math along the way.
  • Jason Young and Ty Moore--Revolutionizing Financial Capability through Mobile Gaming. Mindblown Labs' Young, the founding partner, and Moore, director of business development, discussed how the app revolution makes it easier and more fun to learn financial life skills.
  • Lance Palmer--VITA Sites and Joint Learning. Palmer, associate professor of housing and consumer economics at the University of Georgia, demonstrated how helping credit union members during tax time can benefit volunteers who help, members who learn, and the credit union that serves both.
  • Lois Kitsch--Life Simulation. Kitsch, national program director, National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF), presented The Life Simulation experience, which is designed to help credit union employees, volunteers and leaders understand what it's like to live in a typical low-income family trying to survive from month to month.
The event was presented through support from CO-OP Financial Services and the NCUF.
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