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Electronic Banking in the Classroom September 7, 2007

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.
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emonopoly   When I used to teach students with behavioral problems, we played a great deal of Monopoly. The object, for us, was not so much to amass property and assets but to learn how to negotiate with each other peacefully and to express ourselves without aggression. I believe that particular board game is many closets in many classrooms across the country.

This evening, a television commercial stopped my wife and I in our tracks. It was a commercial for a debit card version of Monopoly. In this game, if somebody lands on your property all you have to do is place your deed card into a device that automatically debits the account of the player who landed on your property.

Similarly, when you pass “Go” or land on “Community Chest,” the same device automatically credits your account as well. At first, I was not sure how I felt about the disappearance of cash, but with the exception of the occasional Tim Horton’s coffee, I rarely carry cash anyway.

My wife, the accountant, thought it was a wonderful idea. Our daughter has been receiving her allowance for the past three years as a direct deposit into her bank account. She can write checks, collect interest, and see how much money she has in her account online. I should point out that she is not yet a teenager.

With television commercials from credit card companies showing how fast and easy plastic transactions are, it makes sense that this world of electronic banking should make it to a kid’s board game. Monopoly will still have the fun and the arithmetic as well as the negotiations, but perhaps the electronic banking will bring some of the real world to the classroom.

It might have even reduced the number of arguments among my students. Hmmm, I wonder if the device leaves a paper trail.

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