Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Are you doing technology right? The Ten-Second Test

The school technology people I talk with spend a fair amount of time trying to figure out how to do edutech right. Should we have an official Facebook presence? Twitter? Should we go open source? IWBs? 1:1 devices for students? Since you can make an argument for or against any of these, none of them by themselves can really determine whether you're meeting student and teacher technology needs.

Then one day...

I was talking with a kindergarten teacher, and we came up with something that all schools should do, but that no school seems to make a priority. Something that seemed unquestionably useful and simple to implement, yet was ridiculously rare in practice.

So I present to you, the ultimate ten-second test of whether your school is addressing teachers' and students' technology needs:

Do your computers have:
  1. a block letter font that looks exactly how you want kindergartners to write?
  2. a cursive font that looks exactly how you want students to learn cursive?
  3. appropriate fonts/support for foreign languages taught in your schools?

That's it. Did you pass?

When my friend and I were talking, she pointed out that she tends to use Comic Sans because it has a single-story "a" (and an article from the BBC last October mentions that Comic Sans might just have a legitimate place in elementary schools) but she said that Comic Sans isn't exactly correct; none of her fonts are.

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