Tag Archive: iGeneration

Educating the iGeneration: Hundreds of High Quality Free Fonts!

Several months ago I was asked to give a presentation at the KISHOR SOCIAL MEDIA CONFERENCE held in Jerusalem, Israel. My particular topic was, The Facts: What Your Students are Doing with Social Media. And so, since the presentation I have found myself being asked in various venues for my insights as to how we can attempt to reach and inspire the iGeneration. The answer is not a simple one. If however we are to start somewhere, I believe the answer lies in how we present our ABC’s! Allow me to explain…

Let’s be honest.

Being a teacher has  never been a simple walk in the park! Today, students readily have the latest gadget available to them at home…and even in school. For instance, see the caption to this picture taken by an Administrator at a well known Yeshiva High School in New York. It’s no surprise that one may postulate that it’s arguably harder than ever before to get a student to look at a source sheet or a text book. After all, as the New York Times reported here, children ages 8 to 18 spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of some sort of a screen, including but not limited to:  computer, television, and their very own smartphone.  Moreover, the new Pew Internet Report on Teens & Mobile Phones has documented that 1 in 3 teens sends more than 100 texts a day!

As the Overseas Director of Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s, I find myself particularly aware of this phenomenon. It is not surprising to me to read that it has been documented just how much girls are more voracious texters than boys. After all, the Talmud (Kiddushin 49b) related to us all many years ago, that regardless of the means of communication, women “speak” a lot more than their male counterparts.

All things considered, in today’s day and age it is even possible for a student to physically sit in a classroom but not really be “in class?” You see, there are teenagers who can text for hours on end, while seemingly sitting in the classroom “listening” to the teacher. In actuality, they have their cell phone neatly situated behind their back and are sending virtual notes to their friend across the room or in another classroom. Indeed, it has been reported that 64% of teens with cell phones have texted in class and 58% of teens whose school bans phones have texted in class! Furthermore, prior to the concept of SMS or texting, if a teacher managed to intercept a note being passed in a classroom, one might have been able to make sense of the words and discern what was silently taking place in your classroom. Nowadays however, a teacher needs a Dictionary of Texting Terms so that he/she can decipher such abbreviations as OMG, DMC, or LOL :)

All in all, I believe that if a teacher or lecturer is using source sheets or has prepared a presentation for the class to view as a Power Point Presentation or wants to engage the classroom utilizing a SMART Board, one of the easiest, quickest, and most cost effective ways  that you can captivate your audience (other than saying that whomever comes to our school receives an iPad and MacBook as this University did to incoming freshman!)  is through the use of relevant typography. Indeed, as proven here and here certain fonts can convey to the brain a wide array of emotions. In so doing, you aren’t just putting words in front of your audience. Rather, you are forever aided by the eternal appearance of each and every letter that exudes from the page. Indeed, I found a font that the letters from A to Z very much appeared like a Krembo. I used this font for a class entitled, Eating is Tikkun, in which we learn about some of the spiritual activities that takes place when we eat. That said, from the moment my students saw the font they remarked, “hey that kinda looks like a Krembo!” In so doing, the class began with the students doing the engaging…and not the teacher, and by extension, I found that they were much more captivated to learn about the topic.

Just as the companies that market their gadget are keenly aware of branding and font usage, we the educators of the iGeneration, should consider means (I believe I am merely presenting one) in which we can utilize similar methods and techniques to maximize the learning experience.

And yet, procuring a database of such high quality fonts may come with an expensive price tag. A company wanting to sell you the latest tech-toy may have such finances, but certainly in the current recession, I am not aware of any school or educator who has extra money laying around to invest in additional fonts. Accordingly, while there are still some people who associate Twitter, as being a website that informs you what your friend had for breakfast, there are millions of people who realize that if you follow the right Twitter Accounts, it can and is an effective tool to come across valuable information in a short amount of time.  In light of the above, thanks to Twitter, I have managed to slowly collect, over the past several months, hundreds of high quality fonts that will enable you to build and enhance your branding, or strengthen the words in your presentations, classes, flyers, essays, and so on and so forth. Best of all, they are all FREE!!

To access the fonts simply click on any of the 14 images found below and you will be directed to the appropriate link.

I’d appreciate hearing from you in the Comment Section (found all the way at the bottom) as to other methods you have tried/considered using to teach and reach the iGeneration.


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