Facilitating the Use of Technology in the Classroom
A few days ago there was a need to make one of the economics classes a little more engaging and inviting for students. Since we work as technology integration enablers, a proper research was made to provide something innovative and creative that let students learn better, be more motivated and engaged with the lessons plans.
Based on personal experience, economics is one of those subjects that are easier to understand by examples, so that’s what we started to look for. The results lead us to this genius site: http://yadayadayadaecon.com/ (The Economics of Seinfeld)
I have been a Seinfeld fan my entire life (“Seinfeld ran for nine seasons on NBC and became famous as a “show about nothing.” Basically, the show allows viewers to follow the antics of Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer as they move through their daily lives, often encountering interesting people or dealing with special circumstances”). It immediately caught my attention, how a “show about nothing” could actually help students in a subject like economics? At the beginning I was a little bit skeptical.
I started to review the different clips and the economic concepts represented in each, and after checking a few all my skepticism left. I had a lot of fun too remembering unforgettable Seinfeld episodes such as “The Barber”, where Jerry had an awful haircut and since he had been a loyal customer he felt bad to change the hairdresser until this situation forces him to and this resulted in a struggle between the barbers and Jerry; the concept behind: competition.
According to (Ghent, Grant, Lesica, 2010) authors of this site: “It is the simplicity of Seinfeld that makes it so appropriate for use in economics courses. Using these clips (as well as clips from other television shows or movies) makes concepts in economics come alive, making them more real for students. Ultimately, students will start spotting economics everywhere – in other TV shows, in popular music, and most importantly, in their own lives”
Continuing with the process, I presented this idea to the teacher; it follows that she was also a fan of Seinfeld, so she decided to give it a try, and now she is using it as an integral part in her curriculum.
The results have been very good so far. Students now have an enhanced understanding of the concepts presented using this resource. Why? Easy, now they have a funny and approachable way to understand, remember and apply the concepts being taught.
Other concepts dealing with economics exemplified in the site are: fixed costs, future value, incentives, non-price competition, variable costs, law of demand, labor market, monopoly power, competition, altruism, utility, and several others.
Ghent L., Grant A., Lesica G. (2010). The Economics of Seinfeld. Available at: http://yadayadayadaecon.com/ Accessed (29 March 2012)