Friday, May 2, 2014

Vox & FiveThirtyEight

So when Ken asked me to join him in this blogging endeavor he asked me how I find material to use in the class. I am without a doubt no expert as this is my first year teaching AP Micro & Macro, but throughout the course of the year I have found a number of resources helpful.

One method that I have used is following different journalists that cover the economics beat. As both Vox & FiveThirtyEight started a month or two ago they announced who their econ writers were so I started following them.

The idea behind FiveThirtyEight was to create a news agency that was more based on data as opposed to opinions. It is run by Nate Silver who ran the 538 blog at the New York Times who did a great job predicting the 2012 election results as well as a lot of other data based political writing. At FiveThirtyEight the Chief Economics writer is @bencasselman and he has had a number of articles that could be used to go a little deeper in the material such as his article: Inflation May Hit the Poor Hardest. It is a way to bring current events into the classroom and to go more in depth.

Vox on the other hand is trying to provide more background on news so that the readers can be more informed. As a result the articles link to cards that help provide basic information. I don't follow a particular writer although @esoltas (actually I just followed him as I wrote this) is an economics writer for them. I just follow the @voxdotcom as a whole and as I find articles I save them to read later. For example they recently posted a number of cards on the minimum wage which is explained in most textbooks, but as you continue in the cardstack they get into why raising the minimum wage is not as clear cut an issue as our textbook makes it out to be. What I also like is that towards the end of each cardstack there is a card on "What else should I be reading..." which provides resources to gather more information such as more information about the minimum wage.

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