Jan 13 2008

Student bloggers find their voices at SAS Economists blog

Published by at 10:07 pm under AP Economics,Teaching

Shanghai American School Economists – A podcast and blog produced by AP Econonomics students at Shanghai American School

Sometimes I read something written by students and I can hardly believe what I see. Students who utter barely a word in class somehow manage to write like journalists when they know their words will be read by more than just their teacher. Sometimes students are afraid to write for an audience, but sometimes the very thought of doing so motivates them to create something special, challenge themselves, push the limits of their knowledge and skills.

Back in September of 2007, about six months into my own career as a blogging economics teacher, I created a website where my students could freely post their own economics pieces. I explained to students that the site was for their own use; anyone could register as an author, write whatever they wanted, and post it to the blog whenever they pleased. I promised I would only step in and edit were something inappropriate or grossly inaccurate to appear. So far, I’ve not had to edit a single student article. And the amazing thing is, the articles that appear on this blog are getting better and better as the year goes on!

As and econ blogger myself, I am starting to realize that what I do every night, when I write articles for my students’ benefit, is not that impressive, because the articles THEY are writing are just as good if not better than the ones I write on my blog! For example, kids are now beginning to read the news as if the ARE economists, and when they identify an economic principle in something they read, they are challenging themselves to blog it on their AP Economics blog. Again, these kids are not required to write articles for this blog, but for some reason, they just DO! I love it!

If you haven’t yet, check out the SAS Economists AP Economics student blog. Not only are there some entertaining and educational articles about economics posted, but over 25 student-created podcasts too (both audio and video) exploring the economic concepts we’ve studied so far in microeconomics.

A website that started out as a fun little experiment in student blogging has turned into a forum for students whose voices may be heard by few during class, but through the world of Web 2.0 can be heard by thousands over the web!

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About the author:  Jason Welker teaches International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement Economics at Zurich International School in Switzerland. In addition to publishing various online resources for economics students and teachers, Jason developed the online version of the Economics course for the IB and is has authored two Economics textbooks: Pearson Baccalaureate’s Economics for the IB Diploma and REA’s AP Macroeconomics Crash Course. Jason is a native of the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and is a passionate adventurer, who considers himself a skier / mountain biker who teaches Economics in his free time. He and his wife keep a ski chalet in the mountains of Northern Idaho, which now that they live in the Swiss Alps gets far too little use. Read more posts by this author

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