July 17, 2020

Lexend Google Fonts with Dr. Bonnie Shaver-Troup


Dr. Bonnie Shaver-Troup

Bonnie is the founder of LEXEND and the creator of the LEXEND fonts. She has a particular interest in reading performance, typography, perception, cognition, and the visual field.

ACEd Topic

Visit

Lexend — Change the way the world reads.

The tool is Lexend fonts.
The purpose is to improve an individual's reading experience, including the experience of those with dyslexia, struggling readers, early readers, multi language learners, for eye strain, aging eye readers, visually impaired readers...and just simply you and me!

Visit

Google Fonts

 

Making the web more beautiful, fast, and open through great typography

Where Lexend fonts are available

  • GSuite
  • TextHelp
  • Helperbird
  • Canva
  • ...Many More

ACEd App

Visit

Helperbird: Accessibility & Dyslexia Software

Google

Read, understand and navigate the content of the web easier with Helperbird. Including immersive reader

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Thank you for listening,

-Mr.G

Transcript
 
 
 
00:07
hello mr. G the G is not for Google but
00:11
it fits and thank you for joining me on
00:14
a journey where we learn from different
00:16
EdTech leaders
00:18
[Music]
00:19
welcome to aced tech hello and thank you
00:32
for joining me in this new episode of a
00:35
stick and as you can tell I have doctor
00:39
shaver true did I say that correctly
00:44
yeah awesome she is the founder of lexan
00:49
and the creator of the lexan fonts she
00:51
has a particular interest in reading
00:53
performance typography perception
00:56
cognition and the visual field now that
01:01
last part visual field what does that
01:03
mean the visual field is your eye and
01:07
brains working together to create what
01:12
you what you see what you perceive so
01:16
choosing brain okay so the whole thing
01:21
about we can only see three colors does
01:24
that was that part of that or no no I'm
01:30
very interested in really how the how
01:37
perception is related to reading okay
01:41
and which is going to be one of the main
01:44
things that we're gonna be talking about
01:46
today I just want to say thank you so
01:49
much for being part of this episode
01:50
which by the way is episode 35 if you
01:54
visit a CED TCH / 35 a stick aced doubt
01:59
tech / 35 you can see the show notes for
02:02
today
02:03
so dr. if is there something that I
02:09
missed or would you like to mention
02:12
anything else about yourself
02:14
no other than let's call me Bonnie from
02:16
here on out okay Bonnie if I may
02:20
everything so I guess we should get
02:24
started okay so one of the most exciting
02:35
things that as soon as I found out about
02:38
what you did I started using the font
02:42
for just about everything I do now not
02:45
just for myself because I too have
02:49
sometimes trouble reading but my
02:53
daughters are just one is just out of
02:56
kinder and the other one is just
02:58
entering pre-k and you have been so
03:01
awesome and supportive of their
03:04
education and I love your font but I
03:08
don't understand how it works or why it
03:10
works care to tell us thanks for asking
03:16
um so if you've looked at it and
03:21
obviously you have but for anyone
03:23
listening in it is really set up much
03:27
like any other fun it may look like it
03:31
has a little more spacing there's many
03:33
factors that go into that but basically
03:36
the reason that it works so well
03:42
for virtually all types of profiles is
03:48
because anyone that's reading we all see
03:52
print and but our print has been so
03:57
tight that perceiving it in nanoseconds
04:04
it's very difficult there's lots of
04:06
things I'm gonna get a little a little
04:09
nerdy here and say like your ears small
04:13
ones the reason it's perceptive
04:16
particularly good for young children or
04:19
early readers is because their visual
04:23
field so so that their eyes particular
04:29
they're not mature yet so seeing you
04:34
seen those tight little letters pushed
04:36
together their visual field just can't
04:38
handle it so when you give them more
04:41
space or spatial frequency between
04:44
letters it allows them longer time on
04:48
task to make an accurate perception but
04:52
all of us think about how small type
04:54
words are type is and it's just a real
05:00
phenomena that we even can read it's not
05:04
it's not part of the coding that is
05:10
something that we learn to do afterwards
05:12
it's not like vision where we are coded
05:18
from birth for it learning to read is a
05:24
learned task and so the print is
05:28
extremely important to not task and
05:34
while we've created a lot of fonts in
05:37
the past and we measured em and looked
05:41
at them and discuss them we really
05:44
haven't created a font that allows for
05:53
spacing that optimally allows us to
05:59
recognize each letter and quickly go oh
06:01
that's the word cat and as you say even
06:05
you go old sometimes it's tough to read
06:08
change the font you change the outcome
06:12
as you said yourself when you change
06:14
your font you go it's a lot easier to
06:16
read yes definitely and it's
06:23
for myself it's sometimes just difficult
06:28
to read straight through and the font
06:33
just makes it so much different for my
06:37
daughter is one of the things that I
06:38
understood right away when it comes to
06:40
the font is that it is as they learn it
06:46
like the letter A is one of the first
06:47
things that I noticed the letter A it's
06:50
not that fancy a that looks does not
06:53
look like the way I write it or the way
06:55
she learns to write it and number one
06:59
the letter I and the lowercase L are
07:03
completely different and I can tell them
07:05
apart so that's something amazing I've
07:11
noticed that your fonts has different
07:13
spacings and on google fonts it's called
07:18
EXA dekha zeta could you explain the
07:23
difference between the spacings so the
07:28
tightest spacing is on that jacket and
07:30
the loosest spacing is on seta and then
07:34
there's so there's Decca exa Giga mega
07:42
peda Tara and Zetas
07:45
I get an A and so while it looks like
07:54
it's just character spacing it's
07:59
actually not it's the white space within
08:01
the letters also so if the spacing as it
08:06
loosens up those that have more
08:09
difficulty with reading work better with
08:14
with the larger sizes because that gives
08:18
them more spatial frequency between each
08:23
of the characters and that spacing
08:28
actually gives them time their visual
08:32
field so it's really about perception
08:35
and let's scent is creating different
08:41
[Music]
08:43
spacings so that every individual can go
08:49
this one is better for me while someone
08:51
else says this one is better better for
08:54
them and then the nice part is let's end
08:59
isn't just those seven static funds Lex
09:03
and is actually a variable font so it
09:07
literally means as soon as it's made
09:10
available on Google you can make it
09:16
infinite it becomes infinite right now
09:19
if you wanted to make it something other
09:21
than what's offered at the seven you
09:23
have to go in and do manual
09:25
manipulations as I did all those years
09:29
for for clients and individuals but the
09:34
spacing is really about creating a
09:43
series of styles that offers the best
09:46
outcome for the most number of people
09:58
thank you so much
10:00
one of the things that I wanted to show
10:01
is how I got to Google Fonts so as I'm
10:08
going to fonts google.com I search for
10:11
the word Lex n't and here we have all
10:15
the fonts that are available and there
10:18
is your name and I'm guessing the font
10:20
designer I actually and I'm gonna ask
10:24
you to do something if you just scroll
10:26
up and if you go to the right hand side
10:29
where it says sort by trending click on
10:32
it and just go alphabetized come down a
10:36
little bit that you went too far over
10:39
right there now you'll see by name you
10:45
can click on name and that puts them in
10:47
order so you literally see the that
10:51
changes yeah that's awesome Google it's
10:55
pretty slick aren't they yeah that's
10:58
awesome
10:59
okay I I didn't know this and now it's a
11:03
better way of looking at it yeah so and
11:07
this is what I was talking about earlier
11:09
I'm gonna type something right here the
11:10
one the lowercase L and letter
11:16
I never another thing that I notice is
11:20
the uppercase o and lower lower case and
11:23
the number 0 they actually have a
11:27
difference and this is one of the things
11:31
that always gets me is I never know if
11:34
it's an O or a 0 or an i or an L and
11:40
this is just awesome so my understanding
11:43
is if I'm using Zeta is because I'm
11:47
trying it would be better like for my
11:50
daughter who's learning to read and as
11:53
she gets better we can move up to the
11:56
DECA that that's sort of correct so some
12:01
people can do that but as an educator
12:07
you know that the
12:10
US Department of EDS stats are that for
12:13
basically 60 years but it really goes
12:17
back hundreds and it's kind of forever
12:23
I'll call it but for 60 years we've been
12:26
tracking it and the outcome on reading
12:29
performance remains about the same which
12:33
is somewhere between about 33 and 37
12:36
percent of individuals are what we term
12:41
proficient readers that means they can
12:44
successfully read if they're a seventh
12:50
grader they can successfully read and
12:53
interact with the text of a seventh
12:55
grade level or beyond however that means
13:02
that somewhere between 67 and 63 percent
13:08
and if we made that a test if you were
13:13
told that you got somewhere between 33
13:16
and 37 you know that's a big fat F so
13:19
most of our students are not successful
13:23
readers and that doesn't change over the
13:26
course of the lifetime what we've looked
13:28
at and been saying for all these years
13:30
is this is about well let's change the
13:34
curriculum let's do more professional
13:36
development all sorts of things but we
13:39
really haven't looked at the the type
13:43
setting the font and while Lex and isn't
13:48
necessarily really that different as far
13:52
as the letters themselves I mean they
13:56
look they tend to look like a nice
13:58
sans-serif letter what makes them very
14:02
different is the spacing and that's what
14:05
changes performance so some people to
14:08
answer your question yes some
14:11
individuals will as they progress in
14:14
their reading from say a kinder to a
14:18
first second third they will go down to
14:20
that
14:21
Deka size 10 even or 12 or whatever most
14:26
long first off early readers they really
14:30
shouldn't be in those sizes they're just
14:32
too small for their visual field
14:35
children tend we we tend to present
14:38
fonts a size 16 font to our earliest
14:45
learners which even that I will tell you
14:48
go beyond that it's just not not a
14:51
perfect fit on top of that I would say
14:54
use lexan and I know that sounds like
14:58
law you're promoting yourself it's like
15:00
no I'm promoting good outcome it just so
15:04
happens that that is what Lex Indy is so
15:07
where we think and if you think about
15:09
early books where we think that oh okay
15:12
that child's learned to read you so
15:16
let's move them up to a first grader the
15:18
child's learn to read these first few
15:23
stories so long we'll not the size then
15:26
we start to reduce the size it's a
15:29
terribly poor fit we should not be
15:33
changing those sizes and we really
15:35
shouldn't be delivering those stories
15:38
that Center the knowledge in those type
15:40
fonts and so if you wait if you give a
15:47
larger so let's just say we start
15:50
younger children just we'll call it a
15:53
universal a mega selects and mega we're
15:57
still going to have a better outcome for
16:00
most but the best way to do it
16:03
especially for young children are
16:06
struggling readers is literally to test
16:09
them in the fonts so with with your
16:14
kinder in first grade they start first
16:17
grade teachers do a reading assessment
16:20
right they have young students read to
16:24
get a base performance and they'll test
16:27
them 2 or 3 more times throughout the
16:30
year to see are they moving on
16:33
as as performance are they are they on
16:36
level with their with their age etc 70%
16:43
of those almost aren't going to be we
16:45
say all sorts of things like oh well
16:48
they're just they need more time yada
16:50
yada but we know that's not that's not
16:53
accurate they're really not catching up
16:56
because it was wrong to begin with so
16:59
instead of changing the fonts well I
17:04
guess I would say change the funds but
17:07
changed them to lexan so that children
17:09
can take in that that print and then
17:13
I've been recording it for twenty little
17:18
twenty years now a little over and I can
17:22
tell you it whether it's adults at
17:25
retirement age our preschoolers the same
17:29
outcome happens we just we we can't
17:34
sustain reading in the fonts we are
17:39
delivering now not because the font has
17:43
an issue but because the spacing has an
17:47
issue that's where we are having our big
17:54
problem we changed the font to Alexa end
17:57
and we change the outcome and what
18:01
happens I know this happens because I
18:04
don't teach people to read when I test
18:07
them all I do is I put curriculum associ
18:12
p.m. a curriculum based material so a
18:15
first grader I give them a first grade
18:17
reading document you've heard of like Oh
18:24
dibbles probably well whatever whatever
18:29
it is I put it before them and what was
18:32
delivered and then I choose three lexan
18:34
sizes with young children I use good
18:36
good knowledge of how fonts I use the
18:39
larger ones I can move down I
18:42
can move up test them to a fluency test
18:45
it's a one-minute / minute you test them
18:49
in three or four different styles
18:51
wherever the child reads best which
18:56
includes both number of words read and
18:58
their fluency because sometimes children
19:01
read correctly the words correctly but
19:07
they're way too fast so we know that
19:10
they're not in the right size so with
19:13
young children test them it's a quick
19:17
way and it will change their outcome all
19:22
year long you put them in a small font
19:25
that's not built for the visual field
19:29
and teachers across this nation and
19:33
across the world parents teachers
19:36
whatever we know that we see our
19:41
children struggling to work out what a
19:45
word is and the those that are doing the
19:50
best it's not because they're brighter
19:52
are more capable it's because their
19:55
visual field is able to successfully
20:00
perceive that size more quickly than
20:06
then say if you're if you have ten
20:11
students two or three of them will be
20:14
able to to do well but about seven of
20:19
them will be struggling with that text
20:21
so so the answer is yes some of them
20:25
will be able to move down and some of
20:28
them won't and we I encourage us no
20:31
longer thinking of the size of font as
20:34
what matters just like does it you know
20:41
does it matter if you have you know if
20:48
you wear a pair of glasses we don't say
20:51
oh now that's a wrong size you know
20:54
that's a wrong prescription
20:55
we just we put the right one in there
20:57
let's deliver the right font let people
21:00
have what works for their visual field
21:02
and stop thinking that if you use a big
21:07
font it means you're not skilled it's
21:09
like yes you're just the skilled you
21:12
just need a different size that you can
21:15
accurately record and then Express yeah
21:22
and I'm probably gonna go backwards and
21:25
the font spacing in size because as I
21:29
get older I'm gonna need to read in that
21:32
different way hey I use it now it's like
21:37
yes my friend
21:39
[Music]
21:40
so yeah it's for all of us it's awesome
21:45
and I've been hardcore lexan fan because
21:51
it helps me and I notice a difference in
21:57
my daughters so I think it's awesome so
22:01
thank you so much is there anything else
22:04
you want to say about the font that you
22:06
haven't covered yet not that I know that
22:11
I can think of at the moment there's so
22:13
many things obviously 20 years is a long
22:16
time to to research something it's like
22:19
oh my gosh I could go on for for eons
22:22
but the most important thing is to
22:26
recognize that using it is what is my
22:32
main focus not I studied the research
22:36
for knowledge to discuss it in that
22:39
sense
22:40
but at the end user I just want people
22:44
to use it because it works for them not
22:46
because you know all the other things we
22:50
can say it's like books are to be read
22:53
type is the voice that I will say so
22:58
when you're in the right font whether
23:00
you've tested it or not through the
23:03
fluency testing if you're in the right
23:06
font you can hear the voice and your
23:08
had reading whatever you so if you have
23:11
a little story you can hear the voice in
23:14
your head
23:15
talking confidently when you're using
23:18
the right size when it's the wrong size
23:21
the voice can either be stumbly which is
23:26
clearly a real research charter or it
23:29
can actually be quiet so for those who
23:31
struggle the most they simply will tell
23:34
me so I'll say dis looks like our
23:38
extremely readers who have who struggles
23:42
serious struggles they'll just say no
23:45
they don't hear a voice in their head
23:47
you put them in the right sized font and
23:50
they'll say oh yeah I hear it so when
23:55
you have the right one you'll hear the
23:57
book that voice that reading voice in
23:59
your head and you'll know you're good
24:01
test yourself that's awesome I hadn't
24:06
noticed before like when you're reading
24:08
you can hear a voice for those that
24:10
struggle reading they don't hear that
24:12
voice until they have the correct fun
24:14
that's awesome
24:16
that is an awesome I'm sorry is just
24:20
mind blowing right now okay so while my
24:25
mind comes back together from that
24:28
awesome explanation we're gonna move on
24:33
to the your extension your Chrome
24:37
extension of choice
24:40
education should be love aisle with a
24:42
Stax okay so you have an interesting
24:50
extension can you tell me about it
24:54
sure and just a caveat so so that it's
24:58
heard clearly I love so many apps and
25:00
extensions because the products out now
25:03
are phenomenal they're just phenomenal
25:06
but one I've recently come across is a
25:13
Chrome extension from Ireland called
25:18
helper bird and the way I found out
25:22
about it is I saw them tweet help her
25:24
burn tweet that lexing was now available
25:27
on helper bird so those things always
25:32
excite me it's like yes more people you
25:35
see flexin but its helper bird it's a
25:38
it's an organization our company I'm not
25:41
certain which out of Ireland and they
25:48
have a free delivery as well as a a paid
25:53
subscription the highest paid
25:55
subscription is still relatively
25:58
inexpensive but I've got to tell you I
26:00
use it I just use the free version and
26:05
it's great they have told me that anyone
26:08
that comes signs up so anyone that
26:15
reaches out to me and signs up they will
26:18
offer to them currently they're free
26:24
paid so they're Pro helper bird I
26:27
believe it's called so if you want if
26:30
you want the pro helper bird you can
26:34
reach out on Lex's website at the bottom
26:39
it if you scroll down to the bottom at
26:42
the Luxan website it says sign up and
26:44
that if if you wish I can send them and
26:50
let them know and I don't know exactly
26:52
how all that works
26:55
they won't give you proof Pro help
26:58
Herbert for free have a sauce um yeah
27:03
yeah I just recently met the in the
27:09
creator
27:10
his name is Robert Gabriel and he he
27:14
originally started creating it because
27:18
he well he said he is a tech guy he's
27:21
but he he struggled he was identified
27:26
with dyslexia when he was fifteen or
27:28
sixteen fifteen oblate and had some
27:31
really serious problems so when he found
27:33
Lex and he just fell in love with it and
27:35
he just informed me I just had the
27:40
pleasure of meeting him or speaking with
27:42
him yesterday and and he let me know
27:44
that they're going to make Lex and their
27:47
default font so if you like Lex end you
27:51
can have Lex in there and help her be
27:54
awesome thank you so much so yes
27:57
actually I will be contacting you about
28:01
that relief he has definitely it is this
28:06
is an awesome extension I I really
28:11
didn't know about this one so that's
28:13
awesome thank you so much okay before I
28:18
we sign out and I just want to mention
28:24
again that I am doing a giveaway
28:27
thank you and if I contact you I know
28:30
I'm gonna get that one either way but I
28:32
give away on my podcast what I'm doing
28:34
is I have a oh wait I forgot about the
28:38
green screen so there's that green pair
28:41
but let me turn that green screen off so
28:45
you can see it better let's see here
28:50
green screen none there we go so there's
28:55
the pear deck shirt and the pear deck
28:58
pear so if you're interesting in winning
29:02
the
29:03
and let me show you what else I have I
29:07
have the VR set so the VR goggles and
29:11
the merge cube very popular right now
29:14
with a virtual learning also the LEGO
29:21
Education it's just one simple set it
29:25
builds one item and the cellphone
29:30
giveaway would be a stylus a portable
29:36
charger it's inside the box and a quick
29:39
charge Wireless or a quick wireless
29:43
charger from clear touch and of course
29:47
the most important part of it all is
29:50
stickers so if you're interested in
29:54
winning any of this visit J dot MP /
29:57
aced tech 20 that is J dot MP / a CED
30:05
Tec h20 and I just want to say thank you
30:14
for your help and guiding myself and my
30:18
audience grow professionally I am
30:21
grateful for the efforts that you took
30:22
in sharing your professional or your
30:26
font lexan which is so amazing thank you
30:30
so much thank you for having me and
30:34
again thank you again for being part of
30:37
this episode which is episode 35 a stick
30:41
/ 35 when I watch the show notes mr. G G
30:49
thank you for listening to aced tech I
30:54
would love to hear from you send me a
30:57
message on aced dog tech slash feedback
31:01
where you can record your voice tag me
31:03
on Twitter or call me to leave me a
31:06
voice message if you enjoyed this
31:08
episode subscribe on the Google or Apple
31:11
podcast app or anywhere podcasts are
31:14
found mr. G Cheers
31:18
[Music]

Bonnie Shaver-Troup

Doctor

Bonnie is the founder of LEXEND and the creator of the LEXEND fonts. She has a particular interest in reading performance, typography, perception, cognition, and the visual field.