Educator Spotlight Video Series: Glenn M. Gamble

Our network of K-12 teachers is EVERFI’s heartbeat. That’s why we’ve launched Educator Spotlights: Stories from the Classroom. Every couple of months, we’ll invite you inside the classrooms of inspiring educators to get a glimpse into how and why they keep doing what they do. Enjoy!

My ninth grade Computer Applications student, Emmanuel, said “…I never knew about STEM until I came into your class. I didn’t know how fun it would be to learn and it has opened my mind to a future career in the STEM field.”


Teacher:  Glenn M. Gamble

Subject:  Comprehensive Business Teacher, Grades 8 & 9

School:  Orange Preparatory Academy, NJ

Resources:  Future Goals – Hockey Scholar, Endeavor STEM Career Exploration, FutureSmart, Character Playbook


Glenn M. Gamble is an EVERFI power teacher from New Jersey who took the time to share insights from his vast experience using EVERFI courses with his grade 8 and 9 students at Orange Preparatory Academy. Watch his video above and read on below for an inspiring glimpse into Glenn’s classroom.

What caught your attention about EVERFI’s digital resources and made you decide to try them out with your class?

I first became aware of EVERFI resources when I attended the 2016 NJEA Teachers Convention in Atlantic City, NJ. I was amazed at the interactivity for the students and the reporting analytics for the teacher. The icing on the cake was the certificates for students when they completed a learning module.  I was also impressed with the online resources for lesson plans and curriculum guides; this made the integration of the learning management system very smooth for classroom use.  Another feature that attracted me to EVERFI was the relevance of material to the needs of millennial learners, their lessons focused on the issues faced by today’s learners.

How has your overall experience been?

My experience with EVERFI’s resources has been so rewarding that I embarked on earning two of their Micro Credentials: Certified FinEd Teacher and Certified STEM Teacher; beginning the spring of 2018, I’ll become a facilitator for their Micro Credential Cohorts.

What do your students like most about the resources?

My ninth grade Computer Applications student Emmanuel said “…I never knew about STEM until I came into your class. I didn’t know how fun it would be to learn and it has opened my mind to a future career in the STEM field.”  ALL of my students love receiving their personalized certificates when they complete a module; some of my ELL learners call their certificates a diploma, something they’ve never received prior to becoming my student.  These reflections engrave a lasting legacy on my time, effort and energy invested into my classroom.

What is one piece of advice you would pass on to teachers using this resource for the first time?

One piece of advice I would offer to teachers using Future Goals – Hockey Scholar or other EVERFI resources for the first time: create the class on your dashboard and let the students jump in!  Be their coach, mentor and guide, let them enjoy the resources, this will allow you the opportunity to differentiate and model for students who need your time and guidance. Have additional resources ready to go for the students who grasp concepts faster than others. Give them the vocabulary list with the course code and let them explore!

Would you like to share anything else about your experience?

When an administrator walks into my classroom and views all the certificates from various modules in EVERFI posted on the walls and boards, they know without a shadow of doubt that learning is taking place and students are succeeding.  One thing I’ve learned from the certification celebrations, kids love to eat and will never turn down food! Thank You EVERFI for your commitment to an urban educator like me and providing the opportunity to open new doors and expand the minds of my students.

       Learn more about Future Goals – Hockey Scholar

Learn more about Endeavor – STEM Career Exploration

Want to share a story from your classroom? Reach out to Lisa at ljwright@everfi.com.

Watch Carrie’s  Rx Abuse Prevention Video.

Watch Kitty’s Digital Citizenship Video.

2018 Calendar

Create a High Performing Financial Marketing Calendar in 2018

2018 Calendar

Financial marketing is like meeting a friend for coffee: if it doesn’t get scheduled, it just won’t happen. After you’ve spent time creating a robust financial education or content program, then, the next step is laying it all out on the calendar that will get you the most return for your hard work. A calendar can help you determine your strategic priorities, as well as organize your efforts. But it’s not set in stone. Here are some three considerations while planning:

Major milestones and events
Do the major milestones first. Lay out big events, programs, and promotions months or even a year in advance. Are you planning to do four webinars next year? Three community events? A financial wellness program? Put them on the calendar now—or they probably won’t happen.

Micro-planning
Do micro-planning in three-month increments. This is the time to schedule blog posts, social media posts, and emails. Don’t be afraid to get granular: make decisions about specific days, times, and channels, and choose topics for your blog posts and emails. Refer to best practices to help you schedule your emails and blogs. Don’t forget to leverage the data from last year to help you make decisions for this year. 

Delegate
Equally as important as getting your dates is deciding who will do what. Who is writing the blog posts? Who is publishing to social media? Who is sending emails? Who is organizing the webinar? Assign roles, get buy-in, and add names to everything on the calendar. If you have a small team take time to prioritize the tasks so that you know ahead of time what can get accomplished and what can be put on hold. 

You might think that scheduling is the final step, but don’t forget to measure the effectiveness of your program by collecting and reporting data that will help you fine-tune the program for the next go-round. Want more ideas on how to create a marketing plan that incorporates financial education? Download our guidebook, The Ultimate Guide to Financial Marketing Success in 2018.

Educator Spotlight Video Series: Kitty Herbel

Our network of K-12 teachers is EVERFI’s heartbeat. That’s why we’ve launched Educator Spotlights: Stories from the Classroom. Every couple of months, we’ll invite you inside the classrooms of inspiring educators to get a glimpse into how and why they keep doing what they do. Enjoy!

“What my students like most about Ignition […] is that it ties into real life. It’s things that they’re experiencing right now.”


Teacher:  Kitty Herbel

Subject:  Computer Science, Grades 6-8

School:  Dewitt Waller Junior High School, OK

Resource:  Ignition – Digital Literacy & Responsibility (Grades 6-9)


Dewitt Waller Junior High School educator Kitty Herbel uses Ignition – Digital Literacy & Responsibility to teach her class about responsible digital use. She uses in-class discussion to draw connections between the topics covered in Ignition and what students are experiencing on a daily basis, like texting and cyberbullying. Kitty likes that the lessons are self-grading and that they tie into standards that are easy to align using the additional resources provided in the teacher resource center. 

From your EVERFI teacher dashboard, you can access additional resources to complement the online lessons in Ignition, such as discussion guides, lesson plans, and a vocabulary bank.

Learn more about Ignition – Digital Literacy & Responsibility

Want to share a story from your classroom? Reach out to Lisa at ljwright@everfi.com.

Watch Glenn’s STEM video.

Watch Carrie’s Rx Abuse Prevention video.

Educator Spotlight Video Series: Carrie Snyder-Renfro

Our network of K-12 teachers is EVERFI’s heartbeat. That’s why we’ve launched Educator Spotlights: Stories from the Classroom. Every couple of months, we’ll invite you inside the classrooms of inspiring educators to get a glimpse into how and why they keep doing what they do. Enjoy!

“Be sure to know your student audience. If there are any particular concerns, have available [additional] resources where you can direct students to get help if they need it for themselves or their families.”


Teacher:  Carrie Snyder-Renfro

Subject:  Family Consumer Sciences & Career Technology Education, Grades 7-12

School:  Oklahoma Centennial High School, OK

Resource:  Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention (Grades 9-12)


FCS and CTE educator Carrie Snyder-Renfro is using EVERFI’s Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention resource with her high school students and finds them deeply interested in the issues covered throughout the program. Here, she shares what her students like best about the resource and how she complements the online program with offline resources to make sure that students and their families feel supported and have access to the information they need to make informed decisions.

Learn more about Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention

Want to share a story from your classroom? Reach out to Lisa at ljwright@everfi.com.

Watch Glenn’s STEM video.

Watch Kitty’s Digital Citizenship video.

STEM Connections – The Intersection of Context and Careers

Why does STEM inspire some kids (like our friends from Stranger Things) and other students dread walking into their math and science classes? Who is actively charting a course for the jobs of tomorrow and who feels like that is not their “thing”? Our latest insight report STEM Connections – The Intersection of Context and Careers provides some additional insight into answering these complicated questions.

The strength of a student’s “STEM context” was a strong indicator of whether or not students felt confident and were excited to pursue STEM career opportunities. The good news is that a student’s STEM context, as we defined it, is reliant upon how a child’s parents and teachers promote, encourage and make more visible STEM career opportunities. When compared to students with a low STEM context, students with a strong STEM context were…

  • Four times as likely to say that they were the type of person who can have a STEM job.

AND

  • Nine times more likely to think that there are STEM jobs that they would like to have.

Many teachers are finding our newest STEM resource, Endeavor, as a helpful tool to ensure a greater number of students have a strong STEM context. How are you ensuring that all students, regardless of background or academic ability have a strong STEM context? We’d love to hear from you, so join the conversation in the Connected Educator Facebook group!

 

 


 

Steve Sandak is a member of EVEFI’s Research team. His work focuses on the impact of our K-12 learning platform. Steve is a former high school educator, and is based in our Boston office.

Financial Education

3 Ways Financial Education Improves Your Content Marketing Strategy

Content Marketing

You probably already offer some form of financial education to your account holders at your financial institution, but have you been using it to gain new account holders or upsell your current ones? Of all the different kinds of content that financial institutions can offer to their consumers and prospects, financial education might be the most powerful. How and why is it the most effective content marketing? There are three primary reasons:

  1. Financial education lets you show off your expertise.
    Consumers and prospects want to increase their financial knowledge base, and banks and credit unions are in the perfect position to provide this knowledge to them. By offering free online programs geared towards consumers’ needs, you are simultaneously helping your audience and building trust, positioning yourself as the go-to provider for valuable information and products.
  2. Financial Education helps you learn about your audience.
    Other forms of marketing can be hard to track, but online learning modules require a free log-in process. Requiring consumers to register allows you to gather consumer data, track their progress through the online course, and follow up afterward. This free log-in process allows you track more data about your consumers, which will allow you to target your key personas and tailor the marketing messages to their life stage or needs more effectively.
  3. Financial Education transforms your audience.
    As your consumers move through your financial education programs, they become more informed account holders. They’ll be able to make better decisions, show greater interest in more of your services, and grow into brand ambassadors. Sound too good to be true? This is supported by recent research by Powered Inc., which showed that consumers who purchase banking services after engaging in online financial education are more than 90 percent more likely to tell friends and family about their experience.

Financial education can be a valuable part of your overall marketing strategy. Get the most out of your 2018 strategy by learning more about implementing a digital marketing program for your financial institution. Download our complete guide, The Ultimate Guide to Financial Marketing Success in 2018 to get started today.

 

2 Key Reasons to Include Employees in Financial Education Programs

Employee FinEd Enagement

As a financial marketer, you probably spend a majority of your time focused on acquiring new consumers through content marketing. But when creating a financial education program for your external audience, it’s important to consider educating another key audience: your financial institution’s employees. Getting your staff onboard with your financial education program will help them familiarize themselves with your financial institution’s products and services while also improving their own financial capability and enabling them to better educate consumers. Many financial institutions have seen success when implementing an employee program before rolling it out to their consumers.

Here are two key reasons why you should be including employees in their financial education marketing efforts:

  1. Any content marketing or financial education program that you initiate for your consumers will be more effective if your employees are also knowledgeable about the effort. Your employees are on the front line of consumer service each day, and they will be more eager to promote your program, as well as more effective advocates for financial capability if they understand the initiative themselves. 
  2. Educating your own staff also helps them do their jobs better. 76 percent of all employers say that staff financial issues impact their job performance—so educating your own employees will not only help them improve their personal financial wellness, but it will also improve your bottom line by increasing job satisfaction and effectiveness.

Enthusiasm is truly contagious, and a staff that has already bought into a financial education program will be ambassadors to their consumers and prospects—as well as a test group for any early problems within the program itself. Rolling out a program to employees with an incentive will also help employees to use the program, it will also make the process more fun and it will generate even more enthusiasm around the roll-out. Want more tips on incorporating financial education into your marketing strategy for next year? Download our guidebook, The Ultimate Guide to Financial Marketing Success in 2018.

Financial Marketing Strategy Group Discussion

Financial Marketing and Distribution Channels: The Multi-Channel Approach

Marketing Channel Meeting

When thinking about your financial marketing strategy, it’s a best practice to always reassess what distribution channels you are currently using and keep an eye out for new channels that can help you reach your target account-holders in new ways. To ensure that you are reaching and engaging your different audience segments, you’ll need to share your content through a multi-channel approach—matching each audience segment with its appropriate channel. Here’s a breakdown of the various channels and approaches for your financial marketing:

Email

Email remains a powerful way to connect, assuming that consumers have shared their emails with you (we do not recommend buying lists). Make sure you are sharing valuable information each time, and do not inundate them—twice a month is a good target cadence.

You can reach a variety of audiences with email since most people are online and you can segment your emails with personalized content aligned to your audience’s life stage and financial needs. 

Website

Don’t neglect your website as a distribution channel. Make sure that it’s optimized for SEO, promotes upcoming workshops, events, and offers, and is a hub of free financial education content for your viewers. Don’t let your website become a place that only lists your products and services, you should be adding valuable content for your consumers to use and share. This will ultimately build consumer trust and loyalty with your brand. 

Social

Many of your buyers are on social media—so you should be, too. Remember to use social channels to engage, not sell. Update your platforms frequently, and respond quickly to consumer comments.

Each social channel has a different audience. As you post, keep in mind that the tone and overall message you are promoting in each channel should fit the audience in that channel.

Blog

Blogs are an easy way to provide new and valuable content to your audience, and since Google favors fresh material, it’s also a great way to help potential account-holders reach your website. Remember that it must be updated on regular basis with valuable content. Blogs are another way to educate your audience and drive consumers to want to learn more about your financial institution while also building consumer trust.

Paid Media

Paying for ads on search engines or social channels can get more eyes on your content—and it’s often very affordable. Consider promoting big events, such as an upcoming workshop or offers, such as a low-interest rate, with paid media.

Offers are a good way of reaching online traffic as long as you have optimized your ad to the right keywords and the traffic you are getting is the audience you are interested in targeting. Taking time to set up your paid media and optimizing it is extremely important to get the most return on your paid ad investments.

Direct Mail

Direct mail is great for engaging demographics like elders, who are not online as frequently—and has the added benefit of not ending up in a spam folder. Taking a fresh approach to your direct mail strategy can make an impact as overflowing inboxes have become the norm.

In-branch

Often overlooked, your branches can serve as high-value distributions channels. Training staff to promote events, offers, or education, can drive more engagement, as well as posters, flyers, and other materials.

Your in-branch staff can be an asset for up-selling opportunities and educate your account-holders, but they have to know the basics of personal finance before they can offer it to your account-holders. Taking time to train your staff using financial education will set your institution up for success in the long run.

Webinars

Webinars combine the power of a workshop with the digital ability to be recorded, stored, and watched by viewers in future. Hosting a workshop using a webinar platform that you can share with your account-holders will have a long-lasting impact especially on topics such as investing. TD Ameritrade produces a regular webinar, called Morning Huddle, to deliver investment insights to clients.

Workshops

In-person workshops, on topics such as getting the most out of your retirement savings, are great ways to reach people who are not online. Additionally, face-to-face interactions can be more personable and engaging, helping to build a stronger relationship with account-holders. Elders who are not engaging with your content online are great candidates for your in-person workshops.

Outbound calling

Outbound calls work best when the consumer has already engaged with your brand, such as after they download an online guide or receive direct mail. Trained staff is essential to success here, just like with your in-branch opportunities.

Employing a multi-channel approach is a must in today’s complex technology environment—but you also need to know who your various audience segments are, and what type of content to spread. For these answers and more, download our new guidebook,The Ultimate Guide to Financial Marketing Success in 2018: An Interactive Guidebook for Banks & Credit Unions.

A Nationwide Look at Middle School Students’ Sense of Belonging

Researchers have identified a strong sense of belonging to one’s school community as a key indicator of future success in and out of school. So how many students feel that strong sense of belonging, and what are the implications of that lack of connectedness? Our newest insight report, The Importance of Belonging, helps us explore this complex and critical question.

Our partnership with the United Way Worldwide, NFL and Verizon gives us the chance to reach tens of thousands of students through Character Playbook. The course surveys provide us a deeper understanding of students’ sense of belonging and also helped us identify additional characteristics that students who don’t feel that strong sense of belonging possess.

Our analysis uncovered some really interesting findings:

  • 29 percent of students report a weak or negative sense of belonging to their school community
  • There was a positive linear correlation between students who felt less connected and their likelihood to help others and treat people with respect.
  • Students who felt a weak or negative sense of belonging were less likely to identify and intervene in abusive or unhealthy relationships.

We know educators work tirelessly every day to create safe, joyful, and inclusive learning environments where all students feel a strong sense of belonging. We take an enormous amount of pride in supporting thousands of schools’ social-emotional learning work through the implementation of Character Playbook. This report confirms previous research that says these efforts are critical to students’ long-term success and are worthy of further support and evaluation.


Interested in building a stronger sense of belonging amongst your students? In addition to checking out Character Playbook, here are some additional strategies that can help you with this work:

  • Through the clear articulation of a shared language and terminology, a school can help students understand what the school’s core values mean in everyday behavior and grasp the reasons why some behaviors (e.g., doing your best and respecting others) represent good character and are valued while their opposites do not (Character.org).
  • Consider “Warmth and Support” Practices. Warmth and support refer to the academic and social support that students receive from their teacher and from their peers. The teacher creates a classroom where the students know that teachers care about them. Teachers can demonstrate that they care about their students by asking students questions (academic and non-academic), following up with students when they have a problem or concern, providing the teacher’s own anecdotes or stories, and acting in ways in which students know that taking risks and asking questions are safe in the classroom (CASEL/American Institutes for Research).
  • Integrate school climate and our social-emotional learning data with existing work. By leveraging instructional data and survey responses alongside suspension rates, absentee frequency and academic performance, educators can better identify and understand the breadth of the school connectedness challenges their students face (National School Climate Center).

 

 


 

Steve Sandak is a member of EVEFI’s Research team. His work focuses on the impact of our K-12 learning platform. Steve is a former high school educator, and is based in our Boston office.

Consumer-Journey-Marketing-Content

The Financial Marketing Funnel: Creating Content for Every Stage of the Customer Journey


Many financial marketers know that content marketing is a powerful way to reach current and prospective customers. But did you know that certain types of content work better at different stages of the customer journey? Financial marketers who want to maximize their content marketing efforts create content for each stage of that journey. Over two-thirds of this journey is now done via online and mobile. This means you’ll need to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward, in terms of the content you deliver, how you deliver it, and when you deliver it along the buyer’s journey. Here’s how:

Awareness Stage

The customer journey starts when someone first learns about your financial institutions brand. The marketing materials they see at this stage shouldn’t be salesy. Instead, try to educate, presenting them with valuable advice and interesting trends.

Types of Content:

  •     Blog Posts
  •     How-to-Guides
  •     Calculators
  •     Editorial Content

Consideration Stage

The customers in this stage are already familiar with your financial brand and should have a positive opinion based on the content from the first stage of content marketing. Longer and heavier content is appropriate at this stage—pieces that will build deeper engagement.

Types of Content:

  •      Workshops
  •      eBooks
  •      Videos
  •      Interactive Learning

Decision Stage

The final stage of the journey occurs after your consumer has engaged with your content and trust has been built. They are primed to open an account, and your content marketing or offers can start to focus on loans or other products. 

Types of content:

  •      Introductory Rates
  •      Product Literature
  •      Institution or Product Comparisons
  •      Case Studies and Testimonials

Creating financial marketing content for each stage of the customer journey is an effective way to both engage and nudge customers along as they move from awareness to purchase. But content creation is only one step to building an effective financial marketing strategy. Want to learn the other steps? Download our guidebook, The Ultimate Guide to Financial Marketing Success in 2018