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Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Year in Review / Happy New Year 20-10 from Katie!

Yes, the correct pronunciation is "Twenty-Ten," not "Two-Thousand-Ten." Don't believe me? I'll prove it--HERE!

It's been quite a year for me!
  • The year began last January with my last Winter Training session with the University of Kansas women's rowing team in Austin, TX.
  • From there, I went back to school at KU to finish out my senior year of college.
  • In February, the rowing team moved into its brand-spankin'-new boathouse that my graduating class worked so hard to get. As a captain, I had the honor of cutting the ribbon at the grand opening, and also dug in during the groundbreaking.
  • In March, I spent Spring Break as I have for the past 4 years, on the river, rowing in snow. What a Spring Break, right?
  • April and May were spent at regattas, getting ready for graduation, and really just a whirlwind of different things! My graduation was spent in Tennessee at a regatta, however my teammates and I held our own little graduation ceremony by the Campanile and walked down the Hill after we got back. I graduated with honors with a BSJ in Journalism: Strategic Communications, with a Minor in English, in May.
  • In June, I received the best birthday present ever, a Golden Retriever puppy named Murphy, who is now 8 months old.
  • I did a lot of traveling this summer to Texas, San Diego, Las Vegas, Twentynine Palms, CA, which included a road-trip back to Kansas from California, so I suppose you could say I traveled to all the states in-between as well, along with a short stay in Colorado.
  • In-between my traveling adventures, I also waited tables...
  • ...Until August, when I started my job here, at AllofE Solutions.
  • In August, I began the MBA program at KU with an emphasis in Marketing. It has been quite an experience so far with so many different types of people from so many different places, and has opened my eyes to so many new things.
  • Since then, it's been a lot of schooling and working for me!
  • For Thanksgiving, I visited family in Houston, Minnesota.
  • Last week, I went to Keller, TX to spend some time with my family for the holidays.
  • And here I am today, on the last day of 2009.
Celebrating the New Year is a time for reflection, renewal, and resolutions.

My resolution every year is to make this year better than the last. What are your resolutions?

New Year's is also about traditions. What are my traditions? Well, being a native Texan, I can't go without a little Texas caviar. However, I'm not sure where I'll be able to find it in Kansas...
Here are some New Year's Eve traditions from all over the world on Wikipedia.

Happy New Year, everyone. Here's to this year being even better than the last.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Shorewood Lip Dub: The Coolest Assignment I've Seen in Awhile!

This video shows just how fun learning can be when it integrates technology. And brings in a little healthy competition. This video was created because two rival high schools in Shoreline, WA are engaging in an epic battle via YouTube music videos. The best part about this video? These students had to learn how to lip sync backwards. The second best part? The video teachers from each school are childhood friends. You can read more about the competition between the schools here.

And here's the video...It's good.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Web 2.0 and Why Educators Can't Afford to Live Without it.

There's a lot of debate about whether or not social media sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter should be blocked at schools. However, is there a way that teachers could use this type of media to their advantage? Not that students should be allowed to Facebook on their laptops during class, as so many college students do today, but is there some good that comes from social media?

For one example, this post on TechXav says that social media sites, such as Facebook, actually increase literacy rates and confidence in writing. Who knew?

And the best part? The author is a 15-year-old student.

If kids can see the benefits, we should listen. Blogs allow us to write freely, with a purpose all your own. And isn't that the best, most exciting, and rewarding way to write? It's no wonder that students who blog have increased confidence in writing. Blogs and social media/networking sites allow us to be creative, no strings attached. They allow us to create something all our own, that represents only us.

Although there are some dangers involved with letting kids run rampant, with all the unhealthy sites out there, I believe the good outweighs the bad. If teachers can use things like message boards, blog posts, etc. to foster learning and discussion, students will respond in a positive way. It will allow them to develop their thoughts and type them out, giving them practice in critical thinking and writing skills.

Another very interesting report about social networking in higher education states that:

"Web 2.0 is not remarkable; it describes simply the background structure of media and socialization."

And what follows is Learning 2.0. If used constructively, students will read, write, and collaborate with each other, teachers, and the virtual world. In today's society, Web 2.0 isn't new anymore, it's not innovative. It's reality. Any educators must take advantage of it or they will miss out on a huge opportunity.

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Social Media Revolution: What do you think this means for Education? Our thoughts to follow.

Here’s a really cool and almost shocking video on the impact of the social media revolution. It really works in context with our blog about Twitter, doesn’t it? The video was produced by the author of Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the way we Live and do Business, Erik Qualman.

Here's an interesting thought: What kind of impact will social media have on education? And how might we use social media to our advantage and enhance education?

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winners Announced for the Department of Education's "I Am What I Learn" Contest

The U.S. Department of Education announced the winners of the "I Am What I Learn" video contest today. Rene Harris, Alex Hughes and Jordan Lederman will all recieve a $1,000 prize for winning the contest.

Students were asked to submit up to two-minute long videos to represent why education is important in achieving their personal goals. You can view the Department of Education's press release about the contest

Here are the three winning videos:

Rene Harris
*Alex Hughes
Jordan Lederman

Click here to see all of the contestants' videos.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Our Nominees for the Edublog Awards-What are yours?

Here are our votes for the Edublog Awards:

What are your favorites?

Vote by following the directions at

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Friday, December 4, 2009

ClustrMaps: Tracking Clicks by Geographical Locations

We're using ClustrMaps to track clicks on our blog. We want to know more about who our readers are and where they are coming from!

Locations of visitors to this page


Gauging Social Networking Success with Twitter

It’s no secret that social media is taking marketing by storm. There’s very few people left in the cyber world that don’t use Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, etc., and the ones that don’t use these social media sites probably still know something about them. Companies are using these social media sites as a way to establish an approachable brand where consumers can get to know the company on a more personal level. Social media strategies have become the norm; consumers now expect companies to utilize these tools.

Twitter allows users to create short, 140 character messages. Using these in a business setting, the short messages can give insights to the company culture, what the company is working on, new products or improvements, and whatever else the company feels is necessary. If used correctly, Twitter can become a very successful tool in a marketing campaign. Using Twitter engages your followers; it creates a two-way conversation that is very attractive to consumers

AllofE recently launched a social media marketing campaign, and here are some applications we’re using to gauge our Twitter success.

1. The first application we recommend is CoTweet. The best thing about CoTweet is that it allows multiple users to contribute to one Twitter account. It also allows you to monitor keywords and trends, sends email notifications when tweets are sent to your Twitter account, assigns tweets to your colleagues for follow up, creates conversation threading and rich profiles that track things like conversation history, recent tweets and Twitter profile information, tracks clicks through, allows you to schedule Tweets ahead of time, and keeps a record of your Twitter history. CoTweet is one of the most useful Twitter applications that we’ve found, is incredibly easy to use, and can come in really useful for any business that has a multiple-person social media team.

2. allows you to shorten links to make posting links on Twitter easier, since only 140 character updates are allowed. With a account, you can track the number of clicks on your links, the top referrers of your links, and click locations. It works in conjoint with CoTweet to measure and track clicks.

3. Hootsuite is a lot like CoTweet with its ability to link multiple users to one Twitter account, etc., except that it tracks statistics in a more colorful, and easier to read graphical format. Here is a video about HootSuite stat tracking and the information HootSuite generates:

4. You don’t have to create an account for Twitalyzer, which is one great aspect of the service. It tracks in influence of your Twitter account based on followers, number of Tweets per day, Lists, URLs, Hashtags used, and a multitude of other categories. All you have to do is enter a Twitter username and click ‘Twitalyze,’ and Twitalyzer will do the rest.

Whether it’s your personal Twitter account, your school’s account, or your business’ account, the goal of Twitter is to get your name out there and to give your followers a little insight into who you are. Check out some of our favorite Twitter applications to see how well your Twitter is faring, and let us know your favorites, too!

Follow us on Twitter:

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

How-to in 90 Seconds or Less: Look and Feel Tab

Here’s a quick tutorial containing Teacher Page Tips about using the Look and Feel tab of the latest version of our panel-based content management technology. In other words, it’s a video about how to customize and personalize the panels on your classroom site in just a few minutes. How much easier does it get?

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Technorati Claim

Just a test to verify our AllofE Solutions blog for Technorati!


Technorati collects, highlights and distributes blog posts and other news on the web. It began as a blog search engine, then became "a full service media company providing services to the blogs and social media sites and connecting them with advertisers who want to join the conversation, and whose online properties introduce blog content to millions of consumers."

Visit Technorati at