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From teaching to TikTok, UH professor finds fame on social media

econ tiktok

Economics professor Chris Clarke has over 18,000 followers on TikTok. | Courtesy of Chris Clarke

If you are currently taking an economics course and have difficulty grasping the material, consider taking a few lessons on TikTok from UH professor Chris Clarke.

About a year ago, Clarke said his college-age sister shared a humorous link from the internet. But rather than a YouTube video or a meme which he was expecting, it was on TikTok. That’s when he realized that times were changing and students were moving to a new platform.

“I love teaching economics, and it is vital to reach students where they are,” Clarke said. “That can mean a lot of things. Using economic tools to discuss issues that concern students, such as student loans.”

In the fall 2019 semester, Clarke began creating video content for his large Principles of Macroeconomics course. He tried to follow the fast-paced editing style of popular science creators on YouTube. With those lessons, in the spring of 2021 he started an economics account on TikTok. Today it has grown to over 18,000 followers.

Clarke shared that the app has been great for current students to ask questions about concepts and current events. It also allows him to keep in touch with former students. 

“Those who have graduated find it an excellent source to keep up their economics,” Clarke said.

Due to his growing following on TikTok, Clarke shared that students who recognize him from his channel on campus have stopped him to say hello. 

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “It has opened up a few doors to discuss economics to a broader audience.” 

Along with becoming a campus celebrity, he also had other opportunities, including being interviewed by KHOU 11.

“I have presented my experience at economic teaching conferences, and was mentioned in Bloomberg,” said Clarke. 

Clarke said the economic systems and economic trade offs affect every one of us. The more folks know about it, the better they can navigate this world.

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