Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Investopia YouTube Channel

Thanks to Robert Nolan for this tip.  Investopia has a YouTube channel with plenty of short tutorials on finance.  If you teach Economics and Personal Finance this would be a great site for you as you could put together assignments with links to the videos.  I also like to use their regular site for definitions

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Debt Collections for Americans

So one of the two economics' courses I teach is Economics and Personal Finance which is a growing course in the US.  So yesterday we went over debt in class and I had the keys do an exercise where they had to add up their expenses pretending to be just out of college and I showed them how much they will have to earn not to be in debt.  Well today the WashPost has a great article on debt collections in the US showing that fully 1/3rd of us are in debt and many of us don't know it.  That's right, until you run a credit report or buy a car or house and find out you have a lien, you won't know it.  Some of the debt is as small as $125.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Screencastomatic YouTube Channel

I am working on a new video on flipping and ran into a Screencastomatic YouTube channel.  For example, above is a video on how to write on a Screencastomatic video.  For those of you who make lots of flipped class videos, Sreencastomatic is the way to go.  Below is my video on how to make a simple screencast using it. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Changing the Definition of GDP

Two months ago I read a great book titled Leading Indicators which looked at, among other things, why we started GDP in the 1930s and why it has become very outdated.   To that end the author, Zachary Karabell put his thesis right here in this great summary article. in Foreign Affiairs.  It is very interesting as it looks at an iPhone which counts as a $200 trade deficit between the US and China, but 

"More than a dozen companies from at least five countries supply parts for them. Infineon Technologies, in Germany, makes the wireless chip; Toshiba, in Japan, manufactures the touchscreen; and Broadcom, in the United States, makes the Bluetooth chips that let the devices connect to wireless headsets or keyboards."

Thus Karabell argues that we should use big data to re-figure GDP.  It is an intriguing thought and an interesting thought. 

Seinfeld Does Economics

I just saw this on FreeTech4Teachers.  There are seven pages of clips of The Economics of Seinfeld and their corresponding use of economics.  For example, the one above is for price ceilings.  Even better all of the clips are set to the appropriate space so you won't need to show the entire clip to highlight a point.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fiscal v Monetary Policy

This is a great video briefly explaining that fiscal and monetary policy that comes from NPR's monetary policy.  

My Book Is Coming Out This Fall, But Let's Talk Now

When I was asked by Corwin Press to write a book last April, I had no idea how long it would take.  But I can assure you that it will be well worth the wait as my editor, Desiree Bartlett and I have shaped it into quite a useful enterprise assuming you want to learn to differentiate using technology and allow your students to be more self paced.  The title is Learning and Leading in a Digital Classroom: A Teacher’s Guide to Pacing the 21st Century Learner and the manuscript is now done as are all the graphics and we are soon going to production. As you will see while I have a ton of research it is a hands on book meant to be used over and over again while you teach as, from the start, I wanted a practical book. But for now I have started a Twitter hashtag (and yes the book explains how to create and use one of your own with your students) at "#pacingdigitallearner" which is where I would like to create a depository of lesson plans and ideas to build on my book.  So for the moment, if you have any lesson plans or ideas on differentiating, working with peers, using instruction, just go to Twitter, and Tweet a comment or link and include the hashtag.  

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Visual Representation of the Gini Coefficient in the UK

I found this video on Greg Mankiw's blog which I look at occasionally for economics' ideas.  The video above is a nice graphical view of the Gini coefficient (without really mentioning the name).  You can get the idea in the first four minutes.  Gini is something that is both in AP Comparative Government as well as AP Microeconomics. 

New Changes to Google Drive

One of the reasons I really like Google Drive is that I do not have to wait to purchase a new suite such as with Microsoft (although to be fair, Microsoft's OneDrive does automatically update as well).  At any rate, Google Drive has some new changes which are highlighted in the video above. 

How to Set up a Standards Based Classroom

One of the people who has posted the most on my blogs is Frank Franz who teaches government and World History I.  In the last year he has posted less because he was focused on implementing a standards based teaching approach.

He has written a short tutorial on how he did it last year and how you can as well, complete with lots of links.  For example he discussed

  • setting objectives
  • proficiency scoring - which he based on formative tests.  
  • summative tests 
  • re-takes of summative tests which are only given on the portion of the objective that was not proficient and were not given unless students could show proficiency in a topic
  • what goes into the gradebook (hint - only summative which he explains)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Public and Private Goods

Whenever I need more of an explanation I routinely turn to the Internet even before my own textbook.  In that sense I guess I am like my students.  To that end here is a great short explanation of public and private goods which does a nice job on excludable and rival consumption.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Classroom Management for Dummies

I just saw this on FreeTech4Teachers from Keith Hughes' growing library of mostly content videos.  I wish I had had it my first couple of years of teaching when I played the "who wants to go to the office game!"  Now I can proudly say it has been something like two decades since I sent a student to the office.  But that fact has been because of three of the key items in the list above of ten rules - namely 1) keep engaging the kids in work that is meaningful and connected 2) don't make bad behavior a big deal (I have lightly tapped numerous kids over the years as I have walked around or worked their names into my talking) 3) be fun.  I like to tell young teachers that if you are bored in the classroom then imagine how awful it is for the kids.  If you aren't checking the clock then they probably aren't either.  But Keith has other great tips so enjoy. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Google Classroom

While Microsoft's OneLive is improving, when you look at the video above, you realize how quickly Microsoft is losing the future.  Assuming more and more kids are learning with Google Drive, then, one might assume they will continue with it in their own post school lives.

The short film above shows teachers how they can easily assign assignments to their classes, or individualize them for certain students, as well as quickly see who has turned in assignments, set an assignment date and all of this is coming to anyone who has Google Apps for Education very soon. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Tips to Parents from a Teacher

Recently I finished Think Like a Freak which tries to get people to think differently.  It briefly discusses education and says that if we are ever going to narrow the achievement gap and/or improve individual student performance we cannot do it all in school.  So one think I do a lot of is schedule individual parent-student-teacher conferences (15 out of 60 standard kids had one last year) where, in part, I go over the tips in this video.  Usually kids who are not achieving their realistic success level are ones not following the guidelines in the video.

What I have above is nothing earth shattering, but I think it helps to remind parents, nicely, that even if they are tired in the evening, so are there kids and the parents' job (yes I am bolder as I get older) is to keep their kids on their homework.  So this year I will be sending this video out early and then again to the students whom (no matter the grade) I believe are not up to their ability level.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

Short Overview of Elasticity

This short sheet on elasticity has everything you would want for it, including definitions, formulas and related items such as price and quantify effect.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

MarketWatch to Simulate Stock Market Trading

Next Monday my economics' students will start in earnest on their four week summer course. One of the things they will have to learn about is the stock market and to better get an idea of it, they have to make some trades in a game called MarketWatch.  Above is how you can join, but here are other short videos explaining, among other things, how students can join and how to trade.   the one obvious catch is that all trades have to be done between 9 am and 4 pm EST since that is when the real New York stock market is open.