Mobile Learning Could Be Key in Achievement Gap Equation

Mobile Learning Could Be Key in Achievement Gap Equation

Research tells us the following:

  • Mobile phone ownership is highest in minority populations
  • Social media use is highest and most valued in minority populations
  • Online learning has its highest approval rate in minority populations

Finland Eyes Programming Classes for Elementary School Students

Finland Eyes Programming Classes for Elementary School Students


Beyond Mindcraft: Games That Inspire Building and Exploration

1. Garry’s Mod 

garryscreenshotGarry’s Mod (GMod) is a sandbox game like Minecraft but instead of building and exploring, students use a fun physics engine that simulates things like gravity and mass. They also use a virtual toy box of assets from Valve Software’s popular games. The tool is a step up in complexity from the elegant simplicity of Minecraft, but with Garry’s Mod,students are exposed to physics concepts while having madcap fun.

2. Kerbal Space Program

kerbal_screenshotKerbal Space Program has a robust physics engine too, but it’s more focused than Garry’s Mod. Players purchase rocket parts, put them together, and then see if they can get a ship into orbit, to one of two moons, or even to another planet. These aren’t easy tasks, so play is focused on trial and error testing, and, like Minecraft, seeking help from the community is part of a successful strategy.

3. Sound Shapes 

soundshapes_screenshotSound Shapes is a visually stunning platform puzzle game set to a rich musical soundscape. Even better: students can create and share their own levels – like interactive sheet music — using sounds and objects unlocked by playing the platform game. It’s an accessible entry point into musical composition as well as game design, and provides an experience that builds on the creativity of Minecraft while offering something wholly unique for music lovers.

4. DIY

DIYFor creative kids who want to get their hands dirty, check out DIY, a site where students can find things to build, instructions for how to build them, and ways to share their creations with others. All projects are aligned to 50 skills that run the gamut from outdoors to indoors, and feature various challenges to complete and cool badges to earn and display.


screen568x568Computer programming is a great next step for students who love to mod Minecraft or toy around with the redstone resource (which simulates basic logic and circuitry). One solid entry-level tool is Stencyl, a game creation program focused on codeless, cross-platform game making. By snapping blocks of code together, students can create games that can be published and played on a variety of platforms including mobile phones.


Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 3.31.05 PMCodecademy is a web-based, self-paced site that teaches actual industry-standard languages like PHP, Javascript, Python, Ruby, HTML, and CSS. While students don’t create publishable games like they would in Stencyl, their learning is purpose-driven and contextualized, e.g. JavaScript for web development or Ruby for app development. And students do get to see their code’s output directly onscreen.

Minecraft has introduced a lot of youth to games as well as the critical thinking, problem solving, and creation skills necessary for self-motivated learning. The games and sites on this list have the potential to extend that learning, providing fresh outlets for self-expression in the digital world and beyond.

How StumbleUpon Works

What Might Surprise You About StumbleUpon

Users do not search for anything in particular; rather, they spend time on StumbleUpon for one reason only: to discover new content that matches up with their interests. After StumbleUpon users document their interests on the site, the only thing they have to do afterward is click the “Stumble” button – sometimes over and over again. StumbleUpon itself works completely based on user preference, based upon whether somebody gives your page the thumbs-up. The more “likes,” the more StumbleUpon will send your page out to other users.

The Top Five Social Media Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix Them Read more at

#1. Using the wrong metrics

When people are forced to deal with a subject that they don’t understand, they often try to gain some sense of control by applying the same rules to it that they’ve seen to work in their area of expertise. This kind of simplistic thinking can be the rot of many mistakes.

Many conventional marketers make this sort of mistake when they try to measure the success of their social media marketing efforts. They use the number of fans or followers that their efforts have gained for the company as the primary yardstick by which to measure their success. They tell themselves that if viewership numbers matter in the television business and circulation numbers matter in newspapers, follower numbers should matter in social media.

In truth, though, it doesn’t matter how large a social footprint you have. You could have thousands of Facebook fans without it making a difference to your business. In social media, what matters is how much people feel compelled to talk about your business by tweeting about it, bringing your business up on Facebook and sharing your videos among their friends. Businesses that truly understand social media marketing use metrics that make sense for social media. They measure brand sentiment, the number of times their customers share their experience with the company’s customer service department and so on.

#2. Setting up too many social network accounts

At one point, IBM discovered that hundreds of their managers had an IBM-branded Twitter presence, each one with his own handle. People who wished to follow IBM on Twitter had no idea which one of these was the real IBM. Top management had to intervene and shut down all but a few accounts.

Managing one social media business account properly can be a huge responsibility by itself. Even large companies often have trouble adequately staffing and running a lone Facebook account. Many small businesses, though, make the mistake of jumping headfirst into every social media platform, major and minor – Google+, Pinterest, Vine, Ning, Tumblr and FourSquare, among others. They only think of how they are stretched too thin after they’ve set up pages everywhere and got a handful of fans. They are then forced to abandon many networks and lose face. The lesson to learn here is that no small business has the resources to run more than one or two social networking accounts.

#3. Making your social presence all about you

Just as no one likes to be around a person who just likes to talk about himself, no one likes hanging around the Facebook page of a brand that can’t get enough of itself.

Brands that have no idea how social networking works jump in thinking that it’s a traditional advertising platform. All they ever give their followers are advertisements and unimpressive discounts to buy stuff with. While it isn’t wrong to get in a little advertising, it won’t do to plan your Facebook content around advertising. Even conventional TV advertising doesn’t work without offering humor, good music and visuals and an interesting plot. If you are going to get your business on a social network, you should concentrate on finding out what kind of content your customer base is interested in and invest in high quality content creation to meet the need.

If nothing else, you should try to make your Facebook presence customer-centric by promptly responding to every comment.

#4. No communication

Businesses run efficiently through division of labor. They create separate departments with specialized knowledge of HR, customer service, marketing and so on. Creating a separate, self-contained department for social networking, though, doesn’t work. Every business needs to involve multiple departments in its social media marketing effort.

The marketing, PR and customer service departments need to be in the loop.

#5. You don’t have a plan

In many companies, the decision to jump on the social bandwagon is an emotional one, not one that’s the result of thinking and planning. This results in a social presence that is always run on improvisation and seat-of-the-pants creativity. An unplanned approach can result in lost opportunities. For instance, if your business doesn’t have an editorial calendar for your social media presence, you may simply neglect to say something important and relevant when the Super Bowl comes around, when the back-to-school shopping season starts and so on.


Sometimes, businesses manage to be unsuccessful without making any of these mistakes. This can come from unwillingness to try anything new. The most important thing with putting your business on a social network is to be engaged and to constantly try to find a way to reach out to your customer base and be relevant to them.

Top Tech Trends – 2013 Annual | Library Information Technology Association (LITA)

Top Tech Trends – 2013 Annual


  • DIY Library eBook Platforms
  • Digital Rights Management
  • Discovery and rights determination
  • MOOCs, flipped classrooms, and gamification fatigue
  • Linked data
  • Makerspaces
  • Data collection and data mining



How InforMedia Services fits in this new structure of LRS

The old concept of book-oriented librarianship has long been taken over by user-centred librarianship (p. 133)

Academic libraries are therefore, to support the three main institutional activities teaching, learning and research of their academic community staff, students and researchers.

Table 1:

  • liaisons (IMS did do it, can do it)
  • 24/7 online and virtual reference services (IMS did do it, can do it)
  • To support education (IMS did do it, can do it)
outreach programming (p. 135). IMS needs to transform poorly visited workshops into outreach programming.

Open and Distance Learning (ODL), learning management systems, M-Learning, online education venture, virtual campus and Flipped Classrooms (p. 136). IMS (as I repeat for years now), must be in charge of the online education, and under its umbrella, D2L and other technologies must be put, not the other way around.

Social Media (p. 137). IMS must be ahead of LRS, who needs to be ahead of the compus in social media.

If we support the second school of thought (p. 138) and the premise : “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one” (Gaiman, n.d.),” IMS must join LRS, namely changing with the academic librarians from an old-fashioned book worm (librarians) or PowerPoint “expert” (specific IMS member right now0 to digital experts. Which means that D2L MUST BE gradually abandoned as the foremost if not only responsibility of IMS and IMS and its members must move into social media, web design and development and interactivity (versus multimedia only)


Top 10 Social Media Management Tools: beyond Hootsuite and TweetDeck

Top 10 Social Media Management Tools


HootSuite is the most popular social media management tool for people and businesses to collaboratively execute campaigns across multiple social networks like Facebook and Twitter from one web-based dashboard. Hootsuite has become an essential tool for managing social media, tracking conversations and measuring campaign results via the web or mobile devices. Hootsuite offers a free, pro and enterprise solution for managing unlimited social profiles, enhanced analytics, advanced message scheduling, Google Analytics and Facebook insights integration.
My note: HS is worth considering because of the add-ons for Firefox and Chrome and the Hootlet
Notes from a phone conversation with Robert Fougner
Enterprise Development Representative  |  HootSuite
778-300-1850 Ex 4545
Jeff Woods with SCSU Communications does NOT use HS, neither Tom Nelson with SCSU Athletics. Two options: HS Pro and HS Enterprise. HS Pro: $10/m. Allows two users and once per month statistical output. Up to 50 social media accounts (list under App Directory). 50 SM accounts can be used not only for dissemination of information or streamlining the reception and digestion of information, but also for analytics from other services (can include in itself even Google Analytics), as well as repository (e.g., articles, images etc.) on other cloud services (e.g. Dropbox, Evernote etc.). Adding any other user account costs additional $10/m and can keep going up, until the HS Enterprise option becomes more preferable.
HS has integration with most of the prominent SM tools
HS has social media coaches, who can help not only with the technicalities of using HS but with brainstorming ideas for creative application of HS
HS has HS University, which deals with classroom instructors.


Buffer is a smart and easy way to schedule content across social media. Think of Buffer like a virtual queue you can use to fill with content and then stagger posting times throughout the day. This lets you keep to a consistent social media schedule all week long without worrying about micro-managing the delivery times. The Bufferapp also provides analytics about the engagement and reach of your posts.
My notes: power user -$10/m, business – $50/m. Like HS, it can manage several accounts of Twitter, FB,  and LinkedIn, Does NOT support G+

According to Mary Janitsch

“Buffer is designed more as a layer on top of whatever tools you already use, we see a lot of customers use both together very easily”

According to
25 accounts / 5 members = $50/m

According to blog note at, ( is similar to Buffer, but free.

Buffer integration to Google Reader

What’s the difference between Hootsuite and Bufferapp?

Hootsuite provides a more complete solution that allows you to schedule updates and monitor conversations, whereas Buffer isn’t a dashboard that shows you other people’s content. However, Bufferapp has superior scheduling flexibility over Hootsuite because you can designate very specific scheduling times and change patterns throughout the week. Hootsuite recently introduced an autoschedule feature that automatically designates a scheduling time based on a projected best time to post. This can be effective to use, but doesn’t have the same flexibility as Buffer since you don’t really know when a post will be scheduled till after doing so. What’s the right solution for you? Many people use both Hootsuite (to listen) and Bufferapp (to schedule), including me, and it really depends on your posting needs. In my opinion though, if Hootsuite we’re to introduce more scheduling options this could spell trouble for Buffer! But then again, Buffer could be working on some cool new dashboard that would rival Hootsuite’s offering, time will only tell.


SocialOomph is a neat web tool that provides a host of free and paid productivity enhancements for social media. You can do a lot with the site which includes functions for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Plurk and your blog. There are a ton of useful Twitter features like scheduling tweets, tracking keyword, viewing mentions and retweets, DM inbox cleanup, auto-follow and auto-DM features for new followers. Social Oomph will auto-follow any new follower of yours on Twitter if you like, which could save you a ton of time if you normally like to reciprocate follows. Social Oomph is so effective at increasing social media productivity that I use the site every day but haven’t had any reason to actually log in there since last year!
My notes: Canadian company. started with Twitter, expanded to FB and LIn and keeps expanding (blogs). Here are the Pro/Free/ features:
for the paid option only-submit social updates via email, blog posts. TweetCockPIT for managing several accounts, unlimited Twitter accounts. FB, LinkedIn
$27.26 Monthly
Hootsuite Vs SocialOomph – FOR SO
Hootsuite Vs SocialOomph – FOR HS
More + reviews and features for SO – As a start-up organisation, if you want to keep your cost low and manage social media, SocialOomph can be your best choice as you can use it for free for a stipulated time – see also the pros and cons


Tweetdeck is a web and desktop solution to monitor and manage your Twitter feeds with powerful filters to focus on what matters. You can also schedule tweets and stay up to date with notification alerts for new tweets. Tweetdeck, who was purchased by Twitter, is available for Chrome browsers, as well as Windows and Mac desktops. Recently they closed down their mobile apps to re-shift focus on the web and desktop platforms.
My notes: I abandonded TD for HS about an year ago, because of the same problem: no mobile app. Also, TweetDeck deals only with Twitter accounts, not other social media


Tweepi is a unique management tool for Twitter that lets you flush unfollowers, cleanup inactives, reciprocate following and follow interesting new tweeps! The pro version allows you to do bulk follow/unfollow actions of up to 200 users at a time making it a pretty powerful tool for Twitter management.
My notes: $7.99 for up to 100 followers and 14.99 for up to 200. Twitter only, but unique features, which the other SMT don’t have


Social Flow is an interesting business solution to watch real-time conversation on social media in order to predict the best times for publishing content to capture peak attention from target audiences. Some major publishers use Social Flow which includes National Geographic, Mashable, The Economist and The Washington Post to name a few. Social Flow offers a full suite of services that looks to expand audience engagement and increase revenue per customer. In addition to its Cadence and Crescendo precision products, SocialFlow conducts an analysis of social signals to help identify where marketers should spend money on Promoted Tweets, Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories, extending the reach and engagement for Twitter and Facebook paid strategies.
My notes:  This tool is too advanced and commercial for entry level social media group such as LRS


Sproutsocial is a powerful management and engagement platform for social business. Sprout Social offers a single stream inbox designed to help you never miss a message, and tools to seamlessly post, colloborate and schedule messages to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The platform also has monitoring tools and rich analytics to help you visualize important metrics.
My notes: shareware app (one month), $59/m for the cheapest (up to 20 profiles)
By far the most expensive, but also the most promising-looking


SocialBro helps businesses learn how to better target and engage with their audience on Twitter. It provides tools to browse your community and identify key influencers, determine when the best time to tweet is, track engagement and analyze your competitors. Socialbro analyzes the timelines of your followers to generate a report showing you when the optimal time to tweet is that would reach the maximum amount of followers for more retweets and replies.


Cowdbooster offers a set of no-nonsense social media analytics with suggestions and resources to boost your online engagement. The platform provides at-a-glance analytics, recommendations for engagement and timing, audience insights and content scheduling to optimize delivery.

My notes:  free version available.
CB vs HS:

  • Much simpler to use and understand : +
  • Free version only allows for one Twitter account and one Facebook account : -
  • Upgrades allow for more accounts, but still only Twitter and Facebook (no other social media types) : –
  • No social media feed : –
  • Provides suggestions on when to post content based on when followers and friends are most active : +

Ricky here from Crowdbooster. I am a big fan of your entrepreneurial career. We are positioned a little bit differently from Hootsuite, and as far as doing the required daily management, you may still need to use Hootsuite. What we do well is making sense of the analytics, and giving you real-time feedback about how you can improve your content, timing, and engagement. We also do some of the listening for you so you don’t have to always stare at the firehose that Hootsuite brings to you, that way we can help give you some slack as far as knowing when influencers decide to follow you, etc. We work with, not just yet, but using can help us look into your click data to suggest, for example, best places to curate your content.

10 ArgyleSocial

Identify and engage with more prospects, qualify and quantify better leads, and build and maintain stronger relationships by linking social media actions to the marketing platforms you’re already using.

My notes: More on the sale side.

11.  Sendible

My notes:

startup, $39.99/m, business $70, Corp, $100, premium, $500
Solo plan, $10 with 8 services:

12. Cyfe

My notes:

$19 per month ($14 per month if paid annually). Unlimited everything: accounts, data experts, viw data past 30 days, custom logo,

13. GrabinBox

Not sure which social media tool you should choose? If you want an advanced platform with advanced features that can handle most of your accounts, you might want to opt for a paid membership to HootSuite or Crowdbooster. If you’d be fine with more basic features (which might be better for beginners with only a couple accounts to manage) GrabinBox might be a better fit for you.

My notes:

14. Google Reader


My notes: App.Net and Plurk
Also, looking a the SMMTools, one can acquire a clear picture what is trending as social media tools (just by seeing what is allowed to be handled): Twitter, FB, LinkedIn.

Topsy (