Apr 27, 2010

South African Study Tour Visit Day 5

Saturday, the last official day of the study tour (booooooooo). We hit the road early, wondering where the week went and curious to know how Wednesday-Thursday-Friday managed to go by so quickly.

Former DeKalb County educator Ben Ridgeway did a wonderful job of showing us around the King Center and Ebenezer Baptist Church. Powerful, historic, moving.....some of the words that came to our minds as we toured one of Atlanta's most meaningful locations. You say you have not visited the King Center yet? Find the time.

After a short drive across town we found ourselves smack in the middle of one massive crowd of people. Seems everyone in the lower 48 had tickets for the Georgia Aquarium at 1:00pm. The only living things that were not packed in like a can of sardines were the fish themselves. I was secretly wishing I could pull a "Mr. Limpit" and just fall into one of the huge tanks to get a little personal space.

Last stop....back yard going away party/cook out extravaganza. Mix four South Africans, a some U.S. educators, one maroon Corvette, one blue Corvette, a grill and a guy named Walt, and you have yourself one fun night.

South African Study Tour Visit Day 4

If it's Friday it must be the Federal Reserve. As luck would have it, the Georgia Council was partnering with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta to conduct a middle school/high school personal finance workshop so we took the South Africans along to see what "helping teachers teach economics" is all about for us. Not only did our guests get to see 2009 Econ Teacher of the Year, and new-ish Fed employee, Amy Hennessy demonstrate a number of solid personal finance lessons, they also took some time to tour the Fed's money museum. Like every other person who has ever been on that tour, each and every one of them was blown away by the millions and millions of dollars that were driving around from room to room. You simply cannot beat the Fed for a quality location to conduct a teacher workshop.

Next up we drove a little north to visit some great friends at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Marietta. Hands up, who else in the group thought the tour of the C-130 and F-22 production facility was way beyond cool? The visit to Lockheed was very high on everyone's list (including mine) as "most amazing part of the tour." Follow that tour with a meeting with GCEE Executive Director David Martin on the "11 Keys to Success" and you have yourself a pretty great day.

Did someone say Apple store at the Lenox Mall? We tried, we really did. Each of the South Africans was ready to single-handedly stimulate the entire economy of Atlanta by purchasing every iPad and iPhone in the mall but they were all denied by incompatibility issues with the telecommunications system in their home province. The only real bummer of the study tour.

To be continued...

South African Study Tour Visit Day 2

Another early start, another great classroom visit. Mr. Chris Cannon of Sandy Creek was kind enough to let us crash his AP Macro class for awhile and he did not disappoint. Our South African friends got to see a terrific lesson on balance of payments and balance of trade. From there it was straight to Georgia State University, where we took in a 2000 level Micro class being taught by Dr. Shelby Frost. Wow, wow and wow! Dr. Frost really brought her "A" game as she demonstrated how to keep 112 college students involved and on task. Her secret....clickers! All of us were very impressed with her ability to engage a class of that size in a room this big.

After a quick visit to the global headquarters of the Georgia Council it was off to the Department of Education for a meeting with Social Studies Program Manager Bill Cranshaw. Dr. Cranshaw did a great job of explaining the role the state plays in helping teachers and students in schools all across the state. Our South African guests were impressed with the fact that there are econ standards in grades K-8 and 12. Yeah Georgia!

From the Department of Education it was a short drive over to the Carter Center for a tour of the Presidential Library and Museum. The museum in a word...awesome. Make it a point of visiting the Carter Center if you are near Atlanta. Jimmy has had quite an incredible life.

We ended the day with a casual dinner at Econblog central. Family, friends, food....fun.

To be continued.....

Apr 26, 2010

South African Study Tour Visit Day 1

Take four educators fresh off a 16 hour flight, mix them with a class of 3rd graders and what you get is a great morning at Spring Hill Elementary School in Fayetteville learning about productivity and specialization. Huge Econblog thanks to Ms. Shelby Garner for allowing us to spend some time with her incredible students. Our friends from the Western Cape were exposed to a group of students who were actively involved in the learning process while proving that 3rd graders can in fact tell you what opportunity cost is all about.

From Spring Hill it was off to a meeting with Fayette County Social Studies Coordinator Dr. Cathy Geis, where our guests learned many key strategies to implementing a successful economics program at the county level. As an added bonus we saw Zac Brown, of Zac Brown Band fame, at lunch.

Without slowing down, we made our way over to Starr's Mill High School, my old stomping grounds, to observe the classrooms of Mark DeCourcy and Michael Melvin, two of the finest teachers around.

To top off an already solid day, we were very fortunate to be the guests of our good friends at Georgia Power as they hosted us at an Atlanta Braves game. Phillies 2...Braves 0 was the final score but none of us were bothered all that much because it was a great night for baseball in the ATL.

To be continued....

South African Study Tour Visit

So, for the last week I have had the pleasure and privilege of hosting four incredible economic educators from South Africa. Karen, Seymour, Alex and Rudy traveled a LONG way to spend some time with us to see how we go about delivering economic education in Georgia. The trip , which was sponsored by the Council for Economic Education, started off with a two-day orientation in Washington, DC. While in DC we had a chance to spend a day on Capitol Hill, where we met with representatives of Congressman Westmoreland, Congressman Gingry, Congressman Lewis, Senator Isakson and Senator Chambliss. As you can see in the photo above, we even had the chance to meet with Senator Chambliss.

After a busy day on the hill advocating for the continued funding of international programs, we hopped on an Atlanta bound plane to start four days of action packed economics.

To be continued....

Apr 14, 2010

Good Work if You Can Get It

Report Card Time

The Council for Economic Education has created a wonderful resource that allows you to track the progress of each state in terms of how much, and what level of, economics and personal finance is required and taught across the country. As you will see right here, Georgia continues to be a leader in the teaching of both economics and personal finance in grades K-12. We have the standards, we have the required testing and we have thousands of outstanding teachers out there getting it done each and every day.

Apr 13, 2010

SMG Spring Champion

Win, place, show. Westminster made that happen. Congratulations to team advisor Jay Watts and his THREE teams from Westminster that took home first ($238,207), second ($209,799) and third ($208,106) place in the Spring 2010 Stock Market Game. We will see Mr. Watts and his successful teams at the SMG luncheon on May 4th at the Georgia Freight Depot. Congratulations to all winning regional teams that competed in the competition.

Apr 3, 2010

Apr 2, 2010

I Got Your Lessons Right Here!

EconEdLink has you covered elementary and high school teachers...

Elementary, a lesson on opportunity cost and decision making.

High School, a lesson on unemployment and business cycles.

High School, a lesson on the Fed and Monetary Policy.