Sunday, January 25, 2009

Understanding the Financial Crisis - Say It Visually

Last Thursday I wrote a blog post titled Simple Lessons in Saving and Borrowing Money. In that blog post I shared some resources for conducting lessons about personal finance. That blog post has resources suitable for elementary school students as well as middle school and high school students. This morning I found a good video, produced by Say It Visually that explains the 2008 US financial crisis. Say It Visually produces videos in a simple and clear, animated style similar to Common Craft. What I like about this video is that it explains the role of individuals in the financial crisis.

Applications for Education
This video makes a nice complement to lesson plans about personal finance and economics in general.
Here are some ideas and resources for teaching economics:
Saving Money in Plain English and Other Economics Lessons
The History of Credit Cards in the United States
Economics for Elementary School through High School

Teaching Internet Search Strategies

On Tuesday a new semester begins at my school (staff development day tomorrow). Most of my classes are year-long courses, but I do teach one course that starts anew with a new batch of students. One of the first lessons that conduct with all of my new students is about web research strategies. This lesson, like all others, is a little different each time I do it. Two of the resources that I used in the fall to teach about search strategies are the Boolify Project and the Boolean Machine.

Two resources that I am adding to my lessons about Internet research are Internet Tutorials Primer in Boolean Logic and the Common Craft video explanation of Search Strategies. The Primer in Boolean Logic provides a simple explanation, with graphics, of how operator words can alter the results of a web search. The Common Craft video, embedded below, gives a simple explanation of how search engines operate, sort results, and how users can alter their search terms to get better results.

(If you're viewing this in RSS you may need to visit the blog directly to see the video).

Applications for Education
Teaching web search strategies early in the semester can prevent frustration for you and your students down the road. The Boolify Project mentioned above is suitable for students in elementary school through high school. The Primer in Boolean logic is probably best suited to high school and college students.