Archive for the ‘Teaching Ideas’ Category

Uploading the Human Mind to a Machine   Leave a comment

SPAIN-TECHNOLOGY-ROBOTLink: https://www.marketplace.org/shows/marketplace-tech/2017-03-23

Summary: Technology has become increasingly present in various markets.  ESports is an up and coming sports league that is centered around video games, and artificial intelligence involves uploading the human mind into a machine.  These are two recent trends in the technology sector that Marketplace discusses in this podcast.

Original Air Date: March 23, 2017

Length: 7 minutes 12 seconds

Discussion Question: How does advancing technology impact jobs? What effect does it have on unemployment, if any at all?

Eagles vs. Chickens   Leave a comment

white-oak-pastures-bald-eagles-3-2--8a659fb85864863fa192f7d90300cd9bfecde5b2-s1600-c85.jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/02/03/513302816/episode-752-eagles-vs-chickens

Summary: One farmer had what seemed like a great environmentally conscious plan to fertilize his soil.  However, Eagles threw his plan of offering Whole foods consumers organic chicken into disarray.  Planet Money discusses how the unintended consequences impacted farmer’s plan.

Original Air Date: February 3, 2017

Length: 17 minutes 28 seconds

Discussion Question: What were the unintended consequences of the farmer’s choice to use chickens to fertilize the soil? Explain how unintended consequences are important to economics.

A New 3-D Pen Lets Kids Create Their Own Toys   Leave a comment

3DoodlerSeaLink: https://www.marketplace.org/2017/02/22/tech/3d-pen-kids-wins-best-toy-award-toy-fair-2017

Summary: Educational technology toys are a hot new trend in the toy market.  One company, Bogue, introduced a new concept allowing kids to create their own toys through a 3-D printer.  Marketplace introduces how Bogue is competing with giant toy companies.

Original Air Date: February 22, 2017

Length: 3 minutes 15 seconds

Discussion Question: What are some of the advantages and disadvantages Bogue has with creating a new category in the market? How does this impact competition?

Farmers Hack Their Equipment to Evade Tractor Company Policies   Leave a comment

Statewide Drought Forces Californians To Take Drastic Measures For Water ConversationLink: https://www.marketplace.org/2017/03/27/tech/farmers-hack-their-equipment-evade-tractor-company-policies

Summary: Farmers are hacking into their own tractors in order to fix them, rather than pay for a dealer to fix it for them.  Marketplace introduces this situation and explains why tractor owners aren’t satisfied with this developing market concentration in the repair market and what they hope to do about it. .

Original Air Date: March 27, 2017

Length: 3 minutes 2 seconds

Discussion Question: What impact does forcing tractor owners to go through dealers for repairs do for competition in the market? Who benefits from this system more, the owner or the dealer?

Why Do We Tip?   Leave a comment

tipping-71e24965a60e3a967405193ceb365075c19afd1d-s1600-c85.jfifLink:   http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2016/01/20/463726763/episode-283-why-do-we-tip

Summary: Tipping has become a staple in many industries in today’s society.  The common belief is that with better service results in a better tip.  Planet Money discusses whether a tip really is an incentive to give better service, or if it is now expected regardless of service.

Original Air Date: January 20, 2016

Length: 17 minutes 36 seconds

Discussion Question: Is it unethical to not give a tip if good service was given? Or is it unethical to expect a tip given it is a loss for the consumer? Discuss the incentives and utility for both the consumer and employee regarding tips.

The Miracle Apple   Leave a comment

honeycrisp-5c3b641931b075344e3419366ffbd570686d8cee-s1600-c85-jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2016/10/12/497697621/episode-627-the-miracle-apple

Summary: Years ago, the only classifications for apples was based on color: red, green or yellow.  Planet Money discusses how one researcher from Minnesota changed the apple market by introducing an apple that was actually tasty for retail consumers.

Original Air Date: October 12, 2016

Length: 14 minutes 7 seconds

Discussion Question: By putting a patent or a trademark on a type of apple, how does that affect supply and demand? How does it affect competition in the market?

The Longest Long Shot   Leave a comment

leicesterLink: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/leicester-city/

Summary: What if the odds of finding Elvis Presley alive were 5000 to 1? You could have had those same odds if you bet on Leicester City to win the most watched soccer league.  Freakonomics discusses the near-impossible story of how this little club pulled off the biggest upset in an environment that rewards those who spend.

Original Air Date: May 25, 2016

Length: 45 minutes 15 seconds

Discussion Question: What behavior is being encouraged by the structure of the English league? Compare it with an American league.  How is competition affected?