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Peer Review

Electric Money

by PBS by Oregon Public Broadcasting


Overall Numeric Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.25 stars
Ease of Use: 3.5 stars
Reviewed: Nov 26, 2012 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: Electric Money is a 2-part series produced for PBS by Oregon Public Broadcasting that explores how the digital revolution has completely transformed virtually every sort of financial activity over the last fifty years. The series was originally broadcast on October 3,2001. The site has very interesting content on how money revolved from before computers to the e-money revolution. Included are five interdisciplinary teaching units with lesson plans correlated to the national standards, along with a variety of discussion questions and interactive activities designed to get your students thinking about the impact of all sorts of financial transactions. Each of the following units is available in Adobe Acrobat format. It is based on the video produced by the station, and which can be ordered, and or the teaching guides can be adapted based on the content provided.
Type of Material: Interactive tutorial with optional VHS presentation
Recommended Uses: The tutorial would be excellent to incorporate into F2F or online classrooms to support a series of lectures on the subject of money. The comprehensive teaching guides and lesson overviews provide excellent curriculum, activity templates, and other resources for immediate use.
Technical Requirements: Up to date browser and Adobe Reader. VHS recorder for viewing optional video. I.E. 8 or Firefox will suffice.
Identify Major Learning Goals: Students will gain an understanding of: •what money is, how it evolved, and its historical timeline. •how money has completely transformed as digital technology evolved. •the use of credit cards, smart cards, and cell phones for purchasing •money and banking in the future as technology evolves.
Target Student Population: Students/viewers interested in the evolution of money from hard currency to electronic media
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Basic computer skills and access to the Internet

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: • Provides an explanation of the evolution on money from hard currency and pre-computers to the use and application of credit cards and electronic media • Information is easy to read and simplistically written • The content is accurate and explained well in terms that students will easily understand. It makes few assumptions of prior knowledge, uses clean, simple language and visual images. • The teaching guides are exceptional in practical content i.e. activities, assessment recommendations, learning objectives, additional resources, activity ideas and templates, and national standards alignment. • Other sections to support learning include game links, screen savers, money links (i.e. converters, calculators etc.) and other relevant information.
Concerns: • Had very little introduction to presentation • Did not provide much background was all text based provide no images. Flow was based on topic selection not best learning approach had no visuals • Part 2 – E-Money Revolution was created in 2001 and is out of date in terms of technology used today. As new technology emerges and is used in the financial sector, it should be added to the curriculum such as new mobile applications used today for banking and purchasing. • Another example is one of the charts used showing the major components of the U.S. money supply system as of 2001 which is old and completely out of date.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: • Provided a logic approach to the evolution of currency and how currency is utilized by various parties, i.e., banks individuals, etc. • Level of writing makes the module very easy for many levels of viewers to read and understand • Teachers will find the teaching guides to be excellent with in-depth lesson plans, additional resources, and assessment recommendations. • Because some of the material may be unfamiliar to teachers each of the lessons have an extended presentation of background information for them. This information, along with additional materials from the references cited in the section called “For More Information,” should help teachers to be informed discussion leaders.
Concerns: • Did not find an indication of what perquisite knowledge would be required for this presentation • Did not clearly define learning to be accomplished, has a lot of information, a summary of learning would be beneficial • Did not provide instructions or a guide for the reader/viewer to understand how the presentation is envisioned to function

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: • Website was easy to connect to and easy to maneuver on the page • Webpage was easy to understand how to view the film clip presentation and hear • The sub links are clear, informative, and model cross-curricular connections. • The material is a turn-key series of lessons that are easy to incorporate into curriculum.
Concerns: • Needed to be more explanation as to how the presentations would or could be applied to an academic setting and what type of setting this clip would work best • Very much like a PowerPoint presentation, had no audio • Needed to be more interactive to engage the viewer/reader • The site provided two options to get the video: 1) order a copy of the VHS for the classroom but technology is obsolete; 2) check local PBS listing to get airing dates and make a copy of the video (according to PBS’s liberal off-air taping privileges) but probably not airing again because it is over 10 years old.

Other Issues and Comments: Very interesting explanation and discussion of the evolution of money and currency. Was informative and addressed the history and growth money as vehicle for the distribution of wealth. Provides teaching guides and screen savers for the reader viewer to enjoy.