Thursday, January 6, 2011

10 Resources for Teaching Economics with Technology

In a continuation of a post from 2010, 10 Resources for Teaching Geography with Technology, I wanted to focus on Economics this go around, with Government to follow this one.  Economics is a growing subject matter in the high school setting.  It was something I did not learn, and had few college classes that would qualify me to even teach it, but I did.  These resources would have made a difference for how I teach the content.

1.) The Economics of Seinfeld is a website that shares parts of the television series that relates to economics.  I first learned about the site a while back and it has made improvements.  You can click on Economic terms and find all the clips that relate to that topic.  The site previously did not have the clips on there and now they do as well as a description of the clip.  What a great addition to Economics lessons.

2.) Common Craft has put together some great videos discussing money as it relates to economics.  The topics include Borrowing Money, Insurance, Investing Money, Saving for Retirement, Saving Money (Compound Interest), and Stock Markets.  I highly recommend adding these to your lessons.

3.) We Seed is a free site for educators to teach students about the Stock Market.  "We Seed is a virtual tool that uses actual companies, stock prices and data — but all trades are made with fake money. Students can buy and sell shares anytime — and see first-hand how the market is affecting the portfolio they build."

4.) From the Mid-continent Research for Education Learning are a host of Economics Lesson Plans that are available by categories and subject matter.   Many of the lesson plans involve the integration of technology as well.  This would be a great starting point when looking for Economics Lessons.  There are also several lessons available from PBS and the Council for Economic Education.

5.) Our kids LOVE McDonalds.  The McDonalds Video Game allows students the opportunity to build a McDonalds franchise, and control all aspects of production and consumption.  The game is available in 9 different languages.  "Making money in a corporation like McDonald's is not simple at all! Behind every sandwich there is a complex process you must learn to manage: from the creation of pastures to the slaughter, from the restaurant management to the branding."

6.) The Story of Stuff is a great website that looks at how stuff is made and done.  There are two great videos: Bottled Water shows the implications of all the bottled water in the world and how it is produced and consumed.  Another great video is Cap and Trade which is perfect for Economic lessons.

7.) The Economics Search Engine is a site that allows you to find specific resources, websites, and links for Economics.  This would be a great way to search for specific terms or stories related to economics.  The words that you search for will then be highlighted, thus making it easier to see connections. 

8.) From econedlink - Free Online Economic and Personal Finance Resources for K-12 comes a great resource that contains several interactives that students and teachers can use to have a better understanding of economics and personal finance.  You can search for interactives based on grade level, concept, and interactive tool.  Some of the interactives are Flash and others are videos.

9.) Growing up I was a HUGE fan of the game SimCity.  It has grown so much since the first version, and because of that growth students can play the original version of SimCity online for free.  Registration is required.  I like this type of game because students have to make economic decisions.  They have to determine Supply and Demand as well as have an understanding of Opportunity Cost. 

10.) LavaMind is a site that provides links to Business Simulation Games.  The three games of interest are Gazillionare, Zapitalism, and Profitania.  Each game has a business economic goal in mind.  Gazillionare is a cross between business strategy and Wall Street in wonderland.  Zapitalism goal is to become a retail tycoon. Build your company from the ground up, open larger stores, and outwit your wiley competitors in a game of super sales and savvy shoppers.  Profitania puts you in the role of a manufacturing mogul. Buy up commodities in real-time, expand your factory, and invent new products. In no time, you'll be on your way to becoming an industrial tycoon.

I hope I was able to supply some economic resources to meet your demand.
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