Mobile Apps Educating Teachers and Students

guestposter
Posted on in Inspiration

The classroom environment has changed dramatically in the last few years.

Dog-eared workbooks and paper registers are being replaced as teachers and students alike embrace smart phones and tablets, with some schools providing devices for use in the classroom, while others embrace a “bring your own device” philosophy.

The growth of mobile devices and mobile apps in the classroom is good news for teachers and students, encouraging a more interactive and responsive learning environment and helping teachers to deliver lessons more effectively.

What are some of the ways in which mobile apps can improve the learning process for teachers and students?

Mobile Apps Allow Teachers to Deliver More Engaging Classes

One of the advantages of using mobile apps in the classroom is the ability to create more engaging materials for students, delivering lessons in a way that encourages involvement and discussion.

Mobile apps mean that teachers can deliver multimedia such as video, images and slideshows direct to students’ mobile devices.

Apps also make it easier to involve students by using chat apps for group discussions, both in the classroom and out of it, and delivering interactive quizzes that students can answer in real time.

As well as making the materials more interesting and encouraging student involvement rather than passive learning, delivering materials via apps makes it easier to make them available anywhere, any time. This is a real boon for students who have missed a lesson or who want to brush up on what they’ve been learning.

Mobile Apps Make it Easier to Track Student Progress

Mobile apps are revolutionizing the way teachers keep track of their class and their students’ progress.

By using mobile apps, teachers can access a wealth of information on each student such as statistics on grades and performance.

Grade tracking and reports are not only useful for teachers, but can be sent to parents or to the students themselves to show them how they are doing and help isolate areas where they need more support.

Mobile apps bring a real time element to student assessment, with teachers able to see at once how students are doing in quizzes administered via apps and add instant notes during assessments and group activities instead of relying on memory.

Using apps this way gives teachers the chance to respond to student’s needs in real time until waiting until a later grading session to see who is getting it and who needs extra support.

Teachers can also compile portfolios for each student, which is great for tracking and also offers students a visual record of how their school year is going, encouraging improvement.

Mobile Apps Make Online Learning More Straightforward

As “Who Teaches Distance Learning Classes?” points out, a vital part of distance and online learning is being able to access materials and submit assessments online.

Mobile apps make this process a cinch, allowing teachers to upload materials for students, and making it easy for students to upload assessments, which their teachers can then grade using one of the many available grading apps.

Mobile apps work well for courses that are entirely distance learning based, but also have practical applications for physical classes.

Teachers can supplement in-person teaching with back up materials delivered via mobile apps and students can do some of their learning and assessment outside of the classroom environment, encouraging flexibility for students and teachers alike.

When it comes to delivering a better education, mobile apps can make a big difference, creating a more flexible, interactive and enjoyable learning environment for students while giving teachers’ instant and useful feedback.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as Cloud computing, mobile apps, marketing and education.

5 Benefits of Mobile Marketing

Donna Vieira
Posted on in Inspiration

Mobile is the next big thing in marketing, and it is here now. Why should you mobilize your content? Here are five reasons!

  1. QR Codes on Direct Mailers. When you mobilize your content, you should have QR codes for people to scan. Using QR Codes on direct mailers has become a popular trend because now you can encourage people to take further steps towards using your products or services. With your direct mailer QR Code, you can send people to all types of mobilized content that will give them more incentive to take action. Offer a mobilized coupon, event registration form, survey or a mobilized purchase form. QR Codes that send people to mobilized landing pages allows your audience to take these actions quickly and easily from their phone. By using a straightforward, mobilized format for your content, it will spike response rates and impress and your audience.
  2. Interactive Marketing Opportunities. Having mobilized content allows for users to interact directly with your company and submit information right to your database. Offer incentives for customers to supply their email address, or give surveys that can be easily taken right from a phone. You can add these opportunities on any type of printed piece- trade show posters, direct mailers, brochures and more. Use your mobilized content as a tool to compile information and better service for the needs of your consumers.
  3. Smart Phone Prominence. You have seen the statistics by now. Smart phone numbers are through the roof. Mobile marketing isn’t a niche anymore; it is a massive segment of the population.
  4. No More Zooming and Scrolling. Smart phone website viewing can be a hassle. Zooming in to read microscopic text and then scrolling left to right to read just one line is awkward and unpleasant. Having mobile optimized websites, landing pages and content alleviates this problem. A mobile optimized site is designed to be read on a smart phone with minimal scrolling and no zooming necessary. Give your eyes a break!
  5. Get the Word Out! A mobile website is a great way to get out all the information you want to bring to your potential customers. And a mobile website also allows you to have additional pages, or sites, devoted specifically to particular services or products. Different QR codes can lead customers to different pages. Be creative! The possibilities are endless.

Mobile Apps Becoming Part of the Health Insurance Market

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Posted on in Inspiration

As health insurance evolves, it only makes sense that the technology behind insurance marketing evolves right along with it.

With that said, many insurance providers are turning to mobile apps to help make their companies run smoother and make their customers’ lives easier as well.

With health on-the-go in mind, here are a handful of handheld ways mobile apps are becoming a convenient part of the health insurance market:

Mobility Makes Life Easier

For customers, changing an insurance policy, finding a physician within network, and scheduling a checkup must be a hassle-free process. Mobile health insurance apps make it easier for customers to navigate their policies and take full advantage of their benefits.

What this means for insurers’ is the ability to develop easy-to-use, intuitive apps in order to land more customers while keeping the ones they already have.

When choosing a health insurance plan, customers should look for companies that provide well-rounded apps with customer service in mind. Likewise, insurance companies should develop apps with unique features.

Physician Network Searches

Having health insurance is one thing, but finding the right doctor within your network is something else entirely. Because of this, more and more customers are setting their sights on insurance companies that provide apps with intuitive network search features.

Network search features allow customers to perform a quick search of all the doctors in their network from their mobile device.

Many apps, like the myCigna mobile app, can quickly and accurately search for physicians based on the customer’s health background.

In addition, many health insurance apps can find network physicians based on the customer’s current location, which takes mobile health to new heights.

On-The-Go Coverage and Benefits

Well-informed customers are happy customers and mobile health insurance apps are helping to keep customers up-to-date on their coverage and benefits.

This is a good thing for insurance companies as well because it decreases claim and billing disputes by helping customers keep track of their coverage in the moment.

For example, the Aetna Mobile app allows customers to review their premiums and deductibles as well as their plan benefits from anywhere. Additionally, the app allows customers to also make adjustments to their coverage without having to make a phone call.

Staying Connected

In the past, customers had to jump through hoops just to get a question across to their primary care doctor.

But, insurance companies like Kaiser Permanente provide apps that keep patients and doctors better connected. The KP mobile app allows insurance customers to email their physician with non-urgent questions and health advice directly from their mobile device.

Likewise, the KP mobile app and many others allow customers to directly schedule, cancel, and view available appointments and checkups. This helps streamline the customer’s healthcare experience and the doctor’s schedule.

Emergency Contact Sharing

Many mobile apps on the market also feature emergency contact sharing.

Customers can designate an emergency contact via their mobile app and, if a health issue ever does arise, all of that customer’s medical information is made available for their emergency contact. This cuts down on paperwork and alleviates some of the stress involved with emergency situations.

From constant contact to on-the-go coverage, it’s plain to see that mobile apps truly are becoming a huge part of the health insurance market.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including personal health and insurance.

Making the Most of Your QR Codes

John Foley, Jr.
Posted on in Inspiration

Nowadays, marketing and advertising your business is becoming more technical-literally. Technology is taking over the entire system making it necessary to utilize. Millions of people are using their smartphones to access websites, read blog posts, and get coupons or special deals for local businesses. By learning how to incorporate QR codes into your marketing method, you can reach more customers.

What Are QR Codes?

QR code stands for Quick Response code. It is a two-dimensional (2D) barcode made up on square pixels, instead of the bars in a traditional barcode. They can be scanned from any device that has a barcode scanner, such as a smartphone or tablet. QR codes are currently used in social media and mobile marketing, as scanning it offers a number of benefits.

The Benefits of QR Codes

With QR codes, you and your customer are benefiting from the exchange. You are getting more clicks to your website, blog, or social media network. This gives you the opportunity to talk about new products, deals and other important information. It also helps with generating sales leads and having users sign up for your mailing list. Users and customers benefit by getting exclusive discount codes and the first look at new promotions.

Making Everything Mobile-Friendly

To start off, make sure your QR code is mobile friendly. This should seem obvious, but during the testing stage, you will make sure all codes can be scanned by a mobile device. The scanning of the code and where it points to should be applicable with a mobile device, whether it’s linking to a coupon, blog post, social media profile or product page. Keep in mind the size of the screens so it is easy to use with a smartphone or tablet.

Where to Place QR Codes

Next, do some target customer research and find out where your customers are most likely to access the QR codes. The four most popular places to scan a QR code are magazines, product packaging, mail and posters. Start there and find out what magazines, promotional materials or packaging you can place the QR codes on. For example, local pizza places tend to place QR codes on the insert that comes attached to all pizza boxes.

Write Detailed Instructions

When you are advertising the QR code and trying to get people to click on it, describe how to use it and exactly what they will get. Sure a few people will click a barcode if it isn’t labeled, usually out of curiosity, but the conversion rate is extremely low. Instead, write a blurb near the QR code, explaining where it leads or what the benefit is to using it. This increases the amount of scans it gets exponentially.

Multi-Media Campaigns

QR codes are best when used on multiple campaigns. Don’t just include them on magazines or promotional mailing materials, but everywhere you can. Did you know these barcodes can be scanned through the computer screen and television with a mobile device? They can and should. Include them in emails, websites, blogs, mailing materials, product packaging, and marketing postcards. By utilizing multiple media channels, you’re increasing the number of scans you get.

Include a Call-to-Action (CTA)

Even with QR codes, a call-to-action is important. Your CTA is what takes the user or customer from reading about something to actually doing it. There should CTA where you are placing the QR codes, as well as on the digital product or site it leads to.

Test the QR Codes

Always test your QR codes; not only when you first develop it, but gradually to be sure that it is still working. You’re testing to be sure it works from different devices, including where it leads to. Use more than one mobile device to scan the code, making sure each page works perfectly.

QR codes are a great new piece of technology to include in your marketing plan. They are easy to implement and encourage use by people who often have their phones with them. It is also considered mobile marketing, which continues to grow in popularity due to how many people use their phones or tablets on a daily basis.

Pick an Easy To Use Solution

Solutions like QReateandTrack.com allow you to choose your media (email, web address, map, v-card, etc.) and customize your QR code with colors and images.

Don’t Stop Learning!

TheQRToolkit.com has a lot of great resources for you to continue learning about QR codes.

3 Tips for a Successful Mobile Website

Donna Vieira
Posted on in General

Taking the leap towards a mobile website is a big step. Maximize your investment by including these three essentials components into your new mobile site.

Keep Your Branding Consistent

Your mobile site is another medium that your company can use to engage with potential customers. Keep the same branding and color scheme that your existing website has. This helps with recall and recognition, two critical components of any advertising or marketing strategy. Visitors will also know right away that they are on the site they’re looking for- yours!

Calls To Action

Much like your desktop website, you want your mobile site to inspire some action from viewers. A mobile site offers the opportunity for commerce and immediate data collection. Give viewers the ability to sign up for newsletters or other initiatives. One great feature is “click to call”. Display your phone number on your site, and one click dials the number. Now that is instant gratification.

Navigation Ease

A smartphone screen isn’t excessively large, and a lot of us need glasses to read their phones (ahem). So don’t defeat the purpose of a mobile-optimized website by squeezing tiny text onto a page and adding small buttons and links. Eliminate the need for scrolling and zooming. Also, think about the type of content you are adding to your mobile website. Everything should be simplified. If your website has 3-5 paragraphs on a page, you may want to cut that down to just a few sentences.

5 Reasons Why You Need to Be Mobile

John Foley, Jr.
Posted on in Inspiration

Mobile is the next big thing in marketing, and it is here now. Why should you mobilize your content? Here are five reasons!

QR Codes On Direct Mailers

When you mobilize your content, you should have QR codes for people to scan. Using QR codes on direct mailers has become a popular trend because now you can encourage people to take further steps towards using your products or services. With your direct mailer QR code, you can send people to all types of mobilized content that will give them more incentive to take action. Offer a mobilized coupon, event registration form, survey or a mobilized purchase form. QR codes that send people to mobilized landing pages allows your audience to take these actions quickly and easily from their phone. By using a straightforward, mobilized format for your content, it will spike response rates and impress and your audience.

Interactive Marketing Opportunities

Having mobilized content allows for users to interact directly with your company and submit information right to your database. Offer incentives for customers to supply their email address, or give surveys that can be easily taken right from a phone. You can add these opportunities on any type of printed piece- trade show posters, direct mailers, brochures and more. Use your mobilized content as a tool to compile information and better service for the needs of your consumers.

Smart Phone Prominence

You have seen the statistics by now. Smart phone numbers are through the roof. Mobile marketing isn’t a niche anymore; it is a massive segment of the population.

No More Zooming and Scrolling

Smart phone website viewing can be a hassle. Zooming in to read microscopic text and then scrolling left to right to read just one line is awkward and unpleasant. Having mobile optimized websites, landing pages and content alleviates this problem. A mobile optimized site is designed to be read on a smart phone with minimal scrolling and no zooming necessary. Give your eyes a break!

Get the Word Out!

A mobile website is a great way to get out all the information you want to bring to your potential customers. And a mobile website also allows you to have additional pages, or sites, devoted specifically to particular services or products. Different QR codes can lead customers to different pages. Be creative! The possibilities are endless.

4 Tips to Keep Your Emails Mobile Friendly

Donna Vieira
Posted on in Inspiration

In this day and age, more and more consumers are checking their emails on their mobile phones. In fact, according to Litmus, an impressive 49 percent of email is read on a mobile device.

While this is not too surprising, too many businesses fail to consider the way that people read their email. While content should still take priority, the way that the email will be displayed and read can no longer be forgotten. If your business has not optimized your emails for mobile users, now is the time to start.

  1. Choose a Responsive Design

    Large images and blocks of text that look great when arranged on webpages can easily run off the screen on smaller mobile devices. With responsive design, your content will automatically display at the right size no matter which device your reader uses.

  2. Use a One-Column Layout

    When viewed on a mobile device, the content in email columns will either run off the screen, display in a small size that is impossible to read, or display with one column on top of the other. Choose a one-column design to ensure that your content is readable.

  3. Size and Place Links Appropriately

    Clicking on links with a mobile device can be tricky. Reduce reader frustration by making links big enough to click, by keeping links far enough apart so people don’t accidentally click on the wrong one, and by keeping links away from the bottom righthand corner of the screen, where it is uncomfortable to click.

  4. Limit Photos

    Not only do large photos increase a page’s loading time, which can negatively impact the chances of readers accessing your email, but some mobile platforms, such as Android, turn images off by default. Limit photos and don’t forget to include image descriptions.

Optimizing emails for mobile viewing doesn’t have to be difficult; businesses just need to remember to do it. Use these four tips today and your customers will thank you.

Things to Avoid on Your Mobile Site

John Foley, Jr.
Posted on in Inspiration

Creating a relevant mobile website is essential for any company. As more individuals make use of tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices to stay in touch and keep up with the latest information, your mobile website must consider the changing needs of customers. Although the first step is setting up mobile compatibility, businesses also need to avoid certain mistakes.

Cut the Clutter

The first mistake that many mobile websites do not consider is the possibility for clutter to take up the entire space on a mobile device. Mobile devices, in general, are smaller than a desktop or laptop computer. A tablet or a smartphone does not have the space to make clutter useful.

Clean up the design by removing any unnecessary formatting designs. Use a design template that is appropriate for mobile devices so that the layout and appearance is clean and easy to navigate.

Remove Flash

Although Flash is a great way to incorporate images and video content on a basic website, it was not developed to work with mobile devices. As a result, it can slow down load times and create complications when your visitors are looking at a mobile website that uses Flash.

Avoid Flash on your mobile website and use a different image solution to ensure that the loading times are reasonable.

Forgetting the Operating Systems

Mobile devices do not use the same operating systems, so the type of Internet solutions and methods of browsing information will differ. You need to consider the different types of operating systems before working on mobile content. You want to ensure that your format and program is compatible with multiple devices.

Mobile websites are not the same as a basic online website because the devices have different operating systems, methods of processing data and screen sizes. Avoid using services and templates that are designed for a basic website and opt for specialized templates and designs to avoid clutter and keep the information relevant to a mobile device.

Keeping Social Links Mobile Friendly

Donna Vieira
Posted on in Inspiration

As the use of mobile technology continues to grow, users are constantly using their devices to check social networking sites on the go. In fact, according to Morgan Stanley, mobile web use will be bigger than desktop Internet usage by 2015. This statistic becomes easy to understand when you consider how mobile friendly the Internet is becoming. More and more websites are using every resource they can to optimize the mobile user’s experience, from developing apps to optimizing their entire site for mobile use.

However, there is one particular area that sometimes gets overlooked: links within mobile social sites. All too often, mobile users encounter unclickable links within their social networking apps. There’s every chance that it worked just fine when you checked it from your desktop, but mobile linking works a bit differently.

For example, if you were to upload a picture to a photo album on Facebook and provide a link to your website in the caption, mobile users wouldn’t be able to follow it. They might have the ability to copy the link text, open their phone’s Internet browser, paste the link into the window, and navigate to your site that way, but would they? Probably not. The whole point of mobile browsing is that it’s supposed to be convenient, especially within social media sites where we can share things with a single click.

Another issue social mobile users encounter is strings of URL instead of a simple link tag for pictures or web pages. These links may be functional insofar as they take the user where you want them to be, but they’re unsightly and unprofessional. The average mobile user might even mistake your social link for something malicious if they can’t tell exactly what it is they’re clicking on and where it will take them.

It’s more important now than it ever has been for links provided on these social sites to be optimized for mobile users—if they can’t access your content on their phones, they probably won’t access it at all.

5 Tips for Creating a Mobile Contest

John Foley, Jr.
Posted on in Inspiration

Marketers are continually looking for ways to engage visitors and draw in new clients. One innovative way to do this is with a cool mobile contest. However, all too many fail to “go viral” and barely make a ripple in the vast pond of the social media world. A mobile contest requires optimal planning, good management and close follow-up. These five steps can help you create a successful mobile contest.

Choose Goals, Time Frame, and Budget

Are you looking for more reach, better branding, Facebook Likes, or new product sales? Choose specific goals for the contest and decide on a time frame and budget that fits. Your contest should make sense for your company and contribute to specific business goals.

Dream Up a Shareable Contest


Here’s the fun part! Design a contest that complements your brand, business, and goals. Some ideas might include a trivia contest (put clues or answers on your website to drive traffic there), offering prizes for sharing your content, or a photo or meme-creation contest. Allow users to vote on other contributions – it could generate a lot of buzz and even “go viral.” Grow your Facebook community by only allowing those who “Like” your page to have access. Overall, the key is to keep things fairly simple, attention-grabbing, fun, and with an incentive to share the contest via social media.

Build Your Contest


Once your contest is designed, you’ll have to build it. If you’re adept at programming, you can build an application from scratch; you can also use a customizable tool, or outsource the entire process to a developer. Whatever choice you make, make sure that the end result is a contest that users can readily understand and will want to share.

Test on Mobile Devices


Since this is a mobile contest, compatibility across a range of mobile devices is key. Test and re-test your contest on a variety of smartphone and tablet platforms to ensure it works great on each.

Spread the Word


Once it’s polished and tested, it’s time to launch your contest. From there, you should publish new posts about it via e-newsletters and social media at least three times per week for its duration. Talk about the prize(s) and generate buzz by showing current or previous winners. Include calls to action and make it easily “shareable” to get maximum users involved.

When the contest is over, crunch the numbers, assess your results, learn from the experience – then get ready to plan your next mobile contest!