Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Stocks, Bonds, Options, and Economics

A couple of days ago I published a short video that I made to explain stock options. In planning to make that video I went back through my archives to look at some related resources that I've shared over the years. Here are some highlights from my archive of resources for teaching and learning about stocks, bonds, options, and economics in general. 

TD Ameritrade's YouTube channel offers a concise explanation of the difference between stocks and bonds. A much longer explanation is offered in this older Khan Academy video

TD Ameritrade also offers a concise explanation of how the bond market works and what bonds are used for (spoiler, they're not just for lame gifts from old uncles). 

Inflation Explained in One Minute provides a very basic explanation of the concept of inflation. It could be fine as a conversation starter or introduction to a lesson. However, if viewed on its own without additional information it might give students the impression that inflation is solely caused by changes in money supply. 

How Inflation Works is an excellent twelve minute video lesson produced by CNBC International. The video does a great job of explaining demand-pull inflation and cost-push inflation. Going beyond the basics the video also provides an excellent comparison of the economic theories of Milton and Keynes. Students will also learn how the consumer price index is calculated and how it is indicative of inflation. Finally, the video concludes with historical examples of inflation around the world and the causes of those hyper-inflationary episodes. I should note that the video will lend itself to introducing other concepts to your students including the importance of the federal reserve's interest rate.

If you or your students would prefer an animated lesson about inflation, The School of Life offers this solid explanation of cost-push and demand-pull inflation.

TED-Ed Lessons on Economics
TED-Ed has four lessons that could fit in well with a larger discussion and lessons related to inflation.

Why Can't Governments Print an Unlimited Amount of Money? explains the concept of quantitative easing in the context of the last two years.

What Give a Dollar Bill Its Value? explains the role of the Federal Reserve in trying to control inflation and deflation.

What Causes an Economic Recession? uses the context of the Bronze Age to introduce the factors that can lead to economic recessions today. Those include inflation, borrowing habits, saving habits, spending habits, and government decisions.

What Causes Economic Bubbles? uses the context of the tulip industry of the 1600's to explain what causes an economic bubble and what happens when it bursts.

How Does the Stock Market Work? is a TED-Ed lesson that provides a four minute overview of the origin of stock markets, why companies offer stock, and the basic factors that influence the prices of publicly-traded stocks. 

A Crash Course in Economics
Crash Course Economics is a thirty-six part video series. In it there are videos covering everything from the basics of supply and demand to the 2008 financial crisis to behavioral economics and a whole lot in between. 

60 Second Adventures in Economics
The Open University hosts a series of six short videos intended to introduce viewers to some of the basic concepts of macroeconomics. In 60 Second Adventures in Economics you will find short videos explaining things like the Paradox of Thrift and Comparative Advantage.

Monday, February 20, 2023

How to Make a Mini Course

The Internet is not lacking for tools to create online courses. I've tried a lot of them over the years. The bad ones force you to become an expert on how to use their platforms before you can publish your own courses. The good ones make it easy for you to develop and publish a course without having to learn any complicated programs. Mini Course Generator is a good one that I recently tried for the first time. 

Mini Course Generator enables you to quickly create an online course from scratch or by following one of their simple templates. Whichever option you choose, the building of your course is done in the same manner. You build your course in a series of index card-like frames. Within each frame you can include images, text, video, and questions (open response or multiple choice). When you have finished building your course you can embed it in your existing website or you can publish it at its own URL provided by Mini Course Generator. Watch my short video that is embedded below to see how easy it is to create a course with Mini Course Generator. 

Video - How to Create a Mini Course

Applications for Education
I'm planning to use Mini Course Generator create a little course to supplement an in-person professional development workshop that I'm running in a few weeks. The course content will include a recap of what was covered in the workshop and some suggested activities for further learning. 

How to Use the Google Authenticator App With Twitter

In what appears to be an on-going quest to drive users away, late last week Elon Musk Twitter announced that it would soon start charging for two factor account authentication done via text messaging (SMS). That doesn't mean that you won't be able to use two-factor authentication for free, it just means that you'll have to do it through a method that doesn't require the use of text messaging. One free option is to use the Google Authenticator app for Android or the Google Authenticator app for iOS

It's easiest to use two devices (your phone and a laptop) to set-up two-factor authentication on Twitter via the Google Authenticator app. Then  you'll first need to install the app on your phone. You'll then need to navigate to your Twitter security settings and open the option for two-factor authentication. In Twitter settings for two-factor authentication select "authenticator app." When you make that selection a QR code will appear on your screen. Use the Google Authenticator app to scan the QR code to generate a six-digit code to enter on Twitter. Once you've done that, your set-up of two-factor authentication for your Twitter account is complete. 

If the preceding paragraph seemed a little complicated, watch this video for a short overview of how to use the Google Authenticator app for two-factor authentication of your Twitter account. 

Video - How to Use the Google Authenticator App to Verify Your Twitter Account  

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Warm-up Activities for Group Brainstorming Sessions

Last week I published a blog post about tools for recording brainstorming sessions. That ended up being one of the most popular things I've published this month. 

Writing that post reminded me of a set of brainstorming warm-up activities designed by Ethos3. Ethos3 is a presentation design company that has worked with some of the biggest name brands in the world. The Ethos3 Slideshare channel is a good place to get some inspiration and tips for designing your own slideshows. One of those slideshows is Wake Up Brain! In the slideshow you'll find five warm-up activities that can be done at the start of almost any brainstorming session.

Applications for Education
Whether you're brainstorming with colleagues to craft a new mission statement for your school or you're brainstorming creative story ideas with your middle school students, the warm-up activities in this slideshow can help you get the ball rolling.

A Brief Explanation of Options

As kind of a hobby I dabble in options trading (I made $6 last week). I mentioned this to a friend of mine last Friday and he, like many other people I've talked to about it over the years, said, "I've heard of that, but I don't what it means." That conversation inspired me to create a short video explanation of what options are. You can watch the video here or as embedded below. 

Video - A Short Explanation of Stock Options

Applications for Education
While I made the video to explain options to my adult friends, it could also be used as an introductory video in a high school business class. If your class is playing a stock market simulation game, this video might be helpful to you and your students.

This style of video is one of many that I teach you how to make in my self-paced Animated Explanations course.

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