Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Win a Free Computer Lab

I'm a little behind the curve in posting this, but I just learned today that Acer is giving away a computer lab or a set netbooks to three randomly selected schoosl that participates in its Seed program. The Seed program allows schools to evaluate an Acer netbook for free for 30 days. After 30 days you can return the computer or purchase it at a discounted price. One condition of participation in the program is participating in two conference calls with Acer sales staff. Read all of the details of the Seed program and the drawing for the free computer lab here.

Saving Money in Plain English and Other Economics Lessons

Economics can be a difficult subject for many students. Banking, in particular saving money, is always a topic that interests my high school students, yet some of them struggle to comprehend the whole picture. Fortunately, Common Craft has released a new video explaining banking in plain English. I have embedded the Dot-Sub subtitled video below. (If you're reading this in a RSS reader you may need to visit the blog directly to watch the video).

Applications for Education
This new video from Common Craft provides a great, short, introduction to personal finance and banking. A much longer video that you may also want to watch with your students is Money as Debt which provides a 45 minute animated history of banking. I've embedded that video below.

Here are some other economics lesson plans and resources that you may want to explore:
Biz Ed - Economics Lessons and Virtual Field Trips
FDR and the Banking System
Economics for Elementary School Through High School
The History of Credit Cards in the United States

The History of the Internet

This animated video was posted on Vimeo five days ago and has been mentioned on Twitter by a lot of people. I finally had the time to watch it this morning because school was closed due to the anticipated ten inches of snow on the way. This nine minute video explains the history of the Internet beginning in 1957. I've embedded the video below.

History of the Internet from PICOL on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
This video could be a good resource for technology teachers looking to provide students with a short overview of the development of the Internet. You may want to watch the video with students and then have them research some of the items mentioned in the video.

Seating the New US Senate

The new US Senate was seated yesterday, but two new Senators, Al Franken and Roland Burris, were not sworn in yesterday. CNN Student News and Reuters both have videos providing a quick overview of reasons why each Senator was not sworn in. I have embedded both videos below.

The New York Times Learning Network has posted a lesson plan about the qualifications for Senators and a good article about the various paths to the Senate. The lesson plan and article are designed for middle school and high school students. If you have struggling readers, have them turn on the vocabulary and geography help links within the article.

Applications for Education
These videos along with the lesson plan from the New York Times could be good resources for exploring with students some of the peculiarities and nuances of the US political process.
Every episode of CNN Student News is accompanied by a ten question summative quiz that is useful as a quick way to check for understanding.