Thank you, OBEA

I would like to thank the Ontario Business Educator’s Association for organizing an excellent conference last week in Toronto. I spoke to a number of teachers at the Croecko Publishing vendor booth and was pleased with the number of teachers who chose to attend my workshop. For teachers who took away an inspection copy of the student text but who didn’t attend the workshop, I would like to share some information to help you make the case for purchasing the text for your students for next year:

1. The value proposition

– The books are very affordable at $17 per copy. As a teacher myself, I have priced my books in this way to encourage schools to purchase what they might otherwise photocopy. In my opinion, the best way to discourage photocopying is to offer the book at a price that is less than the cost of a photocopy.

– The fact that the book contains exercises means that schools ordering and using them will enjoy lower photocopy costs as they will not need to copy as many worksheets for students.

– If board policies do not allow course fees, it is possible to make  student purchase optional by making 5 or 10 copies available for loan from the school library.

2. Critical Response

– Over 3000 copies of Workbook for the New I.B. Economics are being used by students on every continent. The feedback from students and teachers using the book was put to use when developing Economics for Canadians.

– The book’s proofreader, the head tutor for first year economics at Queen’s University, commented that students using the book in high school they would be well-prepared for university-level economics.

– Curriculum Services Canada, the agency that reviews materials for possible inclusion on the Ontario Trillium List, noted in their review of the book that “the resource’s evaluators stressed that the textbook is of excellent quality, overall.”

– Teachers using the resource have reported that students like the fact that they can write in the book and that it serves as both their textbook and their notebook. For their part, teachers like that the lessons in the book are well-sequenced and that the book’s format       allows them to spend class time more effectively engaged in supporting student learning.

Overall, the book meets the needs of teachers interested in delivering a current, engaging and affordable economics program to their students.

Click on the link below to see a photo taken during my workshop:

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Spring OBEA and a new article

I am happy to be attending the Ontario Business Educators’ Association spring conference being held April 18th and 19th in Toronto. I will be both a vendor and a presenter, so if you see me, be sure to stop and say ‘hi’.

As well, I would like to share my most recent article concerning efforts by the Mortgage Brokers’ Association to persuade the Ministry of Finance to allow longer-term mortgages and make other changes to enhance housing affordability, as published in the March 16th, 2013 edition of the Pembroke Daily Observer.

Keeping the Ponzi Scheme Spinning

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A great post on trust as the basis of economic advance

This article from Nicole Foss outlines with great clarity the ‘trust cycle’ that I believe underlies long-wave business cycles. In times of growing trust, institutions are able to function effectively to the benefit of all. Eventually, though, that high degree of trust provides the perfect environment for the perpetration of fraud. In the end, fraud leads to a contraction of trust which both imposes costs on and limits the scale of economic enterprise. Finally, the costs of operating in a low-trust environment become obvious enough to cause people to demand reforms which, properly carried out, can restore trust. Of course, while trust can be destroyed very quickly, it needs a great deal of time to be restored.

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OHASSTA conference and an article

I was pleased to present a workshop (and take in an excellent panel discussion on the War of 1812 and listen to a very interesting keynote speech by John Ralston Saul) at the Ontario History and Social Studies Teachers’ Association annual conference held at Niagara Falls on the 23rd and 24th of November. Below is a photo taken in front of my vendor booth:

It has been a busy fall – after the conference I went to Oman and Singapore in order to visit friends and attend to matters to do with my I.B. economics book, Workbook for the New I.B. Economics.

Upon my return my most recent article comparing the corruption being investigated by the Charbonneau Commission in Quebec to the corrupt rigging of the LIBOR by bankers was published in the Pembroke Daily Observer. The article is reproduced here if you are interested in reading it:

Getting beyond envelopes of cash V2

Thank you for your support and interest in 2012. Please accept my best wishes for a restful and joyous holiday season and a wonderful 2013.

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First College Order!

Today I was pleased to receive my first order from an Ontario community college with an order from Algonquin College for books for the winter semester. Thank you!

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Ontario Business Educators’ Association conference a success

I was pleased to speak with many teachers at the recent OBEA conference held at Conestoga College in Kitchener-Waterloo who are interested in using Economics for Canadians with their CIA 4U students. In conversation, though, some teachers expressed concern that principals might not approve purchases of consumable books in the current economic climate.

I addressed these concerns with some of the teachers I spoke with but would like to reproduce here some arguments one could use to support adoption of the book:

1. First, the principle that it is wrong to demand that students purchase consumable materials does not preclude schools from adopting them for use. While most students would choose to have their own copy, having a few copies available for loan in the school library makes it possible for students to use the book without having to purchase it.

2. Second, as the book is just $17 per copy, as a consumable it still works out to be less expensive than a hard-bound textbook over the long run, especially when one takes into account the cost of photocopying exercises. There are about 100 pages of exercises in each book. If these were to be photocopied, the cost to the school (at 7 cents per copy) would work out to around $7. Thus, the ‘text’ portion of each book costs only about $10. As hard-bound texts routinely cost around $80 per copy, we can see that the cost to the school of purchasing Economics for Canadians for students each year is no more expensive than purchasing one class set of hardcover books intended to last 8 years.

However, as Economics for Canadians will be updated every couple of years, while those students using a hard-bound text will be using a book that is clearly out of date by the time year 8 rolls around, those students using Economics for Canadians will be using a book that is much more current.

Overall, the schools which are already using the book have reported that students like using it as it serves as their notebook as well. The beauty of a consumable workbook is that students can write margin notes on its pages, truly making the book their own.

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Thanks, British Columbia!

I was fortunate to attend, exhibit and present at the 2012 British Columbia Social Studies Teachers’ Association annual conference this past weekend. I most enjoyed hosting two workshops for teachers interested in the book. The good news that I learned from the teachers in the workshops is that high school economics is now a course that can be included in the average that determines British Columbia university admissions. Hopefully this recent change will result in more students choosing to take the course.

I would like to thank the conference organizers and the students of Vancouver Tech who were all wonderfully helpful. I look forward to attending next year!

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Resource links and a recent article

The “Additional Resources” page is now chock full of links to articles and documentary clips, arranged according to lesson. Question sheets to accompany some of the more important videos have been placed on the bottom of the page.

As well, my most recent article from this past weekend’s Pembroke Daily Observer looking at how the Ontario government’s proposed pay-freeze legislation would violate important property rights is reproduced below:

The Allure of Shortcuts

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Fall Conferences

I am going to be hosting workshops and distributing inspection copies of Economics for Canadians at 3 conferences this fall – the BCSSTA conference in Vancouver on October 19th, the OBEA fall conference at Conestoga College in Kitchener-Waterloo on November 3rd, and the OHASSTA conference in Niagara-on-the-Lake on the 23rd and 24th of November. If you plan on attending any of these conferences, I look forward to meeting you!

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Thank you, Prince Edward Island!

Today I was pleased to receive a big order from P.E.I. for books. As the ministry orders all materials centrally for the entire province, I am assuming that all economics students there will be using Economics for Canadians in the very near future. Thank you!

I was also pleased to learn a few days ago that the book was mentioned in the Queen’s Alumni Review back in June. Hopefully it will make the cut for the autumn print edition of the magazine.

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