The Future of Virtual Reality in Education

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A group of friends gather around a table to play Uno. A race car driver takes a sharp turn on a dirt track, barely managing to stay on the road. A surgeon tries desperately yet delicately to perform a heart transplant. These may just sound like scenes from a movie or even everyday life, but there’s one distinct difference: all of these are player-controlled actions from video games steeped in virtual reality – the current wave of the future for simulation, and one that is able to take the education sector by storm, if it hasn’t started already.

From Amusement to Education

While the origin of what can be defined as “virtual reality” may be up for debate (some may consider the panoramic paintings of the nineteenth century the first true instances, given they immerse the viewer in a different, simulated environment than the one the viewer is currently in), by the 1960s, VR advances were relegated strictly to entertainment, with the View-Master and 3D movies both incredibly popular. That began to change in 1968, however, when a team at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory developed “The Sword of Damocles” – so named given its monstrous size and need to be hung to the ceiling thanks to its weight. Much more importantly, however, it is considered the first head-mounted, computer-powered VR system, paving the way for VR to expand into fields beyond entertainment.

Several decades later, and virtual reality systems finally have become lightweight enough and cheap enough for the general public to purchase and use for personal entertainment, with the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift systems available on Amazon and “VR cafes” popping up around the globe. With the cost and weight reduction, however, the technology has also seen an escalation of use in the business sector, in notable industries such as aerospace, medical, automotive, and most importantly, education. In fact, the technology may be so beneficial to the education field that it could be considered vital, if not now, then soon. Peter Rubin, writing for Wired about the subject, put it best: “Virtual reality is much more than a gaming technology. In fact, VR has the makings of a pedagogical silver bullet.”¹

The bottom line is this: implementation of VR positively affects the outcomes of students, especially those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. It has always been challenging to engage this grouping as they are most often deficient in writing and math skills and require remediation so that they are able to understand the mechanical properties of today’s technical oriented Vocational programs. Virtual Reality levels the playing field, engaging students in an immersive learning environment with visual and tactile repetitive stimuli which replicate a real-world working experience and provide equivalent learning opportunities to all.

VR, when implemented, will increase revenue per student and student populations, reduce dropout rates, enhance the excitement of training, provide for student independent skill practice, increase graduation rates, augment student referrals, and increase the EBITDA of a school. Of course, the technology is not all roses, as there are factors such as health risks, overall costs, and the sheer nascent nature of the technology to take into account. Yet in the end, the numerous pros coupled with the already emerging trend of VR implementation outweigh any of the possible cons. And that’s a virtual certainty.

Note: while virtual reality will remain the central focus, AR, or “augmented reality,” will also be discussed in relation to education or training when necessary. The difference between the two is that virtual reality is an all-encompassing simulation of an environment, while augmented reality is a system that blends a real-world environment with virtual objects or images.

Crunching the Numbers

Before anything else, a look at the statistics behind VR technology is necessary – and also head-spinning:

  • Education is expected to be the fourth largest sector for VR investment.
  • VR in education is predicted to be a $200 million industry by 2020, and a $700 million industry by 2025.
  • 97% of students would like to study a VR course.
  • While only about 7% of teachers regularly use VR technology, almost 80% have access to it, 93% said that their students would be excited to use it, 70% want to use it to simulate experiences relevant to course material, and 69% would allow students to use VR to visit distant locations.
  • 49% of high school teachers would like to use VR to allow students to visit college campuses.²
  • Over 90% of educators agreed that using technology is an effective way to provide differentiated and/or personalized learning experiences that adapt to student needs.³
  • In addition, with regard to the health care field, virtual reality revenue is valued globally at $260.5 million in 2018 and is expected to reach $3.44 billion by 2027.4

From this data, two points can be extracted: virtual reality is a hot economic commodity as the technology just recently has become affordable and available, and that while the market for VR is one nascent and with limitless possibilities and anticipation with regard to the educational sector, it is one that, for the most part, still desperately needs to be tapped into.
That isn’t to say, however, that some institutions and fields haven’t already leapt ahead of the curve.

Virtual Reality in the Vocational Sector and Occupational Training

In hands-on career fields such as automotive maintenance, aerospace, HVAC, and medicine and therapy, VR and AR are proving both popular and beneficial both in vocational education, and occupational training. Students at Pennsylvania State University – Altoona’s rail transportation engineering program, for example, have access to VR tech that allows them to practice types of arc welding, with plans for a locomotive simulator to teach students how to operate a locomotive. Meanwhile, VR in HVAC and construction industry has allowed workers, engineers, and architects to explore spaces, models, and designs in anticipation for the actual construction of systems. This trend is even reaching high school vocational courses; Manor High School in Manor, TX, for example, has incorporated AR into its automotive and welding training to give students hands-on experience with minimal risk of real-world injury or mistake via programs that allow the students to pull virtual parts and systems into the air to take apart and modify.

The aerospace sector, too, has benefited from virtual reality, with newer VR pilot training programs not only replicating the interior of an airplane cockpit, but also replicating the touch and feel of it via sensors attached to fingertips, allowing a trainee total hands-on interactivity. NASA, too, has adopted such technology for spaceflight, with their Project Sidekick equipping astronauts with Microsoft HoloLens which “augments standalone procedures with animated holographic illustrations displayed on top of the objects with which the crew is interacting” and may end up reducing time needed for pre-flight training.5

One of the more publicized sectors for virtual reality, however, has been that of medicine and therapy – and not merely on the physician side of things. The effectiveness of virtual reality has been applied to helping children with autism with social interaction and nonverbal cues, training potential users of power wheelchairs, rehabilitating one’s upper arm after a stroke, and even performing “tele-therapy” in a simulated environment. In addition, VR has been making inroads as a medical training aid for university students to tackle clinical procedures or emergency scenarios, such as at the Western University of Health Sciences in California, Western Carolina University’s School of Nursing, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Thus, not only is virtual and augmented reality technology aiding in training the workforce of this generation and those to come, but it is also helping people with medical needs to live normal lives, highlighting its importance for the future.

Virtual Reality in Higher Education

VR and AR are also making inroads into traditional higher education in various ways at a number of different institutions. For a few out of numerous examples:

  • The Gabelli School of Business at New York’s Fordham University is utilizing VR exercises in its Execute MBA program to help them understand the power of communication and teamwork, utilizing simulated life-or-death scenarios such as walking across a balance beam thousands of feet in the air while urged on by team members, and selecting a person to defuse a bomb while the others instruct him or her.
  • Maine’s Husson University is using augmented reality tech to develop an app titled AR Stagecraft, allowing entertainment production students to visualize and modify a set on stage before any of it has ever been built.
  • San Diego State University has developed and built the Virtual Immersive Teaching and Learning (VITaL) space for its students and faculty, using both virtual and augmented reality as education aids for 30 courses.
  • The Savannah College of Art and Design has utilized virtual reality beyond just its courses. The school has begun sending Google Cardboard VR glasses in its acceptance letters, allowing students to pair the glasses with a smartphone so they can take a virtual tour of SCAD’s campus from thousands of miles away.

In addition, virtual reality may prove beneficial for educating the general public outside of the education system. The arts collective Bombshelltoe, for example, has utilized the technology to show people how a 1979 uranium mill spill has altered land near Churchrock, New Mexico. Capturing 360-degree footage and compiling it into a film titled “Ways of Knowing,” the collective has attempted to show how the 94 million gallons of radioactive waste spilled into a nearby river have altered the land over the past few decades via this immersive experience.

Even then, the technology is still available right at everyone’s fingertips with smartphone apps that can pair with relatively cheap VR glasses (like with SCAD’s Google Cardboard) to give the user an educational experience, such as with numerous public speaking apps available that allow the user to simulate numerous environments and scenarios which allow them to practice giving a public presentation or speech, attending a business networking meeting, or even practicing for a job interview. With smartphones being totally commonplace in today’s day and age, apps for them being able to be developed by anybody, and simplistic and affordable (if not necessarily high-tech) VR glasses readily available, the possibilities with virtual and augmented reality are decidedly limitless.

Problems with Virtual Reality

Of course, nothing in this world is perfect. While a “pedagogical silver bullet” with many beneficial applications and economic and social success, virtual reality nonetheless comes with its own fair share of problems, including those that may affect a person’s well-being. According to Samuel Greengard, the laundry list of possible side effects “if [a virtual environment] is too realistic” includes “dizziness, nausea, disorientation, panic, or even a medical problem such as a stroke or heart attack.”6 Meanwhile, as described in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Myths and Realities, “the use of [head-mounted VR devices], by nature, poses problems of comfort and health,” not in the least of which are addiction (though that may be less probable when VR is used for education or training than for entertainment), provocation of eye problems, or even long-term ocular damage thanks to prolonged exposure to the light emitted from the devices.7

These ocular nightmares are due in part to the lack of standardization among virtual reality systems, and few customization or adjustment options on individual devices – the former proving notably problematic in the fields of therapy and medicine, where a range of disabilities and health conditions require unique needs and interactions even more so than the general populace. In addition, while the context of use may not be a problem, it may be “an important consideration” depending on the field, as a professional setting may have the space for more advanced, full-body capture VR systems that are “likely to be impractical for home use” compared to basic head-mounted systems or simple VR glasses.8

Less immediate and more overarching are the social and legal consequences of VR – most of which are either unknown or not concrete given how recently VR has become widely available. As virtual reality simulations become more advanced with multiuser compatibility and worlds linked through the internet, would simple “street crimes” like “disturbing the peace, indecent exposure, and dishing out deliberately harmful visuals or other stimuli” have real-world legal repercussions were they to leak into virtual via hacking or other means?9 Would impersonation of another person or disputes over in-simulation avatars and likenesses lead to legal action? Such questions are still up for debate.

Finally, the last major obstacle comes in the form of cost. While readily commercially available nowadays, VR systems still cost hundreds of dollars for all the necessary and recommended equipment, such as the headset apparatus, controllers, and cables – and that’s just for one system. As Sarah Schwartz explains in Education Week with regard to a conference for the International Society for Technology in Education, “the technology can be expensive for cash-strapped districts,” with one of the educators in attendance commenting that the cost is “the biggest barrier” for expansion and “a significant expense for his district.”10 Even as cheap as VR glasses are, they may not suffice for more complex simulations, and would fail to capture a full experience if it requires the use of one’s hands or body.

Conclusion

In the end, nonetheless, most of these downsides can be attributed to the nascent state of VR for public use at the moment, with the benefits far outweighing any possible problems. The technology, while not universal, is still being implemented gradually and to great success in the various educational and training fields after decades of improvement – and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Writing for the Motley Fool, Travis Hoium states that while VR “is already a multibillion-dollar business” with 4.7 million headsets sold in 2018 alone according to Statista, the technology “has only scratched the surface of its potential.”11 Fellow Motley Fool writer Chris Neiger agrees, listing off that while the VR market was worth just $1.8 billion in 2016, projections for 2025 have the market exploding in value. With estimates of its 2025 worth ranging from $7.5 billion, to $22.5 billion, all the way up to $48.5 billion, “virtual reality is poised for huge growth no matter which estimate is more accurate,” and investing into any facet of it or any of the companies currently competing or showing interest in the VR/AR market – Alphabet, Facebook, Sony, et cetera – would be economically wise, even if it may take at least five to ten years for the market to take off according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.12 An investment for the long-term, certainly, but one with projected exponential growth over the course of the next several years and a bright future ahead. Likewise, investments by for-profit institutions in a VR teaching infrastructure will significantly influence their student outcomes, institutional growth, market reputation and will significantly involve bottom line R.O.I.

Thus, the bottom line: if you’re not already researching or investing into the technology, you’re already behind the times. With both projections and expectations high and numerous institutions already implementing virtual and augmented reality systems in a range of fields, why haven’t you looked to the future yet?

SOURCES:

  1. Peter Rubin. “Field Trip.Wired. September 2019. 33.
  2. Virtual Reality in Education in 2017 Infographic.” eLearning Infographics. June 6, 2017.
  3. Educators Believe Educational Technology Can Personalize Learning— And Want Additional Support in Training and Professional Development
  4. Global Virtual Reality in Healthcare Market is Expected to Reach US$ 3,441.4 Million by 2027, Growing at an Estimated CAGR of 33.2% Over the Forecast Period as Hospitals are Implementing Virtual Reality for Operational Efficiency, Says Absolute Markets Insights.” PR Newswire. July 10, 2019.
  5. NASA, Microsoft Collaborate to Bring Science Fiction to Science Fact.” June 25, 2015.
  6. Samuel Greengard. Virtual Reality. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA, 2019. 121–122.
  7. Ed. Bruno Arnaldi, Pascal Guitton, and Guillaume Moreau. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Myths and Realities. Wiley-ISTE: London, May 2018. 275–276.
  8. Ed. Joav Merrick, Wendy Powell, Albert Rizzo, & Paul M. Sharkey. Virtual Reality: Recent Advances in Virtual Rehabilitation System Design. Nova Science Publishers: New York, 2017. 5.
  9. Greengard. Virtual Reality. 136.
  10. Sarah Schwartz. “Educators Share Hopes, Concerns About Virtual Reality at ISTE.” Education Week. June 26, 2018.
  11. Travis Hoium. “What You Need to Know About Investing in Virtual Reality Technology.” The Motley Fool. August 27, 2019.
  12. Chris Neiger. “6-Point Checklist for Investing in Virtual Reality.” The Motley Fool. August 17, 2017.
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To all those wide-eyed millennials looking for a break

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It breaks my heart to see millions of millennials still chasing rainbows and hoping that the US government or a cartoon character such as Berne Sanders or crooked Hillary Clinton were ever going to change their lives.

Maybe it is time to grow up folks and grow some too and realize that no one is going to take care of you other than yourself if you want to build anything meaningful in your life….whether nailing a big corporate job or creating your own empire. NO ONE. So get used to it, life is not fair and this will never change.

Ever since the paleolithic era we’ve been fighting over scarce resources. Whether this was food, shelter or trendy sabretooth skirts.

Times have changed – but the essence remains the same; it’s resources we’re after.

Money mainly.

In the old days, we used to have a trading system where hunters would trade their catch with fishers for example. This is an equal exchange of value of differently skilled people.

The same concept still applies today. Money simply has made trading your entire life easier.

This system allows us to tap into the expertise of others. The more difficult the task, the more money they get.

Being able to do what others cannot is what makes you “valuable”.

Anyone can sell shoes, anyone can run behind a dumpster truck, anyone can sell fast-food. But not everyone knows how to build a house, lay electrical wiring or perform an open-heart-surgery. The more difficult and in-demand your skills are – the higher your value will rise.

If you want more income – You have to deserve it first.

How?

By building up difficult skills that are high in demand based on your strengths….Nothing else will do it

This means that the barrier of entry for competitors will be high (less competition) and you work in a field where your skills are highly valued.

Additionally, building on strength gives you an “edge” on others….Sounds sweet right?

So what are strengths? Have you ever asked yourselves this question?

Strengths are the things we naturally excel at – the things that come “naturally” to us.

How Do I Find My Strengths?

You find strength through self-analysis

The best way I’ve found to do this is by keeping a journal of my life in which I’m able to spot different trends. Over time you’ll be able to hone down on what you’re really good at.

Here are three ways to discover your strengths:

1. Self-Assessment

Here are some questions you should ask yourself when looking for your personal strengths:

  • In what did I grow up around? Competence can arise from early practice, what types of activities were you involved in as a child?
  • What do strangers compliment me on? You/your direct surroundings often notice your natural strengths faster than you do. Just ask around.
  • What did I want to become as a child? What were the underlying trends?
  • What have I been doing the last 10 years? Competence comes from doing a certain thing for a long period of time.
  • What can I effortlessly talk about without losing drive? An interesting topic is most likely something you’re highly skilled at or highly interested in.
  • What are the things I effortlessly excel at? What activities come easy for you?
  • In what areas do I learn quickly? Some skills are perfectly suited to our temperament and therefore we’re able to pick these up much faster than others.
  • Who do I envy/admire? Jealousy is a nasty but beautiful emotion as it shows us what we truly want. The same goes for admiration.

2. Reading

Furthermore, a great book that will help you find more strengths is Managing Oneself by Peter F. Drucker

Read the summary and define for yourself:

  • Am I a reader or a listener?
  • How do I learn best?
  • Do I work well with others or do I perform better alone?
  • Do I produce results as decision maker or as an adviser?
  • Do I perform well under stress or do I need a structured environment?

Alright – what’s next?

3. Personality Tests

A great way to explore further is by doing some personality tests (although they are often too general – it’s quite likely that they’ll give you some more career-indicators)

Here are the ones I recommend:

  • MBTI-test
  • DISC-assessment
  • Enneagram

Learn more about each type by simply Googling the results you’ve gotten.

Put all of these answers in a separate word-sheet and try to determine for yourself the answer to this question;

How can I combine my skills (based on strength) and my interests to solve a need for other people?

Going Deeper

In our current information society it might be not enough to be simply highly skilled in only one particular field. The combination of different, highly valued skills is also often what elevates your value.

Here’s some other tips to prepare for the future:

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Don’t Make Assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

Keep track of global trends. Where is the world going and how can I prepare for this? Especially the technological boom is very prominent – stay ahead of the robots!

Work for yourself. Everyone will need to become an entrepreneur in the future

The world is your oyster …. Just because the past didn’t turn out like you wanted it to, doesn’t mean the future can’t be better than you ever imagined.

Essence

The world is an inherently competitive place. You’ll need an edge to become indispensable & the only way to become indispensable is to excel at things others cannot do.

Of course competence at a skill will lead to enjoying the activity more – enjoying it more means you’ll be doing it more which in turn makes you more competent.

It’s an endless loop.

Eventually you’ll start to LOVE it and it’ll become your “passion”. So don’t go searching for something until it “feels just right” but create it by building on strengths. Don’t waste time and energy on an endless passion-chase.

Note: Strengths are solely performance indicators (not unchangeable truths). So don’t obsess about them. You can still “be whoever you want to be”, but you won’t perform optimally if you build your life on weakness. It can be stretched – just not indefinitely.

So tell me; what are your strengths?

I hope this personal analysis is timely for you. There’s so much wasted time & energy (and frustration) in fields where we just don’t have a natural advantage in. And the world is simply too much of a competitive place not to use this.

Now that you know the basics, go for the kill and never look back.

The BEST revenge is “OBSCENE WEALTH”.

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Is the Intellectual Elite Out of Touch with Reality?

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It has been a central conceit of the progressive movement since the early 1900’s that simply getting enough smart people together will cure all our problems.

This is the approach of technocracy — rule by experts.  We tried it.  Wilson and his ilk “solved” the problem of world peace after WWI, Kennedy and his brain trust “solved” the Bay of Pigs crisis with Cuba, Reagan and his A-Team of savvy business people “broke down” the Soviet Union, George W. Bush and his close circle of neo-cons “prevailed” over evil in the Middle East.

All of them with their elite “Ivy leaguers” thought they were going to redraw the maps of the globe.  All what they did was create a bigger mess than ever in every single corner of the globe…. We’re still cleaning up the mess in the Middle East caused by acts of hubris and years of “rookie” foreign policy. We now have practically every country in the world on our back resenting our actions after having lost all trust in us to say  the least…. and this is just the beginning.

Other examples — ones that some would rather forgot — include the progressive eugenics movement, the attempt to purify the blood lines and improve the race via forced sterilization, birth control, etc….  Fortunately for us it never took off as much in the United States as it did in other countries.

It is high time to wake up and start realizing that very smart men, with PhD’s and holding distinguished chairs at elite universities does not mean that all intellectuals are wrong, but it does mean that mere academic pedigree is an insufficient credential for developing public policy.

The conservative position is that tradition embodies the collective intelligence — the best of what has been thought and done — over generations, and it deserves to be given its due weight, that human social systems are extremely complex and that unintended consequences often outweigh good intentions.   This does not mean that we never change, but it does imply that we imperfectly understand how society actually works and that human nature is not infinitely malleable.

Conservatives are not opposed to intelligence, but they lack the naiveté needed to trust that intelligence alone solves real-world social/political problems.  Ultimately we must relate to each others as persons, as real flesh and blood individuals, not as abstractions of the intellect.  Where society has lost touch with this it has caused the greatest misery.

As Thomas Sowell’s book, “Intellectuals and Society” states:.

“If you have an elite that thinks the voters are stupid, then the voters end up just being their political plaything. Notice as well that the political effort to hide details from voters influences how the policy is implemented, which is going to have both intended and long-term unintended consequences.  If voters try to make an intelligent argument, they are rebuffed and suppressed, because the elite think of themselves as the smartest people in the room, and they don’t want anyone contesting them”.

Precisely what’s happening today during the 2016 Presidential elections. Anyone outside the “elite Establishment” is a plain idiot who does not know what he/she is talking about. Anyone inside the “beltway” is someone we should closely listen to… How far from the truth.

Another issue I have with the intellectual elite is that they don’t engage in quality leadership.  They think that just saying what the research says is correct is sufficient for leadership and governance.  However, with a large diversity of population, you have to more directly engage in cultivating relationship and explaining policy.  You never liked it when you parents just dictated policy versus explaining it.  Voters are no different.

Leadership, particularly at large scales like government, isn’t about telling people what to do, it’s about bringing people with you.  If you aren’t bringing people with you, you functionally aren’t leading.

Communication is a key part of politics in our age.  And the relational and EQ piece of the overall leadership package is critical if you want to be a real representative of the people.

The intellectual elite are generally significantly smarter than average, but they also tend to (depending on how you look at it) either underestimate the difficulty of solving large complex problems, or overestimate their ability to reason through them.

Their egos write checks their intellects cannot cash.

My hope would be that political leaders one day develop the good judgement to know when to call on intellectual elites and when not to.

I would say we do want an intellectual elite contributing to society, but we would benefit a lot from more epistemological humility from many of them.

Share your thoughts….

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Why Financial Education?

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It is a sad fact today that most people starting with students are financially illiterate.

Here are some sobering facts:

  • The average score on a freshman “financial literacy exam” was 59%, according to the JumpStart Coalition.
  • The average student has roughly $23,000 in student loans, $4,000 in credit card debt and four credit cards.
  • An average of 7% percent of graduates default on their student loans within the first few years.

Here’s what students are begging to understand:

  • 84% say they need more education on financial management, according to Sallie Mae.
  • 62% say their knowledge of credit reports is either fair or poor, according to the Consumer Federation of America.
  • 60% have only a vague understanding of their debt, according to TheFreeLibrary.com.

So what can we – as parents, activists and educators do?

Start talking

Dedicate a portion of your time with your children and financially illiterate friends to money. Encourage them to share their struggles and successes. They like hearing from one another. They trust each other. Because people generally aren’t as comfortable talking about money as we are other topics, it’s important to foster these important discussions. Pushing people to get outside of their comfort zone will make the experience more memorable and more effective in their drive toward financial independence.

Bring problem-solving to the discussion

Feeding young and even older minds financial facts does little to increase financial intelligence. The trick is engagement. Researchers from the JumpStart Coalition found that financial literacy is really a measure of problem-solving ability rather than a mere awareness of financial facts.

Establish and nurture identity

It is a fact that when you lose your identity, you stall growth. You face closing doors. You lose freedom. The same is true for financial identity. Most people don’t know how to effectively budget, manage their debt loads, or save. If they’re lucky enough to find jobs, they face starting salaries that have remained stagnant for more than a decade. Yet, if they can learn the basics of money management and problem-solve their way out of sticky financial situations, to be their own financial advocates, and learn where to get help they’ll be more likely to find success.

Bottom Line:

Most of us are not doctors but know what to do to take care of our health. We get this knowledge from our parents, peers, our regular reading, TV etc…. We try as far as possible to follow the advice on balanced diet, Exercise, rest, and minimize/ eliminate bad habits like smoking and drinking. I would like to think of “financial education” in the same way. We all need money to ensure a good life and we need to take care of it. You don’t have to be a mathematics or financial genius to understand this. Here are my basics:

  1. Live within your means. Ensure you can pay for what you buy.
  2. If you borrow money ensure you can pay the EMI. Check to see if you can still pay for it if interest rates were to rise/ you were to lose your job.
  3. Protect what you have. Insure your life, Health and assets. You wouldn’t leave your house unprotected, don’t do it with your life or health.
  4. Plan your future expenses like child education, buying a home, Retirement etc….. See how much you need and save accordingly. There are plenty to tools that will give a good estimate of what you need.
  5. Inflation would eat into your savings, so invest in something that will give a long term return higher than inflation.
  6. Last but most important. Stay away from get rich quick schemes. Getting a good physique is a long term & constant effort, so is accumulating wealth. Get rich quick schemes are like steroids they will do more harm than good.

Most people can understand and follow these rules. Of course you may need advice from professionals from time to time, but subject the professional advice to test of reason ability. If the advice is too good to be true, it probably is.

Share your thoughts…

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