Category Archives: website

Edshelf

Edshelf is a directory of digital tools for educators; containing websites, mobile apps, and desktop software that are rated & reviewed by educators, for educators. Each reviewed product features an overview video and text outlining how to engage with the product. Ratings, reviews, and categories allow users to learn more about how to apply the technology, specifically in an educational setting. The social component (ie profiles) allows users to access an online community of educators and their real-world professional colleagues.


The Rise of the Tablet

It is difficult to ignore the significant number of tablets people are tapping, watching, and reading on when you go out into the world. This number is only going to rise as the amount of content available for these devices such as apps, e-books and videos, increases. No to mention the portability these light machines afford.

As an institution it is good to keep in mind that many of your prospective and current students are accessing your online content from tablets. It is important your institution’s online materials are optimized for tablet, and mobile, viewing. (Note that Flash files do not play on the iPad, although there are some third party apps that allow Flash to open on the tablet).

If you are a marketing, communications, or recruitment administrator take a few moments and view your online web resources (website, electronic brochures, PDFs) from several different brands of tablets to ensure your materials are readable and usable for prospective and current students accessing them. Better yet, consider developing a mobile app. Students will appreciate they can access institution information specifically built for a tablet or mobile device.

Several great examples of mobile apps built for univerisities are:

Flinders University
Griffith University

Below is a helpful infographic overview from Urban Times of the current tablet market.


How Twitter Can Increase Your Website Traffic

Twitter and microblogging have definitely been embraced at a much slower pace than some of the “full” social networks. The demographics of Twitter users are limited to fewer countries than ubiquitous sites like Facebook and YouTube and generally isn’t as popular among the higher education target market of 18-22. 

Yet microblogging can be very effective for blasting short messages of information as well as links to content on the web.  Since we all want to post on a variety of platforms to ensure our message is heard wherever our students might be virtually “hanging out” many people now use social network aggregators, such as TweetDeck or HootSuite, that allow a user to send one update to multiple social networks simultaneously.

At my institution we generally recruit students from Asia for undergraduate programs. This market is definitely not classified as a top user group amongst Twitter but I still find having a microblogging content stream to be very useful.

What we have done to take advantage of the Twitter platform, while not necessarily having hundreds of followers, is added our Twitter feed to our Video & Media website page.  Our IT department created a feed box that shows our 3 most recent tweets that appear on the page in chronological order. For basic search engine purposes this allows the content on this page to continually update and change, two keys to increasing hits to your page. This feed box feature allows realtime message updates (and active hyperlinks) on a static website.

Check out the screen shots below.