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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Web 2.0...The Machine is Us/ing Us"

Here’s another video from Mike Wesch, an assistant professor of anthropology at Kansas State University. This video is a great representation of what Web 2.0 is and how it is affecting us today, and how it will affect us in the future.





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Research: CMS Enhances Recruitment for Universities

This blog is a summary of a Noel-Levitz White Paper.

Content Management Systems make it easy for anyone to update a university Web site, keeping the information as current and as relevant as possible. Lately, it seems that college Web sites have become the key aspect for recruitment, so it is now a necessity to put the most relevant information in the spotlight as easily and as quickly as possible.

The cooler the Web site, the more likely it is that students will become interested in your university. So college sites must become interactive and include more Web 2.0 aspects than ever. Videos, flash-based design, and other like media can organize information in a cool way that will grab students’ attention.

However, the content of the site is still the most important thing. Noel-Levitz found that 80 percent of college-bound students said that content is more important than design, and 57 percent said that they wouldn’t consider going to a school whose Web site seemed dated or incorrect. So it’s essential to implement an easy way to update and make changes to the content of your university Web site.

The relevance of information is especially important when it comes to admissions and financial aid information. Your university site must answer all of your potential students’ questions while promoting your university’s brand, while encouraging the students to come back for more.

The problem with not having a CMS is that, usually, only one or a few people are qualified to update the university site. CMS makes it possible for even non-technical users to update content without any training. Now a large group of people will be able to constantly update the Web site content with ease.

The main goal of CMS is to increase the amount of communication between the university and its stakeholders. CMS makes it easier to get the most relevant information to its end users, and current information is the most valuable when it comes to recruitment, as potential students need the most up-to-date information of all of your Web site viewers.

Click here to see the full Noel-Levitz White Paper.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Vision of Students Today

Here is a really cool video created by Mike Wesch, an Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. It’s a summary of the surprising truths for today’s typical college students based on a survey given in his class, and gives a lot of insight into the reality of today’s students. It reinforces the idea that technology is becoming more and more eminent in the world of today’s students. It’s our job to stay ahead of the technology curve and harness it in order to be able to use it to our advantage in education.

Enjoy!





I Am What I Learn

On September 21, President Obama and the U.S. Department of Education challenged students to submit videos about the importance of education for achieving their dreams for the "I Am What I Learn" video contest. More than 600 YouTube videos were submitted for the contest. The Department of Education then chose the top ten videos, which were judged on the contestant's use of creativity, strength of the content, and the video's ability to inspire. Now, the public can vote on its favorite video, with the top three winners receiving a $1,000 prize. The voting is open until December 4. Click here to vote.

What's your favorite video?
Click here to go to the Department of Education YouTube Channel and watch the top ten videos, then come on back and let us know what your favorite is.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Déjà Vu?

Tonight, 1st-ranked KU plays Memphis in St. Louis for the first time since the 2008 National Championship game, which, in case you forgot, we won!

· Quick Recap: Mario and the Miracles came back from being 9 pts. down with 2:12 left in the game. And I say Mario and the Miracles, because Mario Chalmers' 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left in regulation put the game into overtime, and made everyone in Lawrence and every Jayhawk fan lose their minds. And, as they say, the rest is history.

Although we are a little sad that the game isn't in Allen Fieldhouse, which is, in our opinion, the best place in the world to see a basketball game, it's sure to be a good one.

However, not nearly as good as our win in 2008. Here are a few pictures from the Mass. St. mayhem that ensued after one of KU's best year in athletics ever.

Here's to another (hopefully) Championship-winning season! We've got our fingers crossed.

ROCKCHALK JAYHAWK GO KU!



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SchoolEffects: The Inspirational Version

We've recently produced a few videos to give you guys a little taste of SchoolEffects, our Content Management System geared toward K-12 School Districts (see previous post).


Here are some fun, inspiration videos to give you a break in your day. We hope you like them!


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Don't forget to subscribe to our page on YouTube! We're always updating and adding new videos!

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

CMS Tools Help Build Web-Savvy Presence for Teachers

The Internet is the main vehicle of communication in today's society. Students spend enormous amounts of time on the web every day, and there is a real opportunity for education to use this to their advantage.

The current generation of students is naturally web-savvy and will not be satisfied with Web sites of mediocre quality and substand. Therein lays the challenge. Most web content management systems (CMS) and web tools available to teachers just don't have the ease of use or comprehensive functionality to allow non-technical educators to quickly create and manage effective Web sites with rich content with minimal time or effort. Some of the challenges are as follows:
  • Every teacher needs to be able to work on their own Web sites, thus creating a need for a much more diverse set of users in terms of technical competency, interests and backgrounds.
  • The functionality requirements to make a classroom site useful are much greater than the needs at the district or school level. Classroom sites need a greater feature set for educational content. This includes more Web 2.0 tools as well as complex multi-media functionality.
  • Teachers need a lot of flexibility but at the same time it is important that there is consistency with the district's site--that the district's brand and image are maintained.
  • Teachers have limited time. Therfore, it is even more important that the site management tools are intuitive and fun. otherwise, sites can quickly become outdated and stale, thus defeating its very purpose of keeping the primary audience, such as parents and students, engaged.
  • Teachers need a starting point from which, in a matter of minutes, they can have a basic site that is attractive and useful. Without that, most teachers will not even get started, creating a situation within a district where only a smalle group of classrooms actually have and web content.

AllofE's SchoolEffects is a culmination of a decade of Research and Development. SchoolEffects is a vast and extensible platform with a very broad set of functionalist. Innovations, such as the panel-based edit-in-place function, focus on implementing Web 2.0 technology that empowers teachers to maintain engaging sights that become an extension of their classrooms. Here, teachers can post assignment and lesson plans, share videos, pocasts or albums, maintain blogs and create a variety of rich content such as slideshows and tabbed panels, or reconfigure layouts of pages intuitively and quickly.

To see the level of flexibility a CMS like SchoolEffects offers, click on the links below to see how teachers are taking advantage of this opportunity:

Or check it out at www.schooleffects.com

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