Tablets Will Transform the Classroom


Neil Johnston is managing director at Store Van Music. Neil is an award winning young entrepreneur and composer who specializes in a breakthrough link between the music industry and education. You can find out more about his pioneering work by following him on Facebook and Twitter.

Apple released the original iPad to consumers in April 2010, sparking the tablet computer frenzy that we see in full-swing today. Twenty-one months later, we’re facing the potential launch year of the much-rumored iPad 3, not to mention numerous competitor tablets from all of the major device manufacturers.

Alongside these changes, forward-thinking educators are taking risks by distributing tablets in schools, in the hopes that the glimpses of efficiency we have seen to-date can continue to evolve for the long-term, changing classroom education for the better.

Many schools across the world are well on their way to integrating tablet technology into their daily routines. I receive hundreds of emails every week from teachers, schools and even businesses that are integrating tablets into their working environments. Some schools are choosing to scrap textbooks all together in a pioneering pledge to remain at the forefront of technology. For the first time, schools have the opportunity to no longer be years behind with their classroom technology, but actually to be at the starting line, as the interface continues to evolve into a respectable tool for work purposes.

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5 reasons realtors need to create a mobile app


1. Improve Customer Service: In two touches, your clients can have your phone number and email address ready to go. Those who have smart phones are already living a more efficient way. Everything they want to research is at their fingertips. As a realtor, you want to be easily accessed when a client has a question or concern, and a mobile application can open another form of communication with your valued clients.

2. Distinct Advantage: It is important for you and your business to evolve with the technological advances so you stay ahead of your competition. Adding mobile marketing into your business strategy is really important because it reaches out to a target market that you could be missing out on. This marketing tool is very cost-effective and a great opportunity for your small business.

3. Loan Calculator: This special feature can be a tab added to your application. Your customers are probably concerned about the cost of a monthly mortgage payment, so this would be a great opportunity to be there for them wherever they are. You’d be helping them assess how much they can afford, without having to set up an in-person meeting.

4. Push Notifications: These are sent through your application, to those who have downloaded your app, and appear as a text message would on their phone. Think about how you currently notify your clients about new houses on the market. With an app, you can instantly send out a message to all of your clients informing them about new listings, special offers, and other informative information.

5. Attract New Customers: Think of all the people you know with smart phones. If they are like the majority of users, they spend a good amount of time searching for new and useful apps to download. By making an app for your business, you have the ability to attract new customers that you may have been missing out on.

5 reasons restaurants need to create a mobile app



1. Push notifications

What are push notifications? They’re small messages similar to text messages that are sent to everyone who has your iPhone application downloaded. These can be used to message out deal notifications and keep customers informed on your restaurant. Let them know about burger tuesday or thirsty thursday – the options are endless.

2. Full menu within 2 touches

How many times has someone called with questions about your food? With a mobile app – you can include your entire menu or drinks, food, specials, basically anything your restaurant has.

3. Word of mouth

When you create a mobile application – it creates a buzz of it’s own. Your competitor doesn’t have a mobile application and your customers with smartphones simply love their phones. Use mobile marketing to spark word of mouth.

4. Your customers are willing to put your business in their pocket

A lot of your customers have smartphones and they love downloading and using apps. If you have customers who are willing to walk around with your business in your pocket you should DEFINITELY take advantage of this oppotunity. In fact, you’d be crazy not to.

5. Now You can create a mobile app at an affordable price

A mobile application could be one of the most cost effective marketing tools available. For a very affordable package you can be putting your business in the pockets of your customers to take with them wherever they go. We recommend that you create a restaurant mobile app as soon as possible! 

Next Generation Advertising for Small Businesses

Online advertising has come a long way from annoying pop-ups and seizure-inducing animated banners. Recent technological innovations have enabled brands to deliver ads that are more relevant, more engaging, and more memorable than the gaudy ads of the past. Leveraging these tools can help your business stay ahead of the curve in online marketing and maximize the ROI of your ad budget.

Friends Who Share Together, Buy Together

The holy grail for marketers has always been information—information about people’s interests, their opinions, their tastes and their aspirations. Until recently, this would require conducting in-depth focus groups, sending out mass surveys, or relying upon self-proclaimed market research gurus whose methods and conclusions are questionable at best. 

All of that changed with the rise of social networks, especially Facebook. Facebook is a goldmine of information for advertisers because users willingly share information about themselves. They essentially do the work for you. They will tell you what restaurants they dine at, what events they attend, and which brands they prefer. Every user’s profile contains a wealth of information that will help you target your ads to the right audience to ensure maximum engagement.

The real opportunity in social advertising, however, does not lay in people’s profiles, but in people’s networks (what Facebook calls their “social graph”). Why? Because a recommendation from a friend is one of the most powerful forms of advertising in the world. It’s the classic concept of social proof updated for the digital age.

The results are clear—social ads work. Studies show that ads with a social context (such as “Likes”) led to 68% ad recall, which is substantially higher than the recall for traditional display ads. Even more amazing, users who are shown social ads are 4X more likely to purchase the advertised product. It’s no wonder that some analysts predictthat Facebook will become the largest provider of display advertising by the end of 2011, displacing industry giants like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

Think Outside the Banner



When’s the last time somebody actually enjoyed seeing your ad?

Banners don’t offer many opportunities for engagement; the only thing a user can do to a traditional banner ad is click on it. If the user doesn’t want to click on the ad, they have no other options for interaction, and that’s the end of that.

The new breed of interactive ads, on the other hand, offer users a variety of options for engaging with the ad besides either clicking it or ignoring it. Here are just a few of the features that can be embedded in an interactive ad:

  • Real-time polls
  • Social media feeds from blogs, Twitter, or Facebook
  • A countdown timer
  • A slide deck
  • Forms that users can fill out and submit directly to you
  • A photo slideshow
  • A video overlay via YouTube or Vimeo

These ads catch users’ eyes with their rich media content and interactive features, leading them to pay more attention to the ad, and by association, pay more attention to your brand as well. So now instead of being faced with the black and white choice of click or ignore, users can decide that they want to interact with your ad as well.

Retargeted Ads

Getting noticed online is relatively easy—being remembered is much harder. The average person is exposed to over 3,000 brands a day, and ad recall has been steadily declining over the past few decades as digital media has proliferated and attention spans have dropped. Unfortunately this means that countless ad impressions, and thus ad dollars, are going to waste.

Retargeting addresses this problem by serving your ads to people who have already interacted with your brand in some way, either by opening one of your e-mails, visiting your website, or engaging with your social media presence. Following these interactions, these people will continue to see your ads as they surf the web, even on high-profile sites such as the New York Times and Huffington Post.

How is this wizardry possible? Retargeting firms typically have access to all of the major ad networks, allowing them to serve your ads on virtually any website that features display advertising. As a result, your brand’s online visibility will be magnified immensely, your visitors will be exposed to your ads more often, and return visits and conversions will increase.

As technology advances, so will your audience’s expectations. When it comes to online advertising, what worked yesterday won’t necessarily work tomorrow. Continuous experimentation and innovation is the best way your small business can guarantee that you’ll stay ahead of the curve and ensure your messages resonate with as many people as possible. 

Hafez Adel is a Marketing Associate at ReTargeter, a self-serve display retargeting platform.