Friday, February 27, 2015

Lesson Plan - How Expensive Are Payday Loans?

Econ Ed Link is a good source of comprehensive lesson plans for teaching economics lessons. How Expensive Are Payday Loans? is one of the featured lesson plans for use with ninth through twelfth grade students. The lesson is based upon a Federal Trade Commission video explanation of the costs of payday loans. The video in conjunction with the lesson plan teach students how to calculate the total cost of loan after accounting for finance charges, interest, and loan origination fees. The video is embedded below.

Applications for Education
How Expensive Are Payday Loans? could be a great companion lesson to my personal finance game Life on Minimum Wage. When students reach the point in the game that they need to borrow money, stop the game and interjection the lesson on the cost of payday loans.

5 TED-Ed Lessons on How the Human Body Works

This morning I visited TED-Ed's Lesson catalog and saw a new lesson about the pancreas. Seeing that video prompted me to look for other TED-Ed videos about the human body. I came up with four more and put them into a little playlist on YouTube. The five videos cover the pancreas, kidneys, lungs, heart, and liver. The playlist is embedded below.

Applications for Education
Earlier this week I shared five good apps and sites for learning about how the human body works. These TED-Ed lessons could make good companion lessons to using those apps. Like all TED-Ed lessons they're not thorough enough to stand alone, but they do make for good introductions and or concept reviews.

How to Search for Old Newspaper Articles in the Google News Archive

When I talk about search strategies in my workshops I stress the importance of getting students to utilize more than just the default search engine. One of the ways to do that is to introduce students to resources like the Google News Newspaper archive. In the Google News Newspaper archive you can search for a specific newspaper, search for article titles, or as demonstrated below you can search for a topic.

This is one of the resources that we will explore during my presentation Teaching With Technology and Primary Sources next week at #NCTIES15 in North Carolina.

Develop Science Writing Projects on ProjectWriter

Disclosure: BoomWriter Media is an advertiser on

Last month BoomWriter Media released a great new tool called ProjectWriter. ProjectWriter enables you to create writing assignments for students to complete in groups that you organize. Students log into their BoomWriter accounts (you can manage those accounts) and select the ProjectWriter tab to see their groups and their assignments. You can include a list of key terms that you want students to include in their writing assignments. The video embedded below provides an overview of the process.

Applications for Education
BoomWriter recently created a page all about using ProjectWriter in science classes. On that page you will find ideas like using ProjectWriter to have students work in groups to develop an experiment process. By using ProjectWriter for the experiment development process each student gets to contribute his or her ideas and you can monitor and give feedback on the process. Each student works on his or her section of the process individually then submits it to the group for review. This process is a bit more orderly than having all of the students trying to work on one Google Document.

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