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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Helping Teachers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

   The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people of all walks of life.  With many systems returning to school already or in the near future, teachers are facing a great deal of uncertainty.  There are concerns for the safety of their students and themselves.  There is new technology to learn in order to best connect with their students virtually.  Added to these challenges is the need to prepare students for the ever-present state tests.  Classroom teachers, regardless of their years of experience, need the support of Delta Kappa Gamma members more than ever.  Unfortunately, members cannot enter the schools to assist in the classroom but there are ways that DKG members can show teachers their love and support.

  • Write encouraging notes.  Personal hand-written notes from others let teachers know that they aren’t in this alone.
  • Share inspirational quotes from well-known leaders.
  • Consider asking the chapter’s “resident poet” to write a short poem to thank the teachers for their service.
  • To up the ante, gift small school items with a note attached.  Highlighters, pens/pencils, glue sticks, etc. are inexpensive items that can bring a smile to a teacher’s face.
  • Food is always a good choice!  Perhaps a piece of candy or a couple of other treats could be attached to a note.  (Be sure to check with the school administration before preparing the treats.)
  • Post signs of thanks and encouragement along the school driveway so teachers can see those on their way to school.  Such action would help jumpstart a teacher’s day!
  • If it’s a small community, perhaps the chapter could put an ad in the local paper to thank teachers for their dedication.

Here’s the bottom line: Teachers need to know that they are appreciated and loved.  Any action which a chapter takes to achieve that goal would be well received.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

GAPP Digital Communication Policy Changes

Among our DKG governing documents is a set of files called Guidelines and Policies/Procedures (GAPP). One of those outlines the policies for digital communications, which was recently updated.
The file says, “Digital communication resources, as defined by the Society, include but are not limited to the Internet, World Wide Web, digital mail, facsimile, landline and cell phones, databases, audio and visual recordings, graphics, photographs, CD, DVD, digitized information and social media.”
So, basically, all forms of communications are impacted since most newsletters are posted on the web!
Among the eight purposes of this policy is one that deals with privacy, confidentiality, and security in digital communications. Because of the increasing problems of phishing and scamming, the update to the policy includes this paragraph:
An individual’s email address is personal information. For this reason, use of BCC (blind carbon copy; normally found under the CC address line) is recommended for mailings to groups. This will protect email addresses of those in the group from being shared unnecessarily or improperly. The Society will not publish the personal email of any member in any publication without her express written permission. Wherever possible and practical, the Society will use contact forms rather than emails to facilitate member communication with Society personnel and leaders. All lists of contact information will be password protected. Chapter and state organization may not link to contact information lists without providing password protection. The Society will establish procedures to hide/disguise emails on websites.
Take particular note of the use of blind carbon copy (BCC) for group emails and the use of forms instead of email addresses. This is DKG policy.
The entire Policy for Digital Communications can be found at https://www.dkg.org/DKGMember/Resources/GAPP.aspx?GAPP_Documents=16#GAPP_Documents.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Under the Red Umbrella: A Simple Marketing Template


Educators are key actors to a better understanding of the challenges of our complex world. If we work together in DKG to make our world more knowledge driven and use our diverse professional experiences, we will provide a foundation for the younger generations to identify both problems and solutions in order to build sustainable societies for the future.
But how to reach our goals? To highlight the importance of DKG inside and outside the organization we need clear objectives and a functional plan. Therefore, the Communication and Marketing Committee has unfurled the Red Umbrella Five-Step Plan. You may call it marketing but in reality, it is a matter of effectively communicating what we are doing as a Society for our members, but also for the Society at large.
The five steps are 
  1.   Identify and find target audience,
  2. Grab attention of target audience,
  3. Build the relationship, 
  4. Follow up, and 
  5. Close the “sale.”
Grab the attention may be the hardest step. There are so many teacher associations and unions in the educator’s world – in particular if we apply a global perspective. The way to engage potential members is to highlight the importance of knowledge through announcing interesting educational, current societal, global and complex matters for discussion and debate.
Think of a grey and rainy day in a square full of members with red umbrellas. What a lovely and inspiring view…

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

DKG Member Lisa Olson Serves as City Alderman


One of the goals of the EEC is to empower women to impact policy and people worldwide. DKG member Lisa Olson has certainly taken that goal to heart. She was recently spotlighted on a local TV station’s feature on Remarkable Women for her work as an alderman for the city of Minot, ND. In the article, Lisa relates her disappointment when she lost her first race for city council. She turned the loss into an opportunity to teach her young daughter that one could lose with dignity and could still persevere. Lisa had this message for women: “They can do it. You don’t have to have a great background; you don’t have to have the answers to everything.” The important message from the article is that women can certainly share their voice in their local communities and make a difference in our world. We applaud Lisa for her service to her community and to DKG.

Want to know more? The full article is posted on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.nylander.olson)

(This information was taken from a KXNET.com feature re: Remarkable Women.
The story was then shared on Facebook.))

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Ways to Spot Spam or Phishing Emails

 Many spam or phishing emails look like legitimate emails to the unsuspecting. A healthy dose of skepticism goes well with the adage “better safe than sorry” but there are definite tell-tale signs for which to watch. There is no single fool-proof way to avoid phishing attacks, but watch for these:

• Check the spelling or grammar. If a message is poorly written or contains grammatical errors or misspellings, it might have been translated from a foreign language. Often a phisher will change one or two letters to mimic a trusted source.
• Request for personal information. Never give out personal information through email. Refer to the sender’s website if you have questions on the legitimacy of the request.
• Discrepancies between the language of links and the URLs they direct to. Mouse over a link before clicking on it to see where the URL is directing you. The name listed might be different from the actual web address.
• Forms within emails. Phishers try to gather personal information this way.
• A sense of urgency, scare tactics, or highly emotional or charged language. “There’s a problem with your charge card that needs resolving immediately.” “I lost my pocketbook and need you to loan me some money.”

“Phishing” via SMS (text) messaging, called smishing, is gaining strength. Watch many of the same signs plus unusual numbers or references to the last 4 digits of a credit card number. Voice phishing, called vishing, has been around for years. Callers posing as IRS agents is the most common form and has scammed individuals out of millions of dollars. Watch for fear tactics, masked phone numbers, use of personal data that could be gained from social media accounts, or “too good to be true” tactics.

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported that people lost $57 million to phishing schemes in one year. 

If you think a scammer has your information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, go to IdentityTheft.gov. There you will see the specific steps to take based on the information that you lost.

Be vigilant. When in doubt, don’t.

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