ezTask Blog: All things technology!
SEO v. SMO
Oct 24 2012 - 03:09:00 pm
Analyze the differences and learn to make the most of what works for you. Employing one method of optimization can bring results, but the most successful brands artfully manage a balance of both. 

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): the practice of optimizing a web page, both online and off, for the purpose of getting to rank higher in search engines for a desired keyword or set of keywords. 
  • SMO (Social Media Optimization): the practice of optimizing your social media activity for the purpose of drawing visitors into the activity and back to your website. 

Advantages of SEO
Several proven SEO methods exist, but it all really boils down to two things: 
  1. Good, quality content that draws readership and builds credibility.
  2. When a website is full of quality content, it keeps people there reading longer, which proves to the search engines that it is a valuable resource. Keyword research is important, because it helps the search engines figure out where to rank you, but the text on a page should still be targeted to a reader first, and a search engine robot second.

  3. Keyword research and placement, including proper titles and META tags, and good inbound links.
  4. Proper HTML with good titles and META tags to describe the content also helps, because it is not only one of the first things the reader sees to determine if he or she wants to click the link to the site, but it is also one of the first things a search engine robot sees. Good quality inbound links also provide a “vote of confidence” to show the search engines that a website is a broad source of information.

Takeaway: A website that is properly optimized for SEO is easier for people to find in basic web searches. Optimizing for SEO is a good way to bring volumes of web traffic, as search engines basically serve as free advertising.

Advantages of SMO
SMO is a bit newer to the scene as social media networks take the Internet by storm and are quickly becoming the highest ranked sites on the web. There are two different types of optimization methods that can be used:

  1. Add social media to content.
  2. This means inserting buttons on a website which allow visitors to easily share the content they read on their own social media profiles.

  3. Actively participate in social media separate of promoted content.
  4. This step involves creating a Facebook fan page and/or Twitter account to directly interact with audience members and enabling fans to follow the website via social media networks.

Takeaway: Websites that use SMO techniques will experience more traffic, and, more importantly, targeted traffic. Social media helps get the word about a website and its content to the masses, but does so in an interactive manner. Engaging audience members not only connects them to a product or service, but makes them feel more involved, and thus much more likely to make a purchase or follow through on a call to action.
Get the Most Out of Google Chrome
Oct 18 2012 - 09:44:00 am
If you're like us, finding a web browser that does it all (and quickly!) has proven to be quite difficult. We really like the speed of Google Chrome, however, and it's got some pretty sweet features to boot! Check out this article for some quick tips and shortcuts for making the most of your surfing experience. 

Don't forget -- we're on Pinterest, and we LOVE it! Check out our boards for some great tips, tricks, and ideas as well as web inspiration!
In the name of funding...technology to track students in Texas?
Oct 10 2012 - 02:21:00 pm
Here's a controversy for you...

As part of a pilot program, some Texas schools are receiving increased funding by agreeing to outfit students with name tags that double as tracking devices via radio frequency technology. Many students were unaccounted for when on campus but not present in homeroom, costing the schools valuable budget money. With the new ID tags, students whereabouts is tracked more precisely, so that their presence is counted, regardless of where they are on campus.

The benefits outweigh the security risks, say some -- others fear for students' safety and privacy. What do you think? Potential concerns include tracking data getting into the wrong hands, and students' privacy being a little more than limited.

Here's the original article. Is this taking technology a little too far? Let's hear your thoughts!
7 Tips for Designing Mobile Apps for Education
Oct 03 2012 - 08:53:00 am
Check out this article from EDTECH for ways to make sure the mobile apps you design (or use) are right for your classroom or audience. 

71% of students with access to tablets who say they use their device at least once a week; of faculty with access to tablets, 75% use them at least once a week.

The high points:

1. Use apps that directly support course content. 
2. Use sound instructional-design principles when building courses around mobile apps. When designing curriculum for mobile instruction, consider how students will engage with the devices. 
3. Identify key objectives you want students to learn before selecting an app. 
4. Make sure an app is intended for the correct audience and age level.
5. Determine how you will assess learner proficiency prior to deployment. 
6. Use screencasts that show how the app functions prior to deployment. 
7. Integrate the app with existing classroom technologies to aid adoption of the devices into routine teaching and learning. 

(Source)

Click here for an interesting infographic on how technology is enhancing education at all levels.

What do you feel like is the greatest advantage/disadvantage of technology in the classroom?