Schooling You on Google Scholar

If you’ve taken Northern Buckeye’s Google Certified Educator Level 2 cohort, you’ve learned about Google Scholar. If you haven’t taken our cohort, it is likely you’ve never heard of Scholar. Allow me to enlighten you.

So what is Google Scholar? Well, Google has this to say:

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. Search across a wide variety of disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions.

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Choices, Choices, Choices

We’ve all been there. We need to make a selection only to realize our choice is no longer available. Devastating! Or, if we ask students to select a research topic only to discover, most students chose the same issue. Now you are grading 20+ research papers on Sir Winston Churchill. [sigh!]

Google Forms Choice Eliminator 2 add-on enables you to select a maximum number each choice can be selected. For example, if you are a party planner for staff potlucks, you will want to create a form listing food items in a dropdown question: desserts, utensils, napkins, desserts, side dishes, main dishes, drinks, and did I mention desserts? Using the Choice Eliminator 2 add-on, you will establish the maximum number of side dishes, main dishes, and desserts. The Choice Eliminator 2 add-on is also a fantastic tool for scheduling appointments, meetings, and evaluations. read more

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All the Pretty Colors!

At Northern Buckeye, I’m the design guru among our team. We often joke about “Chris-ifying” things because I am so passionate about how things look and feel.

Last week, I wrote about the Lexend series of fonts which have been specially designed for increased readability. This week, I’d like to share some thoughts on color. Even as a designer, I have trouble with color. I don’t know what looks good together or which colors I should use on a project. I am going to showcase a few tools to help you with your color choices. read more

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Is your font choice harming your students?

Here is a sobering statistic:

How do we address this problem? One way is in our font choices.

In 1999, Bonnie Shaver-Troup, an educational therapist, observed that reading issues hid students’ true capability and intelligence.

She theorized that student reading performance could be improved by:

  • Using a sans-serif font to reduce cognitive noise;
  • Scaling of that font to improve potential for character recognition;
  • Hyper-expansion of the spacing in between characters, creating a greater lag time and reducing potential crowding and masking effects.

Shaver-Troup, along with educator and type designer Thomas Jockin, coordinated their efforts around one simple idea:

“A font, much like the prescription in a pair of eyeglasses, should change based on the reader’s unique needs.”

Shaver-Troup and Jockin collaborated in the development of seven fonts which provide for improvement in reading performance. read more

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10 Tips to Prevent Zoom-bombing 💣

“Zoom bombing” is when uninvited participants appear in a Zoom class with the primary purpose of causing chaos. To help mitigate the obtrusiveness, you may want to implement the following safety measures:

You will want to update the Zoom app and remind students and parents to do so, also. Zoom provides a pop-up notification when there is a new mandatory or optional update within 24 hours of signing-in. If you have the Zoom desktop client installed, you can check for updates by clicking on your profile image and then click Check for Updates.

If you use the “Recurring” Zoom feature, it will not provide as a unique ID. Because the same ID and settings are used, it may make it easier for uninvited participants to access.

By enabling the Waiting Room feature, students will not be able to join the Zoom call until admitted. The teacher/host will be able to review who wants access and admit one participant at a time or use the “Admit All” option.

You can remove participants or send them to the Waiting Room.

Once your students have joined the Zoom call, you can Lock the meeting. The Lock a Meeting feature will prevent unwanted guests from entering.

When students join using a parent account, the teacher/host can rename students from the chat rather than letting students rename themselves. By disabling the renaming feature, it removes the temptation for students to take on a different persona.

The Teacher/Host can always allow students to share their screens when needed.

By turning off the annotation and whiteboard features, participants will not be able to draw over the teacher’s presentation.

Do not share the meeting URL on social media so that uninvited guests will join the call. You may want to establish expectations with your students to not share the URL with people who are not in their class.

10. Hide Participant Profile Pictures in a Meeting 📷

When participants’ cameras are turned off, and the Hide Participant Profile Picture feature is enabled, only the students’ initials will show. The feature prevents the possibility of students sharing inappropriate images.

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