Friday, May 10, 2013

The Great Economists - A Marginal Revolution University MOOC

The Marginal Revolution University is a project started by Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok at George Mason University. MRUniversity offers MOOCs about a wide range of topics in economics. One of the MOOCs released this month is Great Economists: Classical Economics and its Forerunners. The course outline places an emphasis on Adam Smith and his work The Wealth of Nations. The course outline concludes with a section on practical issues faced by classical economists.

Here's an introduction to the course.

Here's one video clip from the course, Introduction to Mercantilism.

Typing Club Helps Students Learn to Type

This month Typing Club became a financial supporter of Free Technology for Teachers. As I do with any new supporter I like to share a quick post about what they offer to teachers and students. 

Typing Club is a popular website offering free online touch typing lessons for students of all ages. Whether you use the Typing Club website or the free Chrome Web App the lessons work the same way. Typing Club provides 100 free activities that begin with the basics and progress in difficulty until you can touch type on your entire keyboard including the use of lesser-used keys like "<" and "{." As you type during each lesson you are given instant real-time feedback about your accuracy and speed. Unlike other typing lessons that make you wait until an activity is completed to determine your accuracy or speed, Typing Club recalculates that information with each keystroke.

Applications for Education
Students can use Typing Club without creating an account on the site. If students do create an account they will be able to log-in to track their progress through each lesson. Typing Club provides a free portal service for teachers to use to track their students' progress. In addition to use of the standard lessons, the portal service allows teachers to create customized lessons for their students.

Our Little Earth - Bi-weekly News Summaries for Kids

Our Little Earth is a nice site that provides bi-weekly summaries of the world's biggest news stories. The summaries are written for students. Each edition includes video clips along with the stories. In each edition you'll find stories appropriate for use in social studies, math, and science lessons. You may also find stories about the arts, entertainment, and popular culture. A few "did you know" questions appear in each issue as well. An archive containing every edition going back to 2007 is available too.

Applications for Education
Our Little Earth could be a good little resource on which you can base some quick social studies lessons. For a donation of one dollar (or more if you're so inclined) you can subscribe to some extra questions and accompanying activities for each edition. Or you could just create your own discussion questions. Either way all of the articles and "did you know" questions mentioned above are free.