Monday, October 19, 2009

Al Samsa - business studies hero

Here is Al Samsa's rather comprehensive site with links for relevant business topics...

Al is a teacher at Iroquois Ridge in Oakville, so his site is Ontario-focused.

Blue is the New Black

Maureen Dowd's opinion piece about some recent research on women and happiness.

"According to the General Social Survey, which has tracked Americans’ mood since 1972, and five other major studies around the world, women are getting gloomier and men are getting happier.

Before the ’70s, there was a gender gap in America in which women felt greater well-being. Now there’s a gender gap in which men feel better about their lives."

It's interesting to hear how Dowd makes sense of the data. Enjoy!

John Stossel?! "Gimme a break"

Not my favourite TV personality, but he is generous in freebies for teachers. His personalized email says:

Order the New Stossel in the Classroom "2010 Edition" Free DVD: This year's free educational DVD is now available! The Stossel in the Classroom "2010 Edition" DVD includes both English and Spanish subtitles, as well as an accompanying Teacher's Guide (also in both English and Spanish) containing lesson plans, activity suggestions, handouts, and vocabulary. Place your order today! Past titles available as well.

He has videos available at the time of writing for 2007 through 2010 (free shippping!!), and the topics range from business to civics, to general news items. Teachers' guides are avaialble - but remember to look at the content CRITICALLY. In addition to being US-focused, his DVDs tend to be a bit biased to the right. Not a bad thing - but something you need to balance when using these in the classroom.

Monday, October 5, 2009

BPS Digest

Here is a great resource for a variety of purposes. The British Psychological Society (BPS) Digest summarizes peer-reviewed research from academic journals for a general audience. Access this resource at:

A few interesting educational findings:
- "Real life" examples may not be best for teaching math
- Diagrams and figures are not effective in teaching History, but period films appear to be
- Classroom lighting can affect student performance

Some interesting "workplace" findings which could be VERY interesting for BOH include:
- Brainstorming is not an effective way to get group ideas
- Childless women are the most productive employees
- More satisfied employees do not appear to be better performers
- Company profits are linked to the facial appearance of CEOs

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Accounting course online materials

I really like this teachers' site - tons of links to her MS Word files for each chapter.

A great source to brush up your own knowledge, plus get things that you might use in the classroom.

Accounting Jeopardy - templates and questions

Here is a site with some downloadable accounting jeopardy templates in PowerPoint which you can customize. A great time-saver, and popular with kids.

This is one of MANY online - a Google search will yeild many more accounting jeopardy templates and questions. If you have a better one, please leave a comment!

Basic Personal Finance

Here's a resource for very basic economic and personal finance -
Included are things like an "Economic Bazaar" in the classroom; templates for things like blank cheques, etc.

Also, for a Canadian perspective, see "Your Money, Your Life, Your Way" through the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture & Rec.
There are 2 parts: A student brochure with tacit information, and a teachers' guide with lesson ideas which are interactive. Be sure to find the teachers' guide online. This package includes things like basic budgeting, and many other activities.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Jeff Rubin - "The End of Globalization"

For those who have not heard of him, Jeff Rubin is the former Chief Economist for CIBC (it is rumoured he lost his job for this book), and got recent attention for his latest book, "Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller." This work forecasts that the price of oil will reach $225 a barrel by 2012, and he postulates taht this oil scarcity will lead to the end of globalization. He is known for a book he wrote in 2000 in which he predicted oil prices would hit $50 a barrel by 2005, predicted the residential real estate market bust in the early 1990s. He was named Canada's top economist a number of times according to the Globe & Mail.

As business teachers, you should be aware of his recent work. For an interview and a review, see

PBS Frontline - Assorted

Please browse the video resources at PBS Frontline - - these can be viewed online, and there are many teacher resources available to support them. Some interesting topics include:
- Marketing and Ethics - The Persuaders, Merchants of Cool, and Is Walmart Good for America - deal will many salient issues.

- Finance - in the 2009 collection, quite a few on the financial meltdown; plus "Can You Afford to Retire" is interesting.

Marketing - Merchants of Cool

PBS Frontline - Merchants of Cool -

This is a great video which can be viewed online free of charge.
It can be used for many different business courses - but has a good connection to marketing.

Note the additional features - interviwes, written information, and so forth.

Brain Research

While still in relatively early stages, brain research can be applied to education and learning. Understanding where students are in their physiological development can help us both understand some student behaviour, and help us structure lessons so that they are developmentally appropriate. This research is also useful for parents!!
Here are some resources I particularly enjoy.

(1) "Please excuse the mess" was originally publised in the Globe & Mail. It's available at:
My favourite part of the article is the finding reported that "while being shown the face of a man in fear [,] The part of their brains that lit up the brightest as their minds worked to make sense of the image was not the prefrontal cortex, the centre of rational judgment used by the adult brain to sort out complex nuances of emotions. It was the amygdala, an almond-shaped knot in the middle of the brain that is one of the key areas for instinctual reactions such as fight or flight, anger or "I hate you, Mom."" So, as a teacher, I must remember that a teen may not accurately interpret my facial expression, so I should also articulate what my facial expression attempts to covey (e.g., "That's funny").

(2) PBS Frontline - inside the teenage brain - watch it for free, or read about the research at

(3) Time Magazine's "Secrets of the Teen Brain" - a great article, loaded with practical tips that can be applied to the classroom.
To me, a particularly useful finding was that teens are unable to internalize long-term goals - so a statement like, "This is good for your future career" is meaningless at their developmental stage. They understand the sentence, but they canot internalize this. Rather, focus on short-term goals or consequences to be effective. See examples in the article.

(4) "Mind Tricks" (an article in New Scientist) describes some simple experiments you can do to understand how your own brain processes certain types of information. See

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

OBEA - Conference November 7 Newmarket

OBEA's Fall Conference will be held at Newmarket High School on November 7, 2009.
Details at

Personal Finance

Investor Education Fund – Fair Play and Taking Stock in Your Future, Funny Money, SmartMoney Management Program, and many more resources Hard copies of some resources included. Order additional materials from:

Bank of Canada
 Counterfeit detection kit
 Poster
 Financial comic book Order all from

CFEE materials

Understanding your Consumer Rights and Responsibilities CD Included – order from Ministry of Consumer and Business Services
Marketplace Standards and Services Branch, (416) 326-8800 or 1-800-889-9768

Software Resources

Professor Teaches Not a free resource, but very cost effective from See to view

Microsoft Lessons and Tutorials


ICAO Teacher Colleague Program Binder (for all units) One copy included. Order from
or Jennifer Diebolt

Quickbooks – free software and teachers’ guide One copy included. Order a class set from

Simply Accounting – free software and teachers’ guide Order a class set from

CMA Teacher Materials
 Accounting Modules (SAM)
 Brochures
 Posters Order from

Revenue Canada Teaching Taxes Program Order teacher manual and student workbooks from:

QuickTax in the Classroom CDs and Teacher’ Guide Order from


Here are some online resources for entrepreneurship...

Future Entrepreneurs (Ontario government)- Future Entrepreneurs kit including the Teacher’s Guide and interactive business simulator CD included. Email request to with number of English-Language kits and mailing information Ideas and Opportunities;

Developing and Completing a Venture Plan; Venture Concept; Preparing for Start-up
GoVenture CD IdeaBook and Simulations Included – see CD for details;

Ontario Government’s Summer Company program (up to $3,000 grants per person)

Canada-Ontario Business Service Centre – free guides and servies

Canadian Youth Business Foundation – online tests and tools

International Business

Business, Trade and the Economy, Factors Influencing Success Internationally
Biz/Ed (UK) has a number of resources. Download from

Marketing - BMI

Marketing Fundamentals, Marketing Mix, Trends in Marketing,
The Marketing Plan - lots of resources from Biz/Ed (UK)
Download PowerPoint slides and lesson materials from

Leadership - BOH

Foundations of Management - Biz/Ed (UK) overview of HR, Leadership, Motivation, Recruitment, etc. Download PowerPoint slides and lesson materials from

Leading Leadership styles lesson plans. Download from

Management Challenges, Planning and Controlling, Organizing - Biz/Ed (UK), Download from

Retailing curriculum resources

Educators in the UK have produced some wonderful workbooks and lessons - valuable since Ontario lacks a textbook for this course...

The Retail Institute of Canada has some useful slide presentations:

Ontario Justice Education Network

Look at the curriculum resources from the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN)
 Charter Challenge (online simulation)
 Judge for a Day (teachers shadow a judge)
 Classroom Visits
 Courtroom Visits
 Law Symposia
 Cases online for students
…And many, many more resources, all free of charge

"The Corporation" lessons

"The Corporation" is a really interesting video - it begins with the legal definition of a corporation as a "person," and goes on to make the claim that corporations exhibit behaviours that would classify a human as a psychopath. It includes many interviews with prominent business leaders and media pundits.

A teachers' guide, fully correlated to the Ontario curriculum, is available at

CBC Archives - free lessons, media

This link will allow you to look at lesson packs related to various themes - including business studies topics. Each lesson pack includes an assessment instrument, organized according to Ontario Assessment & Evaluation.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Software for students

Attention students…you are eligible to purchase discounted software. First, the UT bookstore (College & St. George) sells versions of all major software at low rates - just bring your student card. Second, if you need MS Office, last year some students were doing their own price comparisons, and found - which is only $64 Cdn for MS Office but includes "extras" including access, onenote and others. It was a little cheaper than what you get at the UT bookstore. The one catch is that Microsoft asks for your university email.
If you are looking for web authoring software, consider the open source option of NVU instead of DreamWeaver, available at