Economics is the study of how people and countries choose to spend money and use scarce resources. At the individual level (microeconomics) we might choose between saving for an iPod, or spending on a movie, while governments decide (macroeconomics) how much to spend on space exploration and medical research. Learn more at this week's hot sites.
The National Council on Economic Education is a nationwide network promoting economic literacy for students and teachers. EconEdLink (just one of their sites) is a repository of nearly 500 online K-12 economics lessons. My favorite sections are Current Events (news headlines paired with lesson plans) and Data Links (current leading economic indicators paired with case studies.)
Wow! The multimedia economics activities from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco are terrific. The Chairman Game lets you control the Federal Reserve, where it is your job to keep inflation low, and unemployment in check. Fedville is a role-playing game for grades 3 to 6 where you can open a bank account, spend pocket money, or get a job. Ask Dr. Econ is a Federal Reserve economist answering your questions, along with an archive of past answers. There is also an interactive economics crossword puzzle, and a Fed Facts Power Point about money and monetary policy.
Professor R. Preston McAfee, from the California Institute of Technology, has written a textbook for college economics, and placed it online under a Creative Commons License (which means you are free to download it for personal use.) Although this is a college-level course, I thought it would be helpful for high school students, especially those taking Advanced Placement Economics. Of his work, McAfee says "There are lots of models and equations and no pictures of economists."
"Have the feeling that you never have enough money? Or want to know how to make your money grow? Got anything saved up? You've come to the right place." Focusing on microeconomics, The Mint offers teens, parents and teachers important financial lessons about earning, spending, saving, owing and tracking money. Best clicks are the Four-Bank System for young kids, and the Be Your Own Boss Challenge for budding entrepreneurs.
"The United States is often described as a ï¿½capitalist' economy, a term coined by 19th-century German economist and social theorist Karl Marx to describe a system in which a small group of people who control large amounts of money, or capital, make the most important economic decisions." Written by a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and published by U.S. Department of State, Outline of the U.S. Economy is a twelve-page mini-textbook. If the type is hard to read, I recommend switching browsers, as the pages look much better in Internet Explorer than Firefox.