Hendersonville, NC, December 29, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- A gut feeling told teacher Derek Luebbe that something was missing. His high school students had just completed a popular investing simulation where students invest a fictional $100,000 for a few weeks. While his students enjoyed it, Luebbe knew the lessons they learned were contrary to sound investing. “In order to win, students were not diversifying their portfolios and the winners were boasting of the return that they achieved in a six-week time frame. The simulation certainly increased interest in the stock market, but I wanted students to invest with a long term perspective focused on valuing companies for future growth."
So Luebbe and some fellow teachers set out to create something better.
The result is simCEO (www.simceo.org) a simulation which allows students to create their own businesses online and participate in a classroom stock market by investing in classmates’ companies.
Luebbe summarizes his point, “Asking 14 year-olds to understand and research PE ratios and balance sheets was a bit much. I didn’t have the classroom time to cover these concepts in detail and wondered why we would ask a young adult to predict any company’s share price for a six-week window. I saw a need for a simulation aimed at a students’ level of understanding, that could be customized for varying complexity of the particular students, and would reinforce investing concepts taught to adults."
Simulating a ten year period, SimCEO creates a market that is understandable to a student because it can be customized for complexity. Students compete versus one another in a flexible environment that is created by the teacher while the investment outlook is focused on long-term growth.
Luebbe, now a high school principal and founder of Jetlag Learning, adds, “Students aren’t comparing IBM to Microsoft. They are deciding if Steve’s company is overpriced compared to Sally’s in terms of potential for future growth.”
Teacher Mary Kinsman agrees, "Our experience was preponderantly positive and [SimCEO] was much more realistic, challenging, and engaging than the paper/pen stock trade simulation we played prior to it."
The engagement that Kinsman speaks of is not unnoticed by students, as teacher Melanie Mallinson notes, “[the students are] psyched about this. I even have had enquiries from students who aren’t in either of my high-school classes ask to play. There was enough "buzz" from last May that students remember and are interested!”
While the enthusiasm is a plus, Luebbe knows that it is the content and learning that are the main goals. He summarizes the unique potential that simCEO holds, “What started out as a unique way to teach investing concepts has really come to life with the simultaneous application of entrepreneurial skills. The two together are hopefully allowing students to better internalize successful practices. The real test for any learning resource is what students are taking away from it. Thus far, we’re very pleased with what we’re hearing from teachers. Students are excited and that’s the environment you want to apply skills that truly stick .”
About Jetlag Learning
Founded in 2006 by teachers, Jetlag Learning aims to rethink education by putting a learner's interest at the forefront and engaging students in relevant tasks and meaningful play. It is based in Hendersonville, NC.