Welcome to Expacked (Issue #49)
The first day of winter came with a completely unrelated, but worrying, problem – the mediafire.com website was blocked for all public schools around my area. Why is this a problem you may ask? Many public school elementary teachers use an account on this file sharing website to access vital teaching resources designed specifically for the English course book used in all public schools.
Granted, this file sharing account, started only a couple of years ago by teachers, is not an official teaching resource provided by the Government. However it has grown to become an invaluable site for lesson specific PowerPoint’s, lesson plans and multimedia files.
I have promoted this resource on Expacked before and encourage any public elementary teacher to use this – it WILL make your classes better. As this is a community site, I will also encourage teachers to upload their own materials to continue to make this resource even better.
Now, back to the problem – The local Education Board, for some unknown reason, blocked the site. I was actually made aware of this issue by another reader of Expacked, so THANKS so much to him as this problem was quickly solved.
After trying the site myself, I quickly got my co-teacher to read the Korean message and try to find out who was responsible for this. After about 20 minutes on the phone, and speaking to 4 different people, she finally spoke to the man in charge and explained why this particular website was so important – even Korean teachers use this site! And within seconds the site was back up!
What Has This Taught Me?
Number One: Sometimes things are overlooked and it is important to always ask questions.
Number Two: In my initial panic then losing this vital resource, I decided to do a quick search to see if I can somehow get around this website blocking. And the answer is YES you can! Here’s how to do it:
Download the UltraSurf program from http://ultrareach.com. This is a small .exe file that opens Internet Explorer (sorry, this is the only browser that is supported) and allows you to use any website that you want – including any “blocked” website. I used this is to successfully access the mediafire website while it was still “blocked”.
Earlier this year the Korean Government was thinking about blocking sites like YouTube. If you are currently teaching, you definitely know how useful YouTube is as a teaching tool. If this ever happens, UltraSurf just may be answer!
Now one quick disclaimer: I will mention that some websites may be blocked for good reasons (ie they are against the law), and using a tool like this may not be a good idea. However I firmly believe that if used with the right intentions, like accessing an invaluable teaching resource, UltraSurf is a great bit of software.
Here’s How to Access the MediaFire Teaching Resource
For those who don’t already know, I have included the logon and password details for the MediaFire teaching resource. Please note there is a different logon for each of the elementary grades (3 to 6):
Login name for:
- Grade 3 material: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Grade 4 material: email@example.com
- Grade 5 material: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Grade 6 material: email@example.com
Password for all logins: kimchi
As I mentioned earlier, if this website is useful to you, support the community and upload your own related materials.
Here’s the stories making the news this week:
- Accuracy vs Fluency: Is Korea Making a Mistake in How They Learn and Teach English?
- English Camps in South Korea – A Guideline for Foreign English Teachers
- Ready, Set, Ski
- Skip Kimchi Lesson – Teachers Want Real Training
- Use TV as an English Learning Tool
- Children’s Television Outside the Box Down Under
- Compromise on Education
- Breaking the Taboo: Sex Education in Spotlight
- Jokes: 1) Tiger and Bear; 2) Claw Game (ROKetship); 3) Be Careful With Your English
Feel free to comment on any of the stories and make use of the easy sharing options available – in just a few quick clicks you can share any of these stories to all your teaching mates in Korea.
I hope you enjoy the read and, of course, have a good laugh at this week’s jokes at the end.
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