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Incorporate Technology in Classrooms: Introduce ICT in Education

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

As the advent of laptops and broadband services have given a whole new meaning to innovation in technology and access to internet, ample of people these days, from across the globe are spending more time online, performing different chores like e-shopping and boosting their entrepreneurial activities from the comfort zone of their home. The list is not just limited to that, but also listening to radio, playing e-games, using social media sites, or chats online with their loved ones, all that also falls in this category. If we look meticulously, each one of us has one active email account on Yahoo, Google and Hotmail. Moreover youngsters are seen to be more inclined towards internet addiction these days, particularly towards the latest inventions like iPad and the other newest forms of technology.

We mostly use technology either to have fun, to stay in connection with our loved ones or for business purposes, but have you ever wondered how often have we used it in our education? Are your school systems and technology advanced enough that your children are submitting their assignments through email or online? Are your teachers so up-to-date with the latest technology that they are taking help of presentations and documentaries available online to teach students from primary and secondary levels instead of just adhering to the allocated syllabus and documentaries? Most probably you must’ve never pondered over it! Before we shed light over why not, we must first look into why we should use Information and Communications Technology (ICT) into our classrooms.

When integrated into classrooms ICT does not only add immense value to the quality of your teaching but also offers a holistic learning experience for pupils. This form of technology makes education much easier and visual for children, saves their time, and opens more avenues for young scholars to make their assignments more creatively and productively. If incorporated wisely into the system, this form of technology can make complicated and trivialized concepts more comprehensible and simple for children. Moreover this facility will also give them the opportunity to become a part of the IT village globally, improving their communication and technical skills.

ICT also makes any topic more interesting, as teachers get a wide-selection of pictures, movies, spreadsheets and the online quizzes to conduct with their lesson plans. With the interactive classroom sessions and student participation one can be certain that this technology elevates the prospects for any institution of producing well-informed and tech savvy individuals who are enough competent enough to survive in the saturated job market of the 21st century.

This brings our attention to the fact that if ICT can help a teaching system that much then why it hasn’t been incorporated yet. This is perhaps because many teachers treat ICT as a stand-alone activity. They don’t consider it important enough to make it a part of their lesson plans and the curriculum. Most of the teachers even these days prefer using a white board or a black board to explain all the topics. This conventional way of teaching certainly works. However students face innumerable dilemmas in memorizing the concepts for longer time spans and forget them as soon as their term gets over.

It would be better if teachers encourage children to participate into online activities, graphs, videos, templates, databases, graphs, and presentations in their lesson plans to make all the explanations more clear and engaging. Such resources are conveniently available on various educational portals that are user-friendly and offer convenient services to the users.

Students can also be encouraged to write online essays, reports, observations and essays. With the latest invention of Google Pixel it has now become more convenient for them to plan, organize, draft and proof read their present work and save it with minimal errors.

With ICT the most boring subjects like mathematics and science can also bring life to their most boring lessons. For example instead of drawing the pie and bar charts on the whiteboard, which are mostly not even clear, they can garner data online or through textbooks and MS Word and explain it through charts on PowerPoint or Word to give in-depth details to students on a particular topic. On their end also this will help them to represent their data professionally in different colleges, universities, and various other work places in the longer term in their career.

If practiced rationally, ICT can reshape the face of entire education system. However to achievement of this goal requires meticulous planning of the structure that can bring positive difference in the ways our students learn.

A 3-Part Process to Simplify Your Content Marketing (and You’ll Know Exactly What to Write)

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Content Marketing is not just a weekly writing exercise. You actually need to produce something that drives traffic and conversion.

Sure, you gotta write about a topic that makes you tick. Otherwise, the lack of enthusiasm will come through loud and clear.

Yet, you also need to make sure that the topic is relevant to your ideal audience.

Coming up with content ideas every… single… week could feel like pulling teeth.

Not anymore if you have my favorite content strategy document by your side…

This 3-part process also solves the mystery as to why those “buyer personas” (aka ideal client profile, avatar) aren’t quite working for you, yet…

There’s nothing wrong with constructing a buyer persona. And you aren’t doing anything wrong.

You’re missing the next two pieces of the puzzle… because, somehow, many marketing training and programs make you do the persona exercise and leave you hanging.

As a coach, consultant, solopreneur or small business owner, you need a strategy document you can act on, not an elaborate PowerPoint to present to the boss who’d take it to the boss of the boss.

Parsing through pages of documentation is counter-productive.

In this article, my goal is not to show you how to create the most comprehensive content strategy document that’s ever existed, or one used to market a Fortune 500 company.

I’ll show you how to capture the most pertinent information and streamline the research and best practices into something digestible and actionable. Your Content Mapping document will be succinct and useful – it’ll be something you can pass onto any freelancer or contractor to ensure consistent content creation and promotion.

The Content Mapping document is made up of three components and it’ll show you exactly what content to create for your business:

1. Buyer Persona

Yep, you need that.

However, many cookie-cutter buyer persona questions are BORING and less than helpful.

If you aren’t getting any inspiration from the run-of-the-mill templates that ask you to fill in age, race, income and marital status, try this:

Tell a story about the persona to describe her situation in relation to how your product or service is relevant (if you have different offerings, tell a story for each) -

What’s she thinking, how’s she feeling and what’s she doing? What’s her desired outcome, and how would it make her think, feel and act?

What has she done to try to solve her challenges? What worked, what didn’t, and how is your approach different from everything she has tried?

Congratulation, you just figured out why you’re relevant to your ideal client, how you can uniquely position yourself and how to get through to her from an audience-centric angle.

2. Customer Journey

Your customers or clients will go through a “lifecycle” with stages from first encountering you to making the decision to purchase from you.

Together, they make up the customer journey. To make it more organic, consider it from a storytelling perspective: explore your ideal client’s hero’s journey and how you can deliver transformation at each stage for them.

Typically, the three stages are Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.

At each stage, your potential clients are looking for different content, tools, and resources to help them. For example:

In the Awareness stage, they’re searching for solutions to a problem, but they don’t know that you exist. You could attract these people to your website by creating content that presents a solution to that challenge.

(For practitioners with a unique approach or esoteric modality, I often recommend adding some extra educational or “initiation” content to introduce a set of vocabulary to help your audience articulate their challenges and desired outcome, while positioning your expertise’s ability to deliver the results.)

In the Consideration stage, your potential clients are weighing different options to solve their problems. Let’s say they’re trying to lose weight – they could work with a health coach or they could go for diet pills. They’re searching for content to help them understand the pros and cons of their options.

In the Decision stage, they’ve selected a solution and looking for someone to provide that solution. They’re looking for content to show them why they need to choose one provider over the other one.

Content targeted to customers in each stage speaks to what they need answers for – telling them what they need to know about themselves, you and your products or services – in order to move to the next step.

3. Content Mapping

After you’ve gotten clear on your buyer persona and the customer journey, you can create a grid and fill in the blanks.

You’re mapping out the different stages progressed through by each persona and you have the structure to come up with content ideas that address any particular stage for a specific persona.

But why stop here? You have to promote your content for it to be effective. You can make a note on where you want to distribute the content for it to be most effective.

For awareness stage, you’re more likely to be driving cold-ish traffic via social media posts, ads or PPC. For the later stages, you may put email marketing and retargeting ads into the mix because you’d be addressing an audience who already knows something about you.

This may take a little research on the audience or a bit of digging into your existing data. Don’t get to hung up on getting it perfect… you gotta start somewhere and when you start implementing you can always come back to fine-tune your strategy.

The channel of content distribution can, in turn, inform how you deliver the content. E.g. if your persona hangs out on Instagram or Pinterest, you’d probably want to put some focus on visual content.

4. Additional Ideas

While you’re putting this document together, you’ll probably come up with ideas that you’d want to elaborate on yet don’t fit into the content mapping framework.

You can capture theses ideas or information as an appendix to your document – e.g. promotional channels, content formats, title brainstorming, brand voice, graphic elements etc.

Last but not least, make this a living, breathing document so your persona and content idea evolve as you and your business grow.