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October 29, 2010

Tools to Help Parents Teach

By Cindy Ivanac-Lillig

Many folks have made the argument that if parents modeled good financial behavior at home, we would not have such abysmal financial literacy and preparedness marks among our youth. On the other hand, the message from adult financial literacy circles is usually that modern financial products are ever-changing and difficult to evaluate. The two messages are somewhat disjointed.

Are good habits not being passed onto our children because we have forgotten how to model them or are we, as adults, somewhat unsure of what to do in the ever-changing marketplace?

Last night, the Council of Economic Education, the major professional organization for economic educators, awarded a 2010 Visionary Award to Arkadi Kuhlmann, founder of ING Direct. Mr. Kuhlmann and ING have created an award-winning kids-centered website, www.orangekids.com, to help parents teach their kids the basics of money management. Here is some of the praise the website has received:

Planet Orange has become a favorite among parents, teachers and children. Over the past several years, the site has been showcased by USA Today's Education "Best Bet," Forbes.com "Best of Web" award, and the Wall Street Journal as one of the "Best Educational Websites." (source: PR newswire):

The website features a "Planet Orange Parent Center" to help parents teach their children. The idea of creating tools for parents to teach their children is not a new one, but it is not terribly common. It seems like a good idea to me.

What do you all think?

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Posted by Cindy at 9:18 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 13, 2010

Local Nobel Prize Winner

By Cindy Ivanac-Lillig

It is that time again. The 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to three economists: Christopher Pissaredes, Dale Mortensen, and Peter Diamond. The prize was awarded for their work on "friction" in the employment market. They studied why and how it is that an economy can experience both high job vacancies and high unemployment. They focused on how policy decisions, such as increasing unemployment benefits, can extend the time it takes for the labor market to recover. Diamond, in particular, has argued that this longer time period has yielded better matches between employer and employee, thereby increasing long-term efficiencies in the labor market.

Here are a few links to the news stories about their award.
- Reuters
- Nobelprize.org

One of the two Americans is a local professor of managerial economics at Northwestern University, Dale Mortensen. And the other is Peter Diamond. In addition to being a professor at MIT, Diamond also happens to be a research associate at my undergraduate alma mater, Boston College. Diamond has also been nominated by President Obama to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. The nomination is still pending.

Interesting and timely work -- please post any links you have found that may be interesting to others. Has anyone met or worked with Mortenson or Diamond?

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Posted by Cindy at 4:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 1, 2010

The New Classroom

By Cindy Ivanac-Lillig

I have spent the last few weeks planning an event that featured a live videoconference with Chairman Bernanke and economics educators. The whole Federal Reserve System participated and I found it quite impressive to watch teachers from San Francisco to Miami participate in the same conference.

Chairman Bernanke answered a range of questions about the economy, the Fed, and the state of economic and financial education. It had me thinking about how many more options are and will be offered as this technology grows and becomes much more affordable.

Has anyone seen the Cisco telepresence ad in the classroom? Check it out here. The idea that kids from classrooms half way around the world can work on a project together is awe-inspiring.

Here some press from the Bernanke event that really captured the day:
-Ben Bernanke's opening remarks
-NJ Star Ledger article
-Bloomberg's report

How would you use telepresence / videoconferencing if it were available to you?

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Posted by Cindy at 4:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack