If you want a great, low-hassle way to get your students thinking about finance, step one is adding a stock game to your class. If you are looking for a free stock game, you can usually expect some ads, but that does not mean you need to sacrifice quality.
There are dozens of free options out there, if you really want to shop around you can check out the leading stock market game reviews at stock-market-game.net. However, most stock games are fairly directionless – designed to appeal to the “general public” without much in the way of resources for students who are just starting to learn about stocks, or teachers for great ways to integrate it in their class.
There are some exceptions though, and if you use a stock game in your class, you should be sure it is one designed for the classroom to make sure you, and your students, get the absolute most out of it.
Top Free Stock Games For The Classroom
HowTheMarketWorks is, simply put, the best free stock game for the classroom. That is probably why it is also the fastest-growing – over 175,000 new accounts each year.
The stock market game itself is fantastic – a symbol lookup is built right into the trading page so students can participate without knowing every company’s ticker symbol by heart, and it has interactive sliders to let students choose their desired quantities. It even shows the stock’s daily performance in a chart right on the trading page. In fact, they have small, color-coded charts for student’s current stock holdings too, so they can see clearly and easily how well each stock is doing, while learning how to use graphs and charts.
What really sets it apart, however, is the attention to the classroom setting. Teachers can create a custom stock game with exactly their rules – starting cash, start/end dates, trading rules, and even currencies. They have US stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds, along with Canadian stocks and ETFs. All of the US securities trade in real-time too, so students can’t “cheat”.
Teachers can also add an “assignment” to their stock game, which requires all of their students to watch tutorial videos on how to get started, read articles like “What is a Stock“, or “What is a Spending Plan“, use interactive tools like their Budget Builder, and (of course) place certain numbers of trades. Teachers have full control over the content and frequency of assignments, and since they can be completed anywhere students have an internet connection, they are perfect both for class time or homework. In fact, their Education Center has over 600 articles about personal finance, economics, and investing tailored specifically for students and teachers.
Teachers can monitor each of their student’s trades, and even export their class information to excel for later use. Students can also take advantage of “Class Forums”, where they can chat trading strategy with just their classmates.
Virtual-Stock-Exchange is not quite as “Feature Rich” as HowTheMarketWorks, but it does have some advantages. The actual trading, for example, has the same built-in symbol lookup and charts, but also includes company logos, so students are more sure of what they’re getting in to.
They also have tutorial videos and a huge education center (this is actually run by the same team behind HowTheMarketWorks, so you’ll find most of the same content in both places). It also has the Assignments that you can create for your class, but the selection is limited just to trading items. The class forums are also missing.
To make up the difference, V-S-E is the world’s biggest international stock game, featuring over 30 countries. You can also trade currencies, and even commodities like oil and gold. Students also get a portfolio performance graph right on their dashboard page, and they can export pretty much everything themselves (their transactions, historical portfolio values, open positions, and more).
The biggest difference is that V-S-E is also available in several different languages – Spanish, French, Hungarian, Mandarin, and Polish can all be switched between quickly and easily.