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To spice up the possibly mundane lesson on Production Possibility Frontier’s I made use of this fantastic TED talk by Yasheng Huang.read more...»
Artist Kate Hartman uses wearable electronics to explore how we communicate, with ourselves and with the world. In this quirky and thought-provoking talk she shows the “Talk To Yourself Hat” and the “Muttering Hat”.read more...»
What language do deaf people think in? Can we think without language? If you had never heard language would you use it to articulate your thoughts? Do babies think in a language of sorts? If you can’t articulate your internal thoughts in linguistic form have you really thought them at all? Is language integral to our understanding of ourselves? Do we need our brain chatter to be formed into words, rather than feelings, in order to make sense of our emotions?
IB students should always be on the lookout for suitable articles to complete their internal assessment. This alcohol related piece from the BBC website is ideal.read more...»
I always try and make reference to businesses found in town. The students often find it easier to relate to and analyse. Morrisons is the the major supermarket in the town centre and last week they published promising results especially given the bleak economic times.read more...»
The Rugby World Cup kicked off this morning with an impressive victory for the hosts but what are the economic benefits of hosting such an event?read more...»
The major changes to the macroeconomics course are as follows…read more...»
The major changes/additions to the microeconomics course are as follows…read more...»
The new course has no formal introductory section but teachers are advised to spend time explaining why economics is a social science and introduce the concepts of scarcity and choice. The following four themes run through the course:
• The extent to which governments should intervene in the allocation of resources
• The threat to sustainability as a result of the current patterns of resource allocation
• The extent to which the goal of economic efficiency may conflict with the goal of equity
• The distinction between economic growth and economic development.
I aim to head on straight into the heart of micro and macro economics interweaving the above mentioned themes through the use of lots of real world examples.
I am now a couple of days into teaching the new IB Economics spec and am excited about the challenges that lie ahead.read more...»
With increasingly advanced computers being developed all the time Artificial Intelligence is no longer the reserve of science fiction novels. However, it has so far remained impossible to develop a computer which can fool humans into thinking it is also human. It’s thought processes have not lacked complexity but what is it that sets human thought apart from that of a computer?read more...»
It’s the start of the new academic year for many centres, and here’s a starter for teaching Unit 5.5 Location. The USA has, for the 3rd year running, slipped in the annual ‘Global Competitiveness’ league table compiled by the World Economic Forum. Which country is number 1? Is Britain in the top 10? Whilst there is no real surprise about Greece, which position has Hong Kong soared to? Read more to find out…
Some of the apps I am currently using either in the classroom or for developing lessons.read more...»
Having recovered from teaching on the ESF Economics and then the Business and Management revision courses I am now focused on iPad2 in the classroom.read more...»
A very common topic in the short answer paper, at Higher Level, is the multiplier. If you have learnt a working example this is a question you should aim for full marks in. Make sure you understand why different values for the multiplier result in different changes to national income. I have attached a worksheet that includes a variety of past exam questions.
As with all Economics qualifications the IBO places heavy emphasis on the effective use of diagrams. It is vital in the final two weeks before the exam that you take the time to learn precisely every digram outlined in the syllabus. You should be using diagrams in all three papers (two at standard level), the data response paper explicitly tests your understanding of them. In the data response paper part b) and c) in every question will begin “using a diagram…”. Given that there are 4 marks available for each part and you have three questions to answer 24 out of a possible 60 marks, in this paper, are directly available for effective use and understanding of diagrams.
Our revision toolkit for the Reach Out case study for IBDP Business & Management in 2011 is still available. Adam Dean, Head of Commerce & IT at Emirates International School - Jumeirah, has produced a comprehensive analysis of the Reach Out case, including a mock exam paper. This resource can now be ordered from the tutor2u online store here:
With the Easter holidays in full swing, May 2011 candidates are busy preparing for their final IB exams. This week’s ‘top tip’ for the B&M exams is about improving evaluation skills…read more...»
In this podcast, Prof. Sir Andrew Likierman of London Business School highlights how the success of the London 2012 Olympics should be measured and discusses the challenges of satisfying multiple stakeholders.
A perfect case study to teach Organizational objectives and Stakeholder analysis. Listen to the podcast here….
With just a week to go before the Easter holidays (in this part of the world anyway), May 2011 candidates will be busy preparing for their final IB exams. Here’s this week’s ‘top tip’ for the B&M exams courtesy of Brett Hillman and Fiona Charnley from Australia…read more...»
With just over 2 weeks to go before the Easter holidays, May 2011 candidates will be busy preparing for their final IB exams. Here’s this week’s ‘top tip’ for the B&M exams…read more...»
The internet, mobile phone technology and social media, along with television will result in nearly 35% of the world’s population watching the royal wedding next month. Even entrenched media giants such as CNN and BBC, not to mention cable channels such as Disney and several broadcasters are designing strategies to reach out to wider audience.
Why so much of the world will stop for the royal wedding, surpassing any other previous notable event in the world? The answer lies in the vivid display of new media options. Read the article here ……
Information designer Tom Wujec talks through three areas of the brain that help us understand words, images, feelings, connections. How can we best engage our brains to help us better understand big ideas? This is a great ‘Beginners Guide to Brain Function’.
click here for the linkread more...»
With less than 4 weeks to go before many students leave school for the Easter holidays and prepare for their final IB exams, each week I will be posting a ‘top tip’ for the B&M exams.
Here’s the fourth in the series…read more...»
I will, in just over a week’s time, be saying goodbye to my U6th IB Economists as they head off for their Easter break and preparation for their final papers. Over the coming days and weeks I will be making a regular series of postings to help students with this revision process.read more...»
IBDP Business and Management students will be busy preparing for the Paper 1 pre-release case study. How well do you know Reach Out? Take the 3rd in the series of the 10-question quiz to find out…read more...»
Coles and Woolworths have always been the leading supermarket chains in Australia. Of late, IGA is rising as a third force in the grocery retail business. The success behind IGA is attributed to the Human Resource strategies of its parent company, Metcash. Right from having a solid internal communications process to offering professional development opportunities for employees, Metcash has taken a number of initiatives to keep its staff motivated. This case study offers practical insights into Herzberg’s motivational factors of job enrichment and job advancement. Read the human resources strategies used by Metcash here …………
With 5 weeks to go before many students leave school for the Easter holidays and prepare for their final IB exams, each week I will be posting a ‘top tip’ for the B&M exams.
Here’s the third in the series…read more...»
With 6 weeks to go before many students leave school for the Easter holidays and prepare for their final IB exams, each week I will be posting a ‘top tip’ for the B&M exams. Here’s the second in the series…
In early March, I was privileged to have been invited to the Koç School in Istanbul, Turkey. The students I met were absolutely amazing – academic geniuses with real personalities and humbleness. This blog is dedicated to them…
IBDP Business and Management students will be busy preparing for the Paper 1 pre-release case study. How well do you know Reach Out? Take the second in the series of the 10-question quiz to find out. BTW, next month is Austism Awareness Month…
Starbucks is set to change its logo on its 40th anniversary this year. However, thanks to the power of the internet, fans protested this change through blogs and tweets. Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks has unveiled ambitious plans of selling alcohol as well as coffee apart from selling Starbucks-branded goods in supermarkets.
Will Starbucks join the likes of Gap and Tropicana (who had to revert back to their original logo after consumer protests) or will Starbucks’ new logo become a force to be reckoned with in the emerging world of alcohol as well as the entrenched market of coffee? Read the article here……….
So where is the best place on the planet to live? And why are the BRICs all over the news? Take this week’s CAQ to find out…read more...»
With about 7 weeks to go before many students leave school for the Easter holidays and prepare for their final IB exams, each week I will be posting a ‘top tip’ for the B&M exams.
Here’s the first in the series…
IBDP Business and Management students will be busy preparing for the Paper 1 pre-release case study. How well do you know Reach Out? Take this 10-question quiz to find out…
We’re back from the Chinese New Year holidays, so here’s the latest current affairs quiz…read more...»
We’re back from the Chinese New Year holidays, so here’s the latest current affairs quiz…read more...»
China and India have been in the news again for all sorts of reasons… do you know why? And which American bank has reported more losses, this time amounting to USD1.2bn (£769m)? Take this week’s current affairs quiz to find out…read more...»
In preparing for the P1 pre-seen case study, I watched a brilliant 45-minutes BBC Four video with my students in class called “My Family and Autism”...
Which country has topped this year’s Economic Freedom Index, claiming the crown to the world’s freest economy? And which country came in bottom place? Read on to find out…
Which US car maker has launched the ‘Volt’ to take on Toyota’s mighty Prius? Which Wall Street bank - which remained profitble during the financial crisis - has reported an increase in profits of 47%? And which internet website, with over 400 million hits each month, has just celebrated its 10th anniversary? Take this week’s current affairs quiz to find out…read more...»
Used these two footy video clips as (light entertainment) starters for 5.4 Quality…read more...»
Which Chinese internet company has more customers than Facebook? And what is the most popular overseas destination for French Bordeaux wine? Having already launched the LePhone, Lenovo is about to launch a new gadget to take on the iPad – but what is it called? Take this week’s CAQ to find out…read more...»
Here’s an interesting article that can be used when teaching 2.3 Communication…
Model Dependent Realism is discussed by Stephen Hawking in ‘The Grand Design’. Model Dependent Realism is the notion that there is no one version of reality. Reality is not linear or one dimensional. It cannot be known or understood to be such.
Forget the traditional textbook example of product life cycles – which game caused a total storm in 2010 with sales of $360m (£227,848,101) on its first day of release? And who is the most successful female television entrepreneur of all time with her very own 24/7 cable network? Take this week’s CAQ to find out…read more...»
Useful videos from BBC Four and YouTube for the Reach Out case study (autism)...read more...»
Interested in teaching in the Humanities Faculty at an excellent international school in Hong Kong? We have two vacancies for Business Education from August 2011. There is also a post of responsibility in the Faculty for a Coordinator of Theory of Knowledge and IPSE. Read on for more details…read more...»
Right from companies wanting to improve sales and productivity, financial firms wishing to uncover fraud, police departments being able to predict crimes, to governments wanting to combat counterterrorism, NETWORK ANALYSIS is playing an increasingly useful role these days. All this is made possible by untangling the social web and analysing social connections. A multi-billion dollar endeavour, “Network Analysis” is now used to accurately map the spread of democracy and national security. Read more here…..
Non-profits are usually deemed to be run inefficiently by management experts and consultants. Interestingly, this article looks at how ‘for-profit’ organizations must emulate and learn from ‘non-profit’ organizations. Right from hiring and motivating employees to marketing. Also the term ‘not-for-profit’ is deemed to sound better than the term ‘non-profit’. I usually find supervising my students’ projects involving charities and non-profit organizations challenging, this article is indeed an eye-opener. Read the article here.
The two Australian supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths pursue almost identical marketing strategies. Their fresh food campaigns, price-wars and other marketing mix elements are so similar, that it is almost impossible to remember who had started it the first place. Coles and Woolworths have reported robust growth post-GFC, mainly because consumers have become more frugal and in order to feed their growing demand for value, are prepared to shop across multiple banners and channels, are heavily reliant on price discounting and promotions. In their latest attempt, the two chains are looking at hormone-free beef and barn laid eggs as part of their product differentiation strategies, thus adding value to the consumer. Read the article here.
Which oil-rich country has its National Day on Thursday? Which computer game raked in £135 million on its debut? And which metal has hit yet another all-time high on the commodities market? Take this week’s CAQ to find out…read more...»
Here’s a great online quiz that you can use with students to check their sense perception of some well known brands…
Sweden and Singapore have overtaken the United States in the latest rankings on international competitiveness published by the World Economic Forum. This BBC news interview gives the WEF’s senior economist an opportunity to outline some of the reasons.read more...»
During the one of the inevitable INSET sessions that marks that start of every term one of the external presenters made use of Prezi for his session.The software really caught my eye and I very much hope to use this web based presentation creator in my teaching over the coming weeks. I will upload topic based presentations once completed. The ‘Thoughts on using Prezi as a teaching tool’ is a great starting point as well as highlighting its capabilities.
So how much does the world’s most expensive dessert cost?! What is the latest unemployment rate in the world’s largest economy? Why is Ferrari in the news, for the wrong reasons? Take this week’s current affairs quiz to find out…read more...»
A great TED talk here on development economics in Ethiopia:
Economist Eleni Gabre-Madhin outlines her ambitious vision to found the first commodities market in Ethiopia. Her plan would create wealth, minimize risk for farmers and turn the world’s largest recipient of food aid into a regional food basket.
Welcome to a new academic year and a new set of current affairs quizzes for Business and Economics students…read more...»
In the following analysis, I have identified five multi national companies to show how they managed crisis and dealt with negative publicity. The companies are Mattel, PepsiCo, JetBlue, The Coca Cola Company and Johnson & Johnson.
Click here to download the article.
This BBC news video looks at demands for better pay among the three million or more workers (the majority of whom are women) who work in garment factories in Bangladesh. The country has over 4,000 textile factories and has become one of the world’s biggest exporters of clothing. But for many the jobs available offer long hours and very low pay of around $25 dollars a week - the trade unions are lobbying for average wages three times this figure. Will it threaten the competitive advantage of Bangladeshi producers looking to hold onto contracts from many western buyers?
The video is a good resource to use when teaching aspects of labour markets and globalisation in developing countries
During an economic downturn, employees want job security and companies want to stay afloat.
Companies are faced with absenteeism, de-motivated workforce, and increased low-level corporate crimes due to severe cost-cutting measures adopted by them like unpaid overtime, shrinking perks, and frozen pay besides others. Worse, some employees are leaving or considering looking for new jobs although the job market is not showing signs of a takeoff.
The solution: A win-win situation for both employees and companies, as they combat the economic crisis.
In this article, one can notice motivational methods of Herzberg in action. Motivational methods such as job empowerment, payment by results, flexible working hours, giving more controls to employees, and consulting workers are a few that have been implemented currently by some companies to stay afloat during the economic crisis. Read the article here......
Sir Stelios has told the company that it must improve its performance within 90 days or it will lose the name.
Read the article here
Enteries for a new name to be forwarded to me as soon as possible. I will compile a list a publish.
The U.S. trade deficit widened in May to the highest level in 18 months as a rebounding economy pushed up demand for imports of foreign-made cars, computers and clothing.
The Commerce Department says the trade deficit increased 4.8 percent to $42.3 billion, the largest imbalance since November 2008. American exports of goods and services rose 2.4 percent but this increase was outpaced by a 2.9 percent rise in imports.
American manufacturing has been a standout performer so far in this recovery, benefiting from a global economic recovery. But the concern is that export sales will be hurt by the European debt crisis, which has dampened growth prospects in Europe.
I found a website that has pages of podcasts that could be useful for guided pupil learning over the holiday period or colleagues may want to download and listen to them on the beach!
Click here to be directed to the website.
Which country has overtaken Saudi Arabia to become the world’s leading oil producer? Which Chinese bank has won government approval for its world record breaking flotation worth at least USD22bn? And which company makes gadgets for the likes of Dell, Sony and Apple? Take this week’s CAQ to find out…read more...»
Coffee is a lifeline for twelve million farmers in Ethopia who are vulnerable to volatile world prices and the monopsony power of the major coffee roasting businesses. But this heart-warming report from Jonathan Dimbleby finds that a new electronic trading system is providing a superb market place for the setting of prices - connected instantaneously to the world commodities market.
Prices agreed on the Ethiopian trading floor are transmitted round the world and the farmer is guaranteed payment within 24 hours. Since the exchange was launched over $400m has been traded without a single dollar of default. Farmers are getting the price that is agreed on the open-outcry market platform. Technology as a support to the problems of real people - outstanding.
Sue Lloyd-Roberts has produced some remarkable reports for television over the years. Few can be as impressive as the ones available on BBC Our World and BBC Newsnight tracking her time in North Korea. She tries to gain an insight into the daily existence of people in North Korea and, despite the constant presence of government minders and security officials, she discovers private markets which for many can be the difference between a meagre life and starvation. The North Korean authorities refuse to acknowledge the existence of these markets but they are the inevitable result of the complete failure of the state planning system. She meets some North Korean defectors who are still coming to terms with the ultimate culture shock.
These video reports are remarkable and will make ideal teaching resources when discussing economic systems, living standards and markets.
Here are some links to Sue Lloyd-Roberts’ reports
The pace and resilience of the US economic recovery has been called into question with the release of weaker than expected economic figures. There has been an increase in unemployment benefit claims for the first time in five weeks. Maybe consumer confidence is taking a battering again in the USA or is this just a blip?
Keep in mind that the labour market for all economies is a closely watched macroeconomic indicator. Poor figures on unemployment and new jobs created is a sign that the recovery in demand remains fragile. Or perhaps that the USA may be experiencing a jobless recovery - with businesses reluctant to take on extra workers for the moment.
According to the Daily Telegraph (UK)
“In the US there was a surprise 25,000 increase in jobless claims to 471,000 in the week ending May 15. The deterioration in the employment picture, coming hard on the heels of Wednesday’s drop in inflation, underlined worries that the US is exposed to a possible global double-dip recession”
Read the article here
This anlaysis shows how the Australian government has used fiscal policies to smooth out economic fluctuations and reduce its impact on consumers. Stabilizing_the_Australian_economy_through_fiscal_policies.doc
A new series begins on BBC1 tonight that will no doubt provide some excellent material for Business Management students.read more...»
There are two excellent programs on BBC Radio 4 this evening that are likely to be full of development and macro economics.read more...»
Here’s an interesting 4-minute BBC video clip that can be used for teaching market segmentation and targeting (Unit 4.2).read more...»
A new series begins on BBC 2 this evening that looks ideal for the department DVD library.
Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis follows the fortunes of brave and bold British companies trying to expand in three of the world’s most dynamic emerging markets - India, Brazil and Vietnam. While Britain is still stuck in a recession, these economies are booming. There couldn’t be a better time than now for British businesses to seize these opportunities in some of the world’s fastest-expanding but risky markets - but how easy is it going to be?
Tonight Theo begins in Vietnam and it looks like a series that will be full of development and business economics.
Click here for a two minute clip of tonight’s episode.
A revision quiz for higher level candidates only that covers costs, revenues and profits.
Merger talks between which two American airlines have halted? What is Coca Colla? And who is the richest man in Britain? Take this week’s CAQ to find out…read more...»
Revision quiz (3) covers Government Intervention. Make sure you have learnt all the relevant diagrams- max/min prices, indirect taxation, ad valorem tax, subsidies, quotas and buffer stocks.
There is a slight air of panic in my boarding house with final IB exams only a week away! The Economics papers are on the 19th/20th May. To help you on your way here is the second revision quiz, many more to follow.
An important moment and a great boon for teachers and students of development economics. The World Bank has made the 2010 Human Development Data available to all - here World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick speaks about the Bank’s new open data initiative. And here is the link to the development data and all of the macro data contained in the global economic monitor. A remarkable and generous gesture from the World Bank.
Who owns the trademark ‘Xperia’? Which Japanese manufacturer plans to give the iPad a run for its money? And what’s happening at Goldman Sachs? Take this week’s CAQ to find out…read more...»
Social business is a cause-driven business. In a social business, the investors/owners can gradually recoup the money invested, but cannot take any dividend beyond that point. The purpose of the investment is purely to achieve one or more social objectives through the operation of the business, no personal gain is desired by the investors. The company must cover all costs and can make profit, at the same time achieving the social objective that it set out to achieve i.e healthcare for the poor, housing for the poor, financial services for the poor, nutrition for malnourished children, providing safe drinking water, introducing renewable energy.
Businessweek features an article on the state of inflation in the Australian economy. Rising inflation looks set to see the Central Bank react for the 5th time in 6 months with a rise in the rate of interest.read more...»
With the final IB papers for U6th students only a matter of weeks away I will be publishing regular revision quizzes that cover all sections of the course- both Higher and Standard level. A corresponding set of answers will follow a couple of days after publication. I also hope to produce some outline answers for past exam questions.
The first quiz is on An Introduction to Economics.
David Smith, economics editor of The Sunday Times and author of Free Lunch has just had his latest offering published- The Age of Instability.read more...»
The IB B&M syllabus incorporates many quantitative techniques…
A nice video summary of today’s budget by the BBC’s big three- Nick Robinson, Stephanie Flanders and Robert Peston.
The Economist Daily Chart is always an excellent source of data, especially in terms of development economics.read more...»
Paddy Power have lost their battle with Tewkesbury Borough Council to make their advertising sign (the longest in the world) a permanent fixture on Cleeve Hill. The sign had been erected for Gold Cup week at Cheltenham racecourse and Paddy Power was hoping it could remain on the hillside. Will keep you posted as to whether it is erected elsewhere in the country.
Another quirky story from my home county. The Gloucestershire town of Stroud is printing its own currency, 6 months on the BBC returns to see how economically successful it has been. Local businesses have to sign up to the initiative. The local cafe owner puts forward the multiplier argument for how local currency will benefit the Stroud economy. Critics see the the currency as a ‘gimmick’ that is in essence a glorified voucher scheme. For it to work and benefit the local community both firms and consumers have to be on side.
Here is the link to the Stroud Pound website.
A report from Sky News this morning really caught my attention. Air pollution in the UK kills 50,000 people per year. The negative externalities of poor air conditions include increased asthma cases, heart disease and respiratory diseases. Some MPs are becoming increasingly critical of the government for their apparent lack of action, quite rightly given the huge number of victims.
Following on this morning’s development theme another fascinating video clip from the BBC. One of the key factors behind economic development, from an institutional economics perspective, is the improvement and expansion of a country’s infrastructure. In Nigeria the quest for infrastructure growth seems never ending, especially in the financial capital Largos. To ensure that this rapid expansion can take place large quantities of sand are needed, to meet the demand for sand constructors have turned to ‘human fish’, men who dive to the bottom of the sea to dredge for lucrative commodity. A clip well worth watching.
A good development economics article on the BBC website today. The Senegalese fishing industry is being hard hit by the invasion of foreign boats to their waters. Stocks are being depleted despite government regulation and local fishing towns are suffering significant drops in revenue. The classic development barrier of poor infrastructure is limiting fishermen’s ability to sell the fish that they do catch in more lucrative urban markets. A topical example to use in your development answers.
A big “Thanks” to Darrell Zawada from Sha Tin College for this great teaching and learning idea…read more...»
As some of you may be aware the Cheltenham Horse racing festival came to a climax yesterday with the Gold Cup race. Given the race was run by a locally trained horse there is no doubt that my home town was party central last night. There appears to be a more pressing issue for local residents that looks set to rumble on for a while.read more...»
Tim Harford is on excellent form this morning in his Dear Economist column in the FT. He deals with a letter that is very pertinent to all of you reaching the crunch end of your sixth form studies where a multitude of potentially life changing decisions have to be made.read more...»
The pressure is really on now with the final IB Economics papers only a matter of weeks away. During the coming weeks I will be posting daily revision blogs for both Higher and Standard level candidates. These will be a mixture of quizzes, presentations and revision sheets to aid your preparation. I will also be linking current economic news stories to the IB syllabus, remember that your examiners will be looking for your economic theory to be backed up by lots of real world examples. Do get in touch with any topics you would especially like covered, I will endeavour though to cover theory from all sections of the course.
This year’s Interschool Marketing Competition in Hong Kong was bigger and better than ever. Congratulations to Team Prestige for their very convincing victory!
Here’s the third quiz for students to test their comprehension of the N-Pharma case study. Give yourself 5 mins, i.e. 30 seconds per question…read more...»
So which international jeans brand has opted to use the controversial slogan “Be Stupid” as part of its revamped marketing campaign? Tiger Woods has been dropped by yet another sponsor. And which EU nation is made up of some 6,000 islands? Take this week’s Current Affairs Quiz to find out…read more...»
The inverted Y model can be used as a guide to answer questions of a higher order nature such as evaluate, discuss, justify, recommend and to what extent. Read here
Here is the third of several top tips for tackling the exams in May 2010 - Top Tip #3: Plan your revision carefully…
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.” Peter F. Drucker, Management guru (1909 - 2005)