I decided to give up a little more control and see if I could get more authenticity.
We began to work through our financial literacy unit and I reserved enough iPads for pairs of students to use for research. As we discussed education after high school I focused more on helping the students research more about what they think that they would like to do. They were really focused and took ownership of the assignment which was based on their individual ‘why’. After researching through interest surveys, job outlook and personality traits of their initial career choices I had a third that decided to change career choices. The students started off asking a great deal of questions to me instead of learning the answer themselves. I circulated the room and instead of answering questions the information that they could find by googling we were having great conversation as they voiced their findings. We discussed whether they should rent an apartment, stay home with their parents or stay on campus if given the choice. Instead of having twenty-seven students asking me the cost of each living arrangement option for their selected college, junior college, trade school or university they discussed with their paired student after researching on the iPad. We then put the iPads away and discussed their discoveries. There were students that never turned in their math homework because they deemed math too hard calculating their cost of education and comparing it to their annual and lifetime salaries. The conversation continued for days after researching as they were authentically owning the assignment and the fact that they had a choice and a voice. I even received a few parents messages wondering why their child was so interested in learning about their finances (many parents told their kids that it was none of their business. 🙂 ) They are too young to learn about it or are they?