The Choices Blog

History and Current Issues for the Classroom

Author: Tanya Waldburger (page 1 of 2)

How The Economic Machine Works

Here’s a fantastic video that explains how an economy works:

At 30 minutes, it’s on the long side, but it covers everything from the basic building blocks of an economy to more complicated concepts like short-term and long-term debt cycles. (Since it’s on YouTube, you have the option to share or embed a certain section of the video by changing the start time.)

On a related note, be sure to check out our interview with Professor Mark Blyth (Brown University) on the 2008 financial crisis.



The March (1963)

The National Archives recently released a digitally restored version of the 1963 documentary The March directed by James Blue. The 30-minute film chronicles the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28th, 1963.

While (regrettably) the most iconic moment of that event, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech has been redacted for copyright reasons, it’s the rarely seen footage of ordinary citizens traveling across the country and participating in the march that make this film remarkable.

Details on the making of the film can be found here.

Afghanistan: Cost of War infographic

Here’s a beautifully executed motion infographic about the true cost (from the British perspective) of the war in Afghanistan. (Commissioned by Stop the War UK.)

TED-Ed: Lessons Worth Sharing

Use engaging videos to create customized lessons. You can use, tweak, or completely redo any lesson featured on TED-Ed, or create lessons from scratch based on any video from YouTube. Get started at TED-Ed!

YouTube for Schools

Google has just launched YouTube for Schools, a network setting that school administrators can turn on to grant access only to the educational content from YouTube EDU. Teachers can choose from the hundreds of thousands of videos on YouTube EDU created by more than 600 partners like the Smithsonian, TED, Steve Spangler Science, Khan Academy and Numberphile.

They’ve also worked with teachers to put together more than 300 playlists broken out by subject and by grade level. You can find them listed out at

New in Scholars Online: Benjamin Hopkins

“[Afghanistan] turns from being this…central player in a regional order into being this…land of endemic chaos that doesn’t really fit any place.”

How did Afghanistan become the country it is today? Professor Benjamin Hopkins takes a look back at the history of Central Asia and how British imperialism shaped the future of Afghanistan.

This video is part of the Scholars Online collection for The United States in Afghanistan. You can see more videos from this interview here.

New in Scholars Online: Charles Tripp

In November 2002, a team of Iraq experts was assembled to meet with Prime Minister Tony Blair and advise him on the consequences of going to war in Iraq. Charles Tripp, a professor of Middle East politics at the University of London, was a member of that team. Here he gives a fascinating, behind-the-scenes account of what happened at that meeting, in response to our question, “Do you think that British and U.S. leaders had a good understanding of Iraqi history when they decided to go to war?”.

This video is part of the Scholars Online collection for A Global Controversy: The U.S. Invasion of Iraq. See the other videos from this interview here.

The Debt Ceiling Debate

In less than two weeks, the Obama administration says the federal government will run out of money to pay its bills unless Congress raises the nation’s $14.3 trillion borrowing limit. Congress is now in a contentious debate with the White House on whether to raise the debt ceiling. Liberal Democrats oppose deep spending cuts, while conservative Republicans refuse to raise taxes, putting the nation at an impasse. If Congress does not raise the limit, the government will likely be forced to default on its debt, which has never happened in U.S. history. The results, most say, would create economic catastrophe.

Since 1980, the debt ceiling has been raised 39 times. With the deadline looming, Brown University political scientist Wendy Schiller explains what makes this time so different.

Apps for the Classroom: On this day…

On this day...
A nice app for history class, On this day… tells you what important events happened on a particular day in history. (Reposted from Revolutionize Education.)

The Death of a Terrorist: A Turning Point?

Interesting data visualization tool from the New York Times showing the reaction to Osama Bin Laden’s death.

« Older posts

© 2020 The Choices Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑