Exploring Media Bias

Exploring Media Bias

130: Exploring Media Bias

My guest is Randi Smith from Peanut Butter Fish Lessons, who talks to us about Exploring Media Bias.

The resources she mentions are:


You can find Randi at

Peanut Butter Fish Lessons
Instagram @peanutbutterfishlessons
Facebook @peanutbutterfishlessons

Show sponsor FundaFunda Academy includes some lessons in media literacy in their online Computer Applications Class

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Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

Exploring Media Bias

“Is this okay?” How to know if a game or app is safe for your child

How to Know if a Game or App is Safe for Your Child

128: “Is this okay?” How to know if a game or app is safe for your child with Lisa Honold


Guest Lisa Honald provides guidelines in this episode to help us decide if a game or app is safe for our child.

Lisa is a cyber safety educator and director of the Center for Online Safety. She teaches parents and school leaders how to keep kids safe online with simple and respectful strategies to help set healthy limits on screens and technology.

Lisa’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the 2019-2020 Washington State School Director’s Association conference, and dozens of podcasts, workshops, and presentations. Her popular online course, The Family Tech Reset course, teaches parents how to set healthy limits on technology while teaching kids how to develop their own internal compass.

Her process for parents is called the Five Steps to YES (or no) and you can download a free resource that takes you through these steps (see link in 3.a. below).

1. Start with your values

2. Do some research on your own. A useful website is Commonsense Media.

3. Ask your child to research it and prepare to “sell it”

4 Set up a time to talk about it and decide:

5 Trial basis yes – If trial basis yes, revisit the decision in a week

You can find Lisa at the Center for Online Safety and on Facebook.

A free copy of the Five Steps to YES handout can be accessed here.

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Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Aademy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies.

Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

How to Know if a Game or App is Safe for your Child

How to modify online curriculum for special needs students Part 2

How to Modify Online Curriculum for Special Needs Students Part 2

126: How to modify online curriculum for special needs students: Part 2

Guest Lindsay Leiviska explains how to modify online curriculum for special needs students. You can find Lindsay online at A Heart For All Students. Her podcast is also called “A Heart for All Students”.

Be sure to listen to part 1 first if you haven’t already. In that episode she discusses variables to consider when choosing online curriculum.

Tips for what you as a parent can do

  • Rather than leave kids to their own devices, use online curriculum as a teaching tool.
  • Sit with your student and watch videos together.
  • Pause videos at appropriate intervals in order to check for understanding.
  • Use one sheet of paper or small whiteboard for each problem, pause the video and work through each problem together.
  • Depending upon the learning and emotional needs of the child as well as the concepts at hand, I modify my level of involvement.
  • Always remove learning barriers
  • Scribe for your child (write math problems, have them spell orally, etc)
  • Support your child with verbal cues as she works through math problems,
  • Gradually have child tell me the steps involved and “tell me” what to do. This requires A LOT of effort as speaking orally requires greater processing and retention (teaching is highest form of learning)
  • Slowly hand over reigns step by step.
  • Depending upon needs, work through questions one by one together on one sheet of paper for each problem in large text.
  • When needed, support concepts with extra video-based tutorials (Removes mom’s need to choose the correct verbiage)
  • Always have hard copy texts and support tools (maps, reference charts, etc)
  • Resist the urge to stay on schedule
  • Don’t be afraid to pause and repeat lessons or concepts when needed.
  • Circle back to concepts as needed


Recommended Resources:

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Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Aademy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies.

Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

How to Modify Online Curriculum for Special Needs Students Part 2

How to modify online curriculum for special needs students Part 1

How to modify online curriculum for special needs students

125: How to modify online curriculum for special needs students: Part 1

Guest Lindsay Leiviska explains how to modify online curriculum for special needs students. You can find Lindsay online at A Heart For All Students. Her podcast is also called “A Heart for All Students”.

Variables to Consider:

  • Time: Short lessons (less is more)
  • Ability to remove all timers
  • Ability to correct and modify “grades”
  • Printable hard copy of any texts
  • Print PDFs of any textbooks and other resources
  • Clear and to the point
  • Slower Rate of Speech
  • Language and auditory processing
  • Clutter-Free Design
  • Excellent for those who struggle with visual discrimination
  • Reduced visual input for the brain to tease and process through
  • Ability To Add Visuals/Imagery for any language-based concepts (ie vocabulary needs to be supported with visuals)
  • Use Quizlet for Spelling and vocabulary practice for all subjects (including history, science, math, etc)

  • Recommended Resources mentioned in this episode:

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    Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Aademy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies.

    Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

    If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

    How to modify online curriculum for special needs students

    Teach your children about their digital footprints

    Teach Your Children About Their Digital Footprint

    124: Teach your children about their digital footprints

    It is important that you teach your children about their digital footprints from an early age.

    The resources I mention in this episode are:

    A lesson plan from code.org – especially the “Follow the Digital Trail” assignment which uses a story to teach the concept to younger students

    A resource from Google education that has short videos on the topic, with a spreadsheet assignment for middle and high school students.

    A TedX talk by Michelle Pledger that includes a Spoken Word poem on the topic that you can listen to with your teen and then discuss it

    The Wired story that explains the vulnerabilities in the Parler software

    The Kaplan Test Prep article about their poll of admissions officers re social media searches

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    Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies. The Computer Applications class covers Digital Footprints.

    Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

    If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

    Teach Your Children About Their Digital Footprint

    Free online typing programs

    Free Online Typing Programs

    123: Free Online Typing Programs with Charlene Hess

    Guest Charlene Hess from Hess Un-Academy shares with us which free online typing programs worked for her children. Be sure to also listen to the other interview I did with Charlene some time ago when we talked about Learning History Through Video Games.

    In this episode, Charlene starts off by explaining why she believes kids need to learn to type.

    Then Charlene discusses the following free typing programs that she finds have been the most effective for her children.

    You can read Charlene’s blog post on the topic here.

    You can find Charlene online at

    Mewe Group Homeschool Dabblers
    Hess Un-Academy Facebook Page
    Facebook Group Homeschool Dabblers

    ————————————————————————————————–
    Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Aademy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies.

    Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

    If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

    Free Online Typing Programs

    Take Time to Save Time with Tech

    Take Time to Save Time With Technology

    122: Take Time to Save Time with Tech

    In this episode, I talk about how to save time with tech. I discuss 2 aspects:

    1. Taking time to select the correct software to use
    2. Taking time to learn how to use the software

    Specific resources I mention in this episode are

    • Evernote
    • Trello
    • Canvas learning management system
    • .

    Listen to the episode to hear this topic discussed. I touch on how much time you can waste when you choose not to use tech. I also explain how to determine what the correct tool for your specific needs is so that you don’t waste time using something that isn’t going to work for your purposes.

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    Show Sponsor Fundafunda Academy uses podcasts in some of their online classes. Take a look at all they offer

    Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool. We would love to hear how you are using tech in early elementary homeschooling!

    If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

    Take Time to Save Time With Technology

    Pros and Cons of Virtual Tutoring

    Pros and Cons of Virtual Tutoring

    121: Pros and Cons of Virtual Tutoring with Lea Bosse

    In this episode, guest Lea Bosse discusses the pros and cons of virtual tutoring. Lea has been doing ACT tutoring for years, and during the pandemic switched to primarily tutoring virtually. You can find her tutoring sessions on FundaFunda Academy.

    These are the questions Lea answers in this episode:

    1. How did you do most of your tutoring before the pandemic?
    2. And since March?
    3. What platform do you use? What can you do on it when you tutor?
    4. What are the limitations of virtual tutoring both for you as a tutor and for the students?
    5. What are the benefits of virtual tutoring?
    6. What advice would you give to someone considering signing up children for virtual tutoring

    Lea has written a blog post on 10 Tips to Improve Your ACT Test Score that you might find useful.

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    Show Sponsor Fundafunda Academy uses podcasts in some of their online classes. Take a look at all they offer

    Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool. We would love to hear how you are using tech in early elementary homeschooling!

    If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

    Pros and Cons of Virtual Tutoring

    Fun with Flippity

    Fun with Flippity

    113: Fun with Flippity

    Flippity is a free online resource that offers 25 different activities, most are games. Some can be played online, others allow you to create a pdf for offline fun. The games use data from Google Sheets (that you input to customize each game).

    Flippity gives you the option to try out each game (use the Demo option), make a copy of the game template, and then follow the instructions to customize each game for your purpose.

    I do mention how to use some of the Flippity tools to create digital gifts in episode 110.

    Show sponsor FundaFunda Academy has a unit study to guide your children through creating digital gifts and many use Flippity – you can find that here.

    Games mentioned in this episode:

    • Matching Game
      – says the word ie can use to help kids learn to read, or for foreign lang
    • Bingo
      – Terms and Clues – print off OR online
    • Flippity Manipulatives
      – drag around
    • Timeline
      – can include videos and photos and can link to items on the web
    • Wordsearch / Crossword Puzzle / Word Scramble
      – all printed
    • Snowman
      – “hangman” with 4 different levels
      Snowman allows six guesses.
      Flower Power allows seven guesses.
      Bomb Squad allows eight guesses.
      Apple Picking allows nine guesses.
    • Mad Libs
      – you or your kids create the story
    • Board Game
      – just one person moves the pieces – all can view
    • Scavenger Hunt
      – Locked clues to solve

    Show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy, uses the Mad Libs creator as a student assignment in the middle school Writing Fun class.

    Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool. We would love to hear how you are using tech in early elementary homeschooling!

    If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

    Learn about Flippity and the games you can create with this site

    Everybody code for one hour this week!

    Code for and hour with Hour of Code

    111: Everybody code for one hour this week!

    It’s time for the Hour of Code again – and in this episode, everyone is encouraged to code for one hour! It doesn’t matter when you listen – the activities will be available free for you to try.

    You can find all the Hour of Code activities here.

    The ones I mention in this episode:

    • Disney Codeillusion: Media Art Adventure with Mickey
      Grades 2-8 | JavaScript
    • Design Your Own Maze!
      Grades 6+ | JavaScript
    • Code a Grandparent Card in Scratch
      Grades 2-8 | Blocks
    • Codesters: Code Your Own PSA
      Grades 6+ | Python
    • CodeMonkey Jr.: Pre-coding for Preschoolers
      Pre-reader | Blocks
    • Build your own chatbot in Python
      Grades 9+ | Python
    • Space Adventure: Write Code and Catch Bananas!
      Grades 2-8 | CoffeeScript
    • Professor Photon’s Color Conundrum
      Grades 6+ | Computational Thinking focused so no language

    Show host FundaFunda Academy has a Christmas contest that includes basic Scratch tutorials.

    For Computer Education week (ends Sunday 13 December) you can get FundaFunda’s 5-week Beginner Scratch or Python class for just $35 (a $20 saving). No coupon required.These classes are self-paced but are also graded and help is available for students who need it.

    Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool. We would love to hear how you are using tech in early elementary homeschooling!

    If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

    Code for an Hour during this year's Hour of Code