Pioneering E-Instruction in the Virtual Conference Space

In August 2012, Campaign Consultation executed a comprehensive e-instruction event in a virtual conference space: the first-ever virtual conference hosted by the Corporation for National and Community Service. During this live, online, three-day event, 1500 attendees associated with CNCS’ Senior Corps programs browsed through a virtual space designed to feel like an in-person conference.

Participants entered the conference through a static home page, and found themselves in the middle of a vibrant and shifting virtual world. Entrants came immediately face-to-face with a walking, talking greeting from Dr. Erwin Tan, Director of Senior Corps. From there, attendees could choose to visit an exhibit hall to chat with partner representatives, enter a virtual library to peruse materials and media, drop files into their virtual event bags, and network with colleagues from across the country in a virtual lounge.

Four conference halls hosted live and on-demand presentations of performance measurement curriculum for Senior Corps programs. Presenters integrated video, audio, and slides to facilitate the e-learning experience. Campaign Consultation managed this event from building and designing the venue space, to fitting together the puzzle pieces of the agenda, training presenters and booth representatives, and leading live day participants through the virtual space.

Are you …Learn More

Text a Teen

If you want to get a teen’s attention, send a text message.

That’s the lesson one nonprofit organization has learned and is taking to heart.

Using mobile technology, Do Something (http://www.dosomething.org/) mobilizes teens in civic activities by offering ideas for choosing a cause and engaging in action.  Read the full New York Times story to learn how.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/25/business/25charity.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

Posted by:  Sharon Rabb, Project Specialist …Learn More

QR Codes Work

Have you ever seen those funny little squares that kind of resemble barcodes?  These are QR (Quick Response) Codes.  You may be noticing these more and more – from magazine ads, posters, bus stop stands … you can pretty much find them anywhere.

What do QR Codes do?

QR codes are used to drive traffic from print materials to online materials.  Users can take a picture using their smart phone (for some phones you will have to download a reader) which automatically be displays the site that the code is linked to.  It is very similar to a bit.ly link – or a short link.

Why should I use QR Codes?

QR Codes are great for driving traffic to your website.  With these codes, you have the ability to direct users to specific pages on your site – you determine what link you would like to send them to, create the code – they take a picture of it and they are there.

How do I get a QR Code?

It is simple – and free.  There are many sites available that generate QR codes.  Click here for one that is very simple and easy to use.

Below is an …Learn More

Preventing digital learners from becoming digital dropouts

There is no doubt that online learning has revolutionized the way we deliver education.  You can find everything from a graduate degree in nursing to demonstrations for knitting sox on the internet.

There is the perception that online courses make life easier for students, are more cost effective, and can reach a greater number of learners. Online learning is an attractive alternative for learners in rural or isolated areas, or for working adults whose schedules may interfere with traditionally scheduled on-campus classes. On-line classes offer off-campus access and asynchronous discussions.

Still, there is research to show that online courses experience an exceptionally high dropout rate among students. Studies have shown that students drop out of online classes at rates 15 percent to 20 percent higher than traditional ones.

Who drops out?

Students who are older and employed more hours per week often cite stress and conflict between work and home in trying to balance work and study priorities. Often they were led to believe that not having to attend a regularly scheduled class would somehow make life easier for them.  Additionally, it was found that those mature adults with limited digital literacy experience are generally far less adept at decoding …Learn More

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Every morning at our office, we receive three newspapers: The Baltimore Sun, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.  Many employees read this while they are waiting for the coffee to finish brewing or during lunch.  Several read it first thing in the morning.  Several do not read it at all.  I am one that receives the majority of my news online.  Using Twitter, I follow a variety of local and national news agencies as well as sports teams, the weather, traffic reports, and other online personalities.

Several years ago, it was important to me to have access to television – not because I liked to watch a specific TV series – but because I always wanted the news on in the background.  I even remember getting to campus early during college – where I would spend 10 minutes or so watching the news on the televisions in the business school.  Now, I may turn on the television once a week – if that.

The Internet, in a sense, has replaced the television – for myself as well as many others.  In a recent article on Mashable it was said that the ”Internet is now the main national and …Learn More

A Culture of Connections

Everywhere we turn these days people are talking about “connecting” and “making connections.” It’s no wonder then that as the connection race accelerates, we’re now looking for ways to organize and connect our connections!

When Common Craft put the dry erase marker to the whiteboard (now what seems like eons ago) and showed us why we should pay attention to the magic of social networking and how it really worked, they exposed the connections epidemic at its core. We were able to see- our personal and professional social networks linked up right before our eyes so that we can leverage them to meet more people and accomplish more things. As Twitter would have us believe, we can really get to know each other – even our lifelong friends – a little better.

Platforms, websites and common spaces are built on the sound idea of creating environments where we can socialize, share information and acquire new knowledge, allowing us to all do what we do in a better, more meaningful way. We are expanding what we know and improving a result.

Of course, we’ve only been discovering, dabbling in and building on what other, more collective cultures have known and practiced …Learn More

Digital Immigrants

Once upon a time , my friend Josephine and I were high school English teachers. Now Josephine is retired and one of the responsibilities I have at Campaign Consultation is to create online learning tools.

“I hope you don’t think that you are providing education,” she says.  Josephine does not believe that the internet has any value for real learning.

“It’s a fad,” she says.  “It will go out of fashion…and it’s ruining the way we communicate.”

Of course, we know that the internet is not going anywhere except up and out to more and more people, and it is an essential ingredient in our teaching and learning.

The difference is that Josephine and I are digital immigrants.  There are digital natives—those who are for the most part under thirty who learned the language of the internet as they were learning their first words—and digital immigrants for whom this language is not our native tongue.

I, for one, happen to have a high regard for immigrants.  My son-in-law, who immigrated to this country from Romania as a young teen, now practices medicine in Chicago.  There is the woman in my church who fled Liberia with her young daughter.  …Learn More

Social Media, Fundraising and You

During the coverage of the Haiti earthquakes, we all received multiple invitations to text our donations for Red Cross Haiti relief efforts. The invitation to text donations was everywhere; we saw it on TV, we received e-mails and Tweets with the instructions. Our electronic networks were all sending the same message: this is how to get money to Haiti fast! Out of the 200 million dollars raised for relief so far, 31 million dollars were raised via texting. (These figures provided by Wendy Harmon, in a Chronicle of Philanthropy podcast on 2/10/10). To hear the podcast, go to:

http://philanthropy.com/article/A-Balanced-Look-at/64102/

Certainly, the immediacy and magnitude of the destruction in Haiti led to an outpouring of generosity that would be difficult for most nonprofits to tap. There are also set-up costs for such fundraising campaigns that limit their usefulness to small organizations, but there are some implications for nonprofits that aren’t big, national players as well. For a great summary of what social media is and is not currently doing for philanthropic causes, go to:

http://mashable.com/2010/01/20/social-media-lessons-haiti/

This is a really good article by one of the founders of Zoetica, Geoff Livingson, that can give nonprofits lots to think about concerning ways to …Learn More