Product Review of EVERFI: Financial Literacy for High School
EVERFI: Financial Literacy for High School is a series of animated online modules that teach learners basic money management and financial planning skills. The seven modules include banking basics, income and employment, budgeting, consumer skills, credit and debt, financing higher education, and insurance. Each module takes 20-35 minutes to complete and guides learners through a series of questions, activities, informational slides, and quizzes about the given topic. Learners may read and/or listen to the text for each slide as they participate in scenarios where they make decisions and learn about their potential positive and negative financial consequences.
Teachers can create classes and add learners manually or invite them to join via a class code. Then, educators assign one or more modules to learners, keeping the approximate length of each one in mind. The dashboard provides a way to monitor student progress and see their scores. If they wish, educators can complete the modules as well, which can be helpful when deciding whether to supplement lessons with additional content or expand upon lessons in class.
Teachers can easily choose and assign EVERFI’s online modules for work at home or in the classroom. Whether it’s part of a math lesson about money or statistics or part of an SEL lesson about making informed choices and considering consequences, the platform will get learners thinking and talking about real-life concerns. Teachers might encourage learners to share what they’ve learned at home, to open up opportunities to connect with grown-ups. By doing this, learners can gain context from their parents and caregivers that grounds lessons and makes things less confusing. Of course, educators should make sure these discussions won’t make grown-ups at home feel uncomfortable.
Whether facilitating at-home conversations or not, educators should consider creating supplemental activities that provide learners with more nuance. Learners have vastly different experiences and backgrounds, particularly when it comes to economic issues, and lessons might not take their specific experiences or situations into account. Classroom discussions should be treated with care, since they could highlight inequities among learners. Teachers will want to be careful about making assumptions about learners and be sensitive to the anxieties learners might feel financially. On the flip side, learners could be encouraged to challenge the lessons, and offer their own alternative perspectives. But with these things in mind, the modules can make complex financial concepts more approachable to high school learners, and are well designed for easy implementation.
In addition to teaching learners financial literacy concepts, EVERFI’s platform helps learners authentically develop SEL skills, such as self-control and self-reflection. Although many of the lessons are geared toward surface-level understanding and tend to gloss over the very real obstacles some learners face (as is too often the case with financial literacy curricula), EVERFI is still a good hands-on tool that empowers young adults to practice concrete money management skills. Additionally, the modules, including Spanish-language modules, feature a range of diverse characters and scenarios, and generally avoid the one-size-fits-all expectations for learners’ lives after high school.
The initial questions and different choices for life paths are a good starting point for learners with varying aspirations; however, more personalization would make the tool even more relevant. While it’s impossible to account for every scenario, the modules will be too basic for some learners, or in some cases, might not adequately reflect their reality. As it is, EVERFI still provides a worthy starting point for teaching the money-management and decision-making skills that will help learners plan for their future.
Overall User Consensus About the App
The visual design is well done, and the activities are varied and interactive enough to keep learners‘ attention. More personalization options would be helpful.
Curriculum and Instruction
Interactive modules do a great job covering the basics and will be especially helpful for learners who lack experience managing their money. Money-savvy learners would benefit from more advanced modules.
Spanish language modules and a built-in read-aloud feature improves accessibility. At times, the pacing might seem slow for more advanced learners.