Spring Cleaning for Your Google Classroom 🧹

It’s hard to believe that we are almost to the end of another school year! Before we get to this week’s Tech Tip, I want to give a quick shout out to all you teachers and staff for all your hard work this year. You have gone above and beyond in this strange year. YOU ROCK! 🤘

(Please take some time to relax and recharge this summer!)

As we head into spring and the end of the academic year, I always end up thinking about spring cleaning. In addition to washing windows, decluttering and filing, you can also spring clean your digital world as well. 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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Fight Identity Theft with Informed Delivery

Like many of you, I’m concerned about having my identity stolen. I’ve signed up for free credit monitoring through Credit Karma, I shred anything with my address on it, use a password manager to use strong, unique passwords, and take other steps to protect my identity. One of the tools in my arsenal is an awesome free service from the US Postal Service called Informed Delivery.

Informed Delivery allows you to digitally preview letter-sized mail and manage package delivery. The USPS has gone to automated sorting of mail, and digitally images the front of letter-sized mailpieces that run through their equipment. USPS uses these images to provide digital notifications before the mail is physically delivered.  read more

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Don’t accept any friend requests from me…

If you are like me then your Facebook feed and perhaps Facebook messenger (if you use it) has been jammed with messages from people like this one.

In short, these folks have not been hacked. They are the victim of the modern day version of the chain letter. The objective seems to be to get everyone all worked up that they have been hacked and generate a bunch of traffic on your social media feeds.

If someone does guess your password and can get into your account. That’s a pretty serious thing and you should log in and change your password as soon as possible. read more

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Develop Your Personal Learning Network

Every educator should have a PLN – that’s a Personal Learning Network. Each person should develop their own network of leaders, educators, and resources to assist you with questions, ideas, and support. In this Tip, I am going to share with you some ways to develop your own PLN.

A PLN doesn’t have to be something fancy… it’s just developing links with other local and non-local educators to share ideas and best practices and to call upon for teaching advice. Educators that you follow on Twitter and blogs that you read are part of your PLN. (You do use Twitter, right? If not, next week’s Tech Tip will get you started!). read more

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