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Online Tools for Teaching Economics

Economics is a very broad subject. It deals with the way we interact with each other and with our environment. Being one of the major subjects in your graduate school curriculum, economics is mostly associated with careers in business and finance.

This guide provides you with a list and description of free tool and websites for teaching economics, making it easier for you to find the best for your classroom projects.

Online Tools


Socrative professes to be “your classroom app for fun, effective classroom engagement”. In a nutshell, it is a cloud-based student response system, allowing teachers to immediately test student understanding by way of mini-quizzes, assigned to them on class laptops or tablets. Quizzes can be multiple choice, graded short answer, true-false, or open-ended short response. Socrative’s strength lies in its “on the fly” assessment method, providing teachers with valuable and timely feedback.



If your university has a CMS like Moodle, (this writer had the luxury of having access, thank you Humboldt Universität) you can upload lecture notes, links, and much more to a central website from which students can download all the information they need. You can even use it to host online class discussions (when has this ever been more relevant?) or to notify students that you’re running late or a class is cancelled. There is widespread consensus among teachers that this is one of the easiest ways to get your materials online – and trust us, your students will be eternally grateful for the convenience.


According to Prezi, “creating, giving, and tracking beautiful interactive presentations is as easy as 1,2,3” with their cloud-based presentation software. Prezi presentations are nothing like your traditional presentations; zooming in and out and moving side to side across one single, very attractive and modern canvas, focusing in on images and videos inputted by the user. Prezi is very popular and consistently receives excellent reviews.

Discovering Statistics

Statistics can, and often is, an intimidating topic for many students, and one which is perceived (INOMICS does not concur) as being dull. Regardless, this website from Professor Andy Field is full of funny, engaging information and practical advice on how to use statistics correctly in an academic setting. It can be an especially useful resource if, as is likely, you have some non-econometrics students in your class who may struggle with stats. The plain-language teaching of Prof. Field has been a ‘way in’ to statistics for countless otherwise hesitant students. Use it.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a powerful community based social tool for learning. It allows students to post questions and receive answers from their teachers and fellow students. Furthermore, teachers can post intriguing questions and lesson materials for review at home. It can also be integrated with other Google products such as Google Forms, which can be a great way to get feedback from students.

Adobe Spark Video

Spark Video is part of the Adobe Spark suite. The application enables students to produce short, animated, narrated explainer videos. Students can easily add photos, video clips, icons, and voice, as well as professional-quality soundtracks and cinematic motion to their video creations. Video and vlog making is a great way to engage students creatively, and an ‘out of the box’ approach to class projects or reviewing learning materials.


Mendeley is a site which can be used for both reference management (the band of most students’ lives) and social networking. For students, the reference management function will be most helpful, allowing them to build reference lists without all the tedious formatting that used to be required. Show this site to students who are tired of fiddly referencing procedures to make their lives easier. Using Mendeley means you can say goodbye to deadline day phenomenon of the disappearing bibliography.

Yahoo Finance

A website and app for keeping up to date with the latest news in global finance, including stock prices. Students can investigate the stock prices to see how what you are teaching them in the classroom plays out in practice.

10 Great Resources to Help Teach Economics

Khan Academy

The Khan Academy offers an enormous resource of online teaching materials which covers economics, finance, mathematics, and much more. If you have a student who is looking for a new challenge, or one who is struggling with the basics and needs some help finding a place to start, then Khan Academy will have materials to assist.


There are a multitude of programs available for statistical analysis, each of which has their own advantages and disadvantages. However, it might be worth using SPSS to introduce your students to statistical software. While it’s not the most comprehensive program available, SPSS is relatively easy for a beginner to use and has a large online support community. This makes it an un-intimidating entry for students getting into statistical analysis.

 iTunes U

This Apple app has video and audio educational material from a huge range of subjects, including economics. Some universities will put entire courses online, recording full-length lectures. This makes the app an invaluable support for students. Encourage them to investigate the economics courses which are available to help broaden their knowledge. For teachers, it’s an excellent means of knowing what’s being offered elsewhere, and ensuring your syllabus does not fall behind the times.

 Economics: A Very Short Introduction

The Very Short Introduction books are aimed at a general audience, but they can also provide a helpful starting point for new students who are struggling to orient themselves in a complex field. The book is brief, written in a conversational tone, and easy to chew through, making it an excellent introductory text for your new students. Make it part of your course’s preparatory reading?

 Freakonomics Radio

This podcast, a spin-off from the enormously popular eponymous book, covers exciting and news-worthy issues in economics, with a fun and upbeat approach. It’s more casual than academic, but is helpful in showing how the abstract issues discussed in economics can be seen in the real world. It makes for excellent listening on the way to or from economics classes, so encourage your students to download a few episodes.

The Economist magazine

Requiring little in the way of introduction, The Economist magazine, now well over 150 years old, is notable for the high quality of its writing and its longer, in-depth articles. For students who are interested in the crossover between economics and politics, international relations, or sociology, then this magazine will be full of interesting and relevant material. For the majority, it’s likely already in their bookshelves.

Online Games for Young Kids

Free online finance games appropriate for elementary age students (grades K-5).

Peter Pigs Money Counter(link is external)
Learning about money is fun with Peter Pig. In this interactive game, kids practice identifying, counting and saving money while learning fun facts about U.S. currency. After completing the game, players are rewarded with a trip to the virtual store to buy accessories within budget and dress up Peter Pig in fun scenes.

Wise Pockets(link is external)
Interactive game for kids to learn about managing money. Resource guides for teachers and parents.

Fruit Shoot Coins(link is external)
Requires kids to add the coins then shoot the fruit with the correct coin total.

H.I.P. Pocket Change(link is external)
A number of games from the U.S. Mint that teaches kids about currency and managing money.

Online Games and Apps for Preteen and Teenagers

Free online finance games and apps appropriate for middle and high school age students (grades 6-12).

Financial Football(link is external)
Interactive football game that requires players to answer personal finance questions. Lesson plans and other materials by grade level also from Visa.

Financial Soccer(link is external)
Interactive soccer game that requires players to answer personal finance question. Lesson plans and other materials by grade level also from Visa.

Financial Entertainment(link is external)
Financial Entertainment is a library of free online and mobile games, designed and developed by Commonwealth, that aim to improve personal financial capability, knowledge, and self-confidence.

Gen I Revolution: Online Personal Finance Game(link is external)
Developed for middle school and high school students, this online game gives your students the chance to learn important personal finance skills as they play and compete against fellow classmates.

Best websites for economics research
This is a fantastic resource to locate leading economics research. You input a term for the research area and it then gives you links to publications in that area by the number of times they are cited. You can change the date to find more recent papers which are generally less cites. You can also locate papers by author.
REsearch Papers in EConomics
Great site for downloading latest academic research published as working papers by author and subject
The National Bureau for Economic Research publishes a huge amount of research on economics in the form of working papers that later appear in top economics journals
Resources for Economists lists more than 2000 resources in various sub sections available on the internet of interest to academic and practicing economists
Social Science Research Network under economics has thousands of working papers on all areas of economics. Ranked Number one open access repository.
We love this site it is a statistical search engine. You ask it for data and it will give you it. GDP per capita, exports as a percentage of GDP, population, value of the currency against the dollar, stock prices and charts…and much more. solves equations and covers many subject areas from science, maths, music and history.
Econlit indexes more than 40 years of economics literature from around the world. It is a comprehensive list of journal articles, books, book reviews, collective volumes and dissertations
Links to economics departments, economics data sources, software, statistics and economic analysis
Deutsche Bank’s research hub. Very good for market oriented research on banking, financial markets, macro trends and emerging markets. The interactive maps give key data on most economies.
Economic Journal Watch. A site that monitors the latest publications in economics and publishes a journal that comments on some of the articles.
Economics Search Engine. Uses google custom search engine for economics will search over 23,000 economics websites for relevant material.
The Peterson Institute for International Economics. Provides topical research and policy papers on issues confronting the world economy.
Provides many links of interest to econometricians including conferences, textbooks, software, working papers, code, ranking statistics and much more.
 The Economic Policy Institute conducts a wide range of research into a wide range of areas such a fiscal, education, public investment, regulation. Focuses on issues relevant issues.
The directory of open access journal has a fairly comprehensive list of open access economics journals. This means all the articles can be accessed by anyone on the web. While quality may not in general be as good as established subscription based journal it can be a useful starting point for economic research.


‍In this article, I have tried to bring you a list of useful tools for teaching economics. There are plenty of excellent resources available but the sheer volume can be overwhelming. I have listed out some websites that deal with economics for the classroom, lessons and activity-based learning that teach economics in a fun and engaging manner, links to free instructional material for teachers, informative sites about economics and also a few links to fun and interactive games that help kids learn about economics.

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