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I think we’ve all heard the saying, “don’t reinvent the wheel” — as educators, we’ve probably even used it as an excuse to “teach” our students using someone else’s lessons or resources that we probably should have stopped using or, at the very least, updated. Go ahead and be frustrated with what I am implying – it’s likely because you know how much truth there is to what I’m saying.

For some reason, many of us refuse to take risks when it comes to how our lessons are put together: we’re creatures of habit, we “know what works”, we already have the whole unit done (hey, can I get a photocopy of that?) — there are more feeble explanations for our lack of creativity in addressing the needs of our learners (which will change every year!), but I’ll stop here.

It’s a cliché at this point, but we are living in a time where the creative possibilities are nearly boundless. We have tools that allow our students to be creative and expressive in how they demonstrate their understanding and, from our teacher’s perspective, we have tools that can energize and amplify our teaching in ways that we have yet to experience. This is all true IF we are willing to CREATE — and that’s where the problem lies in many cases. We seem to be looking for technology to replace our chúng tôi see, when we use text books, a tough day can equal a 30-minute teaching block where “open your text to page 45, read the first three paragraphs and do questions one to six in your notebook” is the lesson. We’re all human, so I think we can understand that on some days we wish we could tell our students to read independently for…about five hours. Yes, creating takes energy and practice and commitment (and that’s just the planning portion, we haven’t even delivered the lesson yet!) — but if we want to be great we will need to combine all of these things with the powerful mediums that we all have access to at this point.

As we move forward with our TLLP, I’m encouraging my team to not only use the tools available to us, but to be a model of CONTENT CREATION for our students. What does that mean? That depends. It could mean that we’re actually using Sway to present content to our students en route to having them learn how to create with it. It could mean that we go beyond using templates in Nearpod lessons and collaboration and move ahead into creating our own, from scratch! (Not with Scratch, that’s a whole different thing!).

Modelling being a content creator could be as simple as taking a lesson (even from the mathematics textbook!) and turning it into an interactive experience on the Smartboard — again, with our own creativity, using the tools available to us. It’s true that some of the most useful tools we’re seeing, like Seesaw, are labelled as “student driven”, but that doesn’t mean that we can cut out the modelling component for our students.

Of course, that means we have to learn how to create with these tools chúng tôi guess what, once you start you won’t be able to stop! The time commitment it takes to learn how to function within the virtual environment that most of these tools provide is minimal to moderate (depending on your personal comfort level with digital tools) — but the potential pay back is enormous and you’ll be helping to prepare your students for a future where the ability to think creatively and critically will be the most valuable skill.

Right now might be the best time in the past 15 years to tell a colleague or teaching partner: “we should reinvent the wheel!” Put it this way, Orville and Wilbur Wright obviously didn’t reinvent the wheel; they created something that could literally take us to places that the wheel could not. I’m excited to see what we’re able to create for the remainder of this school year and the places we’ll be able to go.

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You Might Be Overusing Hand Sanitizer

This post has been updated. It was originally published on April 6, 2023.

Before the invention of antibiotics, most of our dealings with bacteria—at least, the dangerous ones—ended in death. At least partly because of that, we have viewed hand sanitizer, the powerful bacterial annihilator that it is, as something we should use liberally without fear of health consequences. Now, after more than a year of living with the threat of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the stuff has become a steady fixture of daily life. Its role as destroyer-of-all-microbes has become a vital component to public health. But where do our delicate microbiomes fit into this microscopic battlefield?

Under normal circumstances, the question of whether and when to use hand sanitizer comes down to a judgement call, as outlined in detail below. But in light of recent events—namely the presence of SARS-CoV-2, which causes the respiratory disease COVID-19—the guidelines for using hand sanitizer are far clearer: As long as the virus continues to spread throughout communities in the United States and around the world, apply hand sanitizer liberally and often. While washing your hands is best, using hand sanitizers that are at least 60 percent alcohol are a close second to killing any viruses that might be lurking on your hands. The benefits of using hand sanitizer to prevent COVID-19 far outweigh the potential risks to our skin’s microbiome, the delicate balance of bacteria, viruses, and fungus that live on our skin everyday.

[Related: The future of probiotics and gut microbiomes is bright]

But in a world in which SARS-CoV-2 stops being an immediate threat—and hopefully the currently available safe and effective vaccines will continue to help get us there—there are positives and negatives to the liberal use of hand sanitizer.

“One aspect of hand sanitizers that is usually overlooked is that they can affect bodies’ microbiomes in a few ways, and some of these ways could be bad,” says Jonathan Eisen, a microbiologist at the University of California at Davis. While they are killing potentially dangerous microbes, they are also altering the communities of beneficial bacteria on the skin.

While we can’t see any of them, millions of bacteria reside on our hands, skin, and inside our guts. Recently, scientists have begun to understand that every person has a proper balance of bacterial colonies that, among other things, keeps the body in check. When we use hand sanitizers, we are attempting to kill off almost every microbe that resides on our hand—the good and the bad.

In addition to killing off potentially beneficial bacteria, Eisen says, hand sanitizers could also contribute to antibiotic resistance. “Even though they generally do not contain standard antibiotics, when microbes become resistant to some of the sanitizers this can make it easier for them to be resistant to more important antibiotics,” Eisen says. You might just want to make sure you aren’t eating any harmful bacteria with your burrito, but doing this repeatedly—and as a general population—could come back to haunt us later. Antibiotic resistance is already a serious threat, and it’s getting worse.

So should we disinfect or not?

“I recommend that people use hand sanitizers with caution, and only if really needed,” says Eisen.

Consider what your hands have recently touched. If you just spent time in a hospital, a doctor’s office, or on the subway next to someone coughing and sneezing, grabbing the Purell is not a terrible idea. But if you’re just going about your normal day without touching too many other humans, it’s probably not necessary to sanitize yourself. That’s especially true if you have the opportunity to use regular ol’ soap. One 2009 study found that typical soap, when scrubbed on properly, is just as good at killing potentially infectious bacteria and viruses.

Foods To Eat Or Avoid If You Have Graves’ Disease

Although what you eat may impact your Graves’ disease symptoms, it’s more important to put thought into meal preparation and focus on eating items that won’t worsen your condition. To feel your best while undergoing therapy for Graves’ disease, you will likely need a mix of therapies, including dietary changes, drugs, and radioactive iodine.

hen the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, hyperthyroidism is most often brought on by Graves’ disease. Some foods may help alleviate Graves’ disease symptoms. However, neither preventing or treating the condition can be accomplished via eating a particular diet. Also, remember that each person is unique, making it an exercise in trial and error to determine which meals may help or hinder your symptoms.

The meals you should eat most often are more general in their ability to alleviate Graves’ disease symptoms.

Foods to eat

Some of Graves’ illness symptoms may be alleviated by eating foods high in certain nutrients. Among them are −

Foods high in calcium

Calcium absorption may be impaired in people with hyperthyroidism. It causes osteoporosis and weak bones. While certain dairy products enriched with iodine may not be as good as others, eating a diet high in calcium may assist.

Broccoli

Skale

Okra

Dark, leafy greens

Bone turnover, the process of naturally breaking down and replacing bones, may be hastened by an overactive thyroid. Because of this, your body may need more calcium than usual. Brittle bones and osteoporosis might result from a lack of calcium in the diet over time.

Nevertheless, the ODS notes that iodine may also be found in dairy products like milk.

Pumpkin seeds

Everyone, particularly those with specific diseases like Grave’s, needs to ensure they get enough magnesium in their diet. This essential mineral controls muscle and nerve activity, maintains healthy blood pressure, and bolsters the immune system, among other functions. In addition, your Graves’ disease symptoms may become more severe if your magnesium intake is inadequate.

Pumpkin seeds, cashews, and peanuts are just a few of the numerous foods that contain magnesium. Adding a few nuts or seeds to your salad, soup, or main dish is a great way to boost the flavour and nutritional content of your meal.

You can always take a magnesium supplement, but WebMD says you’ll be healthier if you eat a balanced diet instead of relying on a synthetic pill.

You’ll get abundant beneficial elements, including vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are fantastic for your health because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Berries

Antioxidants abound in berries, especially blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. These anti-inflammatory foods, whether fresh or frozen, support a healthy immune system. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune illness in which the body’s immune system mistakenly assaults healthy tissues. While eating berries won’t stop you from getting Graves’ disease, it will help keep your health in check. Choose organic berries wherever feasible to reduce exposure to potentially immune-compromising pesticides and fertilizers.

Milk and other dairy products

When left untreated, Graves’ illness may cause bone loss (which can progress to osteoporosis); however, when the condition has been managed, increasing calcium intake in the diet can aid in restoring and strengthening bone density. Have a diet rich in dairy products like milk, cheese, and yoghurt to ensure adequate calcium intake. Choose items like Lactaid or use Lactaid tablets if you have lactose intolerance. Orange juice, soy or almond milk, whole grain cereals, and bread are just some foods fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

Fish

Salmon is a great source of dietary vitamin D, but doctors warn that you should avoid eating too much of it if you have an overactive thyroid. The daily value is included in a single 3-ounce portion, with 570 IU (international units).

Vitamin D is a hormone that plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system, healthy muscles, and strong bones. Because of the increased calcium loss associated with Graves’ illness also aids in the body’s absorption of the mineral. Vitamin D may be produced by exposing skin to UV light, but taking a supplement or obtaining it via food is a more dependable and safer way to ensure adequate levels all year round. First, try eating more salmon, preferably wild-caught salmon, which is higher in nutrients.

Avoidable Foods

Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist if you need assistance figuring out what foods to avoid. You may maintain a food diary if you want to know which foods bring on your symptoms and which don’t. These are some food groups to cut out of your diet −

Caffeine

Caffeine-containing foods like coffee, soda, tea, and chocolate may exacerbate Graves’ disease symptoms, including anxiety, nervousness, high heart rate, and weight loss. Discuss with your doctor if you should reduce the amount of caffeine in your diet rather than cutting it out entirely. You don’t have to give up your morning, joe, if it doesn’t make you feel terrible.

Allergens in food

You may want to avoid eating the offending dish if you have any food allergy, no matter how small. Certain dietary allergies might cause symptoms similar to Graves’ disease; avoiding these allergens may help your doctor diagnose your condition correctly. Dairy products, wheat (gluten) products, soy, maize, and nuts are among the most often encountered food allergies.

Pasta

The protein fragments that makeup gluten are from several sources. Gluten may be found in wheat, barley, rye, brewer’s yeast, and malt. Bread and other baked items (waffles, pies, pancakes), cereal, crackers, spaghetti, beer, and so on have all been reported to contain gluten by researchers. So, if you have Graves’ illness, you may want to avoid them unless they are labeled gluten-free.

It’s important to remember that only a subset of persons with an overactive thyroid will also have gluten sensitivity. Nonetheless, it is essential to undergo testing to determine whether or not you do. While it is unclear whether or not adhering to a gluten-free diet may aid in treating thyroid illness, those diagnosed with celiac disease should avoid gluten at all costs.

Conclusion

Of the many potential causes of hyperthyroidism, Graves’ disease is a major one. While dietary changes cannot provide a permanent solution, they may help manage symptoms. Finding out what foods you may and cannot consume depends on whether or not you have any food sensitivities or allergies.

It’s also important to get enough of certain nutrients, which may help keep illness symptoms at bay. A meal diary and discussions with a doctor or nutritionist may help you determine what foods to include and which to exclude from your diet.

3 Best Websites To Help You Create A Fake Identity

Creating a fake online identity isn’t always a nefarious act and, in fact, can sometimes save you from major inconveniences such as identity theft and spam.

With the overwhelming amount of leaks and security breaches that have occurred lately, you put yourself at risk every time you provide a website or mobile app with your personal information. Sometimes, that trade-off isn’t fair.

Table of Contents

For any website that you intend to use for non-financial purposes, why use your real information at all? It’s completely unethical to use someone else’s personal information, though, and you don’t have to do that. There are several websites that will do the hard work of creating a fake identity for you.

In this article, let’s explore five of the best websites where you can generate a fake, disposable identity to protect your privacy and security across the internet.

FakeNameGenerator provides the best overall experience when it comes to generating a fake online identity due to how simple it is at its core yet how thorough it is in its features.

FakeNameGenerator generates all of the basic information that you’ll need, including (but not limited to) full name, address, SSN, phone number, age, birthday, email address (with access to a disposable inbox via FakeMailGenerator), username, password, credit card details, employment details, and physical characteristics.

You can personalize your identity generation by selecting a name-set ethnicity, country, gender (by slider percentage), and age range.

FakeNameGenerator also allows users to log in via a Google-connected account and save their identities so you never lose track of them. This is incredibly handy if you plan on sticking to a certain identity for a long period of time.

You’re also able to order (albeit free) sets of fake identities in bulk. By providing some basic criteria, you can have up to 100,000 identities spun up and emailed to you.

FakePersonGenerator is similar to our first option but varies by offering more identity credentials at the exchange of fewer features (no login or bulk creation support).

Some of the data FakePersonGenerator generates that FakeNameGenerator doesn’t includes passport/license information, quote, biography, interests, favorites (color, movie, music, song, etc.), and security questions.

FakePersonGenerator also includes a photo for every generated identity. Most of these come off as obvious stock images, but it’s a neat consideration.

This fake identity generator is the best for when you need extensive details on sites that are more demanding of information. It should have everything you could possibly need.

FauxID provides an interesting mix of the features from the other two websites we’ve discussed. It doesn’t provide quite as much fake information as FakePersonGenerator, but it comes with additional features comparable to FakeNameGenerator.

FauxID is a more neat and visual solution, displaying icons for country flags, state flags, and credit card providers. It also provides a random avatar, which is really just a mess of pixels, and a QR code that links to the identity.

This fake identity generator will provide you with a full name, address, phone number, SSN, age, ethnicity, credit card details, bank details, cryptocurrency addresses, company and employee details, and internet details.

At the bottom of the page for each identity, you can find a permalink with others. You can also download any identity’s details as a JSON or CSV file.

While FauxID doesn’t have login support, it does track your ten most recently generated identities. There’s also a way to view all recently generated identities. FauxID’s bulk identity generation page is currently available, but it won’t be functional until a later date.

With these three websites, creating a fake account identity for any online service should be a breeze. Keep in mind that any time you’re signing up for an account online, you’re putting your personal information at risk. While terms and policies do exist that can get you in trouble for using fake information on some websites, you’ll often come across ones that let you get away with doing this.

Of all of the information you share online, your email and password may be the most important to protect. Luckily, we have ways to help you find out if your email has been compromised or know if your password has leaked in a breach.

Getting Great Benefits On The Path To Create Cryptocurrency

Gone are the dark ages. Information travels nearly at the speed of light. Only you are master to either make use or let go of this item.

This is applicable even when you have the bright idea to float a new digital coin. Considering the complexity involved and the man hours involved, you are not setting foot in charted waters.

But don’t be alarmed, this article is just right to help you on how to create a cryptocurrency. These are proven guidelines and well thought about.

Beneficial steps when you consider to make your own cryptocurrency:

Sometimes a great infrastructure actually helps

You cannot always rely on human talent when you are out there to create own cryptocurrency. A great office with friendly resources will go a long way to keep your staff motivated.

Have a good taste and do not prefer a shady place for your office. Sometimes these minor things matter rather than a grand show.

Also read, Best Cryptocurrencies To Invest

Cut corners but do not be miserly

It is definitely important to manage money matters when launching a digital token or coin. After all, money is the key driver for a successful campaign.

You must develop the leadership ability to judge what is important to buy or invest and compromise on other luxuries. For example, investing on digital marketing subscriptions is good but not on a television which is not required for the staff.

It helps if you study the evolution of digital coins

When you make your own cryptocurrency you are essentially creating an alternate coin. So logic follows that a study of how other coins have evolved will add value to your undertaking.

Do not be put off telling there are thousands of coins and how can you possible study each of them. No, never do this. It does take effort and even if not word-to-word, build a generic awareness on coin development lifecycle.

Also Read, 7 Things You Should Know About Cryptocurrency Taxes

Give adequate technical support to your development team

Your development team has to be well updated with the latest techniques and tools. Invest in tutorials, knowledge transfers and other avenues to inform your team well.

With vibrant pieces of information, the development team can deliver well and fosters innovation. As software engineers working on digital coins, they should not be impaired by lack of scalability.

Website development, digital marketing skills are important

 Now we come to the most interesting phase in your endeavor to create your own cryptocurrency. Website creation is often thought about as dry and difficult. Rest these worries and think about:

Am I keeping a website attractive and simple?

Do I have enough analytics that can help me drive traffic?

Have I considered aspects that can help me prevent hacks to my website?

Above are some minute pointers to a great operation. For website development you have to invest a lot of time and your personal effort.

Another equally important consideration is digital transformation, also called as digital marketing. Digital marketing involves:

Search engine optimization that can rank your website high

Analytics to help you track your effort

Social media build-up

All these are just tip of the iceberg. The emphasis is to give you an idea on what you are put up with. If you master these skills, the learning is immense.

Work hard on security in the beginning to prevent nasty surprises

Remember security is a salient parameter especially in software field. With smart contracts being positioned to deliver your goods, even a simple breach will leave you at loss. You should have a broad design phase to factor security.

You must also have a plan that if your offering fails, you can back out and not lose heavily. Easier said than done, do not consider this un-doable.

Also Read, Cryptocurrency Analysis: Premonitions And Foreboding

CONCLUSION

We can as far take you to the water source but making the attempt to drink is entirely your call. Similarly, these points are a pep talk to help you discover the effort involved. The actual implementation would require your full attention and enterprising nature.

Awesome! If you feel we struck the chord, do write back. We value your feedback.

4 Gmail Labs Features You Should Be Using

As powerful as Gmail is, you make it even more productive with add-ons from Gmail Labs. If you’re new to Labs, it’s the testing ground for Gmail’s more experimental features. The successful ones go on to become standard Gmail capabilities—the much-loved Send & Archive button was once a Gmail Lab experiment—but while they’re in the Labs, there’s always the outside chance they could break, change, or disappear.

Gmail Labs calls its features “some crazy experimental stuff.”

Assuming you’re comfortable being Gmail’s guinea pig, here are four Google Labs features you should experiment with yourself.

Authentication icon for verified senders

Email scammers continue to devise nefarious new ways to trick people into surrendering money and personal information. While there’s no substitute for following basic security practices, you can add an extra layer of protection with Gmail Lab’s Authentication Icon for Verified Senders.

When you enable this lab, you’ll see a key icon next to “trusted” senders such as PayPal and Google Wallet. Google deems senders trustworthy if they send a lot of messages over time that most Gmail users think are not spam; and if they publish a DMARC reject policy, which states they send only authenticated mail, and any unauthenticated mail sent by the domain should be rejected.

Gmail Authentication lets you designate certain email addresses as trusted. 

Google Voice player in mail

Google Voice is already like Gmail for all your phone messages and texts. So why not have them delivered right to your Gmail inbox?

Enable this lab, and when you get notified of a voicemail in Gmail, you can play it right within the message rather having to go to a separate browser page. The message will be marked “read” so you won’t have to play it again next time you check your Google Voice inbox on your phone.

Undo Send

Whether it was a simple snarky remark or a seething message, we’ve all felt the pang of regret after sending an email we probably shouldn’t have. If you just can’t control your impulses, Gmail’s Undo Send feature can save you from having to eat a heaping helping of humble pie.

Once you enable Undo Send, configure your cancellation period on the General Settings tab.

This feature will delay sending your email messages 5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds, giving you a grace period during which you can hit an “undo” button and prevent your missive from going out. Once you’ve enabled it, just set your “cancellation period” on the General tab under Settings.

Canned Responses

Preview Pane

One downside to Gmail is you have to open a message to see its contents, which is a time suck when you’re trying to browse through your inbox. Preview Pane gives Gmail’s web interface the multi-pane view we’ve become accustomed to on most desktop email clients, and let’s you view messages as you scroll through them.

Preview Pane lets you view messages as you browse your inbox.

When you enable this feature, a new button will appear next to the gear icon in your inbox. From here you can toggle Preview Pane on and off and select either a vertical or horizontal orientation.

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