Teaching Tip: The beginning of the semester is a good time to try to understand what is going on in the economy. In an earlier blog entry I discussed using a video by The Wall Street Journal to explain the beginning of the financial crisis that started with the downfall of Bear Sterns in 2009, leading to the death of Lehman Brothers, which in turn led to the stock market crash followed by the recent recession. This is very complicated and difficult to simplify and bring down to a level that all students can understand.
This Wall Street Journal three-part video series is titled “The End of Wall Street” and it is an excellent source for helping the students understand this rather complicated topic and keeping their attention along the way. Each of the videos is about seven to nine minutes long so they provide a short break during the class lecture and at the same time do a great job of explaining these recent events. I use them in three successive classes. I play the video in the middle of the lecture and find that this invigorates the class a bit.
With respect to the European debt crisis, The Wall Street Journal recently produced another excellent video, “Europe at the Brink” that helps explain the origins of the European debt crisis. It takes a look at why and how it spread, and what the threats are to our economy. This video is about 23 minutes long and does a great job of depicting what has happened and why it is a concern to all of us. Neither video is particularly uplifting, but they both do a great job of explaining complicated events that will have an impact on all of us.