Google has added a few new “experimental’ websites to its list of cool tools and I wanted to share a couple of them, while they are still “hot off the presses”.

The first is an Interactive Periodic Table which you may have stumbled upon when doing a regular google search. If you search for “Periodic Table” one of the results in the right sidebar looks like this.

Click the Explore Elements button and you will be taken to the the 3D Interactive Periodic Table.

Google’s Interactive Periodic Table

Each element is featured with a 3D animated model. You can turn the element around and see the orbiting electrons. Notice the spelling of Aluminium! As a former science teacher from Australia, it is good to see the 13th element is spelled correctly! read more

Read More

As another year kicks off, some teachers may feel burned out or overwhelmed from the past eighteen months of teaching during a global pandemic. And here we go again! No matter how big or small the milestone, CELEBRATE!

The Teaching Channel site provided a free download to the eBook: Self Care for Educators and a self-care plan template to remind teachers of goals, resources, support systems/people, and how to celebrate when reaching a goal.

One of my favorite suggestions is mindfulness.  According to, mindfulness is “maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment with openness and curiosity.” The following are a few free meditation apps: read more

Read More

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.

Clear off those desktop icons and your download folder. Try to get to Inbox Zero. And don’t forget about Google Classroom.

As I was doing some research for this Tech Tip, I came across an article from the amazing Kasey Bell at Shake Up Learning. She has written a much better article than I ever could, so I am going to point you to her article.

Kasey lists six tips that you can use to help you clean up Google Classroom and prepare for next school year. Here are her six steps, and I encourage you to check out her article for all the details and instructions.

Tip #1: Reflect on the Year

Tip #2: Check Your “To Do” List in Google Classroom

Tip #3: Clean Up Folders

Tip #4: What to Do with All Those Calendars!

Tip #5: Set Up a Class Template for Next Year

Tip #6: Archive Classes

The whole article is a great read.

Good luck with your spring cleaning, and enjoy your summer!

Read More

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.

These fonts are the Lexend family of fonts.

A study which compared third-grade students reading text in Times New Roman and Lexend found that the average words correct per minute (WCPM) was 19.8% higher when the text was in Lexend. read more

Read More

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. 

Here’s how it works. Each morning, I get an email with a view of what is coming to my mailbox that day. For example, this is today’s mail:

If I happen not to get this mail, it may have been stolen and I can report it to the Post Office. This is particularly helpful if you are expecting some sensitive material such as a credit card.

In order to sign up for Informed Delivery, you must be living at an eligible residential address and be able to verify your identity. You also need to create a personal account if you do not already have one. 

Here are some directions with screenshots:

  1. Go to
  2. Select “Sign Up For Free.”

  1. Enter your address to determine if it is eligible for Informed Delivery.

  1. If your address is eligible, either login to your account or create one.

  1. Complete the identity verification process. You can verify by sending a text message to an eligible cell phone or getting a code in the mail

  • You should begin receiving notifications within a week. You can view your mail in your email inbox or online each day.
  • read more

    Read More