Teaching Economics with Real World Economics in the Technology Age

Education is increasingly transitioning to the reality of an ever-changing technological landscape. It is a challenge for many educators to leverage technology in the classroom in a meaningful and relevant way simply because the students are typically so much further ahead than the teachers, schools, and field of education in general. They are able to adapt more quickly to new technology and implement it in their personal lives far more easily than large educational institutions. However, the internet offers a wide range of options that may be more easily introduced into the classroom.

The Stock Market as an Educational Resource

Monitoring the stock market in real time is something that was once only available to those with traders on the floor. Now, it can be monitored on a second by second basis by anyone with a connection to the internet. This offers economics teachers an unprecedented opportunity to integrate real-world examples into their teaching methodology.

There are the terms and concepts that are easily recognizable as being related to the stock market such as bull market, bear market, short-selling, growth stock, value stock, dovish, and hawkish. Following the daily trends provides context to the underlying causes of the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and 2008 as well as the bubbles that preceded them.

It is also a valuable learning tool to explain the concepts of inflation, deflation, propaganda as it pertains to marketing and the value of a company, monopolies, banking and business regulations, investment, and interest rates. The more students become actively engaged in monitoring individual stocks and the performance of those stocks over time, the greater the educational opportunity.

Real Time Observation

Other technology powerhouses such as Apple, Sony, Amazon, Google, and Nintendo can also be leveraged to create interest in economic trends. Following Apple can be especially enlightening because of its regularly timed introductions of new products. Following the Nasdaq AAPL profile allows students to readily see the impact of specific events and news stories on the share price and promotes discussion on the topic.

Most students believe they are experts in social media. They receive a great deal of their informal education in these realms and they are a good place to start when introducing the concept. The stock trends of Twitter and Facebook and the implications of future developments based on investor preferences has a personal impact on how the students will interact with these services in the future.

In the News

Some of the most interesting, recent developments which students may find captivating are how the tech industry itself has been responsible for the record-breaking trends on Wall Street. This clearly demonstrates the power technology now has over the financial health of the country and even the world. This can be used to promote discussion on the role these companies have on the personal lives of the students and their families and how that translates into the larger economic role of the company and what that might mean for the stock prices of other companies with which they are less familiar.

Snapchat is another great example to use with students because of how recently the company was made public and the economic rollercoaster ride that has followed as the market struggles to determine the worth of the company. By actively watching the stock market, students become more aware of these details and can be encouraged to explore the economic and historical implications.

Economics classes have often been considered amongst the most uninteresting, however, this is rapidly changing. Technology has allowed the field to be viewed almost as a sport. It can be watched in real time, analyzed, discussed, and anticipated. With real-time monitoring, it can even be gamified by educators to further facilitate student engagement.

Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this article

About the Author: Jenna B.

Jenna is a freelance writer who got into blogging in college and copywriting upon graduation. Jenna has usually written about topics that mean a lot to her such as health and medicine when applied to family and loved ones. Jenna is an avid runner as long as it’s not a marathon distance jog! She’s on twitter (she still hasn’t fallen in love with and doesn’t use often) @JennaFromDaBlog!


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