FAQs

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Q: How do I install Virtual Economics on my computer?

A: There is no installation required for Virtual Economics as long as your computer meets the minimum system requirements listed below or on the back of the jewel case. Virtual Economics will run directly from the flash drive and is not dependent on software on your computer. *A broadband Internet connection is recommended but not required.

Minimum System Requirements for Version 4.0 and 4.5:

Windows:
  • Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack (SP) 2 or later operating system
  • 2.33 gigahertz (GHz) processor or higher
  • 512 megabyte (MB) RAM or higher
  • Adobe Reader 9 or later version
Mac OS
  • Mac OS X version 10.4.1 or later operating system
  • Intel Core Duo or higher
  • 512 megabyte (MB) RAM or higher
  • Adobe Reader 9 or later version

Minimum System Requirements for Version 3.0:

Windows:
  • Win 98, Win 2000, or Win XP
  • Pentium III
  • 256 MB RAM
  • Sound card
Mac OS
  • Classic 9.2 or higher; OS X - 10.2.2 or higher
  • G3 processor
  • 256 MB RAM

Q: Does it matter if I have Windows or Mac?

A: It works on both PCs and Macs as long as your computer meets the minimum system requirements.

Q: How fast will Virtual Economics run?

A: The first time you launch the application it will take 30 seconds to 2 minutes to load depending on your computer system. Note the Minimum System Requirements for Version 4.0 and 4.5:

Windows: Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack (SP) 2 or later operating system 2.33 gigahertz (GHz) processor or higher 512 megabyte (MB) RAM or higher Adobe Reader 9 or later version

Mac OS: Mac OS X version 10.4.1 or later operating system Intel Core Duo or higher 512 megabyte (MB) RAM or higher Adobe Reader 9 or later version

Q: Do I need Internet access?

A: Virtual Economics will detect whether or not you have an Internet connection. If you have an Internet connection, content will be automatically downloaded and displayed within the application. This allows you to view updated standards, online lessons, and online resources as they become available. Depending on the speed of your Internet connection, it may take 10 to 45 seconds to download updates.
If you don't have an Internet connection, the flash drive will still be fully functional, but you won't have access to standards, online lessons and online resources that became available after December 2014.

Q: What if I am doing a keyword search or an activity and the cursor doesn't show up in the appropriate box?

A: This can happen on some computers. Just put the cursor in the box, click and type. Even if the cursor never appears, everything should be fine.

Q: If I have problems with Virtual Economics, where do I go for technical support?

A: Use this web form to contact us.

Q: If there are more than 1,400 complete lessons on Virtual Economics, why are there also Tips?

A: Tips are quick ideas you can use in class. The lessons involve full-blown activities, including worksheets, lesson plans and visuals.

Q: What are some ways to use the Concept Videos with students?

A: All of the Concept Videos have illustrated narratives that can be used as an introduction or as closure for a concept. Several also have interactive activities. For example, students can drag resources to the correct category, see how interest rates and time affect investment returns and see how long it takes to pay off credit-card balances.

Q: I want to learn more about a particular economic concept. Can Virtual Economics help?

A: Yes. Virtual Economics is organized around 51 important economics and personal finance concepts. First check the Concept Overview for an explanation of the concept and key terms. You can click on those terms for their definitions to appear in the Glossary, or browse the Glossary if you have a certain term in mind. Then play the Concept Video for a more informal explanation of the concept.

Q: How do I access the Glossary?

A: Go to Browse Economics Concepts and click on the tab on the right-hand side of the screen. You can also access the Glossary by clicking on the underlined terms in the Concept Overviews section.

Q: Are the lessons listed under the "Lessons" tab in Browse Economics Concepts different from the lessons in Browse Economics Lessons?

A: No. The "Lessons" tab contains a sub-set of the lessons found under Browse Economics Lessons. The "Lessons" tab has some of the best lessons displayed for each particular concept as selected by a team of curriculum specialists.

Q: I want to limit my search to specific grade levels. When I click to change the appropriate box, nothing happens. What's up?

A: On some computers there may be a slight delay with the checks in the grade-level boxes changing. If the results begin to update when you change a box, wait for the update to be completed before checking or unchecking another box.

Q: I know there are more than 1,400 lessons on Virtual Economics, but can I print them and use them in my classes?

A: It is easy to print the lessons, and you are free to use them for classroom purposes. Use the tool bar at the top to read and print lessons. On Version 4.0 and 4.5 you can use the View PDF or Save button at the top and print the lessons from your PDF viewer.

Q: What are the Council for Economic Education standards?

A: These refer to the Voluntary National Content Standards in Economics. Almost all Council for Economic Education lessons are correlated to these standards, which focus on fundamental economic ideas and concepts.

Q: When I search by my state's standards, do I also have to check the appropriate grade level?

A: If the state standard is appropriate only for a particular grade level, only lessons for that grade level will appear.

Q: My state standards have been revised since the publication of Virtual Economics. Am I out of luck?

A: Not necessarily. If you have an Internet connection, Virtual Economics first searches the Web site for updated standards. If a state council, a state center, or a state department of education correlated the revised standards, you could be in luck. When you search by state standard, the date of the latest revision on Virtual Economics is provided at the top of the page. If you know that your state standards have been rewritten recently, please contact us so that we can put them in the queue to update the correlations.

Q: I need to infuse economics into other disciplines. Which feature of Virtual Economics will help me do this?

A: You can use the keyword search and search for lessons by discipline. Be sure to check the grade level that you are interested in. Here are the disciplines that you can use: Economics, AP Economics, Advanced Placement Economics, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Social Studies, Social Science, Entrepreneurship, Geography, Government, Civics, Political Science, International, Reading, Language Arts, Life Skills, Personal Finance, Children's Literature, Mathematics, Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Science, Environmental Economics, US History, U.S. History, United States History, American History, World History.

Q: What else is the keyword search good for?

A: It will search for any word in the title of a Council for Economic Education lesson or publication, or even the ISBN number of a publication. Just the last few digits of an ISBN number will work.

Q: When I select one of my state standards, 20 print lessons and 10 online lessons are displayed. Why are only 20 and 10 displayed?

A: The standards correlation tool gives all 1,400+ lessons a score based on concepts associated with the standard and individual lessons. The 20 print lessons that have the highest score are displayed followed by the top 10 online lessons.

Q: Are there site licenses or network versions of Virtual Economics?

A: No. Virtual Economics is intended for individual teachers. It is not designed to be networked. However, volume discounts are available. For more information please email info@councilforeconed.org

Q: Is Virtual Economics designed primarily for me to use or for my students to use?

A: Virtual Economics is designed primarily for teachers to use. Some features, such as the Concept Overviews, the Glossary and Concept Videos, are designed to help you learn basic principles of economics. Other features, such as the 1,400 lessons and Tips, are designed to provide the resources to help you teach economics more effectively.

Q: Can I use Virtual Economics with my students? If so, which parts?

A: The Concept Videos and some of the online lessons can be used directly with your students. The Concept Overviews can be used with high school students or, in some cases, with middle or elementary school students.

Q: I have upgraded my Mac and the flash drive does not appear to work.

A: Here is a patch that will fix the upgraded MacOS issue. Follow the steps:

  • Click on this link ve.councilforeconed.org/files/VE4_patch.zip and download the compressed VE4 patch file.
  • Uncompress the downloaded file.
  • Open your Finder and locate the VE4 flash drive -- NOTE that this is the file structure
    _VE4DATA (folder)
    Getting-Started.pdf (file)
    LAUNCH VE4 - Mac (folder)
    LAUNCH VE4 - Windows (folder)
    View-All-Publications.html (file)
  • Open the following directory
    LAUNCH VE4 - Mac (folder)
  • Move the following application out of the directory
    VE (application)
  • Copy the uncompressed file to the following directory
    LAUNCH VE4 - Mac (folder)
  • Click on the new VE (application) and your program should load properly

Q: What Council for Economic Education publications are available Virtual Economics Version 4.5?

A: A complete listing of the publications can be found on the Virtual Economics website. Click here to view a complete listing.

Q: Why should I register my copy of Virtual Economics?

A: Registering your copy of Virtual Economics entitles you to discounts on future versions as well as product updates and announcements.

Q: Are volume discounts available for Virtual Economics?

A: Yes, go to the Purchase page for more information.

Q: How do I access the online lessons if my network has a firewall in place?

A: Version 4.0 and 4.5: The application downloads the lesson data as an XML file from the Internet automatically if you have an Internet connection. If the application displays that you do not have an Internet connection, you can talk to your Network Administrator about allowing the following files to be downloaded:
  • http://ve.councilforeconed.org/library/concepts.xml
  • http://ve.councilforeconed.org/library/library_ve4.xml
  • http://ve.councilforeconed.org/library/publications_ve4.xml

Version 3.0: The CD downloads the online lesson data as an XML file from the Internet. If you talk to your Network Administrator about allowing the following file to be downloaded, everything should work fine.
Online Lessons XML File: http://ve.councilforeconed.org/library/library_online.xml

Q: How do I get Virtual Economics to fill the full-screen of my computer for presentation purposes?

A: Version 4.0 and 4.5: you can resize the application using the standard buttons in the top corner of the window.

Version 3.0: Option 1:
If the resolution of your computer monitor is set to 800 x 600, the CD will automatically display in "full-screen" mode. For presentation purposes, you could close Virtual Economics, adjust the resolution of your computer to 800 x 600, and then re-start Virtual Economics. Once you're done with your presentation, you can adjust the resolution of your monitor back to your preferred settings.
Option 2:
Included on the CD is a program that runs Virtual Economics in "full-screen" mode. To access this program, view the contents of the CD. Open the "data" folder. Double-click the "ve.fs.osx" - Mac or "ve.fx.exe" - Windows program. This will automatically change the resolution of your computer monitor to 800 x 600 and display Virtual Economics in "full-screen" mode. When you quit Virtual Economics, your computer monitor's resolution will go back to your original settings.

NOTE: Changing the resolution of your computer monitor may cause items on your desktop, such as program icons, files, etc. to be re-positioned. You may also notice some strange behavior if you go to another application without closing Virtual Economics. Because of the resolution change, the other applications may be larger than you would expect.

Q: I can't find the Student Letter and Frequently Asked Questions from the Financial Fitness for Life - Student Workouts - Grades 9-12 publication for several lessons.

A: The Student Letters and Frequently Asked Questions were mistakenly not included on the Version 3.0 CD-ROM. We've included the missing PDF files below:

Q: It looks as though a picture is missing from Lesson 8 - Activity 1 in the Focus on Economics: United States History publication on the CD-ROM.

A: The picture in Lesson 8 Activity 1 from the Focus on Economics: United States History publication was mistakenly not included in the PDF on the Version 3.0 CD-ROM. We've included an updated PDF file below:

Q: I can't find the first page of Lesson 2 from the Economies in Transition: Command to Market publication.

A: That page was mistakenly not included on the Version 3.0 CD-ROM. We've included the complete lesson below:
Lesson 2 : Who Decides? (PDF - 500 KB)

Q: I can't find page 141 from the Financial Fitness for Life: Bringing Home the Gold - Student Workouts, Grades 9-12 publication.

A: That page was mistakenly not included on the Version 3.0 CD-ROM. We've included the missing page below:
Table 22.1 - Types of Insurance (Page 140-141) (PDF - 1 MB)

Q: I can't find some of the activities from the Master Curriculum Guide - Grades 3-4 publication.

A: That activities were mistakenly not included on the Version 3.0 CD-ROM. We've included the missing page below:
Master Curriculum Guide - Grades 3-4 - Missing Activities (zip - 2 MB)

Q: My copy of Virtual Economics seems to be stuck on the loading screen. How do I fix it?

A: The application downloads the lesson data as an XML file from the Internet automatically if you have an Internet connection. There are two methods you can try to remedy your problem.

1) Turn off your Internet connection and see if it loads. The data is packaged with the application so you don't need the Internet connection, but if you do have an Internet connection you'll get updated data.

2) See if you can access these xml files directly:
  • http://ve.councilforeconed.org/library/library_ve4.xml
  • http://ve.councilforeconed.org/library/concepts.xml
You may need to contact your Network Administrator to allow these links to be accessed if it's a firewall issue.

Q: I get an error message when I attempt to view the lesson (pdf) on my Mac.

A: The default for the MAC OS is Preview and Virtual Economics default is Adobe Acrobat Reader. You will need to change the default for your MAC from Preview to Adobe Acrobat Reader. The following document explains how to make that adjustment. Viewing pdf files on MAC OS

 

 

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