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October 14, 2012

Podcast are a great way for an instructor to supplement any online course or even a face to face classroom. I happen to teach online Government and Economics at the high school level. I was able to find a podcast on The Economics of Sports by  Stanford Professor Roger Null, who is a leading expert in the subject. This subject is perfect for my Economics class because on the local level the city of Sacramento has been trying to come up with a plan to build a new arena for the Sacramento Kings of the NBA. Since I live and teach in a community twenty-five miles east of  Sacramento, my students are very familiar with the situation. Talks for a new arena have failed, even though the city was willing to fund a 391 million dollar downtown arena. The owners have backed out because many believe they are looking to move to Southern California were there is supposedly a bigger market. Many believe the Kings will move after this year, ending a thirty year run in Sacramento.

As an example of how a podcast can enhance a lesson, I am going to use this podcast from the Library of Economics and Liberty:

In this lesson, I will do the following:

1) Have students go to the link for the Podcast.

2) Post on the disscussion board answering this question: Should the City and County of Sacramento build a new arena for the Sacramento Kings?

3) Reply to two of your classmates posts.

4) Write a two page essay defending your position, citing at least three sources besides the podcast.

This lesson is an example of how class can go beyond the textbook. I do not have the expertise of Professor Null and now I can have my students attend a discussion with a Stanford professor. This could be the same type of discussion he has with his students in his Economics class, what great exposure for the students in my class. That is the beauty of podcasts. I could even create a podcast or have my students do it. Our students are use to podcasts and as instructors, we need to take advantage of this technology.

I should point out that this podcast has points about small city vs. large city markets, player pay, and the culture of youth sports and scholarships, so there are even more points that can be used in making points on economics. My intention as an instructor is to give students exposure to topics that show how economics plays a role in our everyday lives and really stretches across all areas of our lives.


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