Council for Economic Education Nearpod Success Story

Nearpod helps foster community growth through financial education: Council for Economic Education’s story

August 28, 2023Nearpod Team

Many students are missing the fundamental financial skills essential for success in life, and the Council for Economic Education (CEE) is dedicated to transforming this situation.

Based in New York, CEE is a non-profit organization with a vital objective: to cultivate economic literacy and empower both students and educators. This mission is achieved through a range of comprehensive lessons, insightful publications, and engaging activities.

Council for Economic Education Nearpod Success Story highlights

CEE provides comprehensive economic and financial education resources to K-12 students nationwide, reaching over two million students and numerous teachers. With its top-tier online platform for K-12 educators, EconEdLink, the organization reaches more than 450,000 distinct users. Additionally, the organization annually involves around 50,000 teachers in nationwide professional development workshops. CEE’s dedicated efforts equip educators with essential skills and knowledge for navigating the complexities of the modern economic landscape.

Nearpod has partnered with CEE to enhance the engagement and interactivity of their professional development sessions, contributing to the expansion and reach of their mission.

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Nearpod helps foster community growth through financial education: Council for Economic Education’s story

Council for Economic Education’s background

Empowering K-12 students with essential tools in personal finance and economics is the central focus of the Council for Economic Education. One of its premier resources is EconEdLink, a top-notch platform for K-12 economics and personal finance resources. It equips educators with a range of high-quality lesson plans, videos, assessments, activities, and professional development webinars. Through the provision of these free resources and training, the Council facilitates informed financial decisions for students, families, and communities.

Another key initiative offered by CEE is the Council for Economic Education’s Master Teacher Program. This unique initiative is designed for educators, coaches, and administrators across various disciplines. The program’s mission is to nurture a dedicated group of K-12 teachers capable of conducting professional development workshops for fellow educators within their districts or on a national scale. This effort aims to expand the reach of personal finance and economic education, thereby benefiting an increased number of students.

Main challenges

Ruben Rivera Council for Economic Education background

Connecting with a wide range of teachers all over the country and giving them meaningful opportunities for growth required a tool that encouraged interaction and engagement. Even before hybrid learning became the norm, Ruben Rivera, CEE’s Senior Director of Professional Development, and his team were focused on creating a sense of in-person connection, no matter where teachers were located.

They realized that, just like students, teachers enjoy collaborating and sharing solutions, strategies, and personal stories. The big challenge was: How can we make professional development more engaging, customizable, and affordable for teachers?

This was when Nearpod entered the scene, collaborating with CEE to enhance the reach and amplify the impact of their mission.

Nearpod’s solution

Within the Council’s network of Master Teachers, the exchange of best practices is a regular occurrence. Before the pandemic, one of these Master Teachers shared their insights about Nearpod.

Challenges and solutions in Council for Economic Education Nearpod Success Story

Although Ruben had experience with a variety of educational technology tools, he was quite impressed. “Nearpod does virtual kinesthetic work. It’s as close as you can ever get to ‘in-person’.”

Nearpod ticked all the boxes in bringing together K-12 teachers to share their professional development journey in an interactive, inclusive setting – regardless of where they were located.

Within a few months, Ruben’s department was using Nearpod to train teachers and to develop and disseminate content.

“It’s a complete package of fun and engaging ways to interact with teachers, and we can also teach them how to use the tool and take our content and enrich it in the classroom.”

As part of its Enterprise license, the Council gives all of its Master Teachers and trainers a Nearpod account. This serves a dual purpose: to enhance their online pedagogical skills and to serve as a platform for delivering optimal professional development experiences.

Today, Nearpod has become a best practice for the Council when engaging educators virtually. “Our data shows that whenever we include activities in webinars, our satisfaction surveys for acquiring and sharing knowledge always mention Nearpod,” Ruben explains.

Empowering teachers and enhancing personal finance and economic education with Nearpod

Co-workers high-fiving

Teachers were so pleased with their Nearpod experience that they subsequently introduced the platform to their schools.

Ruben highlights the effectiveness of interactive videos and quizzes in fostering student participation beyond attendance. According to him, Nearpod has elevated teaching techniques, enabling educators to take more responsibility for content delivery while empowering students with a stronger sense of accountability and confidence in understanding what lies ahead.

The pandemic taught Ruben and his network that they all had areas of improvement. “There was a gap in teacher training in how to use edtech tools. It’s common knowledge that students had a hard time keeping up, but teachers found it equally hard engaging students in a virtual world.”

While Ruben’s department focuses on supporting K-12 educators, Nearpod has also opened a new avenue of collaboration with higher-education teachers. The Master Teachers‘ network includes highly accomplished college professors with decades of experience. Ruben recalls how professors were introduced to Nearpod in a professional development session and immediately asked for training on the platform.

“It was so empowering to see these tenured professors, these published authors, learn something new. It was a game-changer … Nearpod alleviated a lot of the uncertainty of teaching online.”

Today, along with their K-12 counterparts, higher-education teachers across the network are increasingly using Nearpod to train students in college readiness.

Co-creators in the content-delivery process

Nearpod’s Collaborate Board served as the initial point of engagement for all, allowing teachers, students, and stakeholders to contribute in real time. Following this, employees and volunteers enthusiastically embraced learning through activities like Time to Climb, Matching Pairs, and Drag and Drop. Additionally, Nearpod polls played a central role in fostering social and emotional learning and supporting professional development.

Employee presenting during meeting

“They enabled us to immediately gauge and tap into how our educators feel about a topic and how much they feel they know about it.” Ruben also highlights how Nearpod has helped educators to become “co-creators in the content-delivery process, enhancing their creativity online and in the classroom.” This propels the mission and strengthens the reputation of the Council, which was set up 75 years ago and committed to virtual learning long before the pandemic.

From positive thought to positive action

Drawing on his background in non-profit organizations, Ruben has experienced how Nearpod can move beyond the classroom and help large financial institutions give back to the community.

One of the Council’s partners, Intuit, compiles curriculum content for teachers on budgeting, marketing, and taxation. “Filing taxes is a life skill and demands engaging content for students of all backgrounds. This starts by engaging teachers.”

Another main partner joined forces with the Council and found Nearpod a firm ally in demoing what an organization can do in its volunteer spaces. Nearpod became central to building the Council’s blueprint for philanthropic action.

Ruben is convinced that Nearpod is helping to magnify the impact of economic and financial education across the country.

“Many organizations hear what the Council is doing and want in. It feels good to have people follow our work, get passionate about the topic, and keenly contribute. Nearpod helps us turn positive thought into positive impact.”

A catalyst for important conversations

Through a further partnership with Wells Fargo, the Council ran monthly family financial fun nights at participating schools, which included pop-up stations designed to make financial literacy a dinner-table discussion topic.

By popular demand, Ruben digitized the content and made it relevant to students and parents, covering core concepts like budgeting and cost-benefit analysis with relevant cultural references. Over 100 families regularly attend this hybrid event and receive food vouchers for participation.

Nearpod is also helping institutions increase philanthropy and cross-collaboration with other organizations.

“It helps us train volunteers who have never been teachers. They get a sense of what teaching is about, see the impact, and give back more effectively with a tool they love using in so many different ways.”

Council for Economic Education Math Lessons are available in the Nearpod Library! These lessons for grades 6-12 apply math to real-world scenarios to help students acquire economic and financial knowledge.

Council for Economic Education Math Lessons on Nearpod

The future of Nearpod at CCE and beyond

When it comes to the future, Ruben is optimistic. He is keen to roll out Nearpod across socially disadvantaged communities and tell the stories of what he sees and learns.

“The purpose of teaching is to reach the students who need us most. I believe we’ve found the platform to help elevate their situation.”

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