Monday, March 30, 2015


Some of you may have heard of RealClearPolitics.  Well there is also RealClearMarkets which gives you all you could want to discuss with your students on the market system.  Basically it aggregates stories from many many sources and will allow you to give a real world application for some of what you are teaching. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

AP Macro Review Help

The top two videos are approximately fifteen minute long videos on all of the key concepts while the third one is every graph you will need.

Here is every equation you need for macro and here is an outline for the course.

If you need help on a topic, here are five minute reviews of everything. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

19 Minute Micreconomics Review

Here is the 19 minute AP Microeconomics review by Jason Clifford.  It would be helpful for your kids to watch it just as a starting point in their review. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Our Kids by Robert Putnam

My blog is all about free things you can use with your students, but occasionally I veer as in posting about my own new book.  But for year I have asked the students who do poorly in my classes why they don't care in an effort to better serve them.  The answer is always the same "I don't know." Well, now I have a great answer after reading Robert Putnam's new book, Our Kids which argues that we have created two Americas - those in the middle upper class and above and the rest.  He shows, using lots of statistics, but also anecdotal stories, that members of the lower classes are much more likely to have little or no college, more likely to divorce, be a member of far fewer extracurricular activities, be more likely to go to a school with fewer AP/IB classes, and on and on.  He makes a strong argument (and we have heard this before) that the first three years are essential to the life development.  He builds a case that fifty years ago it was much easier for someone to "rise up," but today that is much harder today.  

Resources for the AP Microeconomics Exam

In four class periods my AP kids will be done with both micro and macro so after our last test we will start our review (actually based on research from this book, we have already started some micro review even as we finish macro).   To prepare I have collected a number of free items which are below:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

My Book is Exceeding Expectations

I had a conversation with "my marketing editor" (yes there are seven editors working on this project!) on Wednesday and she told me that my book Deeper Learning Through Technology: Using the Cloud to Individualize Instruction was already selling beyond expectations in its first month out.  So thank you for all of you who bought the book.

If you haven't bought it yet and want some highlights:

  • the goal of the book is to help you set different paces for your students so each can obtain more learning than if you were marching all your students at the same pace
  • to do that you need to expand your PLC beyond your school's borders
  • evaluate your students using free online technology
  • know how to use Google Drive to grade in near real time
  • flip your classroom to better allow students to watch short lectures in a timely fashion
  • know how to mobile devices in the classroom
  • know how to connect to your students using technology beyond the classroom
  • and SO much more.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Global Debt Comparison

When I see my students on Wednesday we are looking at the Economist's Global Debt Comparison page.  You can choose any country and see both what amount they owe in real dollars as well as what it is as a percentage of each country's total GDP.  Remember the page does not include implicit debt such as the US debt owed to Social Security and Medicare. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

China's Central Bank

To add to the post below, here is an article on how China's central bank has been easing monetary policy the last two years to counteract a poor start for 2012 and 2103.   Here too is another article on the slowdown of the Chinese economy. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Good and the Bad About the Falling Euro

Our last unit this year is on foreign exchange, but considering that we have just been working on monetary policy, the video above and the article below will be helpful for us.  For example the European Central Bank President above starts off by mentioning that the EU will be purchasing securities (bonds) to the tune of 60 billion a month so that money flows into the system and drives down interest rates with the goal of getting the rates down to 2%.

The article from the WashPost mentions that it is good for those going to Europe this summer (you can help me with this by signing up for my in-service on the beautiful coast of Spain where I'll teach you how to create a personalized learning system for your students) since the dollar is going much further than it has gone in the past.  But the reverse is that it means fewer exports and it means that the bond rates in the US are much higher than those in Europe.  The article also discusses tightening and loosening of monetary policy. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fed Chairman Game

My students will be playing the Fed Chairman Game tomorrow as part of our prep for our test on Friday.  The game gives you various scenarios such as an oil crisis and challenges you to keep inflation low.  It gives you the monetary tool of being able to change the federal funds rate and then shows you the result on the economy.  There really is no way to win, but it will teach your students - so, in effect, they'll win!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

ACDC and Crash Course are Teaming Up

I have posted a number of videos from Jacob Clifford and his ACDC economics' videos this year. Well now he has teamed up with CrashCourse so you will soon see his videos on their site.  If you have never used CrashCourse, it was started by author John Green and his brother Hank who have already created hundreds of flip videos on US and world history, biology, psychology and more. They have just started a government page as well.  So stay tuned.

ACDC has also just moved his site and upgraded it.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Free Pdf to Word Converter

I have long used Pdftoword to convert my pdfs to word documents, but there is a several page limit and after a certain amount they require you to set up an account.  The latter part might be a positive as you have all of your documents in one place, but...

Now I prefer's pdf converter because

  • there is no limit to the length of the document
  • you can even convert scanned documents
  • you only have to put in your email and you will receive it in 40 minutes or less.
  • there is no membership required