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Thursday, June 24, 2010

My First Experiences Designing Websites with ContentM

The first time I was exposed to working on K-12 teacher websites was about two years ago when working on my mom’s school website. I remember spending hours Googling how to write HTML code and then copying and pasting that code in random boxes, just hoping that it was doing what we wanted, as there was no real way to preview the web page without completely submitting it for the live website. When my mom and I were finally done struggling through the HTML, we hit submit, and to our disappointment the screen in front of us showed a page full of vibrant, tacky colors and error codes. Needless to say, this interface did not make me (or my mom) want to update her site anytime soon which goes against the whole point of having a school website – to keep teachers, students, and parents up-to-date on the recent happenings around your classroom, school, or district.

When I started working at AllofE, I immediately started working on example teacher and administrator websites using our ContentM system. ContentM is, hands down, easier to use than the system my mom and I were struggling with two years ago. Since I’ve started using ContentM, I have found a number of ways to customize websites in very little time. The ContentM interface lets you customize your website virtually any way you want. Although ContentM provides numbers of preset options for headers and body backgrounds, there are a few shortcuts I use to get around using some of those preset designs in order to completely customize my example sites. One shortcut I find myself always using is to hide the actual header of a panel and create my own by typing with bigger, different colored font in the same panel I use to write my main content. It’s a simple way to get a completely customized website look in just a few seconds.

All-in-all, AllofE’s ContentM offers a whole new paradigm in Content Management Systems. It's impossible to even try to compare it to the copy-and-paste HTML coding experience I had with my mom when designing her site. With drag 'n drop panel-based functionality and intuitive design features, along with its ease of use and integration with social media, ContentM not only cuts down on the time it takes to create, update, and maintain your website, but it will provide you with so much flexibility that you’ll want to change and re-design your site more than you need to—because it’s fun. ContentM changed my whole perspective on designing website pages, and it can change yours too. If we are finally getting to the place where every teacher needs to have a classroom site, it is important that they have fun doing it. With ContentM, website design takes very little time and finally, allows teachers to do powerful things on their school websites.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

DCWeek SMCEDU Panel Video

This video is from the SMCEDU panel at DCWeek. It discusses a lot about the lack of social media in higher education and how useful it can really be. It works hand in hand with the SMashup we offer for university social media initiatives. Click here to find out more about the SMashup. Social media in higher education is so lacking, and SMCEDU is truly trying to bring change. I'm happy to be a part of it-Watch this video!

It's tragic really, that employers expect new employees to know social media, but universities aren't teaching it in class. Well, I take that back. A few are. Professor Yaros is.The ContentM SMashup will allow universities to pull together all aspects of their social media initiatives. But using social media should go far beyond recruiting purposes. Educators should be integrating social media into the education experience, as Yaros said. There's so much more to social media in higher education than just using it for recruiting purposes. It's sharing, it's collaborating, it's learning, in a community. Social media can no longer be ignored. And universities that continue to ignore social media, in any facet, will learn the hard way.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

ContentM for Educators and Recent Webinars

We recently launched our newest product for educators, ContentM for Educators, that will allow elite educators with a deep passion for technology to create and manage their own high-end websites. The websites for elite educators will feature seamless social media integration and help educators establish their virtual brand, all while better serving students, parents and the community. To kick off the launch of ContentM for Educators, we've created a series of three Webinars, the first of which was facilitated by myself, and hosted by Eric Sheninger and Patrick Larkin, elite administrators in their own right.

The following Webinar discusses ContentM for Educators featured functionality that would be most appealing to administrators and developing a brand. It also addresses some questions that have come up since our first Webinar.

The most recent Webinar is geared toward teachers and how teachers can take advantage of ContentM for Webinars to create websites to better serve their classrooms.

Click here to view the Webinar for Teachers

This is an extremely exciting time for us with so many people showing such interest in building an elite educator website. Please register at to receive the latest information about ContentM for Educators and for notification of new Webinar releases and for invitations to begin building your site.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Schoole Awards Winners!

A special thanks to our top two districts for sending me these great pictures with their checks! Here are pictures from the top two Schoole Award-winning districts.

First Place: HEB ISD

Second Place: Clear Creek ISD

For more information about the Schoole Awards, please go to

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