Thursday, September 3, 2009

From Common Craft - Stock Markets in Plain English

Common Craft has released a new video titled Stock Markets in Plain English. As always, Common Craft has taken a potentially confusing topic and boiled it down into clear, easy-to-understand terms. Stock Markets in Plain English begins with a clear explanation of the differences between a private company and a public company. The video moves on to explain how people can make or lose money in the market. Stock Markets in Plain English concludes with an explanation of the Dow Jones and the S&P 500.

The newest Common Craft videos can no longer be embedded, but you can watch them on the Common Craft website.

Applications for Education
Stock Markets in Plain English could be a great resources for economics and business teachers to use to introduce the fundamental concepts of the stock market.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The Economic Fairy Tale
Investing in Plain English
The Crisis of Credit Visualized

Why I Paid $20 For a Free Video

A couple of days ago I Tweeted that I was buying a copy of Common Craft's video Wikis in Plain English. The fact that I bought anything may come as a shock to some readers. After all, this is Free Technology for Teachers and you can watch all of the Common Craft videos for free at various places on the Internet. So why did I purchase Wikis in Plain English? I purchased a copy of it because I will be conducting some workshops over the next few months in which Wikis in Plain English will be useful. Since I will be getting paid for those workshops, using the free version of the Common Craft videos would not be right. Put another way, Lee and Sachi put a lot of their time and effort into the production of their videos, for me to profit from their work without paying for that work would be like stealing. Therefore, I bought a copy of Wikis in Plain English and will purchase other videos from Common Craft as needed. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that haven't come to the same conclusion that I have and have abused the work of Lee and Sachi Lefever. Because of those abuses, the newest Common Craft video is not embeddable although you can still view it for free on Common Craft.

I know this post might sound like a sales pitch for Common Craft so please know that I don't have any affiliation with or financial interest in Common Craft. I posted this just to share that there are times when it is appropriate to spend money for quality online content.

EtherPad Improves History/ Revision Viewer

EtherPad, the real-time document collaboration tool that I featured in a post yesterday, has launched a new feature they're calling Time-Slider. Time-Slider allows users to easily review all of the changes that have been made to their documents. To learn more about EtherPad's Time-Slider feature, watch the video embedded below.

Creative Thinking - Lessons About Copyright

Northern Kentucky University has developed some good lesson plans and videos that teachers can use to teach about plagiarism, copyright, and fair use. They've named the collection of lesson plans and videos Creative Thinking. The lessons are designed for use in middle school and high school classrooms. The videos are a combination of scholars talking about copyright issues and creative stories explaining the problems and pitfalls associated with plagiarism. In addition to the lesson plans and videos, NKU offers links to additional resources for learning about copyright and plagiarism.

Applications for Education
The lesson plans and videos from NKU's Creative Thinking website could be good on their own for teaching copyright issues. I would use the lesson plans and videos in conjunction with the resources available from the Temple Media Education Lab and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

A Question of Student Privacy

Today's episode of CNN Student News concludes with a segment about a school in South Carolina that has proposed a policy that will require students to give-up their passwords for social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace. Watch the episode embedded below to learn more.

Applications for Education
The last segment of today's CNN Student News could be a great conversation starter for anyone that is teaching Civics.