Econ Teachers, you NEED to be Listening to Planet Money

Jan 7, 2015 by

I’m an avid podcast listener. So much so that I took up running a couple of years ago in part to increase the amount of time I have each week to listen guilt free (my wife appreciates that the extra time away from family has helped me shed some pounds too). I’m not alone in my listening. The Verge produced a nice video (embedded below) about the rise of the podcast era. Many media consumers believe we’re approaching a new podcast renaissance. If you missed the first great podcasting wave, don’t worry, it wasn’t too long ago, and it was mostly a bunch of talk-radio format audio. The current wave of podcasting is lyrical, narrative-driven, and addicting in a way that scratches the same itch that binge watching a series on Netflix does. The shows come to you, live comfortably on your devices ready to listen when you are, and often go deeply...

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Go Vote!

Nov 6, 2012 by

I’m a sucker for performing important civic duties…..and black and white photography. So I decided to craft this impromptu voting poster today with the help of the United States Library of Congress and their awesome digital collection. While I really don’t have much to say this morning beyond the trite “go, vote” mantra that even the least engaged citizen can accomplish, I wanted to point out that the LoC has a fantastic collection of images, legislation, websites, audio, video, and more! If you happen to be in the patriotic mood, go help yourself to one of their “voting images” from the photo, print, and drawing category (most of them are public domain, or available under free use exemption), load it up in an image editor of choice, and have your students create some propaganda for the simplest civic duty any of us can perform. I particularly enjoyed shifting through...

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Interactive Comparison & Contrast of Presidential Convention Speeches

Sep 11, 2012 by

The New York Times has published an amazing interactive online application that allows readers to explore and analyze all the words and phrases spoken during all of the big speeches at the two major party conventions that just wrapped up last week here in the United States. On the surface, the tool looks like a fancier version of Wordle, with words and phrases that had higher frequencies during speeches being placed in large bubbles, while lower frequency terms have small bubbles. That however, is just about where the comparison between Wordle and the “At the National Conventions, the Words They Used” web app ends. The New York Times allows users to click on the terms, compare how often they were said by both major parties (per 25,000 words spoken), search for your own terms, and even browse the words of phrases in context of the speeches, with quotes from...

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Social Media as Challenge Based Learning Prompt

Nov 21, 2011 by

“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” – Thomas Jefferson Half of our district received training from Apple this summer on the concept of Challenge Based Learning. While many educators are quickly overwhelmed by Apple’s take on the latest instructional trend of student-centered learning sweeping the United States, many teachers in my district understand the need to introduce more inquiry and real world based education into our curriculum. The problem is, many educators question how and where such necessary learning fits into an increasingly cramped and compacted curriculum, especially with more high-stakes testing coming down the road. Most, if not all educators, understand why we need to change education, we just have a difficult time seeing how we’re going to do it under ever-increasing mandates. My rather snarky reply is….”bring the real world into class...

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