Sunday, 22 February 2015

Use GAFE (Google Apps For Education) to host and publish a blog and/or Vlog

As a teacher passionate about technology, it's no secret that I love GAFE!

Google apps have changed the way we teach, support and interact with our pupils. It makes it easier to 'flip' your classroom and the children love working in the 'cloud'. No more: "Mr. I forgot to save!" or "I've left my thumb drive at home", etc...

Did you know you can also use GAFE (Google Apps For Education) to host and publish a blog and/or Vlog? 
In order to do this you will use both Google Drive and Google Sites.

The great thing about Google sites is having a Website with different pages and giving individuals access to edit some or all pages! Furthermore, you can subscribe to page changes. Doing this will make sure Google sends out an email every time a change is made to the website. A great tool to motivate those 'less active' students to post more content!

This first video explains how you can Upload your videos to Drive and use Sites to insert these videos onto your Google Sites creating VLOG(Video Logs) posts. Next time I will go into permissions and assigning different authors/editors to different pages.

Have fun Blogging!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Dyslexie, a Typeface for Dyslexics

Now we have all heard about different typefaces and Fonts. These are usually used for aesthetic and design purposes, and yes I admit if love FontArt or Typographic design. But this post is not about that. This is all about the use of fonts, about making fonts part of our provision to help people with certain difficulties.

One of those difficulties is Dyslexia. About 5% of all children have dyslexia and thus struggle with reading. These past couple of days a font has been going round the Social media called "Dyslexie".

Dutch designer Christian Boer created a dyslexic-friendly font to make reading easier for people with dyslexia, like himself.
“Traditional fonts are designed solely from an aesthetic point of view,” Boer writes on his website, “which means they often have characteristics that make characters difficult to recognise for people with dyslexia. Oftentimes, the letters of a word are confused, turned around or jumbled up because they look too similar.”

Designed to make reading clearer and more enjoyable for people with dyslexia, Dyslexie uses heavy base lines, alternating stick and tail lengths, larger openings, and semi cursive slants to ensure that each character has a unique and more easily recognizable form.

Where you might think of 'Comic Sans' as a diverse and sometimes overused font, dyslexie promises a lot. According to two independent studies (One by the University of Trente and one by the University of Amsterdam) the font makes a difference for some people.

So as with everything, this might help some people, but not everyone. I would say, have a look at their website and try it out. The home version of this font is available as a free download and you might just like it.

Find them at:

Another Open-Source font created is OpenDyslexic, you can download it free of charge at:

OpenDyslexic is a new open source font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. The typeface includes regular, bold, italic, and bold-italic styles.

It is being updated continually and improved based on input from dyslexic users. There are no restrictions on using OpenDyslexic outside of attribution.

I hope this information was useful and as always, please let me know what your experiences are!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Safer Internet Day 2015 - Let's Create a better Internet Together

Tuesday 10th February 2015 is Safer Internet Day! The theme for 2015 is 'Let's create a better internet together'. Now I know some of you are thinking; What is Internet Safety day? Why do we Need an Internet Safety day? Shouldn't we teach about Internet safety everyday?

Of course it is important to teach our students everyday how to stay safe online, and in an ever growing Digitalised world this is even more important! Everyday our students are exposed to content, websites, music and videos online and offline. How they handle all this information is going to determine what they do with it and if they are 'safe' online. And that's were we as educators come in. A day like the 'Internet Safety Day' is a great way of promoting Internet safety in your school. 

As we now have more schools teaching 21st Century skills and Digital Citizenship, the amount of online resources has exploded. However, for a lot of teachers the question remains; Where are these resources?

Here is a small list with some of my favourite resources you can use for your Internet Safety day (Maybe your school wants to turn this day into an Internet Safety Week?)

Also, if you have older students (and/or Parents), here is an interesting thought provoking video you can watch or share with them:

If you work with younger children then you should definitely have a look at the following website:

I hope these resources will help you in your quest to provide your students with correct and helpful information. Have fun tomorrow, and enjoy Safer Internet Day 2015!

Google Sheets - Conditional Formatting

The more I use Google Sheets, the more I love it.

Especially within an educational setting, Google Sheets is a great tool to use when analysing data or simple representing your findings in a visually pleasing way.

With the many options such as Charts and Tables available online through GAFE(Google Apps For Education), collaboration of students becomes the norm and they can easily present their work without having to worry about saving, sharing files and/or having old or conflicting copies of the same file.

In this 4th Short tutorial I have a look at another of those Great tools withing Sheets called 'Conditional Formatting'.

Simply put: conditional formatting looks at the values in selected cells, and then applies a font and or background colour to this cell according to set 'rules'.