Tag Archive 'IB Economics'

Oct 27 2011

A new website for Video Lectures – the Economics Classroom

If you’re a regular visitor to this blog, you’ll notice that over the last month or so, I have begun posting many video lectures to YouTube and including them in lessons and activities on this blog. My adventures in the “flipped classroom” model of instruction has proven extremely successful, as I have heard much positive feedback from students who have found the videos useful reinforcement for our regular class activities and a helpful tool for revision.

As this project has developed, however, I have begun to notice that this blog has turned into more of a video hosting site and less of what it has always been, which is a written journal of economic analysis targeted at the high school economic student. While I have begun making video lectures, I do not want to neglect the traditional form of blogging that has guided my activities on this site for almost five years.

Therefore, I have decided to add a new site to the selection of resources already available through Welker’s Wikinomics. As of tonight, I have created The Economics Classroom, a website built exclusively for my video lectures. From now on, all video lectures uploaded to YouTube will be published on the new site, at www.econclassroom.com.

Videos will be organized in categories based on the five units of the IB Economics syllabus: Intro, Micro, Macro, International and Development Economics. Much like blog posts on this blog, videos posted to the Economics Classroom will include discussion questions or in-class activities for students to complete on their own or during class with their peers and their teacher’s help.

Please visit the Economics Classroom and enjoy the videos that are there. Currently, only about 17 video lectures have been posted, but I am recording on average three per week, and by the end of this year I anticipate there will be around 100 lectures available on the site. Over the next two years, I will record over 150 lectures covering every topic from the IB and AP Economics syllabuses.

Leave your feedback on the posts. Join the discussions that are already going on on some of the posts. Tell your friends, your teachers, and your students about the site! The more people who use it, the better it will become!

Thanks for everything!


4 responses so far

Sep 08 2011

My new IB Economics and AP Macroeconomics textbooks are now available, ready to ship today!

It’s been a long road to this day, September 8, on which what I truly believe is the best IB – specific Economics textbook ships from Pearson’s warehouses in the UK. Pearson Baccalaureate’s Economics ships today, so if you haven’t already, order yourself an evaluation copy from the Pearson website. If you like what you see, consider ordering a set for your classes!

From the Pearson website:

An exciting new textbook with integrated online learning resources. For students and teachers of the International Baccalaureate Diploma, written and developed by practising IB teachers.

  • Specifically written for the new 2011 syllabus
  • Makes clear connections to real world eventsto build conceptual understanding
  • Provides analysis of economic concepts in light of recent global economic data
  • Extra student practice questions for new HL quantitative methods
  • Lively writing to stimulate interest, with clearexplanations to promote understanding
  • Suitable for use with both SL and HL courses
  • Gives clear links to TOK throughout
  • Enables exam-style assessment opportunities
  • Provides guidance on Internal Assessmentand the Extended Essay
  • Fully supported with online resources.

Sample Content Pearson Baccalaureate Economics sample spreads

And if you’re and AP teacher and feeling left out, please don’t, because my other new book, REA’s AP Macroeconomics Crash Course, also ships out this month!

REA’s AP Macroeconomics Crash Course is the first book of its kind for the last-minute studier or any AP student who wants a quick refresher on the course. The Crash Course is based on a careful analysis of the AP Macroeconomics Course Description outline and actual AP test questions released by the College Board.

Written by an AP teacher, our easy-to-read format gives students a crash course in Macroeconomics. This review will prepare you for test day by focusing on important topics frequently seen on the AP Macroeconomics exam.

Unlike other test preps, REA’s AP Macroeconomics Crash Course gives you a review specifically focused on what you really need to study in order to ace the exam. The introduction discusses the keys for success and includes a list of terms all AP Macroeconomics students must know.

The targeted review chapters are grouped by topics, offering you a concise way to learn all the important ideas, facts, and terms before exam day. The author gives you expert test-taking strategies to conquer the multiple-choice and free-response questions on the exam. No matter how or when you prepare for the AP exam, REA’s AP Macroeconomics Crash Course will show you how to study efficiently and strategically, so you can boost your score!

To check your test readiness for the AP Macroeconomics exam, either before or after studying this Crash Course, take our online practice exam. To access your free practice exam, visit www.rea.com/crashcourse and follow the on-screen instructions. This true-to-format test features automatic scoring of the multiple-choice questions and detailed explanations of all answers. Our diagnostic analysis will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, so you’ll be ready on exam day!

One response so far

Feb 12 2010

Advice for an aspiring IB Economics Extended Essay author

Published by under China,IB Economics,Trade

It’s that time of the year for IB Economics students all over the world. Time to choose their extended essay topics! The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is a rigorous, two-year diploma program for 11th and 12th graders. In addition two three “higher level” courses and three “standard level” courses chosen from each of the six subject areas (maths, physical sciences, social sciences, fine arts, language A and language B), students must also complete a major research project over the two year program. This “extended essay” is externally assessed and counts towards their points and their final diploma score.

As an IB Economics teacher, it is my duty to assist students who choose to write an economics extended essay. This year I will supervise four Zurich International School students, who will be researching topics ranging from the competitive nature of the local fast food market, to Malaysia’s economic policy and the country’s development, to the health insurance industry in Switzerland and Brazil’s coffee market. Helping students fine tune their research topics and refine their essay is an exciting and rewarding process.

This afternoon I received an email from an IB Economics student in Berlin. Here’s what she had to say:

Dear Mr.Welker :

I’m currently an IB Grade 11 student studying at Berlin International School, and i would like to write my extended essay in Economics. Your blog has provided me with so many ideas now that the problems is now i don’t know what to choose or how to narrow it down . My ideas are mainly focusing on China’s economy, because I’m from Taiwan, I thought it would be an advantage for me, since i can understand information if it was written in Chinese.

I’m thinking of writing about the following topics:

  • Limiting factors of China’s economic expansion (inequality, inflation, protectionism from other countries like US, spending and saving habits of the Chinese, export and import) and maybe the possible future of China’s economy, because while some people say it’s going to help lift the global economy out of recession, some say they see an economic crash.( but I’m not sure if as a high school student is able to do that, at the same time I think one of the criterias is to discover something new ? )
  • Another thing i also find interesting is about Chinese currency and how it might solve inflation (I came across this from one of your blog posts about China at May 2008) or what policies do governments use to maintain RMB without buying US exports and the possible effects on other countries as a result of weak Chinese currency

I really can’t decide which one to do, therefore i would really appreciate it if you could advice me and give me some feedbacks. 🙂

Looking forward to your responses !

I was happy to receive an email from such an enthusiastic young economist. Below is my response and advice to the student:


Your ideas are very interesting… it’s impressive as an IB Econ teacher to see a student as thoughtful and reflective on the EE topic as you are. Here are my thoughts on your proposed topics:

I think your first topic would be particularly difficult to research and write a good essay on. In all honesty, not many of the factors that you identify (inequality, inflation, protectionism from other countries like US, spending and saving habits of the Chinese, export and import) have really limited China’s economic growth. China’s growth has been unprecedented in the world in modern history. Inequality could be viewed as a result of the rapid growth the country has experienced; such inequality has been experienced in many countries during their early stages of economic development. Inflation is also a symptom of rapid growth, but in most cases China has keep inflation under control. It has been the lack of protectionism from countries like the US which have led to the massive growth of China’s export industry. If anything, China’s own protectionist policy of managing the value of the RMB at such a low rate has also contributed to its rapid growth.

Even Chinese spending and savings habits have contributed to the growth of the country’s economy. A high savings rate enables the Chinese government to tap the country’s savings to buy US government bonds, which keeps interest rates low in America, the dollar strong, and helps finance the US government’s budget deficits, meaning lower taxes and more disposable income among American consumers who turn around and import hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods every year, further fueling growth in China. With a lower savings rate, China would experience fewer net exports. On the other hand, they’d experience more domestic consumption, which is probably what we should expect to see in the future if Beijing begins to loosens its control of the RMB and allows it to strengthen. Chinese will then begin consuming more of their own output and buying more imports from abroad, while net exports decrease in response to the rising prices of Chinese goods in the west. Domestic consumption will begin to replace exports as domestic savings decreases.

I like your second proposal much better. Since you are in Germany, I would consider researching the effects of China’s exchange rate controls on a particular industry in which both German and Chinese firms compete. I had a student in Shanghai who had a similar background to yours; he was of Chinese descent, but born in Germany. He spoke both German and Mandarin. He researched the impact of China’s low cost automobile parts manufacturers on the German auto parts and automobile industries. He did not focus exclusively on the exchange rate, but it was part of his research.

The IB really likes when you research local markets. If you examine the impact of the weak RMB on, say, US net exports, it’s not nearly as impressive as if you focus your investigation on German firms. You may have friends at your school whose parents work for firms who do business with or compete against Chinese firms. Interview them! You could measure historical exchange rate data between the RMB and the Euro, explain the mechanism by which China manages its currency against the US dollar but then explain how that also affects exchange rates with the Euro, then examine the impact on exports and imports from Germany to China and vis versa in response to the fluctuations of the RMB/Euro exchange rate. America is not the only country that wants China to let the RMB float. Europe’s exports are also affected by the weak RMB.

So that’s my suggestion. Take your two homes (well, not really as you’re Taiwanese, but close enough!) and focus on them. Choose one or two industries that exist in Germany AND China, and research the effects of free trade, China’s entry to the WTO, China’s exchange rate policies, and so on, to draw conclusions about how China’s entry to the global economy has affected firms in Germany.

Good luck, I hope this helps! Click on the “China” category on my blog to find all the dozens of articles I’ve written about China over the last three years!

Mr Welker

32 responses so far

Apr 21 2009

AP Economics and IB Economics Review Materials Online NOW!

Visit my new site, The Economics Classroom, for review videos, an Economics glossary, worksheets and practice activities and countless other resources to help you prepare for your exams in Introductory, AP or IB Economics. Or go straight to the Economics Exam Review page.

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Aug 07 2008

A new beginning in Zurich, “the world’s most livable city”

This blog has been quiet for some time. Summer will do that to a blogger; gets your mind off work, Economics, teaching, content, learning, all those activities that make up the daily life of a teacher for 10 months out of the year are blissfully absent from our daily routines during the summer months.

Alas, all good things come to an end, as does summer every year come mid-August. With the end of this summer, however, a new adventure begins as I find myself settling into a new school in a new city and country. So far, I have had an amazing two weeks in and around Zurich Switzerland with my wife, who is here for a while before heading back to Shanghai for one more school year.

In my short time in this amazing country, I have already had several ideas for future blog posts analyzing the unmatched economic efficiency I have observed in the daily routines of the Swiss people, buearacracy, transport and waste disposal systems, etc… Switzerland is the country with the highest EnvironmentalBeautiful Switzerland Performance Index (EPI) rating, indicating that it best manages its natural and environmental resources, which as I have observed is the result of a well implemented system of economic incentives on multiple levels of Swiss society. From petrol tariffs to recycling schemes to half fair rail passes, all in a country with some of the lowest income taxes in Western Europe, Switzerland has somehow figured out the secret formula that so many developed and developing countries have yet to grasp: how to achieve a strong economy AND a healthy environment.

Throughout the coming school year, during which I will be teaching four sections of International Baccalaureate Economics and one section of Advanced Placement Economics, I will attempt to focus my posts to this blog on some of the issues faced by Switzerland and its European neighbors in the modern global economy. Additionally, I will attempt to unravel some of the Economic secrets that have helped make this city of 300,000 the world’s most livable city for three consecutive years.

I will be joined this school year by some new faces here at Welker’s Wikinomics. Steve Latter of Fairfax, Virginia, will continue to post articles, as will my former colleague Michelle Close from Shanghai American School. I am also hoping to recruit my new teaching partner here in Zurich, who may also be keen on using the blog as a means of extending the learning of his AP and IB Econ students.

For now, I will enjoy my last 10 days before classes begin full speed ahead here in beautiful Zurich, Switzerland. I will resume regular posts sometime later this month, so please stay tuned!

2 responses so far