PublicationsBusiness Education Forum

 

Business Education Forum Highlights
December 2004, Volume 59, Number 2

FORUM FEATURE
Blogging for Teaching and Learning - "A blog is a Web page that is made up of brief, time-stamped posts typically arranged in reverse chronological order. Posts often contain hyperlinks to other topics of interest (see Figure 1) and often invite reader comments that are read by all viewers, not just blog owners themselves. In contrast to Web pages, which often feature "static" content, blogs are designed to log "real-time" events and so the content is dynamic rather than fixed (the "home page" is regularly updated with new content; in political blogs such as http://www.dailykos.com and http://www.freerepublic.com, content can change hourly). Blogs also differ from the average Web page in that they have "voice," i.e., they contain the writer’s opinion, and they invite comments from readers. Fans of blogging say they prefer using a blog (rather than e-mails, listservs, and discussion forums) to communicate because the technology is simpler and less clumsy. More importantly, with a blog, communication is more straightforward, the constant exchange of comments creates a conversation, and that conversation creates a community."

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
Blogging and Pyra Labs: A Retrospective - "Then came Meg Hourihan and Evan Williams, co-founders of Pyra Labs, a small company that in August of 1999 released Blogger—a blogging application that made it possible to publish Web logs easily and without having to know anything about HTML or Web servers. "What was different about our application was that the application was in one place, but the content could live anywhere," Hourihan says."

 

CURRICULUM FORUM

Basic Business
Financial Illiteracy: A Business Educator's Perspective on a Growing Epidemic - "During these times of economic uncertainty, what subject is more timely or beneficial to address in the classroom than financial literacy? As business teachers, we understand the importance of students’ mastering necessary life skills in personal finance. "All citizens must acquire financial competencies to manage their own finances and to participate effectively in the workplace," states the Policies Commission for Business and Economic Education (2001, p. 2). However, research conducted regarding the financial literacy of high school students indicates that most students lack even the most rudimentary financial skills."

Communication
From the Outside Looking In: Helping Students Identify Ethical Employers - "The recent wave of corporate scandals is leading more job candidates to conduct an ethics audit of potential employers (Maher 2002). Business communication classrooms often provide opportunities for students to research companies as employment application materials are prepared. Is it possible, however, to uncover everything about a company’s moral weak spots in advance? Young people born from 1980 to the present, "NetGens," will seek employment that will accommodate their beliefs (Dufrene & Lehman, 2004). Yet how will they know whether a potential company is compatible with their ethical standards from the outside looking in?"

International Business
International Outsourcing of Service Jobs: The Benefits and Costs - "International outsourcing of service jobs has become an increasingly common business practice in the last five years. This trend has sparked a great deal of media attention, political debate, and worker anxiety. The purpose of this article is to summarize current research and analysis about this highly politicized topic and provide learning activities so that students can make informed opinions as future business executives, employees, and citizens."

Marketing
Teaching Career and Technical Skills in a "Mini" Business World - "The activity described above, Mini Business World (MBW), was recommended by Hosler, Jacobson, and James (2003) as a method of training students to apply business skills in a highly competitive environment. In this article, Mini Business World is presented as a hands-on method of learning that integrates academics with career and technical skills in a realistic environment."

Methods
Techniques for Creating and Optimizing Images for Online Chat Rooms - "The purpose of this article is to introduce techniques for creating and optimizing graphics to be used in an online chat room so that all students can view the graphics, no matter what kind of Internet connection is used. This article will focus on specific techniques offered in image editing programs such as Jasc Paint Shop Pro, Adobe PhotoShop, and Macromedia Flash. Once the images are created and optimized, the images will need to be published (uploaded) to a Web server for viewing in the chat room window. The images do not need to be included in an HTML file format unless multiple images are used in explaining a specific concept."

Student Organizations
Financing the Fun--Boosting the Bottom Line in Fundraising - "Are you seeking a fundraising project that has already proven to be lucrative and rewarding for a collegiate student business organization? Students at Concord University in Athens, West Virginia, have created a project that combines extracurricular enrichment with the experience of entrepreneurship. While students in this Concord business organization held to a utopian ideal of spending less time fundraising and more time on worthwhile service projects and enjoyable activities, the question was how to balance the need for raising funds with time spent on service and enjoyment. The need for an innovative idea initiated a process that started with defining a purpose, looking at existing models and assessing resources, and ended with a rewarding project. This article describes how they did it."

Technology
Making Multimedia Work: Tips for Successful Instruction - "Multimedia projects can include slideshows, commercials, electronic portfolios, cartoons, Web sites, animations, and interactive electronic presentations. Multimedia productions, whether they are primarily graphics, animation, or video, are often time-consuming projects. With any project that requires a great deal of time, completing the project satisfactorily requires extremely good time management, planning, and creativity. Creating multimedia productions is an involved process; students are engaged in higher-order thinking skills, such as problem solving, decision making, planning and design (Liu, 2003). Multimedia teachers must be well equipped with considerable knowledge of software, ranging from graphics creation to video editing to Web site development."

Open Forum
Convincing Policymakers to Require the Integration and Implementation of Personal Finance Standards into Business Teacher Education Curriculum - "The following facts clearly establish the serious need for a personal finance curriculum: the number of personal bankruptcy filings increased significantly between 1990 and 2000 (American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), 2001); 1.5 million families filed for personal bankruptcy in 2001; statistics published by ABI in June 2003 record an all-time high of 1.65 million families filing for personal bankruptcy; one-third of high school seniors already use a credit card; and four in ten Americans admit that they are living beyond their means, primarily because of their misuse and misunderstanding of credit (Yankelovich Partners, 2001). However, fewer than 30% of high school students are given the opportunity to take as much as one week’s worth of coursework in personal finance (Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, 2002)."