Review by Mary Beth Hertz, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2013

EconEdLink

Epic econ and financial info resource could use some jazzing up

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6-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Easily ties into state and national economics and personal finance standards, and the ability to track progress is helpful.

Cons: Lessons are very teacher-centered and text-heavy; it's not a place kids will really enjoy exploring on their own.

Bottom Line: EconEdLink includes an accessible, comprehensive list of topics but is too text-heavy for all but the most finance-focused kids.

These lessons would be best assigned as homework, with students completing a quiz at the end of each section. With a teacher account, you can track each student's progress by reviewing quiz scores and open-ended responses. Each lesson also has links to national and state economics and personal finance standards, as well as to resources outside of the site. The EconEdLink website also includes professional development resources for teachers, like workshops and trainings. 

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EconEdLink is a website that provides resources that help kids learn the basics and big ideas of finance and the economy. You can choose a "pathway" on the home page depending on whether you're a student or educator. You'll then be able to access videos, articles, and links to economy-related content. EconEdLink has both a teacher and student side to each lesson (although they're not all that different).

You can create a free account and begin to search the fairly large database of lessons by grade level, topic, and resource type. Each lesson is broken down into its learning goals and a variety of readings, to which students have access when they click Student. According to the site, students are supposed to follow along on their screens and submit a quiz to their teacher by email or with an access code. These quizzes allow teachers to track student progress to plan for teaching lessons.

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It has the potential to be a wonderful resource for students; the topic list is extensive, and the information is detailed. However, most lessons are very teacher-centric, and the ones meant for students don't really lend themselves to self-directed learning. While design is modern and pretty teen-friendly, the actual content could use some spice. The videos are also fairly dry, although they could be useful for review.

If you're a teacher looking for a lesson to immediately implement in your classroom, the lessons on EconEdLink do provide a good starting point. However, they may not be accessible to all students due to their text-heavy nature. These lessons would work well for a class that has 1-to-1 access to computers or for a "flipped classroom" model in which students read content at home to prepare for in-class discussion.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

Design is modern but is heavy on text and not super kid-friendly. The video clips and lessons on EconEdLink can be informative and engaging; however, many have been pulled from PBS and aren't very kid-oriented.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
2

While they cover a wide range of topics, most of the lessons involve reading and discussion; they're very teacher-driven. More interactive, hands-on type activities could help kids absorb complex financial info.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

While the site doesn't have much of a help section, it does contain a variety of links for each lesson, and the mix of text and video can be helpful for kids with varying learning styles.


Common Sense Reviewer
Mary Beth Hertz Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Robin R. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Republic High School
Republic, MO
3
Great site with a lot of resources for teaching economics.

This is a good site to use when teaching about economics. Students seem very lost when I talk about economics, but any activities you can do to reinforce what you are teaching will help and this site has some good activities. They also offer a free flash drive or cd rom of their Virtual Economics and it has some good resources to use in class.

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