Powered by Blogger.

iPad Apps 4 Schools - great site with info and resources for iPads in Education

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

iPad Apps for School

iPad Apps for School is another site from Richard Byrne, author of Free Technology for Teachers and Android 4 Schools. In this site, Richard and his guest authors will be sharing resources and reviews of apps (mostly free) that can be used in K-12 schools, along with ways that those apps can be used in the educational setting by teachers, students, and administrators.

If you use iPads as an educator, administrator, or student, or your school is looking at using them, you should check out this site.


Android SmartPhone and Apps that I use as an Educator

Android resources - information, news, resources, and more

Adobe Education Exchange educator community announces new features


Adobe Education Exchange is an online community of educators who share resources, ideas, tips, and more. It launched at ISTE 2010 and now has over 75,000 educators sharing over 4,000 resources.

They just re-launched it with some new features which you can read about here: http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2013/02/announcing-the-all-new-adobe-education-exchange-education.html.

The new version includes simplified navigation, a new design, easier browsing of resources, increased social/community features, and API's so that it can integrate with other apps and platforms. 

It's a great, free resource.

TotSplash - organize and present ideas

TotSplash is a new site that combines online mind mapping and "Prezi-like" presentations.

Users can focus on organizing their thoughts and ideas and then the app transforms them into a "Prezi-like" presentation. You can share and embed your TotSplashes also.

There is a free version with no login required.

It's easy to use and could be a great alternative for students and teachers.

Online Education Takes a Big Leap

Monday, February 25, 2013

Your home, office, or other place is not your college or study place, but it can certainly be your classroom. Online education took a big leap with the help of world's best teachers and visualizers to take great lessons beyond the classroom to anyone with internet access. In other words, if you are a great teacher, you can take your best lessons or tutorials beyond your classroom and be viewed by millions of students.

The new wave in media usage is being boosted by smartphones, tablets, and PCs, which is gradually seen impacting the way content is being created and distributed as well.

With a competent option, online media has every possibility of becoming a great option for education and training. What is at stake here is the character of the e-learning.

20th century the age of information technology, online education is becoming a principles of delivering teaching to individuals outside the classroom, as well as on the globe. Teaching can be using Compact Disc, Digital textbooks, websites, or via real-time online facilities such as webcasts, webinars and virtual classrooms. However, different methods of online education each have their own advantages.

Digital textbooks are any books that can be downloaded to an e-reader or computer or those that can be read online using a Web browser. Technology which makes you more eager to learn from anywhere at any time, without using your important time. Easy to use with pan drive, download content or e-books at your hard drive and use with your possible option.

Rapid Online Learning Growth.

How are the dynamics of the market changing? Is there any new trend that you see?

With India's economic growth fuelling the last decade, the country's education needs have gone up tremendously. Digitisation is the way forward for supporting online teaching and online learning.

Benefits of Online Education

Online education system serving students that no on else can accommodate. This may include athletes who travel, students who have been bullied and no longer feel comfortable in a traditional classroom. Current times need access to different types of classes to learn diverse skills for their future jobs.

At this time, there are a numbers of online universities, colleges and online courses that cater the best education to the needs of working people and homebound individuals. Helping students to succeed in their educational and career aspirations, online education are convenient and credible for student.

Educating Yourself to Succeed

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Question

Education is held by our society to be one of the keys to success. Certainly, there are certain professions in which formal academic education is a prerequisite not to success itself, but rather just to get into the front door of the profession.

The question we need to ask is whether or not formal academic education as offered in the current structure of our society is in fact a prerequisite, or even a significant help in achieving success in general (as opposed to within a specific profession) and what are the underlying reasons for this.

What is Success?

Before we can do this we need to decide exactly what we mean by success. It has been defined by some as 'the progressive realisation of a worthwhile dream, goal or ideal', and this is a good definition, but lacks some of the specificity we need to truly determine the role of education in achieving it.

For the purposes of this article I am going to define success as the following.

Achieving a progressively improving state of making a meaningful contribution with integrity, good health, good relationships, material abundance, and self determination.

To further explore what this actually means, what I am saying is that;

To be successful is to be making a positive difference in some way, whilst acting in good faith, looking after your health, enjoying and building strong meaningful relationships, being able to do all of this without concern caused by lack of resources, but rather based on what is good and right, and finally, to be in control of your own life and not reduced to unwilling servitude by slavery, ignorance or an oversized mortgage.

Does Formal Academic Education Teach Us to Do This?

If we judge by the results in our western societies, where nearly everyone has had some education, the majority have finished High School, and a great many have gone on to college. We have to seriously question the true value of formal education to the success of the individual.

By the rates of suicide, drug use, depression, and hopelessness in our society, we can infer that there are some deficiencies in our education system in so far as teaching people to make a contribution they see as meaningful.

By both the increasing obesity, diabetes levels and drug problems in our society we can judge that the education system is ineffective in teaching people to be healthy.

By the divorce rates and level of violence we can make an indicative judgement as to the effectiveness of our education system in teaching people to get along and build strong relationships.

By the level of dependence on welfare, the levels of homelessness and the levels of relative poverty in the richest nations in the world, we can take a good guess as to effectiveness of our education system in teaching people to create material abundance in their own lives.

By the by the mere existence of Blue Monday and TGIF (Thank God It's Friday), we know there are enough people who are forced to do something at least 5 days a week that they would rather not have to do, so we can gauge the effectiveness of our education system to teach people self determination.

I hope this is not too harsh for you, but it is the way it seems from where I sit.

Why is Our Formal Education System so Ineffective?

What nobody tells us is that our existing formal education system is either unable to teach us how to be successful, nor designed to teach us to become successful.

The education system as it currently exists, is based on the needs of an industrial aged society. In the industrial age our own personal interests were in conflict with those of the larger society and of those in power.

Let's look at Relationships

During the early industrial age, when the current system of education took its early froms, we lived in a predominantly patriarchal society in which very few women ever dared to leave their husbands, and husbands therefore didn't actually need to know how to keep their wives happy, similarly, wives just had to be submissive and obedient and that was enough, the marriage lasted for life.

Nowadays, when we have so much freedom to enter and leave relationships without for the most part significant repercussions, we actually need to know how to keep the other person happy. Yet we as a society still don't have a structured means of educating everyone to have functional, long term, meaningful relationships.

What about Material Abundance and Self Determination?

What our industrial age government and society needed was producing tax payers. Society needed some entrepreneurs and business people to assume the risks, acquire the skills, employ these workers and provide capital, but there was still a need for the majority of people to be part of the working underclass.

To keep people going to work to produce for the country and pay taxes to the government, it was necessary to NOT teach them how to create financial independence, in fact it was necessary to actively teach them to be lifelong employees and live from paycheck to paycheck.

One of the effects of encouraging people to manage their long term financial position poorly, is the rise of the attitudes necessary for today's consumerism, buy it now pay for it later, keep up with the Jones's , my identity is created by what I own, and I want it all for me!

This mentality is great for keeping people in debt, keeping people locked into jobs, stimulating the economy, and, you guessed it, raising more taxes. It does not serve the individual in terms of creating long term financial independence, truly sustainable material abundance or achieving the self determination that comes with not being up to your eyeballs in debt.

How about Health?

I don't really understand how our society can be so poorly educated about health as to be so unhealthy, I guess our addiction to (among other things) high fat, low nutrition fast food is tied in with our consumeristic, I want it yesterday lifestyle and attitude.

Whatever the cause, there is obviously money in unhealthy food and where there is money there is power to influence society, which of course means there is yet more money in unhealthy food, and in turn more power to influence.

A bit of a vicious circle, but one that at this point can only be broken by educating our children from a young age to exercise and eat healthy food, something that is obviously not being done in the current system, as evidenced by the growing problems with childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes.

just based on this simple set of observations we can begin to see that a formal education is simply not teaching people to be successful.

The Point

The purpose of this article is not to whine about the formal education system, I only go down that path to make you aware of the need to take matters into your own hands, success education is one of the few areas of life where 'vigilante' action is a good thing.

The point of all of this is that if you are going to learn the skills, attitudes and knowledge you need to be truly successful you are going to have to seek that information out for yourself!

The information is out there, you just need to look for it, in biographies of successful people, in the countless books and audio programs on the market by the many experts in the world.

How do I Educate Myself to Succeed?


Reading books (both traditional hard copy and now days electronic) is the most powerful way to educate yourself.

Learning from the experiences of others who have gone before you can help you avoid making many of the same mistakes these pioneers have already made, it can stimulate your own thinking and help you find creative solutiosn to your own problems, and it can certainly broaden your thinking and your mind.

So start reading! Read a good mix of 'How to' books in your chosen field, biographies of great people, motivation books, books about success principles, philosophical books and make sure you read some of the classic self help books too (they may be old books but the principles they teach are timeless)


Whilst reading is vital, the problem with reading is that it takes dedicated, focused time, and in our busy world, listening to audio books, seminars, and other audio programs offers a great way to educate yourself in time that would otherwise be largely wasted.

If you have to sit in traffic twice a day, don't just let that time be wasted time, stick a tape/CD/MP3 program on and use the time to teach and motivate yourself. Zig Ziglar calls this enrolling in 'automobile university'. In my time in the military we used a principle called concurrent activity, which essentially means deliberately accomplishing multiple outcomes simultaneously, or "killing two birds with one stone" as the old cliche goes.

You can use this same principle by enrolling in Zigs University and making double use of your travel time.


One of the greatest powers for human change is that of association. basically we have a strong tendency to become like, assume the attitudes of, and start to think and act like those we hang around.

This is why parents instinctively want to keep their children away from 'the bad crowd', however we can use the exact same principle to our advantage by deliberately hanging around the 'good crowd'.

If we want to be healthy, we are better to hang around 'health conscious' people at a gym than 'anesthetised unconscious' people in a bar.

If we want to be wealthy, we need to make a deliberate effort to associate with wealthy people, not because we want them to give us anything, but because the way they think has led them to be wealthy, and we want to learn to think like them so we too can make ourselves wealthy.

Any group of people with the values and results you want to foster are candidates for association, however one of the best sources around are seminars and workshops on subjects relevant to what you are trying to accomplish.

Mentoring & Coaching

Having someone to whom you are held accountable for your performance or non performance is a great help in disciplining yourself to do what you need to do to get the results you want.

Coaching however is much more than that, a good coach will be able to give you ideas, encouragement and when you need it support to get you through the journey you are on. They can give you feedback from a more detached third party perspective, helping us see past our sometimes overwhelmingly personal involvement in a situation.

Getting yourself a good coach or mentor can definitely be a big help in educating yourself to succeed.

Go for it (and don't quit)

These four things, reading, listening, association and coaching will give you the necessary resources to educate yourself to succeed.

Keep in mind that your current 'education' has taken you many many years to acquire, so you can't expect change to be either instant or easy.

It is however very possible, and with your persistent determined effort definitely achievable, and when you start to see the results of your self administered success education, it is unquestionably worth the effort!

Why Being the Best Matters Again - A Case for Social Media

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

As a non-traditional business owner, I've struggled with my desire to serve versus my need to generate business. Many years ago I was a young entrepreneur with a vision for my company to simply be the best at what we do: build and market web initiatives with a real, measurable return on investment. We focused our efforts purely on knowing all of the answers - best tactics, newest technologies, etc. We learned quickly that being the best doesn't pay the bills if no one knows you exist.

It always frustrated me that my competitors would win business because of the relationships they had with the clients. In many cases, the chosen vendor wasn't nearly as qualified as we were and their costs were much higher. Being the best didn't really matter. Instead, the work went to those who had strong sales teams with robust advertising and marketing budgets. In other words, the big guys bought brand awareness and relationships. I had been spinning my wheels by caring more about the quality of our offerings rather than selling our capabilities.

In about 2006, I decided to take a different approach. I enrolled myself in a sales training program - a David Sandler affiliate - and learned how to build relationships, uncover pain, and earn trust and respect. This was a very important step for me and the business. I began attending networking events of all kinds nearly twice a week. I met hundreds of people and began generating referrals. Business grew rapidly but I still had a problem. I seemed to be the only one on my team who could properly articulate our value proposition. I hired and tried many folks for sales roles, but the desired results were never achieved.

I was no longer heavily focused on strategy or fulfillment and had a great support team for these services, but I couldn't seem to delegate or share the new business responsibilities. I soon reached my maximum capacity and growth stalled.

It wasn't until mid 2008 that I realized something new was happening. I learned that sharing your expertise and opinions with groups of people made a big difference. My company began hosting seminars to educate attendees on the value of Internet marketing. This was not a sales pitch; it was purely educational. I found that I really enjoyed this and that the attendees truly appreciated what we had to offer.

We continued by taking this communication online and involving the whole team. In no time, we had friends and prospects reading our blog posts, following us on twitter, and more. We became recognized as thought leaders in the region for web development and marketing services.

Since this online transition, we no longer attend as many in-person networking events. The opportunities in our sales funnel are greater than ever and the phone just keeps ringing. We utilize many digital marketing techniques to share our knowledge and ideas with others. We leverage content marketing and social media tactics heavily. We can focus again on what is most important - providing our clients with the best possible opportunities for creating a return on their Internet development and marketing investment. Being the best matters again.

Social Media Marketing - Driving Knowledge

Monday, February 18, 2013


In this article, you will learn how to utilize information and knowledge about your products to ensure that you are supporting the sales process for on-line or off-line products. This article will concentrate on the use of social media marketing and provide specific tactics that you can use to greatly increase your customers' knowledge of your products. Throughout recent decades, most of our marketing effort has been in providing people the knowledge to purchase products. We would like to think that simply telling people all the details of the product will certainly make them buy. Not always. As marketing people, we often lean towards educating our customers, even when at any one point, giving them education to purchase or our products is not the best way to proceed. Nonetheless, after customers become aware of you, your products and your brand, it is time to make sure they possess sufficient understanding of your product.

You may ask, what do I need to say to my customers to give them only the knowledge they need? The answer is, you need to have mirrored their problems/interests and their objections, instinctively. You need to show them materially how they will be better off after they transact with you. If that means cost savings, superior knowledge, or increase income, then you need to describe and quantify it, if possible.

Marketing Tactics

1. Blogging/Website

Educating your customers does not mean putting them to sleep with paragraphs and paragraphs of technical detail. On the top level of your website, should be a clear correspondence between their problems, the answer to the problem and your product's answer to the problem. If you must go into detail, leave that for a lower level linked page. New startup technology companies often make the mistake of turning the sales process (and consequently the website) into a technical data sheet. Resist the temptation to get into detail too early, unless you have the need for this level of information.

2. Micro-blogging

As soon as you have established (or are establishing) a following in discussions, groups, and blogs, it is very worthwhile for you to establish a following on Twitter. Twitter, is a new communication medium that allows you to stay in touch by providing frequent mini-content to them in 140 characters. If you want to pass along web addresses to them, Twitter allows you shorten the URL, so that you can also write several words of comments to deliver the right message. Take a look at how Whole Foods uses Twitter to maintain responsive information to and from their customers about their products and service .

3. On-line Video, Audio and Pictures

Consider seriously utilizing video, audio and pictures in your outbound marketing. The more public this information, the better. Putting audio, video and pictures on your site is also high impact. There is nothing that aids understanding better, than seeing pictures and images and then to be able to listen them (or both). The most popular options are You Tube, Flickr, and Seesmic. Take a look at how Home Depot has utilized You Tube to maintain the usual orange and do it yourself image that many have come to rely upon. Using Podcast downloads from your website and the ability to comment on them, are a great way for people to easily listen to a clear explanation and to allow them to say a few words. Remember just like a salesman, you want customer engagement everywhere possible.

4. Content Aggregation

When you are providing education, it is very important to appear to be as impartial as possible. Aggregating articles, videos, blogs, and other web content into one place for visitors, does two things:

1) It keeps them from leaving your site, and therefore you keep them in your sales net and

2) It provides them a valuable service not having to do the leg work themselves. EMC has paved the way in utilizing Friend Feed to direct information to customers. Using a RSS feed, EMC provides a single channel of the news that they want their customers to hear. It allows for EMC to comment as necessary on every piece of news. Friend Feed is a dramatically different way of focusing content to your stakeholders (customers, investors, supplier, you name it).

5. Wiki's

For industries and markets (such as medical or bio-tech companies) in which there is a heavy information load, a wiki is a way of doing two things: 1) engaging the users in building the content of the vast information allowed, and 2) keeping customers heavily tied into the learning needed to buy their products. What is a wiki? It is a user (visitor) built body of information that becomes available to all users and visitors. I would recommend that this may be more appropriate for high technology companies that already have a large following. However, it may be very good for markets where buyers are very vocal and willing to demonstrate their knowledge in public.

Inbound Marketing

What is inbound marketing? It is the information that you get as a result of two way communications within Web 2.0 technology. In this phase of the sales cycle, the knowledge stage provides great input to the generation of product ideas, product development process and enhancements. All of these need to be prioritized, requirements created, timing planned, and new markets identified. You will need to carefully capture the input and feed it back into the system in some systematic way. This effort is basically allowing the customers to tell you what they want so that you are simply left with the decision to plan products.

Measuring Market Knowledge

The goal is to have your audience understand intellectually the benefits, product and features as they relate to their interest. This is a fact finding mission on the part of your customers and you are reaching out to them to tell them about it. Measuring how well you are doing that will be in terms of how much engagement do you have with customers. Are they asking questions, are they subscribing to your newsletter or freebies, are they coming to your website?

In Summary

Do not go overboard in emphasizing this step at the expense of other stages in the sales cycle of your products to your markets. It is as important as every other stage and should be used in proportionate measure. Sufficient information is the goal at this point. Listen to the return communication channel to determine whether they have the right amount of information. Adjust it as necessary, but do not overload them. It could slow them and consequently, slow you down. Remember, quick to market with product, means quick and appropriate information, so that you make sales now. Have fun.

Make Social Media Work For You

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Internet marketing online advertising is exceptionally important if you want to run a business these days. Most businesses who are online are using Social Media methods to propel them and their brand/business forward and get their message out to the world. Social Media is a much broader concept of advertising, it's possible for individuals, entrepreneurs, businesses and brands to connect in a much more immediate, personal way with a wider audience. This social platform is ingenious but there are some things you need to understand if you wish to b e successful online.

These 3 E's of Social Media will allow the perception of yourself and your brand to shine.


Information is King in the online world - you can pretty much find out about anything you want online these days. How much information you give away and how much thought you put into your content has a direct effect on who decides to connect with you. The education of others and the sharing of information is online gold dust in building a following with whom you enjoy professional, trusting relationships.


Are you an old stick in the mud who's got little time for fun, frippery and a bit of good old fashioned humour? No, I thought not. Your social media audience must be learning from you however they also have to learn about you. What you like, what you find entertaining, who you admire and what teachings you respect. Basically, they need a bit of insight into your personality and attitude. Dale Carniegie had it spot on - if you can win friends, then you can influence people!


I see a huge number of social media users think that it is JUST about personality (a serious case of "Look at me, I am so crazy, so into this stuff and so just like you! By the way, join my team and sell my stuff, I need the money!"). It's always a good idea to spend some time reading others tweets, blog posts, Facebook updates etc to get a flavour of what engages people. Comments on something you found interesting and valuable, but that are unrelated to your opportunity are always good - people love personal recommendations and they don't like to be 'sold'. Asking questions is another way of engaging with your audience as are asking opinions.

The aim is always to be as 'real' as possible. Internet Marketers are a savvy bunch and can spot a desperate 'seller' from a mile off - just interact as normally as possible and you'll reap boundless benefits.

Simplify Project Based Learning With Biteslide - guest post

Simplify Project Based Learning With Biteslide

What is Project Based Learning?
What is Biteslide?
Planning the project
The Entry Event
Researching the project
Creating the project
Presenting the project

In this article I shall give you a brief introduction to Project Based Learning (PBL) and show you how Biteslide can be used as an end-to-end technology solution for PBL projects.  

There is a dizzying number of EdTech tools on the market today. Some are good and will give you a significant return on your time investment, others aren’t so good, and will lead to wasted time and frustrated students. Using an end-to-end solution simplifies the integration of technology and keeps the focus where it should be, on the project.

What is Project Based Learning?
Project Based Learning (PBL) is a dynamic approach to teaching where students undertake extensive inquiry in response to real-world problems and challenges.

In response to a driving question, students create authentic products and presentations that are then delivered to a public audience.

PBL projects are designed to address the curriculum and also develop students' 21st century skills - creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking.

If you’re new to PBL, two of the best resources around are the Buck Institute For Education and Edutopia.

What is Biteslide?

Biteslide is a creative presentation tool for school projects.
Teachers use Biteslide to assign, manage, and give feedback on projects.  Students create slidebooks - a creative form of self-expression combining images, video, and text.

Biteslide works well across the curriculum and with students of all ages.

Now let’s see how Biteslide can be used used in each phase of a PBL project.

Planning the project
Good planning is the key to running a successful PBL project. If you've never planned a PBL project before, here is a good place to get to grips with the basics.

When planning your PBL project it’s a good idea to organise your planning into a series of project documents.  Commonly these are a project form, project calendar, and project rubric.  Thanks goes to Manor New Technology High School for sharing these excellent sample documents.

So, how can Biteslide help? Rather than having a static series of PDF documents stored on your school server, you can use Biteslide to create a slidebook of project documents.

This means your documents can be stored right within the project itself. They are accessible online, and can be easily copied into future projects.

Once the plans are in place and the project launch date has arrived, it’s time to introduce the project to your students.  

The Entry Event
When introducing the new project to your students the aim is to activate their ‘Need To Know’. A simple handout just isn't going to cut the mustard. Starting with inspirational and motivational content sets the tone and will energise your students.  

A powerful way to activate your students’ need to know is to have an entry event. Entry events can be videos, discussions, or debates. Any format will work as long as it resonates with your students and makes them eager to learn more.

Slidebooks are a great tool to use at the heart of the entry event. During the planning phase of the project, use a slidebook to gather research and develop your entry event presentation. The slidebook format makes it easy for you to create a thought-provoking and interactive presentation as the centerpiece of the entry event.

And when your slidebook is ready, you can present straight from the slidebook to your students. You can do this from any computer or interactive whiteboard. Slidebook presentations save you time repurposing content and also provide an interactive forum for your students after the entry event has finished. They are the perfect catalyst to activate your students’ need to know.

Researching the project
Typically the initial phase of a PBL project will involve some form research.  It could be desk-based or out in the field. Students begin to develop their knowledge and gather the significant content for their project.

As part of this process, they'll inevitably gather a wide range of assets that they'll need to organise for use in their final presentation. These could be quotes, photos, videos, diagrams, and much more.  

During the research phase, a slidebook is a brilliant way to scrapbook together images, videos, and text. Students can use their digital scrapbook to organise and re-organise their thoughts before putting together the final presentation.

Students can even collaborate on slidebooks and use them as a shared resource to gather and organise their research. And as Biteslide is entirely web-based, students can do this from anywhere they have an internet connection.

Biteslide has several simple, yet powerful, research tools built right into the slidebook. Students can drag and drop images straight from Google and Flickr, and even add videos from Youtube.  And if they want to gather images as they are browsing the web, they can use the Nibbler bookmarklet.

But to be honest, the best thing about researching a project with Biteslide is that it’s fun.  The drag-and-drop interface and easy-to-use tools take the strain so your students stay energised and can keep their focus where it should be, on the research.

Creating the project
Once students have gathered the resources they need to create their slidebook, it's time to synthesise the research and create the project narrative.

Biteslide's easy-to-use design tools mean that students all the way from K-12 can create stunning projects. Eye-catching extras (backgrounds, borders, and stickers) help students to bring their projects to life.

During the creative process, a project’s slidebooks are open for teachers and other students in the class to view. This means that teachers and classmates (if you’ve enabled the feature) can give feedback during the project creation phase.

Making projects authentic is fundamental to Project Based Learning. This means involving people from the outside world. Biteslide can be used to invite outside parties into the project to comment and review as the slidebooks progress. This is a great way for students to hone their final presentation with authentic input from the outside world.

Presenting the project
A key milestone in a PBL project is the final presentation.  As well as demonstrating what the students have learned and created, it provides focus and authenticity to the project.

Your students have used the slidebook to research, create, and now they can use it to present. A single button-click transforms the slidebook into presentation mode - an engaging showcase for your student’s work.

Presenting in person is undoubtedly valuable, but slidebooks can also be shared on the web.  Embedding slidebooks into blogs, websites, and virtual learning environments (e.g. Edmodo or Moodle) is an excellent way to share projects with both inside and outside the school walls. Other teachers and students as well as outside parties such as parents or industry experts can all be invited to view and give feedback on a project.

We are living through a golden age of technology. Incredible new web tools for educators are appearing every day. Having choice is a good thing, but it also comes with two key challenges. Choosing the tools that meet your pedagogical needs and deploying the tools your chosen tools in the best way.

There are no clear cut solutions to these challenges. Two good rules of thumb are to choose tools that are easy to use for both teachers and students, and keep the number of tools chosen to a minimum.  As is often the case, keeping it simple is the key to success.

Sign Up For Your Free Biteslide Account Here

About the author
Seb Hardman is a EdTech entrepreneur passionate about making great digital products.  He is a founder of Biteslide - the creative presentation tool for school projects.

Selecting the Right Advertising Media to Find Your Ideal Prospect

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dear Business-Builder,

OK ... so you've got a product on your hands. Maybe it's your product. Or, maybe you're a copywriter and it's your client's product.

The question is, where do you find the prospects that are most ready, willing and able to become your customers?

That's the question I was asked recently. Well, actually, the question was a bit more specific:

"I have a new client selling jewelry items (ear rings, chains, broaches) targeted at those who feel patriotic about their country - and wish to display their pride on their clothing and body.

"We are discussing advertising in The National Enquirer-type of publication. Danbury and Franklin mint are consistent in there with products in similar price points.

"Where would I find mailing lists targeted at those who buy jewelry items at the $100 price point?

"What about lists of buyers who are patriotic - where would I find such a list?"

Soon as I read that question, I realized I've been woefully remiss in writing articles about advertising media. Should you begin with TV? Radio? A Web campaign? Print ads in newspapers or magazines? Direct mail?

I mean - it's kind of an important question when you think about it. After all - the medium you'll be using not only determines the cost of your promotion; it also is a major influence on the approach you're going to take in your sales copy!

So today, we're going to remedy that - with a basic, plain-English guide to selecting the advertising media that will give your promotions the greatest likelihood of success.

Or, alternatively titled ...


Right off the bat, it helps to understand three all-important facts of life about selecting the optimal medium for your promotion ...

FACT #1: There Ain't No Such Thing as a Free Lunch. If you plan to rent a direct mail list, place an ad in a newspaper or magazine, buy time on TV or radio, plaster your business all over a billboard - or even buy space on the back of a matchbook - you might as well get used to it: You're going to have to unlimber your checkbook.

Think you can dodge the media cost bullet by building your business on the Internet? ... Maybe with affiliate programs, joint venture or per-inquiry (PI) deals?

Good luck! These programs are important, but your affiliates and joint venture partners - not you - get to decide if and when your ads run and by extension, if and when you'll become a success.

To produce the big numbers of new customers you're looking for, you'll need to seize control of your own fortunes. And that means renting e-mail lists, buying banners on websites, signing on for pay-per-click campaigns -- and unless you personally have the time and knowledge required, paying someone else to make sure the search engines can find your site.

FACT #2: Some Advertising Media Cost More Than Others. The rates a particular medium charges you are generally based on four things ...

A. The number of people who will see your message: The number of people who subscribe, read, view or listen to a particular medium is often referred to as "impressions" or "eyeballs" - and the more eyeballs you get, the more you pay.

The cost of a medium divided by eyeballs tells you how much you're paying to deliver your sales message to one prospect. Multiply that number times one thousand and you get that medium's "cost per thousand" or "CPM." CPM is the number that's usually used to compare the cost of various media.

A 30-second television spot in a local market might cost you as little as $10/M. A red-hot direct mail list could cost you $150/M or more.

B. The size of your ad: In addition to the number of eyeballs you get, you also pay for how much time or space your ad will consume. Full-page ads cost more than little ones; 30-second commercials cost less than 30-minute infomercials. Even in bulk mailings, basic postage rates allow you up to three ounces of material. If you want to send more, you'll have to pay more.

C. The type of people who will see your message: As a general rule ...

Media that deliver your ad to the gray masses are the cheapest on a CPM basis: Billboards, general-interest newspapers and tabloids, local TV and radio channels, for example ...

Media that deliver your ad to better-defined audiences cost a little more: Special interest magazines, cable channels and websites, for example ...

And the media that put your sales message only in front of people who are most highly qualified to buy your product charge out the wazzoo: Highly selected direct mail and e-mail lists of folks who have bought your type of product through this kind of medium in the recent past are at the top of the media cost pecking order (and usually, well-worth it!).

FACT #3: Some Advertising Media Produce Higher Response Rates Than Others. If you ever had the opportunity to run the exact same sales copy on every medium available, you'd probably find that the percentage of folks who respond to your ad will be up to 100 times greater in some media than in others.

Same ad, same copy, same offer - massive response differential.


Well, for one thing, there's the competition. If your sales message is just one in a big newspaper or magazine or clustered with others on TV or radio, not all readers will see or hear you - and therefore, the media will probably cost you less.

On the other hand, if your sales message is delivered all by itself (as in direct mail or e-mail blasts), your response rate could be up to 100 times higher - and the media cost will also be higher.

But there's another, more crucial reason why the response rates produced by some advertising media are so much higher than others ...


Media that produce the greatest response rates are invariably those that deliver your ad to your most qualified prospects. Put simply, they allow you to select your audience using one of three general criteria ...

1. Geographic Selection: Some media - billboards, general-interest newspapers and tabloids and local TV and radio stations, for example - can't tell you much about who'll see or hear your ad.

Sure -- they've done polls, so they can also give you a good idea of the average and/or median age and income level of their readers - and what percent are men vs. women. But that's pretty much it.

Beyond that, all they can really tell you for sure is the geographic area in which your ad will be seen -- a particular neighborhood ... Zip code ... SCF (the first three digits of your Zip code) ... city ... metro area ... county ... state ... region ... or nation, for example.

By their very nature, they can't offer you the choice to advertise only to men or women or folks above a particular income level.

On the other hand, these media are extremely cheap. So, if just about everyone in a particular area is a prospect for your product, these geographically defined media can actually be highly cost-effective.

But ...

If only women buy your product, you could be wasting up to half of your advertising dollar - effectively doubling your media costs ...

If only women over 50 are prospects, you could be quadrupling your media costs ...

If only women over 50 with osteoporosis are prospects, you could be multiplying your media costs by a factor of ten ...

And if your best prospect is a woman over 50 with osteoporosis who would try an alternative treatment, and can afford your product, you could be wasting 99% or more of every ad dollar.

2. Demographic Selection: Because they exclude obvious non-prospects, advertising media that deliver consumers based on their sex, sexual orientation, race or ethnic group, age, education, profession, income level, home ownership, etc. - tend to produce substantially higher response rates.

Media that allow you to focus exclusively on the appropriate demographic for your product include ...

Special-interest magazines: Playboy, Maxim and Popular Mechanics deliver mostly men. Cosmo, Glamour and Woman's Day give you the ladies. Seventeen gives you young girls, Modern Maturity gives you us old fogies and Black Enterprise gives you Afro-American professionals. Prevention gives you health nuts ... Guns & Ammo gives you gun nuts ... Sports Illustrated gives you sports nuts ... ad infinitum.

Special-interest cable channels: Lifetime gives you women ... Discovery Health gives you health nuts ... The History Channel and History International give you history nuts ... Speed Channel gives you car nuts ... etc.

Special-interest web sites: With millions of sites out there, it's a deadlock cinch that you'll find a site that delivers your prime demographic - and then place your banners on that site.

Plus, just about every special-interest magazine you can name has a website and most will allow you to place banners on their sites for a fee.

Direct mail and e-mail lists: Take a look in the Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS) for mail lists, and you'll see three kinds of lists:

1) Compiled lists - lists of names and addresses that were compiled from public records. Typical compiled lists include lists of addresses without names attached ("occupant lists"), lists of folks with drivers' licenses, homeowners, plus lists of professionals and so forth.

2) Inquiry lists - folks who have asked for more information in response to a lead-producing ad, but who have not made a purchase.

3) Buyer lists - folks who have actually purchased a product (or donated money) as the direct result of a promotion sent to them by mail. Naturally, these include the lists of people who subscribe to all the specialty magazines named above.

Depending on your product, all of these lists might give you the ability to ensure that your message is going to folks who satisfy your demographic criteria - but because buyer lists contain the names of folks who have actually spent money through the mail, they're by far the most responsive of the three.

3. Psychographic Selection: The greatest response rates you'll find - by a long shot - are produced by media that allow you to select your prospects psychographically.

Psychographic selection allows you to find prospects on the basis of their PROVEN interests, beliefs, fears and desires.

"Proven" is the operative word, here. Psychographic media - mostly mailing lists and e-mail lists (and the co-ops, ride-alongs and insert programs that go to those lists) -- deliver folks who have actually purchased a product like yours through a medium like the one you'll be using!


Looking back at the question at the beginning of this article, my friend was thinking about 1) Advertising his patriotic jewelry in National Enquirer because Franklin Mint does, and ... 2) Mailing to lists of folks who previously bought jewelry items for around his $100 price point.

To me at least, either would be a mistake. Why? Because it totally leaves the prospects' dominant emotions out of the equation.

Since 99% of all purchases we make every day are made to satisfy an emotional need, that's like showing up at a gunfight and leaving 99% of your bullets in the glove compartment.

Instead, I'd want my promo going to folks who are, first and foremost, passionate about their love of country - so passionate, they'd love nothing better than to express that patriotism in the jewelry they wear.

My first question would be, "Where are the lists of folks who are already buying other kinds of patriotic jewelry at or around this price point?" In short, I'd look at direct competitors and try to rent their mailing lists.

My second question would be, "Where can I find people who have purchased non-jewelry patriotic items and who have paid about $100 per purchase?" I'd scan for direct mail and e-lists of people who've spent $100 to buy American flags, patriotic license plates, red-white-and-blue clothing, for example.

My third question would be, "Where can I find people who have such a compelling love of country that they'd probably jump at the chance to wear patriotic jewelry?" I'd look at magazines, websites, and mailing lists that deliver the most politically active folks out there: Members of political action committees and lobbying groups like the National Rifle Association ... Republican and Democrat fat cat donors ... members of veterans' organizations ... and so on.

Finally, after I've fully explored all of these media, my fourth question would be, "Where can I find general-interest media that's so cheap, I'll still make money even if my response rate is minuscule?" And that's where I'd look at print ads in huge circulation tabloids and TV.

Then, I'd sit down and do a little math:

"Hmmm ... my patriotic lapel pin costs me $19. I sell it for $99. That gives me an $80 margin.

If my mail cost is $500 per thousand pieces mailed, I'll need to sell 6.25 pins for every thousand pieces mailed to break even.

That's a response rate of about .63%: About six-tenths of one percent.

Doable? Maybe. But that might restrict me to using only the most qualified lists out there. I'd better hedge my bets some.

For one thing, I could add a nice bump to my offer. Maybe a beautiful broach for my prospect's spouse for, say, an additional $79 (gross profit: $50).

That should get my average margin per sale up to around $130. At that rate, my break-even response rate drops to .38%. Now, we're talking!


Well, this media question is a pretty big one - and we've only scratched the surface. True -- it's a scratch that would have gotten my butt whupped if I'd left it on my Mom's piano bench.

But it's still only a scratch. There's a lot more to consider - but I'll have to tackle the next step another time.

Change in Media is Coming - Fueled by Gen Y - Are You Ready?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Have you heard the phrase those businesses that don't evolve die, and those who are ahead of the curve or at least keep up with the curve flourish? This doesn't mean that established brands constantly come out with radical new products, it simply means staying with the times and adapting new environments. So, who are the current media game changers? Newspaper enthusiasts and traditional radio, cover your eyes and ears because this isn't going to be pretty.

Generation Y is going to change the entire media game.

Yes, those insolent little brats who think they are entitled to everything (Yes, I'm a Gen Y'er). Members of Gen Y ( who are currently 21-35 and also interchangeably called "Millennials") are moving up quick in the work place and are more entrepreneurial than previous generations which is leading to more spending power and influence. It is not a coincidence that Gen Y is referred to by advertisers as the "sweet spot" because of opportunities for long-term brand loyalty and the high-purchasing power of these tech-friendly information over-loaders.

Generation Y does not thumb through a newspaper for three hours (or three minutes). We want our information instantaneously. One day or even one hour is too long. Example, a friend sent me a Facebook message about a funny video. What did I do? I went right to Youtube. In fifteen seconds, I was watching it.

We are a text-messaging, multi-tasking, advertising-wary, Attention Deficit Disorder-loving, trendsetting, blog-reading, information-addicted, social-media experts, tech-embracing, fast-moving, highly-ambitious, quick-talking, well-educated, IPOD-listening kind of crowd.

If you don't see the Generation Y train coming, get off the tracks.

When I was first coming up with the concept of The Rise To The Top as a new media resource, it was very important to me to cater to Gen Y. Why? Well, by being a member of the generation, these are the folks I can relate to and I know what I like and other Gen Y'ers enjoy: Bite-sized, highly applicable information that can be digested in a variety of formats (Video, Audio, Articles), shared with friends (Twitter, Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon), and the "no pleated pants" mentality of fresh, edgy, with some humor and pop culture.

Millenials want to live more passionately, be happy, kill the the 9-5 PM job and really "want it all" from money to entertainment to charity. Of course 21-35 year olds don't know it all (I know SHOCKING) and can use the help from those that have already walked the walked (Yes, my little Gen Y friends, there is MUCH to learn from past generations!)

Bottom line, get ready for Gen Y revolution. Major media outlets and advertisers are going to feel it in no time. What are you doing to prepare?

Live Passionately! - David Siteman Garland - The Creative Opportunities Specialist

Dropbox adds new features - document preview and photo sharing

Friday, February 8, 2013

Dropbox, the very popular cloud file/sync/backup/sharing service, has announced some new features, including document preview and photo sharing and sorting.

You can preview PDF, DOC, DOCX, and PPT files by double-clicking on them. This way, you can see if that is the file you want, or even view what you need, without downloading it.

Dropbox has also added some features for photos. When you click on "Camera" you will see all of the photos you have uploaded from your phone. You can then group them, email them, or share to Facebook and Twitter.

Some more great features from a great service.



Lots of Great File Sync/Backup/Share services

JustBeamIt file sharing service comes in very handy - also has links to more file sharing services

Let's Crate - easy, free, file sharing

minus - file sharing service

eBackpack - educational file sharing and backup

YouSendIt - easy file sharing, sync, and sign

LibreOffice 4.0 released - better performance and greater interoperability

LibreOffice is a free, open-source, powerful office suite software that is a great alternative to Microsoft Office. I use it on my home computers. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux and has six applications: Write (word processor), Calc (spreadsheet), Impress (presentation), Draw, Math and Base (database). It works great and the menu functions are similar to Office 97, so the learning curve is easy. It is built off of the same code base as OpenOffice. I happen to like LibreOffice better and think it runs faster.

One of the great features is that it can open, and save as, files in a variety of formats including Microsoft Office (multiple versions), PDF, ODF, and more. I have mine automatically set to load and save as MS Office files so that they work at school without a problem.

Support is excellent, with a great support site and user forums.

Libreoffice has just been upgraded to version 4.0 and offers leaner, faster performance, greater interoperability between different file formats such as DocX and RTF documentsOther new features  include an Android app for controlling presentations, UI upgrades and a performance improvements. You can also attach comments to text in documents, import Visio and Publisher files, get themes, ink annotations and over 1500 other changes and improvements.

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on office software, download LibreOffice for free. http://www.libreoffice.org/

Free Alternatives to Microsoft Office

Why do schools still pay so much for software? Free alternatives to paid software and services.

Google for Educators resources (includes Google Docs)

A Great Online Education is at Your Fingertips

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Have you ever thought about enhancing your education by going back to school? If so, you probably have wondered whether you should go your local college or university. If you haven't been to one recently, let me paint you a picture.

There are usually acres of buildings, jammed parking lots, and lots of other students. You might have to commute for miles in terrible traffic, and then find it impossible to park near your classes. You may spend hours traipsing back and forth across campus, lugging 30 pounds of books on your back. You stand in line to register your classes, only to find that they are all full. Or if your class is available, it's at 7:00 a.m. or 9 p.m. If you have a family to juggle, it gets worse -- the kids get sick you get to miss classes. And most of the students closely resemble your youngest child, making you feel like a dinosaur.

Does the above scenario fill you with dread? Could it be the reason you haven't pursued higher education before now? What if you could achieve your educational goals without leaving the comfort of your own home, and maybe even do it cheaper?

If this is music to your ears, you should consider getting an online education. All you really need is a computer, an internet connection, and the desire to learn. No traffic nightmares, no weather worries. No scheduling conflicts or babysitter problems, and you can even go to school in your pajamas. Wow! That's my idea of school. You take the classes you need at the times you want, at your own speed, and still achieve your chosen goals.

Online education does not mean that the classes are easier, it just means that they are easier to take. You will still have to study, do homework, write papers, take midterms and final exams. Yes, you do have to work! But the good news is, you can do it in the comfort and convenience of your own home.

The advantages of getting an online education are virtually endless. If you have ever considered getting more education to improve your chances of landing a job, or making more money, or maybe even changing careers completely, now is the time to do it. There really is no excuse for not pursuing the wonderful opportunities available through distance education.

For many people this is all the motivation they need to get going. However, it is important that you know your limitations. If it's impossible for you to have quiet time on a regular basis, if you find it difficult to focus with all the insanity going on around you, or if you just can't discipline yourself to do the job, then distance education might not be for you.

However, if you are adept at managing the ins and outs of your personal life while dealing with the demands of going to school, you should be able to juggle the extra balls that an online degree program might toss at you.

During the past 10 years, distance education has finally come into its own, and now many programs are even eligible for federal financial aid such as grants and loans. So it's entirely possible for you to attend school without breaking the bank. You can find classes and online education programs in a large variety of topics, starting with getting your GED and going all the way up to masters degrees and Doctoral programs.

Some online schools have brick and mortar campuses and some don't. Some require occasional meetings with students and teachers, also called limited residence requirements. Many have no such requirements, and your education is simply based upon the classes you complete successfully. Some schools require you to attend online live or prerecorded lectures or interactive classes, while others just give you the class materials online and let you take exams when you are ready.

It is important that you research the options thoroughly and carefully. Whether you're planning to take trade courses, business classes or any type of higher education, make sure the distance learning program is accredited by the appropriate agency in your state. There's nothing worse than wasting your time, money and energy to get an education that you won't get credit for, unless of course you are doing it just for fun.

What you need to do first is decide what career you want to pursue or what subject you want to study or, then look for the online education learning program that's best suited to meet your needs. Whether you want to learn web design, culinary arts, business management or something else, you'll be able to find a distance learning program that will give you what you need.

So there you go. A wonderful education is waiting at your fingertips, all you have to do is reach out and grab it.

Livescribe announces Discounted Education Pricing on SmartPens.

Monday, February 4, 2013


I'm a huge fan of the Livescribe SmartPens and use them daily in my role as CIO. I had also used it as a teacher. May administrators I know are looking at them for teacher evaluations and notes and students love them.

These pens let you take handwritten notes, as well as record audio, and then sync these notes to Evernote, Google Drive and more. It's a great way to take notes and then have them available anywhere. In addition, struggling students can use the audio record feature to help them review their notes, learn English, and much more.

Livescribe has announced some discounted education pricing on the Smartpens which make them more attractive to schools. Savings range from $40 to $72 per item.

See more in the official press release below:

Livescribe Announces Discounted Education Pricing Bundles on Smartpens

Livescribe’s Customized Training Programs and Livescribe Helper App Also Available to Improve Learning in the Modern Classroom

Oakland, Calif. — Jan. 29, 2013 —Livescribe for Education announced today at the Florida Educational Technology Corporation (FETC) national conference their new their new Smartpen Education Bundles and customized training programs that offer significant savings for K-12 educators and higher education institutions. Dedicated to the education industry, Livescribe is pleased to share special offers on the latest smartpen model, the Sky wifi smartpen, which is the first digital pen to integrate WiFi technology and cloud services to make learning easier anytime, anywhere. To deliver an improved learning experience at schools, Livescribe also launched the new Livescribe Helper application to give teachers and students the added option of syncing their notes and audio from their smartpen to their Evernote account over a USB cable, using a computer’s Internet connection.

These new offerings have been developed as part of Livescribe Education’s pilot program for the Sky wifi smartpen at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto, Calif. Livescribe is deeply immersed in the pilot program to assess use cases, as well as the impact of using the Sky wifi smartpen, both at school and beyond classroom walls. The initial findings from this pilot and feedback from other customers helped influence the education bundles, training and additional services. Livescribe also developed the Livescribe Helper app to accompany the Sky wifi smartpen, so schools with closed WiFi networks can still sync notes to their private online account without a WiFi connection. The Sky wifi smartpen pilot program will culminate later in 2013, at which time Livescribe will share the highlights and results of the program.

The Sky wifi smartpen digitizes everything students, educators or administrators write and hear and automatically syncs it to their personal Evernote® account, where it is securely stored and readily available to search, play back, organize and share. Students and teachers can have convenient access to their recorded notes and audio whether from paper, tablet, smartphone or computer – making notes and educational materials available any time, anywhere.

Ideal for students and teachers wanting to make the most of their smartpens in a classroom environment, the new education bundles include the smartpens, their respective accessories, and other special features such as tailored training courses and a Best Practices Guide for Educators. The Best Practices Guide supports innovative teachers who are using new technology to improve the learning experience. It includes sample learning activities for blended learning environments, group activities such as creating class portfolios with Evernote to display student work, formative assessment strategies for educators, and special tips and tricks for educators to share interactive course materials. Livescribe is also offering special training options for educators, including customized webinars and onsite professional development.

To meet the Livescribe team at the FETC national conference, visit booth #137 at the Orange Country Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. On Thursday, January 31 at noon, visit Room S230G at FETC to learn teaching tips and techniques from educators that use Livescribe smarptens effectively in their classrooms.

To learn more about available education pricing bundles or place an order, visit the Livescribe online store for education at http://www.livescribe.com/k20_how_to_buy.

Students and educators interested in purchasing specially discounted education bundles may contact Livescribe for further information at educationsales@livescribe.com.

To download or learn more about the Livescribe Helper app, visit http://www.livescribe.com/en-us/support/sky/howto/.


About Livescribe for Education
Livescribe’s smartpens bring handwritten notes and lessons to life to enhance educator effectiveness and improve student learning. Livescribe syncs handwriting and audio so students can take better notes and educators can record interactive lessons. Teachers can easily capture, store and share difficult concepts and class lessons with Livescribe so students can study material at their own pace.  Used across K12, special education, and higher education institutions, Livescribe makes learning more engaging, customized and accessible. www.livescribe.com/education.

Online Education Makes College Education More Affordable

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The rising of education cost makes college education become more and more expensive; especially in today's bad economy situation where students are hardly get a loan to finance their study. It may stop some of students from pursuing a higher education due to unaffordable education cost. Thanks to the available of online education that makes college education more affordable and becomes a better option for students to earn a degree online.

According to college education & funding survey reports found, the results show that college tuition fees have increased by over 400 percent from year 1982 to 2007 while households' income rose below 150%. Situation may become worse following the bad economy that leads to a recession, which may put higher education out of the reach for most students. An alternative education option is needed and online education is the solution, it makes college education more affordable.

Online education has been around for years providing an alternative option for students for earning their degree. Online degrees have been wisely accepted in job market, most online students have no problem to use their online degree to start their career or find a job. During economy up-time, online education is an alternative; students can choose to pursue their degree either online or at a brick-and-mortar university. However, when comes to a recession, the education cost is the key consideration factor for many students, online education become a great option for students to pursue a degree at an affordable cost.

Online education saves cost in a variety of ways. Most of learning materials are in downloadable format, helping students to reduce the cost needed in purchasing printed books and references. Students don't need to travel back and forth the campus by attending classes online through internet connection, saving them time and money on transportation. For students who take the traditional path to earn their degree at the brick-and-mortar university, they may need to relocate to the area near the school if they leave far away. The relocation cost can be saved if they choose the alternative education option and earning their degree online. With online education, distance does not matter, any school that offers online degree programs can be reached at a mouse click.

Generally, the tuition fee for online degree is cheaper than the same degree cost in campus-based school. Since most of teaching materials are in online format and the classes are done through the online learning system which does not require physical classroom setting, most schools are afforded to offer the online degree in cheaper way without scarifying the teaching quality. Online education provides a more affordable channel for students to pursue a degree from their computer through internet connection.


The education cost has risen 3 times faster that the household's income, stopping more students from pursuing higher education due to unaffordable education cost. The online education helps to reduce the total cost in the ways of reducing some major expenses, making it a more affordable education option, meeting the tight budget for many students in the time of recession.



Most Reading

Popular Posts

Blog Archive