Cross-Cultural Supply and Demand: Forum

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Mr. Dann Mosteller

Mr. Dann Mosteller
9th Grade English Teacher
King Faisal School
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Welcome to the information forum


Supply and Demand

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This forum is where you will access important resources and instructions for completing assignments that are related to supply and demand and inter-cultural collaboration.  The activities and assignments have two primary goals (objectives).

  1. You will develop research skills while learn about supply and demand, which is the topic you will discuss with other students in other countries.
  2. You will practice your communication skills in a real world cross-cultural situation.

Before we start the main activity, it is important that you are familiar with some basic concepts of supply and demand.  Use the following resources to help you complete one of the tasks that follow.  You must complete at least ONE of these tasks.

  1. Read Simple Economics: Demand and Supply Affect Gas Prices by Trevor Shipp of Financial Nut.  This article clearly explains the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the USA as it relates to supply and demand of petroleum products.  Re-read it as necessary to complete the following task.
  2. Watch Real World Economics – Simple Supply and Demand by Blessed_Hope in Daily Motion. This 15 minute video gives excellent information about the relationship of supply and demand and how it is affected many factors such as  costs, quantity, producers, the government, and the consumers.
  3. Read halal_market_pathfinder_en of Global Pathfinder Report of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.  This report informs about international distribution of halal food markets, which distribute primarily to Muslim consumers because of religious and cultural regulations about acceptable types of foods.  This is a growing market and distributors a working hard to meet the demand.

Food For Camping Trip

This activity will require you to collaborate online, meaning you will be communicating with other students using the internet.  In addition, you will be interacting with students from another country. Here are some guidelines for communication in this cross-cultural platform.

  • This communication will be seen in public places, where other students and the teacher can see.
  • It is important that your communication is appropriate for the activity.
  • Because of the 8 hour difference in time zones, your communication will be written (if this is a problem please contact your teacher for an alternative).
  • Personal questions and written conversation are allowed, but the primary purpose of the forums are to complete the tasks in the assignment link below.
  • Because this is a cross-cultural discussion, sensitive issues, like religion, should not be part of the discussion unless it relates to personal choices, for example,  prohibited food.
  • For more information about appropriate online behavior and the teacher expectations, watch the following video.

For Instructions Click on the Link “Food For Camping Trip” (There are a total of 10 slides)

For those who would like to hear the teacher’s description of this assignment you can watch this video.

To respond to both tasks in this activity, go to the appropriate forum below:

Final Assignment

Now that you and your cross-cultural partner have completed both tasks of the “Food For Camping Trip” assignment, you will have one more task to work together to complete.  Follow the instructions below:

  1. The teachers will create a new blank presentation for you and send it to both your e-mails. Together you will make a full presentation while using the comment section of the presentation. Click on this link if you need help for using Google presentations.  Both you and your partner will have access to edit the document by adding information from the list of tasks at the end of these instructions.
  2. Choose one food product from either lists that you and your partner wrote for the “Food For Camping Trip” assignment, the product has to have a label.  Look for the distributor information on the label as a starting point for your research.  See step #3 for more information.
  3. Research:  The research of this assignment is what is most important.  For tasks 3-8 listed below, you will need to search for information or even go to your local supermarket to ask the shipping manager or the store manager.  For each slide you should use the following guide to explain how you did your research.  Even if you can’t find the information, explain your research and how you tried to find the correct information.
      • Where did you search for or find information?
      • How many places did you look for the information?
      • How long did you look for the information ?
  4. When your team finishes the presentation, click “share” to copy the link and paste the link in the comment section below (See tutorial).  Only one partner will copy the link to your presentation in this page. Below the link write your name and the name of your partner.
  5. The presentation should have one slide for each of the the following tasks (1-10).  You and your partner can divide these tasks so that each of you don’t have to do all of them.
    1. Title, Names of Student Partners, Name and Picture of the product
    2. Name of the company and name of the distributor (Sometimes the company and the distributor are the same, but many times they are different companies, especially for foods distributed internationally)
    3. Where was the food produced, prepared, and packaged?
    4. How was the food shipped to your country or state?  How long did it take?
    5. How was the food delivered to your local store?  How long before the workers put it on the shelf?
    6. How many other similar products are at your local store?  How much do they cost?
    7. How much is sold per week or per month?  How does it compare to similar brands of the same product?
    8. How do the distribution and price of the product or similar products compare in both countries?
    9. Student A written reflection: Describe the process of researching the tasks that you completed, or, describe the effect of supply and demand on this product in your region.
    10. Student B written reflection: Describe the process of researching the tasks that you completed, or, describe the effect of supply and demand on this product in your region.

Don’t forget to copy the link to your finished presentation below.

See the Asynchronous Lesson Rubric  by Dr. Kerry Rice For a list of AECT Standards covered with this assignment.

Interventions: Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3

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In week 6 of my EDTECH class I was asked to to analyze the following. Below, you will find my response.

  • Differentiating instruction can be one of the most challenging tasks a teacher can face. Whether the student is gifted, typical, or has special education needs, they learn differently from other students in your online classroom. Some will learn best by listening, some by attending an online lesson through web conferencing. Some enjoy a fast pace and some need to stretch a class, like Algebra, over the course of the year. You will need to become adept at making accommodations and modifications for all the students that you teach and monitor their progress so you will know if you are teaching effectively. In your posts, suggest some strategies that could be used in the online environment that meet the characteristics of Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 interventions (one or two strategies per Tier will be acceptable). Try to align your strategies to specific subject matter if possible.

In an attempt at jest, many teachers associate these categories as Tear 1, Tear 2, and Tear 3, because of the time consuming qualities of paperwork and planning that are related to these interventions.  Ironically, the 3 minute video that explained all three tiers explained more about the purpose of these interventions than the 3 years that I worked in a public school in Texas.  The video points out the positive goals of interventions, but it does not address the front line application of the interventions that gives “differentiation” a bad name among many teachers.  For the last 3 years I have been teaching internationally, so these intervention categories are not required by the institution, however, as a teacher, I have done my share of interventions to assists students who struggle with content.  Like so many other teachers, differentiation is a natural side result of my teaching, but a traditional classroom environment makes it very difficult to implement.

I teach English development through literacy and language skills.  So I am imagining what it would be like to teach these concepts in an online environment, while providing individualized interventions to some of my students.  Starting at Tier 1,  students may struggle with writing; allow students to use speech-to-text software like dragon dictate, or set up an audio messaging account, which will allow students to record their response and send directly to the teacher.  Normally, these types of interventions would be introduced at Tier 3, but since the course is taught online, it seems like there is more flexibility in introducing these types of interventions earlier.  However, since writing skills are so important for their future development in education, the teacher could use sentence starters or paragraph starters for the students to complete the rest of the writing in their own words.

In Tier 2 the teacher can consider removing factors that might inhibit productivity.  One example is allowing the student to use text-to-speech programs to help with reading assignments.  I use this myself because I am an auditory learner.  Even though I read along with the text, I like it better when I am hearing the words.  Since I am imagining the course being delivered online, most of the work will be completed on the computer.  If the lack of keyboard fluency is an inhibitor, then I could always allow a student to hand-write an assignment and scan it for digital delivery. Tier 2 will be looking for direct interventions that will strengthen that area of weakness, but the student will still be required to participate in the full load of the course (with accommodating modifications). Tier 3 is more intensive as the interventions require more time and will likely inhibit the student from full participation in the lesson activities.  Ideally, if there is a defined deficiency, the teacher’s role in Tier 2 and Tier 3 would be to recommend the student for further interventions with a support staff who should be familiar with other software or programs that can assist the student.  If the institute does not provide this support for the teacher, then we are asked to juggle our normal responsibilities while we take on the task of familiarizing ourselves with additional programs for engagement and monitoring of the intervention.

Accessibility Features on My Mac

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For week 6 of my EDTECH 521 course, I was asked to do the following.  Below you will find my response.

  • Identify the accessibility features on the computer you use for this class. Try them out to see what they do. Identify the types of disabilities that might be accommodated with each accessibility feature. In your posts discuss the operating system you were using and the accessibility features available. Describe how someone with one or more specified disabilities would benefit from using these devices.

♫ If you’re disabled and you know it, get a Mac!  If you’re disabled and you know it, get a Mac!  If you disabled and you know it, then your life will surely show it; if you’re disabled and you know it get a Mac!

OK, maybe it’s a little pathetic on my part to use a children’s jingle to introduce such a topic, but I hope the point is not lost in the controversy.  As you can probably guess, I use a Mac computer.  When it comes to familiarity with disability features, I will admit that I don’t know a lot of what PC has to offer.  However, I have familiarized myself with these types of features on my Mac, using a couple along the way, and I am very impressed with the accessibility services that are provided by Mac computers.

From the very first set up you become aware of the voiceover feature, which is a default service for the visually impaired.  Since I am not visually impaired I turned it off rather quickly because it was a little annoying, but there is a voiceover utility that can be used to personalize this feature.  For a person that can’t read the screen, this service is very helpful.  Other visual features that I do use because of the convenience are the zoom feature, which basically makes the text bigger, and  the recently discovered display change, which allows a choice of a standard view of white background with black letters or to display the opposite.  I switched it to black background with white letters.  Even though it is very strange to see the screen in that way, for me, it is easier to read the words.  One other feature is to place everything  in gray scale, which could be a feature for someone who is colorblind.

For the hearing impaired there are a couple of features to assist users.  There is the basic volume control and the sound can be switched between stereo and mono.  However, for those who are deaf or extreme hard hearing there is a feature that flashes the screen when there is an alert.  Another feature I have used, especially since starting the EDTECH program is the text-to-speech feature.  It allows you to select a section of text and with a keystroke the computer will read that portion, and I can set the pace that it reads.  Since I am an auditory learner, this feature helps me read and process reading assignments.  I have tried to pass this feature on to my students who use a PC, but I have not found the equivalent feature in that system, and I found the whole experience to not be very user friendly.

There are a variety of settings that could assist people who have a disability with motor skills.  The keyboard settings has many options that can be adjusted to the need of someone who struggles with keystrokes.  There are also some settings for the mouse or trackpad which control the amount of movement and response of the mouse.  When I saw that I can adjust the size of the cursor, I decided to supersize it because it is more prominent on the screen.

These features come standard on the Mac and are well designed to assist people with disabilities or people like me, who prefer the convenience they offer.

Reflection: Community Building Strategies

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This week in my K-12 Online Teaching class, we were introduced to the idea of establishing an online community where people feel that they belong.  Since online learning sets up a class that is not based on proximity and physical contact, certain strategies must be considered to create a feeling of belonging and interconnectedness.  Therefore, I have written these strategies with the idea of creating a community for an online class.  Many of these ideas were inspired by my textbook, Making the Move to K-12 Online Teaching: Research-Based Strategies and Practices.  However, since I don’t actually teach online, I had to imagine how I would structure activities in the event that I am preparing an online course.  Here is my plan:

My Plan for Online Community Building Strategies

The initial strategy involves me introducing myself.  Because I am trying to personalize this introduction, I would use my skills with video editing to create an entertaining introduction.  This will also model the same type of information that I want to receive from them in an introduction.

I will not obligate students to make a video, so I will provide them with general guidelines about the information that I want them to present, but let them choose the type of delivery (e.g. information post, audio recording, drawing, or presentation).  The information that I will ask for the students to include is: photo or image of themselves, family information, location, hobbies, technology background, experience with online courses, and educational goals for this class and beyond.

Many of these activities provide for a safe environment, yet it also motivates students to create good quality responses, because they know that other students will be reading or watching.  Requiring students to first, answer a teacher made quiz about other students, then, make their own quiz about themselves, will be the most effective way to make a community because they will have to depend on each other to accomplish each individual task.  These activities have the purpose of deepening interpersonal relationships online, so later they will be able to place confidence in their classmates when collaboration is required.


Rice, K. (2011). Making the Move to K-12 Online Teaching: Research-Based Strategies and Practices (1st ed.). Allyn & Bacon.

Edtech 521: K-12 Online Education, Introduction

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This is the first assignment for my Edtech 521 class, K-12 Online Education.

What are best practices in an online environment?

Where is your place in the history of education?  Many people believe that education is in a paradigm shift and we are barely crossing  the threshold of the potential of online education.  There are many terms associated with online education: distance or virtual education, 21st century learning, e-learning, etc, but I prefer to think of it as modern learning.  Throughout the history of education, kids and adults have been taught how to function in their society.  We just happen to be living in an age that has increased the forms and exposure of communication, which naturally affects education.  In my opinion, one of the biggest factors of effective online education is in the paradigm shift.  There are the remnants of old ways of thinking being transformed to new ways.  Anyone who teaches in an online environment will be challenged by this in their own process, but they especially need to be aware of this for the sake of your stakeholders.  However, education has had massive increases in the use of online mediums over the last few years, and with this, so has the research increased for effective practice.  Therefore, I shall take a look at some of this information for effective practice.

  • Describe qualities of a successful online environment.

As Kerry Rice has pointed to in her book, Making the Move to K-12 Online Teaching, there are noted practices that lead to an effective online environment.  One of the key paradigm distinctions between traditional classroom and online classroom is learner-centerdness.  Even though this is a quality that can be found in the traditional classroom, it is only in the online classroom that it is absolutely necessary.   The predecessor to online learning, which is distance learning, failed to engage the students due to lack of communication technologies and delivery strategy.  The best practice of online learning is to engage the learning to problem solve, research, and communicate their findings.  One form of the engagement is called Project Based Learning (Rice, 2012).

Other qualities include learner autonomy, active participation, and community building.  All three of these work together to place opportunities and expectations on the students and their involvement in the course.  They have to do more than just listen or read.  These qualities clearly raise the bar for student involvement in the course,  because they find purpose and fulfillment in their investment of time.

  • What issues must a teacher consider that are specific to teaching in an online environment?

A teacher that is making the shift from a traditional classroom setting to an online setting must consider the necessary adaptations for lesson planning, lesson delivery, and inter-relational dynamics with the students and other teaching professionals.  Good teaching skills, such as being an educator, a project manager, and instructional designer can produce results in both traditional and nontraditional environments, but for the teacher to be successful in an online environment, they must have the technological knowledge and creativity.

Social presence is a term that is used to describe the amount of access between a student and teacher or with other students.  In the past, online environments were assumed to be inferior because it was perceived to have low social presence.  However, many experts are beginning to see how the online environment, in certain aspects, provides superior social presence than the traditional class (Kemp, 2012).  Nonetheless, if a teacher is familiar with this but a student is a novice with online learning, this could cause problems of withdrawal.  The teacher must be aware of the amount of participation each student is putting in to the lesson.

  • What types of students might be most successful in an online learning environment? How do we ensure that all students are successful in online environments?

For both of these questions, I will attempt to address them based on my opinion, and try to give logical support to my ideas.  When I try to think of a student profile that would be successful in online learning, I think back on the many students that I have had in traditional classroom settings, and I try to imagine which ones could make a successful transition.  I immediately think of all the times that my classes actually created a distraction to the learning process.  I will admit that I have struggled at times with classroom management, but while working with younger students, who often lack social maturity, I have seen how a few students can really destroy learning environments.  I have often thought that if I could just isolate the students, so much more learning could take place.  However, I am not so naive to believe that all students will do better with online instruction.

I do think of the high achievers that often have more responsibility and organization to handle online lessons.  I also think of the students that are too intimidated by their own lack of confidence, and I know that online environments provide less intimidating ways of engaging those students.  Lastly, I think of those same trouble makers, whether in jest or mischievousness, they often act out just for attention.  These students can also benefit from online learning environments because they know whatever work they produce, they will have an audience.

Many educational programs, both local and national, have been implemented for the purpose of allowing all students to be successful.  There are many great stories of people who did a lot with just a little bit of opportunity.  Unfortunately, the opposite, people who do nothing with a lot of opportunity,  is very true too.  So I don’t think online learning has the cure to make all students successful.  However, I do believe the online environment has more advantages for engaging the students with low motivation.  I think the communication online can be less threatening for many students.  Communication can be both private and public online, which means it can be more discrete in times of confrontation or support.  From a legal perspective, the online environment provides instant documentation for troubled cases.


Rice, K. (2011). Making the Move to K-12 Online Teaching: Research-Based Strategies and Practices (1st ed.). Allyn & Bacon.

Kemp, D. S. (2012). Social Presence in Online Learning (A Special Contribution to D-E.c) | Retrieved June 7, 2012, from

This assignment has met the following AECT requirements:

1.1.5.c Demonstrate congruency among goals/objectives, instructional strategies, and assessment measures.

1.2.b Apply principles of educational psychology, communications theory, and visual literacy to the development of instructional messages specific to the learning task.

3.3.1 Use appropriate instructional materials and strategies in various learning contexts.