Product Review of Keys to Your Future
Keys to Your Future is a six-lesson future planning course for high school learners developed by EVERFI and provided by UBS Financial Services Inc. The course builds foundational decision-making skills that help with pursuing education and career goals. Available in Spanish, French, and American or British English, the modules include “My Life Goals,” “Preparing in High School,” “Choosing a Path,” “Balancing Daily Life,” “Starting Your Career,” and “Career Success.” Each lesson begins with a short assessment and then takes the learner through different characters’ experiences with opportunities and obstacles. Along the way, learners occasionally have chances to help characters make decisions that will impact their short- and long-term goals. At the end of each lesson, there’s a 10-question quiz that assesses how well learners grasped the main ideas.
Most lessons are set up as character studies where learners read or listen to narration about the different choices characters face and then consider the consequences of each choice. Sometimes learners are presented with pop-up activities to engage them in decision-making, but more often they’re just following along with the story. Learners can track and retake lessons via their dashboard, and educators can view reports to see how learners are progressing through the modules. The entire course is estimated to take one and a half to two hours.
For high school learners who are grappling with what comes next and how to best get there, Keys to Your Future offers bite-sized lessons that inform learners without overwhelming them. Consider assigning modules once a week or once a month to facilitate an ongoing conversation about how to implement the course’s strategies. Class discussions can explore managing time, studying, juggling obligations, and setting short-term goals. The school-life balance tips can feel especially relevant for learners who struggle to keep up with the demands of schoolwork, sports, clubs, and part-time jobs.
Since the lessons are only a small window into the possibilities and challenges of life after high school, plan on adding some supplemental reflection and extension activities. It might be helpful to have learners share their own scenarios or concerns and get advice from educators and classmates about how to solve problems that have them anxious about life after graduation.
Keys to Your Future provides a good baseline for learners who are starting to think about what happens after high school. While the choices and scenarios presented often lack nuance, they do a decent job of representing some of the more typical situations that learners are likely to face: how to set goals; how to manage time; how to pay for expenses; and how to form and maintain relationships, both personal and professional. They also offer a good enough foundation educators can work from and supplement with discussions that connect more deeply with their learners.
Some lesson components move more slowly than others, which may frustrate some learners, but for the most part, learners move at their own pace. Unfortunately, this can result in them rushing through parts of each lesson without really taking in much information; this may make the learning feel more passive than active. Still, the scenarios presented are relevant enough that most learners who are interested in learning some strategies to navigate their lives will find some helpful tidbits in terms of time, money, relationship, and college and career management.
Overall User Consensus About the App
The situational nature of the lessons may help learners invest in the characters’ stories, but the overall passive learning format might cause some learners to rush through the lessons.
Curriculum and Instruction
Although the modules only give snapshots of different scenarios, there’s enough there to offer learners some helpful food for thought and a few useful strategies.
Built-in accessibility features and supports aid struggling learners, and the lessons are available in multiple languages. Advanced learners might appreciate more activities that dig a little deeper.