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DWMBeanCounter.com – Accounting Resource

dwmbeancounter.com is a website created by David Marshall, who is a retired individual who has experience in audits, payroll, and teaching college business classes.  This site specifically was created with the intent to help individuals learn the basics of accounting for free.

I will not cover the entire website; rather I would like to look at one page specifically.  On this page, you will find a description of four different accounting games: Fling the Teacher, Walk the Plank, Basketball, and Teacher Invaders.  In addition, this page provides links to these games and as well three different versions of the game which have different questions.

What is it?

1. Fling the Teacher – In this game, you build a trebuchet (or basically a catapult) to “fling the teacher.”  You build this by correctly answering questions related to accounting.  In addition, there are three “help” buttons that can only be used once during the game (sort of like the three life lines on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire).

fling the teach

2. Walk the Plank – As the title suggests, you have to make your victim “walk the plank” off of a pirate ship.  If you answer the given question correctly, you are given the opportunity to roll a dice which determines how many steps your victim takes towards the edge of the plank.  If you answer incorrectly, you must roll a dice and your victim will move that many steps away.

pirate

3. Basketball – The objective in this game is to test your 3-point shot.  You get to shoot a basketball every time you answer a question correctly.  However, this does not mean you score the basket.  This game also works on an individuals reaction time and accuracy; if you can line up the shot correctly by getting the cursor into the middle of a circle, then you will sink the basketball into the net.  The questions in this game test an individual’s basic bookkeeping and accounting knowledge.

basketball

4. Teacher Invaders – This game is very similar to space invaders but instead of shooting at aliens, you are shooting at teachers.  You are given three lives and for every question you answer incorrectly, you lose a life and must answer a different question until either you get the question correct or run out of lives.  If you answer the question correctly, you have earned an extra 10 seconds of game time and may continue the game until you have run out of lives (or complete all of the rounds, which I’m not entirely sure if that is possible as there seems to be many rounds).

teach invader

What do I like about it?

In general, there is a wide variety of games for students to choose from that relate specifically to accounting.  So, if a student has no interest in basketball or becomes bored of the game, they can simply choose a different game that will test on the same knowledge.  Also, each game has a variety of difficulty levels which is great for differentiation and challenges each individual students’ knowledge at appropriate levels.

1. Fling the Teacher – The player (student) gets to create your own “victim” that you will fling.  This, along with the title “Fling the TEACHER,” can be appealing and engaging for the student (although might not send a good message about teachers).

– Has three “help” buttons which can provide help for students who are struggling and can avoid anger or frustration from having to restart the game.

– Not timed.  Students may take time to think about the answer and make sure that it is correct (which also avoids frustration and anger).

– Asks if you are sure about choosing that answer.  This can ensure that the student hasn’t accidentally clicked the wrong button.

– Although questions are the same if you restart the game, the questions and answers are generated into different order which can prevent memorization.

2. Walk the Plank – You can actually change the skin colour and hair colour of your victim (even to blue!!).

– Questions are challenging which could engage the individual playing the game (or could be a turn off too!).

– The “pirate” theme can attract and encourage students to play.

– Has three different versions of the game that have different questions.

3. Basketball – Can be one or two player and/or timed if desired.

– Tests general understanding and basic concepts.

– Has three different versions of the game which ask different questions.

– Works on accuracy and reaction time.

– Can be competitive and challenging for students.

– Appears to test relevant accounting information.

4. Teacher Invaders – It’s ADDICTING!! I found it hard to stop playing, although I was getting frustrated with some of the questions.

– Question section has helpful hints: If the answer is four letters long, it will have four question marks and if there is more than one word it is separated with a space. Ex. profit = ??????

– Questions are not timed which allows students to either look up the answer or thoroughly think about it.

– There are multiple rounds so the game lasts for quite a while.

– Gives three different data results at the end of the game including knowledge (%), total points received in the game, and how many “teachers” were destroyed (the second and third not so relevant to the testing of knowledge).

What do I dislike about it?

As a general note about all the games (except for the basketball game), they all send out a violent and negative image of teachers and that students should hate their teachers.  Students may think it’s funny but this can send out a bad message.

1. Fling the Teacher – If you get a question wrong, you have to restart the entire game and the questions are the same if you restart the same game.  This could lead to memorization if a student repeats it enough.  Also, since they have to restart the entire game, this could cause them to become frustrated and lose interest in the game/subject.

– It felt like a lot of questions.  Maybe they were a bit difficult for me but I felt like I was playing the game forever and was worried every single time I answered a question in case I had gotten it wrong and had to restart.

– I actually wasn’t able to beat the game.  I became very frustrated with it and made silly mistakes that I eventually just gave up.

– There is only one skin colour type that you can select.  This is racist and leads students to think that teachers are only “white” individuals.

2. Walk the Plank – Does not offer any hints or help buttons.

– Character calls you degrading names such as “stupid.”

– One game, I had answered 2 of 10 questions wrong and I still hadn’t gotten my victim off the plank.  This was because I kept rolling a total of 5 when I had a question correct and I had rolled a total of 9 or higher when I had the incorrect answer.  This made me extremely frustrated! This game is based off of luck and this happened a number of times! 😦

– Reuses many of the same questions if you have to restart the game so it doesn’t test a wide variety of your knowledge.

3. Basketball – When aiming to shoot the ball, the dot that moves back and forth moves quite fast the second time you must get it into the center.   This can be quite frustrating and may cause students to not want to play the game.

– By changing difficulty levels, this only affects how fast the cursor moves when trying to aim.  This does not actually change the difficulty of the questions.

– Questions do not change if you need to restart or try playing the game again.  This is sort of made up for by having different versions of the game but can be a hassle and more work than necessary.

– If you miss the basket or answer a question incorrectly, the remarks can be a bit degrading and could discourage a student from playing the game.

4. Teacher Invaders – Wording of some of the questions were difficult and became frustrating when the answer that was revealed was something that I should have known if I had read the question extremely carefully.

– Spelling must be accurate.  This could be both a positive and negative.  A positive in the way that it corrects and ensures that students are having thoughtful questions and the spelling is correct (works on literacy skills).  A negative is that it can be extremely frustrating since you lose a life for the error.

– You only get three lives.  This can be a downfall for a few reasons: One, if you get shot once or twice in the game, you don’t get very many chances to answer questions which won’t challenge the student’s knowledge and ultimately won’t help them learn in the end.  Of all the times that I played this game, the highest score I was able to get was 380 and only 8% knowledge.  This made me frustrated each time and made the game slightly off-putting for me.  Another way that this is a downfall is because with the short amount of lives, you don’t get to play for very long if you aren’t as skilled as the game requires you to be.  When you have to restart the game over and over again, it becomes unappealing and frustrating especially since it asks you many of the same questions.

– You do not receive points for getting correct answers.  I’m not sure whether or not this is a bad thing or a good thing but I feel like there should have been points for answering questions correctly.

Where does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use it?

This website fits into the Accounting 10/20/30 curriculum.  The games on this website cannot teach students to fully understand the information from this curriculum although it can help practice this knowledge and be used as a self-assessment tool.  Through playing the games, I am now aware of the areas of accounting from which these questions are derived from.  With that said, I can make an assumption that these games help to achieve Module 1A.  Specifically, these games help to achieve learning objective 1.1 which states: To recognize and use the basic vocabulary of accounting in classroom discussions and assignments.  So really, these games focus on definitions often used in accounting which is what this objective is asking to be achieved.

In my classroom, I could use this resource in a few different ways.  One way that I could use this in my classroom is as an end of unit practice when studying definitions.  Whether this is actually in class or in the students spare time, this could be used as a fun way to  review or self-check.

Another way I could use this resource is to use the idea of the games.  For example, I could tie business into actual physical basketball or something like a relay race.  For the relay race, they must complete an obstacle to get to an item.  But to get that item, they must answer a question about accounting in order to receive that item which they must bring back to their team in which they would then win.  This may seem like a bit of a stretch but it does get the students active while they are testing their knowledge on what they have been learning.

Also, I could just use this resource as supplementary resources for struggling students and those who wish to test their accounting knowledge on their own time.  I could do this by posting this resource on the classroom website/blog for students to access at any time.

Evaluation of DWM Bean Counter Games…

Overall the games on DWM Bean Counter are fairly engaging for students but can be extremely frustrating for those who have a slower reaction time or need questions to be provided in a simpler form of words.  The ideas of these games could be used within a classroom (provided a few modifications, in my opinion) and could work out great! However, as they are, they could prove to be a frustration for some students which is not what I would want for any of my students (although I know I can’t 100% avoid the frustration for all students).

If I were to rate the games found on this website, I would give a 6/10.

Department of Justice – Business Resource

Justice.gc.ca is the website for the Department of Justice Canada.  This website provides many resources on law and the justice system.  In particular, I would like to focus on the “Rights and Freedoms in Canada” page which could be a particularly useful resource for the Law 30 curriculum.

What is it?

This is a page that briefly introduces the Canadian Bill of Rights, The Canadian Human Rights Act, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  This page also describes the role of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and what the Charter protects.

What do I like about it?

  • Great source for accurate information.
  • Gives point form version of information about the Charter.
  • Translated to use more understandable words (compared to actual document).
  • Lists and elaborates points.
  • Not a particularly long read so this could help increase engagement.

What do I dislike about it?

  • Not very engaging/visually pleasing (it is a page from the government website so really, what do we expect?).

Where does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use it?

This resource fits in with the Law 30 curriculum.  Specifically, this fits under the third foundational objective in unit one (pg 27) which states: “Know that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Saskatchewan and Canadian Human Rights Codes provide criteria to assess legal rights.”  In this case, this resource provides the role of the Charter which includes legal rights.

Also, this could fit in with the fourth foundational objective (pg 27) in the same unit which states: “Know that sources of law include The Constitution, The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Treaties, statues, and common law.”  Here, this resource explains the Charter or Rights and Freedoms so students can have an understanding of this document and be able to conclude that it is a source of law.

In my classroom, there are a couple ways I could use this resource.  The first way, is to go over the resource as a class and begin a discussion based off of some questions students might have or ones that I have thought of a head of time to ask the students.  Another way is that I could get students to either individually or in small groups read this resource and then work on a worksheet that I have made up.  Lastly, I could just use this as an extra resource and put it on the class blog/site for if students want to learn more about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms outside of class.

Evaluation of the Department of Justice website.

One issue that I had with this site is that it didn’t have a search box.  When I go to a website, I would rather type a topic into a search box and see what related articles I get, rather than having to click through a bunch of different pages to finally find what I was looking for.  I found the website fairly easy to navigate through and the resources page provides a lot of great information on all the different types and issues of law including: war crimes, violence, violence against women, drugs, and dispute resolution.  However, I was quite surprised to find the resource that I discusses not under this resources page.  Honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to find it if it didn’t tell me which pages I had clicked though to get to this page.  Here’s an example of what I mean:

So, if I had to give this website a numerical value, I would give it a 8/10 and the resource itself would receive a 7.5/10.

Entrepreneurweek.com – Business Resources

Entrepreneurweek.com is a blog that is designed to consolidate information for and about entrepreneurs.  There is one blog, in particular, that I would like to focus on called “Why Are More Women Choosing Entrepreneurship Over the Workplace?”

What is it?

This is a blog about why more women are deciding to enter into the field of entrepreneurship rather than the workplace.  It discusses factors including: being able to create their own work environment, carve out time for family, break through their income limits, and help those in their communities.

What do I like about it?

  • Lists several factors and then elaborates on them.
  • Recent (February 2012).
  • References multiple resources (accuracy).
  • User friendly.
  • Well organized.
  • Language and words are understandable.
  • Short, engaging read.

What do I dislike about it?

  • Only picture provided is just of a women in a business suit.
  • Limited reasons as to why there are more women entrepreneurs (there are more reasons but there are also the typical reasons like being the boss and pursuing passion).
  • Advertisements (distraction).

Where does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use it?

This fits in with module 18 of the Entrepreneurship 30 curriculum.  Learning objective 18.3 (pg 71) states: “To identify reasons why more women are becoming entrepreneurs than ever before.  To examine factors that have influenced the changing career patterns or paths of women and men.”  This blog more helps to achieve the first sentence in the learning objective as this is the main purpose of writing this particular blog.  This also does work toward the second one in a way because it does discusses why women want to be entrepreneurs which are factors that impact a person’s choice of career.

In the classroom, what I might first do is brainstorm ideas about why more women are becoming entrepreneurs today than ever before.  Then, I could get my students to read the article and discuss in groups what they discovered and if they might have any new ideas .  While doing this, the students will complete a worksheet that shows what the students discovered and maybe ask them to think of at least one or two reasons why more women are becoming entrepreneurs.  Once completed, I would get the class together to discuss these answers.

Because this is an optional module, I might only get a certain amount of students to work on this module and get groups to work on different ones so that we can cover a large amount of optional but important material at one time.

If I didn’t use this article inside the class, I believe it (and as well as the website) would be great to be made available for my students via a class blog or by email.

Evaluation of Entrepreneurweek.com

Overall, this site is very user friendly and all blogs posted are related to entrepreneurs.  If students were to get distracted by other blogs on this site, it is all about entrepreneurs anyways so it’s not exactly a bad thing for them to get distracted.  I didn’t go through all the blogs (which there are tons! So that might be an impossible task), but the ones that I did read were interesting reads and good resources (maybe for outside of the class though).

If I had to give this website a numerical value, I would give it a 9.5/10 and the actual resource (blog) a 7/10.

Purdue Online Writing Lab – Business Resources

Owl.english.purdue.edu is an online writing lab which contains resources for: writing and teaching writing, research, grammar and mechanics, style guides, ESL, and job search and professional writing.  Under the professional writing, I will be discussing “Writing the Basic Business Letter.”

What is it?

This is a resource that tells you the parts of a business letter, how to format the letter, and provides an example of a business letter.

What do I like about it?

  • Words and language used are understandable.
  • User friendly.
  • Not only lists but describes each section of a business letter.
  • Provides an example for clarification.
  • Easily able to print using button at end of resource.
  • Well organized.
  • Available as a PDF version.

What do I dislike about it?

  • Does not provide examples of each section of a business letter (only one comprehensive example at the end).
  • Suggested resources on left tab does not provide related resources.

Where does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use it?

This resource fits in the Information Processing 10/20/30 curriculum under module 13.  Learning objective 13.7 states: “Develop written communication skills by composing, editing, and formatting business letters and memoranda.”  At this point, this is where students are first introduced to business letters and this resource provides a detailed explanation of the different sections of a business letter and includes an example.

In my classroom, I might get students to read this resource over and compare the business letter example to personal letters and personal-business letters (which if following the curriculum, you should already have examples of these to compare to).  Once this has been completed, then students can create their own business letter (using the example from resource for help).  Once students have written their business letters, they will switch with a partner and edit each others.  Once this is completed, they will hand in a final copy of their revised business letter and the copy that their partner edited.  This resource would also be good to put on the class blog so students may refer back to it throughout the course and their schooling.

Evaluation of Purdue Online Writing Lab

The Purdue Online Writing Lab website is a great resource for students who need assistance in writing.  The site is very well organized and is appropriate for high school students.

If I had to give this website a numerical value, I would give it a 9/10.  The resource discussed would receive a 9.5/10.

Freetypinggame.net – Business Resource

freetypinggame.net is a site that has a variety of typing games that either teach you how to properly type or to improve your typing speed/accuracy.  One typing game in particular that I would like to look at is the game called “Typing Lesson”.

What is it?

This typing lesson is a free interactive lesson which teaches you how to use the keyboard properly in steps.  This resource starts with the basic home row keys and then moves on to other keys from there.

What do I like about it?

  • User friendly.
  • Can have a picture of the keyboard and placing of hands if desired.
  • Can choose to work toward a typing speed goal (set your own goal).
  • Keys that are to be used by a certain finger have their own colour.
  • Teaches how to properly key in numbers and symbols.
  • Makes you try the key first then begins practice.
  • Drill/repetitive.
  • Makes you retry the lesson if you didn’t reach your goal.
  • Competitive, which ultimately makes it more engaging.
  • One minute (lessons are not long).

What do I dislike about it?

  • Does not do a general typing test (test everything at once).
  • Does not test any other keys, just the one’s your lesson is based off of (does not test prior keys).
  • Does not use the common way of teaching keyboard where you learn the home row first, then the top row and then the bottom.  Once these have been taught, then you would normally move on to numbers and symbols (which is the method I prefer).  Rather, this resource teaches the alphabet and punctuation mixed in with one another as well as teaching punctuation and numbers at mixed intervals (however you can change the order in which students learn these keys since there is no prior knowledge of other keys in the lessons).
  • Has advertisements.
  • Uses the word “type.”  The proper term used now is “key” or “keyboarding.”  I remember in one of my previous education business classes, my professor explained how “type” refers to using a typewriter and “keyboarding” refers to using a keypad on a computer.

Where does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use it?

This keyboarding lesson fits in the Information Processing 10/20/30 curriculum in module 2.  Learning objective 2.2 states: “to execute and practise the skill of touch keyboarding the alphabetic, numeric, punctuation and basic service keys.”  This resource teaches the user how to keyboard all of these keys listed using touch keyboarding.

In a class, I would use this for students to practice for maybe 5 minutes a day to practise their keyboarding skills and then move on to the lesson I intended for that day.  I might also use this in conjunction with another game from this website to practise all the skills they learned that lesson (and even prior lessons as well).

Evaluation of freetypinggame.net

This is a great resource for helping students learn how to keyboard properly.  All of the games on this website are to help improve keyboarding so if a student gets distracted by a different game, they are still practicing this (although just maybe not using the right game).  This website is also very user friendly and is categorized very well.

If I were to give this website a numerical value, I would give it a 9.5/10 and the resource I discussed a 7/10.

Bestlibrary.org – Business Resources

Bestlibrary.org is an “online library.”  It contains many different resources for teaching, blogging, writting persuasive arguments, and how to make citations. Here is a PDF that is called “What are transferable skills?” from this website that could be useful in a business classroom.

What is it?

This is a PDF document that discusses what transferable skills are, why they’re important, how to translate these skills to a resume, and how to “sell” your transferable skills.

What do I like about it?

  • Provides detailed explanations.
  • Includes pictures (visually pleasing).
  • Engaging.
  • Provides examples of transferable skills.
  • Provides a worksheet for viewers to fill out.
  • Provides examples of transferable skills.
  • Words and language used are easily understandable.
  • Not a huge document (let’s face it, no one likes a bunch of reading).

What do I dislike about it?

  • If I were to make this document, I probably wouldn’t have done the worksheet as the author did.

Where does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use it?

This fits into the Career and Work Exploration 10/20/30 curriculum in module 15.  Learning objective 15.1 states: “To explore transferable skills.”  This resource not only defines transferable skills but explores and provides examples of transferable skills and then asks students to explore their own transferable skills.

For this module, you are only supposed to do this for 1-2 hours so I might just base the module off this resource.  I would begin by reading the material with the class and then when we get to the worksheet portion of the document, I would provide my own worksheet that will test the students understanding a little bit more in depth (the worksheet provided by the document could just be for students if they want to do it outside of class).

Evaluation of bestlibrary.org

Bestlibrary.org is a user friendly website that provides many resources and help for teachers and students.  It is difficult trying to search for a topic and get a useful resource, but once found, there are a few that are useful (such as the one I discussed).  The resource that I found was very informative and I would definitely use it in my classroom although I would like to make a few changes to it.

If I had to give this site a numerical value, I would give it a 5/10 and the actual resource an 8/10.

Wikihow.com – Business Resources

What is it?

Wikihow.com is a website where anyone can post articles online.  This website provides articles for a variety of topics including: arts and entertainment, education and communications, food and entertainment, relationships, and finance, business and legal.

A look at a few resources from this site

How to Make a Resume is an article that explains what a resume is, the different types of resumes, and provides steps on how to recreate a resume.  This article also explains each step and provides examples of different resumes.  This article fits with the Life Transitions curriculum (module 17) and the Career and Work Experience 10/20/30 (module 6).

How to Understand Debits and Credits is an article which discusses debits and credits by breaking it down into steps to help students understand debits and credits and how they are used in financial statements.  This article fits with the Accounting 10/20/30 curriculum.

What do I like about Wikihow.com?

  • Provides related articles at the end of the article for further interest or in case the article didn’t completely explain topic.
  • Provides tips and videos.
  • User-friendly.

What do I disliked about it?

  • Advertisements in the right column of the article which could easily distract the viewer (in this case the students).
  • Anyone can edit the article (both a pro and a con but someone could go on and erase the article or put in false information).

Where does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use it?

This website provides resources that could fit into any business curriculum (I’ve shown examples in Accounting, Life Transitions, and Career and Work Exploration).  In the classroom, there are a few ways that I could use this, the first being as an independent study in class.  I could provide students with the links for articles and get students to complete a question sheet or get them to write a summary on what they learned.  If this is an article say for example like the how to create a resume article, students could create a resume and use the article as a guideline to help.  If I wouldn’t use if for this purpose, I could always use it as an extra resource on our class blog to be examined outside of class.

Evaluation of Wikihow.com

Wikihow.com is a great site for finding many different articles, although the user should take caution since people can easily edit any article (whether for good or bad).  However, assuming people change it for the good, this website is a good resource for students to use.  I would use this website in my classroom although I may want to check on the links frequently to make sure it’s still the same (or better).

If I were to give Wikihow.com a numerical value, I would give it a 7/10.