‘Snackable’ content to satisfy financial hunger

04/08/2021 - 14:00

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A new online platform aims to deliver ‘adulting 101’ to students.

Lacey Filipich says buy-now, pay-later services and credit cards should be avoided. Photo: Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne

PERTH-BASED Student Edge is preparing to launch a new, online learning platform.

It will deliver what Student Edge co-founder and chief product officer, Jeremy Chetty, describes as a ‘second curriculum’.

It has been designed to give young people a new and more accessible way to learn the key employment and life skills that are not being delivered as part of the regular school curriculum.

Student Edge Plus, as the new offering is called, will deliver high quality ‘snackable’ mobile video content, delivered by a curated team of subject matter experts.

Student Edge is already the largest student member organisation in Australia, with about 100,000 overseas members, including 30,000 members in the US, 12,000 in India, and 10,000 in the UK.

Adulting 101

Mr Chetty jokingly calls the content they’re delivering ‘adulting 101’, but the material is seriously important.

“The employable skills [we’re delivering] are specifically related to the global skills that employers are looking for right now, based on UNESCO’s 21st century skills … things like empathy, teamwork, critical thinking, collaboration and growth mindset,” Mr Chetty told Business News.

The life skills components are based on Student Edge research with parents and students, and include things such as budgeting, buying a house, mental health, your health and wellbeing, car insurance, preparing a tax return, getting a bank account, and even what a tax file number and superannuation are.

Everything online

Mr Chetty said this type of material wasn’t really being delivered online yet, despite massive global shifts.

“Looking at the environment of the pandemic, and what that’s done with this massive shift online … we’ve seen schools mobilise around the first curriculum,” he said.

“No-one’s really mobilised around the second curriculum.”

What’s happening instead was that young people were turning to YouTube for help, with Student Edge research showing it was the number one platform used by young people for this type of content.

Mr Chetty said the problem was that YouTube’s number one objective was engagement rather than serving the most helpful or factual content.

“They’re in the business of just putting up whatever content is out there, so [it’s difficult for] the poor young people who are trying to search for content,” he said.

“You’ve got every Tom, Dick, and Harry out there pretending to be an expert, and sometimes they’re not generating factual content and the parents are sort of left going, ‘Oh, gosh, what else is there? There is no other option where I can get credible, quality, safe content for my kid’.”

Perhaps what’s most innovative about Student Edge’s approach, however, is not the technology, but the content and its accessibility.

The second curriculum can also be described as a ‘hidden curriculum’ of life, in the sense that parents with these skills pass them on to their children, otherwise children can miss out, which can put people from low socio-economic status backgrounds at a significant disadvantage.

The reverse is also true. 

“If we can get young people off on the right financial foot in life, the impact will be far-reaching,” said Lacey Filipich, founder and director of Melville-based Money School, and one of the curated professionals providing content for Student Edge Plus.

“Financial stress has been shown to lower a person’s IQ by 13 points, so the absence of such stress means people can make better decisions.

“Improved financial capability also means young people can pursue work that is meaningful to them, not just chase the biggest salary.”

And what does that look like?

“It’s using debt wisely, avoiding bad debt like buy-now, pay-later [services] and credit cards as much as possible,” Ms Filipich told Business News.

“It’s making the most of every dollar they trade their time to earn, ensuring they don’t waste the result of their working hours through frivolous spending.

“It’s putting aside a part of every dollar they earn to buy assets, so their money can enjoy the benefits of compounding and eventually reduce their reliance on a wage.”

Student Edge Plus launches on July 27 and will be available to young people globally.

• Dr Kate Raynes-Goldie is a multi award-winning designer, researcher, futurist and certified facilitator of LEGO Serious Play. She is also the CEO of Lovego, where she is improving the dating experience for business women.

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