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July 15, 2015

21st Century Interdisciplinary Theme

Financial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurial Literacy

According to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, schools must not only focus on mastery of core subjects, but also promote understanding of academic content at much higher levels by weaving 21st century interdisciplinary themes into core subjects. One of these themes is financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial literacy, which involves knowing how to make appropriate personal economic choices, understanding the role of the economy in society and using entrepreneurial skills to enhance workplace productivity and career options.

Real Experience, Virtual World

MediaSpark, which has created business education software for high schools for a number of years, recently released GoVenture World, a free Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) that enables thousands or millions of players (teenagers and older) from around the world to play the game simultaneously, competing and collaborating with one another.

The objective of the game is to build a successful business, as defined by revenue, profitability, market share, brand value, stock price and more. To build a successful business, players must compete with entrepreneurs for resources and market share, while collaborating with other businesses to manufacture, acquire and sell products or services. One month in play equals a year in time.

More than an entrepreneurship simulation, GoVenture World is an entire business world. Players can choose to start manufacturing or retail businesses. They can choose to be lawyers, protecting intellectual property and mediating disputes. They can be marketers, helping companies promote their products and services. And, they can be investors, providing debt or equity financing to other businesses, or purchasing stock on the GoVenture World stock exchange.

The GoVenture World User Guide includes a summary of the game and gameplay details, from starting up a business to raising money for the venture. Extensive help and tutorials are also available.

Let Me Entertain You!

Show Business is the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s learning activity on economics and the entertainment industry.

In Unit 1, Climbing the Charts, students learn how the market for music developed.

In Unit 2, Another Action Hero, students learn what the film industry can teach about the economics of international trade and globalization.

Money at the Core

Money as You Learn offers educators tools to integrate personal finance into the teaching of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and (coming soon) English Language Arts, as well as into other classes and after-school programs. This approach both provides students with essential personal finance understandings and skills and strengthens teaching of the Common Core through meaningful, real-world contexts and applications. It also enhances crosscutting skills such as problem solving, research and analysis called for in the Common Core.

The website includes Personal Finance Big Ideas, which describe grade-by-grade foundational understandings of personal finance that would lead students to an action or a higher level of function and that can be integrated into teaching the Common Core.

The site also provides Mathematics—Financial Literacy Tasks and Lessons, a listing, by grade band (K–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12), which shows which Common Core Mathematics Standards can benefit from contexts and applications based on the grade-appropriate Personal Finance Big Ideas. The list leads to mathematical tasks and lessons for use in the classroom and can be sorted by Common Core Mathematics Standard or by Personal Finance Big Ideas.

A companion website, Money as You Grow, inspired by the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, provides 20 essential, age-appropriate financial principles—with corresponding activities—that students will need to know as they grow.

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