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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Compare Purchasing Power by City

Here's a handy little calculator that could be useful for someone that is teaching consumer economics. CNN Money has created a cost of living calculator designed for the purpose of comparing the how far a salary will go in one city versus another. To use the calculator simply type in a salary and select the cities you wish to compare. The results will display the costs of groceries, transportation, housing, utilities, and healthcare.

Applications for Education
This simple calculator makes it easy for students to quickly compare the cost of living in multiple cities. A colleague of mine conducts a cost of living exercise with students every year. In the exercise students have to create a budget for themselves based on the type of job they want and the locations they desire. This calculator could be useful for showing students how location plays a role in the purchasing power of a given salary.

This Day in History Videos

There are a lot of places on the web where you can find "this day in history" lists and RSS feeds. A quick Google search will yield a lot of results for that type of resource. Today, I stumbled upon a video version of "this day in history" from the History Channel. The videos provide a quick overview of three to five items of historical significance from that day. The videos appear to be produced in one large lot so you can view videos from the entire week prior to a date. For example I've already watched tomorrow's "this day in history" video.

Applications for Education
If you need a quick warm-up or closing activity for your history lesson, these videos may be just what you've been looking for.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Henry Hudson's Maps and Model Ships
The World Digital Library
Great Timeline Builders

Explore - Documentary Videos of the World

Explore.org produces and hosts high-quality documentary films and photographs. The films and images focus on exploring the world and the work of non-profit organizations around the world. The films and images are organized by destination. There are twelve destinations in all including China, Tibet, the Middle East, and India. Explore.org is funded in part by the Annenburg Foundation.

All of the videos can be embedded into your blog or website. Embedded below is one of the shorter films from Explore. The video takes a brief look at China's Great Wall.


Applications for Education
Explore.org is a good video resource that could be used in a global studies course or world geography course. You could have students watch a video and research some of the content mentioned that video. There are enough videos that in most classes each student could pick a different video. After doing the research you could have the students build a wiki page about their chosen video's topic.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
30+ Alternatives to YouTube
Debate Graph - Diagrams of Global Debates
101 Ways to Teach Geography

Telephone, Typewriter, and Lightbulb Lessons

If you teach any US History lessons, whether elementary, middle, or high school grades, the daily update for the National Archives is a great resource to subscribe to. Tuesday's update featured an image of a 1868 drawing of and patent application for a typewriter. The National Archives posted a related lesson plan for teaching about the invention of the telephone and electric lightbulb. The lesson plan could be adapted to include the drawing of and patent application for the typewriter.

Applications for Education
These lesson plans could be useful for getting students to examine the inventions of the 19th century that contributed to the convenience of their lives in the 21st century.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Picturing the Century - Lesson Plans and Worksheets
Bill of Rights Rap
Think About History Trivia Game

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