Education technology, or EdTech as it’s been shortened and hash-tagged, is a rapidly growing area of interest for education innovators. Technology is being leveraged to better meet the high demands of our ever-developing education system. We accomplished this through the use of technology in form of tech products, applications, and tools that enhance learning and instruction. So where are we heading next in the evolution of EdTech? How will it be shaping the ways we educate and learn?
EdTech is Enhancing Education Not Replacing It
First let’s be really clear about the purpose of technology in education. Many educators believe that EdTech is a way to enhance the education experience by integrating technology into the classroom pedagogy. The use of technological resources such as the computers, mobile devices, social media platforms, software applications, and the Internet in classroom practices and school management are among the ways that we see technology integrating into education and enhancing the experience – not replacing it.
EdTech proves to be a positive enhancement when:
Tools are supporting the education goals
Part of a routine inside and outside of the classroom
It’s accessible and available for use
Uses of technology are transparent
The technology is helping students, teachers and parents to connect
The Future: Mobilizing Education
A physical classroom is no longer a requirement for gaining valuable information or “proper education” today. The world is our classroom and we have mobilized education in such a way that one can learn through a computer, tablet or mobile phone no matter where he or she is located in the world. And the gap between the “geeks” who understand technology and the teachers who understand education is become narrower every day. Digital natives are quickly becoming the larger portion of the population, so the learning curve is not so steep.
Mobile technology offers a powerful way for students to achieve educational goals. An increasing number of institutions are using mobile devices for education because it allows for a more personalized experience for the learner. This is where so much of where we see the future of EdTech going – mobile, personalized and expanding outside of the classroom.
Among education professionals, 94% say that students “demonstrate improved learning, performance and/or achievement when technology is integrated into the curriculum.” This is especially important for global education initiatives. The main challenge is getting education to those in hard-to-reach areas of the globe where large universities and schools with the great tech tools are less accessible.
Put a mobile phone in the hands of a young person looking for information and education, and then the world opens up to him or her.
There is a clear shift in the way we learn today, and the innovations around mobile technology are a big piece of that conversation. We’ll be discussing this further with those participating in SXSW Edu, so stay tuned for more detailed updates in the coming weeks.
Few industries are as dynamic as education. With nearly 50.1 million students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools in the US (NCES), educators are constantly looking for new ways to teach. However, students outnumber teachers almost 15 to 1, which means educational resources are spread fairly thin. Mobile learning gives educators the ability to deliver more hands on learning resources directly to the students both in class and around the world.
Personalized Mobile Learning
Learning works in different ways at different paces for different people. Trying to find the right combination of methods and materials can be tricky for the modern educator. With mobile learning (m-learning), students have the opportunity to interact with education in a way that is most effective for them.
A recent study in Turkey found that 221 university students found e-learning was just as effective as face-to-face instruction for learning English (Brookings.edu). Students who used the e-learning method reported higher for having a positive attitude with results equal to those in face-to-face instruction. Furthermore, the same success that certain rural students found in mobile learning is comparable to the success that urban students find in classroom instruction.
Reach More And Teach More
In addition to more personalized education, mobile learning allows teachers to connect with more students regardless of physical location. It is estimated that mobile will allow 180 million students to further their education by 2020. This projected increase is due to the growing accessibility of education in isolated areas.
Not only does it take a village to raise a child, it takes a village to teach one too. In addition to connecting teachers with students, mobile learning allows students to connect with each other – social learning. Using mobile for expanding education, students have easy access to peer mentoring and tutoring services to supplement their education.
Education is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Different barriers make teaching effectively a challenge – from locations and limited resources to learning styles. However, mobile learning helps students of all ages to access education in an effective hands-on way. With as many mobile subscriptions as there are people on planet, we are now more connected than ever before. It is integral to use the growth in mobile technology to invest in the foundation of any good society: our education.
Curious how mobile technology can improve communications in your school? Learn More
Simply put, mobile automation uses system integration to deliver more powerful SMS conversations. Mobile marketing automation (MMA) is when a a system takes your marketing SMS information (databases, campaigns, etc.) and helps you siphon the right message to the right person. When your business is ready to take your mobile marketing to the next step, mobile automation helps ease the transition in addition to boosting effective engagement with “sense and respond” technology.
Where is Mobile Automation Used Today?
Mobile automation gives your company the ability to deliver higher-impact messages to your contact database. This allows businesses to play with a host of options to diversify their mobile marketing portfolio. Most notably, automation helps businesses build a larger and more engaged customer database. Nearly 86% of early adopting app publishers reported success in using MMA, citing significant increases in both engagement and retention. Not only are you getting more people, but more of the right people are getting your marketing SMS messages and they are more effective. You want to turn curious consumers into your customers.
Seamless interactions are crucial for properly conducting your mobile marketing. To make sure that your customer database is receiving the right message at the right time, a seamless integration is key. Automation is a great way to link your mobile application, app push notifications, mobile website, and your SMS campaigns. Use automation in your mobile marketing to gather information about your customer’s habits so that the most effective messages are sent to that customer.
Where Mobile Automation is Going in 2016
Remember the 3 L’s of real estate? Location, specifically geo-targeting, is taking off in all aspects of mobile marketing for 2016. For mobile automation, this means that your business can gain the ability to seek out a customer in your database, access their location, and send out the best message to drive them to make a purchase.
Perhaps you are a small, local tax preparation firm in a strip mall with other businesses. When tax time comes around, an automated SMS message will be sent to your customer database in the strip mall to remind them to stop by and get their taxes done.
The use of mobile automation will only be getting bigger. Businesses are finding an increasing number of uses to enact a mobile automation system. Everything from HR management to mobile commerce has a place for incorporating automation into the SMS messaging strategy. The big takeaways are:
Using mobile automation is an effective way to grow and maintain your customer database. Automation helps to get the best message to the right people.
Mobile automation is helpful for a variety of needs and industries. It has great integration potential and crosses over many mobile platforms.
The American Heart Association program Life’s Simple 7 is a list of seven simple ways to improve your heart health:
being more active, eating better, managing your weight, reducing blood sugar, avoiding tobacco smoke, and controlling both cholesterol and blood pressure.
This list has become more manageable for those of us with fast-paced lives. When we use mobile applications, wearable sensors, and SMS alerts, we create awareness of our habits (both good and bad) and can make healthier choices.
Here’s how we’re using Mobile Tools to support healthy behaviors:
According to a statement recently released by the American Heart Association, “people who include mobile technology in a comprehensive lifestyle program for weight loss were more successful in short-term weight loss compared to those who tried to lose weight on their own, but there isn’t any published data on whether the participants maintained their weight loss beyond 12 months.”
A good mHealth weight loss program offers similar elements to that of a person-to-person individualized program. The mobile tools and programs that focus on a calorie-controlled diet with food intake tracking and customized feedback based upon your entires. More organizations are including SMS to send reminders and deliver healthcare literacy. This can be triggered by the entries made into a mobile app such as “Remember to eat 2-3 cups of vegetables today. Dinner Recipe Idea…”
Tracking Physical Activity
Mobile programs boost physical activity, however there is little research to show whether wearable technology actually helps you be physically active. Using a tool such as MapMyFitness or another physical activity tracking tool is most helpful when the user gets customized feedback and support from social circles – many mobile tools are integrated into social networks or have their own.
The mobile apps using SMS to push out messages for smoking intervention can almost double the chances of quitting. However, about 90 percent of people using mobile apps fail to quit smoking after six months. The best approach for many, is using mobile health apps in combination with a traditional quit-smoking programs.
For healthcare professionals, mobile tools may actually boost screening for smoking. Many clinicians do not necessary ask about smoking during a patient exam. “Using mobile phones loaded with tobacco screening guidelines prompted nurses to ask patients about their smoking habits in 84 percent of clinic visits and to offer cessation counseling to 99 percent of smokers who expressed a willingness to kick the habit, according to a study from Columbia University School of Nursing published in Oncology Nursing Forum.” (source: MedicalXPress)
Recruiters and Hiring Managers are sending up-to-the-minute job postings to keep up with the market.
SMS for recruitment has become key. The job market has improved slowly over the past 7 years. A big change over this time period is the technology we use to communicate and how job postings are found. First of all, consider these statistics:
64% of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind.
10% of Americans own a smartphone, but do not have broadband at home. Compared with smartphone owners who are less reliant on their mobile devices, these smartphone-dependent users are less likely to own some other type of computing device
43% of smartphone owners are looking up job information. (Source: Pew Research)
One of the big advantages of using SMS is timelines – your ability to reach an individual fast and efficiently with the right information. Many human resources professionals and recruiters are leveraging SMS to reach today’s generation of mobile-first candidates.
For those recruiters working in the field, it’s important to stay in touch with candidates. And sending real-time information about job openings is key to getting the best candidates, but the average email takes up to 48 hours before someone will read it. And so many young people are living a low-income life style that limits their internet usage.
Triggered SMS Alerts using an SMS API helps to address these issues. You can integrate whatever systems you use for contact management and tracking with your SMS platform using an SMS API. When you make this integration, you can setup different rules to triggering text messages to be sent. For example, “if a job opening with the title Software Development in this zip code pops up, then send a message to these phone numbers.”
One company learned that using triggered SMS messages in conjunction with other recruitment activities such as campus job fairs, online job postings, and campus interviews can be very effective when setup with the right parameters (through an SMS API). Using SMS in this kind of situation is a way to start the conversation between a recruiter or employer and the prospective employee or intern.
The right SMS platform allows you to get plenty of information up-front using SMS. 3Seventy calls this 3Seventy – the ability to have a seamless threaded conversation via text message. It is a pretty powerful tool when used to it’s fullest extent.
While SMS recruitment has proven to be effective for many companies and organizations, it’s important to remember that SMS campaigns are best used to create awareness and prequalify quality candidates. SMS campaigns are not meant to replace your traditional channels of communication with prospective candidates, rather it is a way to enhance and improve the overall experience.
Ways Recruiters and Hiring Managers Can Leverage SMS Campaigns:
Create Awareness using SMS recruitment alerts with job postings
Prequalify Candidates using SMS 3Seventy surveys
Have direct communication with candidates for scheduling interviews
Making the connection with the mobile-first generation easy
It wouldn’t work out too well if we waited days or weeks for messages to arrive from across the country by horseback. Yesterday’s fun doodle from Google with a Pony Express game reminded me how lucky we are to live in an age of technology, and to pause and imagine a world without text messaging (SMS).
Imagine learning about the recall of a drug or food weeks after the company announced it. You may become terribly ill or worse … all because someone had to ride 500 miles on horseback to deliver the message to you, or for the newspaper to print the information and have it delivered.
The Human Disconnect Caused by Technology vs Advantages of SMS Technology
Yes, it is terrible that people feel so disconnected from each other and so much emphasis is put into the technology we use. However, these technologies have also caused us to be connected in new ways, and innovations such as text messaging have improved our lives.
1. Timely Communications. We can receive those time sensitive updates via text messaging in minutes. This applies to healthcare, operations, emergencies, and other time-specific updates.
2. Simplified Messages. While we can all enjoy reading a novel over the weekend, sometimes being forced to keep a message short helps to better get the point across.
3. Affordability. It is cheaper to send a text message than it is to send a letter through the US Postal Service. Really think about that for a moment. A single first class stamp currently costs $0.49, whereas a text message can cost as little as $0.01 (if not less).
4. Wider Reach. More people in the US have cell phones with text messaging capabilities than those who could afford the Pony Express back in the day. You can get your message to more people today than what would have ever been possible in the 1800’s.
Horses are great. The Pony Express is an important part of history; but so are technology innovations such as SMS (text messaging).
There are an overwhelming number of sessions during South by Southwest Interactive. We’ve taken the time to read through all of the descriptions and read about the presenters, so that you don’t have to. If you are interested in mobile technology, entrepreneurship, software development, and how these concepts apply to the greater world, then we think you’ll find something to like from this list.
3Seventy’s Interactive Sessions Recommendations…
Friday, March 13
11:00AM – Hackaday Meet Up (Free) – They are the gold-standard in entertainment for engineers and engineering enthusiasts. We can’t wait to see what creative solutions are developed.
11:00AM – In Stadium Experience (Need Badge) – Mobile Apps and SMS have changed the fan experience, and this incredible panel will discuss those developments as well as where they see things going.
3:30PM – Digital Health Startup Pitch (Need Badge) – Pitch contests are a must-do of SXSW. This one includes the founders of three health tech startups, who each have five minutes to pitch their startup to an esteemed panel
3:30PM – Fast & Furious: Bringing it Mobile (Free) – This panel will discuss the process of taking a film and turning it into a mobile game. Hear about the process and then get a chance to play a video game… sounds pretty good to us.
3:45PM – Using Texting to Promote Empathy (Need Badge) – When society and technology mix, it can sometimes make a mess – or create opportunities. Dr. Sara Konrath will discuss new SMS tools designed to help build empathy in teens.
Saturday, March 14
9:30AM – A Digital and Mobile Health Revolution (Need Badge) – If you’re curious about owning your health data, then check out this panel. They will discuss ow mobile devices have the potential to allow patients to own and manage their personal health data, and leveraging big data analytics to promote health and wellness.
3:30PM – How Mobile Advertising Can Not Suck (Need Badge) – When and how will mobile advertising ever be a good experience with ROI? Brand leaders discuss the future of this marketing channel.
Sunday, March 15
9:30AM – Youth Sports Marketing Meetup (Need Badge) – Join the USA Swimming CMO in a discussion about marketing to families in order to get kids involved in youth sports programs.
12:45PM – Mobile Payments for the Third World (Need Badge) – Beyond retail and first world problems is a bigger concept of unbanked mobile money. What happens when mobile operators and the financial industry work together to improve affordable financial services to the unbanked population?
3:30PM – Mobile Social Meetup (Free) – Filmmakers, city planners, and advocates will gather to chat and then ride together to watch the world premier of the film Bikes vs. Cars at Republic Square Park.
Monday, March 16
11AM – Mobile Tech and the Retail Revolution (Need Badge) – Our friends at Mood Media will participate in the discussion of the in-store experience, and how mobile activity has changed it – from deal research while inside brick and mortar to post-shopping purchases.
12:45PM – Mobile Africa (Need Badge) – More Africans have access to cell phones than to electricity, indoor plumbing or even shoes. How Africa is using mobile technology to solve problems, and the lessons more developed economies can learn from them.
3:15PM – Digital Health Communications (Need Badge) -This panel will discuss the current state and future of the big data revolution in health and personal wellness, as well as the challenges to building a data-driven health system.
Tuesday, March 17
9:30AM – Mobile Technology in Fashion Commerce (Need Badge) – Join Madison Reed CEO, Amy Erret, in a discussion about building the next generation of mobile shopping experiences. What it means for the in-store experience and how we use mobile there.
12:30PM – Is Mobile Key to Political Apathy? (Need Badge) – Does the reach and personal touch of mobile devices make us more engaged with civic responsibilities? Is there a mobile-social connection that makes political leaders more tangible to the next generation of leaders? Let’s talk about it.
5PM – Creating Meaningful Mobile Experiences (Need Badge) – Just in time marketing messages are quite different from saturated blasts of information. When you push out a message, are you putting the people first?
Do you have any other session recommendations?
Tweet us with #SXSWi and we’ll share it with our followers.
How Mobile Devices Are Improving the Insurance Experience
The affordable care act has opened new channels for sales as well as new challenges for insurance companies. With more one-to-one customer sales on the rise, insurance companies are working hard to be as efficient as possible. In tandem, insurance companies are expected to be more transparent with the end customer. Technology is pervading the healthcare system already, so customer (patients) expect their health insurance companies to be agile in how they communicate key information.
We already know that many patients are looking to track and monitor their health through their mobile devices, so why should tracking the cost of that care be any different? The number of people using health related mobile apps is pretty low (somewhere between 32-38% of the US). However, text message updates have continued to rise and steadily grow as a useful tool for improving the experience. Ranging from pharmacy refills to appointment reminders, and even more personalized messages from the doctor.
Use Case: Blue Cross Integrates Behavioral Health
“Behavioral healthcare is an area that causes a lot of additional expenditures on the medical side,” says Ken Duckworth, MD, medical director for behavioral health at BCBSMA. (from Behavioral Healthcare)
In response to this issue, BCBSMA has created a mobile and online platform (OneHealth). “It has a social media construct where individuals with addiction vulnerabilities can select who they can communicate with. Members can only participate in the online and mobile platform when referred to by a provider or the plan itself.” One of the key tools leverages text messaging for your support system. An individual can send a text message to three people if he or she needs support during time periods of potential relapse.
One of the aims of this new platform (other than the obvious help and support that it offers to patients) is the reduction of unnecessary emergency room visits and testing that can be highly expensive. Mental health is a key area where health insurance companies can provide tools such as this to reduce costs and better serve their customers.
Before You Find a Text Message Provider,
Be Aware of HIPAA Secure Messaging Guidelines
HIPAA text messaging software was introduced in 2013. These updated guidelines affect how PHI (protected health information) is stored, accessed and transmitted. It also requires that the software has specific features in place.
Key HIPPA Compliant Features:
It must be administered from a central point which protects PHI from unauthorized access.
Risk assessments should be conducted regularly to ensure that messaging is secure and compliant.
All PHI stored within the text message software should be encrypted in order to make it “indecipherable, unreadable or unusable” in case of unauthorized access.
It should not enable healthcare professionals or sub-contractors to maintain PHI on their personal mobile device memories.
The device can be removed from the system in the event of a mobile device being lost or stolen.
To learn more about Health Care Initiatives Using Text Messaging, visit HRSA.gov
It’s Time for the Medical Industry to Adopt Mobile Health Tools
There have been some clear disagreements between doctors and patients over the past few years about how to handle their healthcare information. According to a recent survey completed by Medscape and WebMD, 84 percent of patients reported that technology should be used to assist in the diagnostic process; however, only 69 percent of doctors agreed with the idea. The two groups did generally agree on other areas such as using smartphones for routine blood tests.
Through this survey, we are seeing an overall shift in feelings about mhealth. Both patients and doctors are embracing new technology, especially mobile, being used in medical practice. This will have a significant impact on the future of healthcare.
Mobile Health (mHealth) Market Forecast 2014-2024 : A Revolution in eHealth, Telemedicine, Informatics & Connected Health
The advent of connected devices and M2M is offering a tremendous opportunity for healthcare professionals. Near-ubiquitous mobile networks are allowing carers to diagnose, monitor, and communicate with patients with unprecedented speed and efficacy.
mHealth is a term used for the practice of medicine and health services, through mobile devices. In its most common form, it refers to using mobile communication devices, such as smartphones and tablets, for health services and information. mHealth applications include the use of mobile devices in collecting community and clinical health data, delivery of healthcare information to practitioners, researchers, and patients, real-time monitoring of patient vital signs, and direct provision of care, via mobile telemedicine.
The emergence of low-cost smartphones has allowed wider access to app stores, which are now home to over a million mHealth apps. These range between freemium apps geared around diet and daily fitness routines, scaling up to costly premium apps with elaborate clinical reference points, images, diagnostic, and monitoring functions.
Austerity measures have forced many health departments around the globe to rein in their spending and find more cost-effective ways of operating. Enabling them to diagnose, monitor, and communicate with patients remotely, mHealth promises extensive cost-savings for healthcare professionals and institutions. This new industry will also pay dividends to network operators, software developers, and data platform management providers who may turn their core competencies onto the medical field.
Visiongain forecasts the mHealth market to reach a $6.7 billion value by the end of 2014.
The Future of Mobile Health (mHealth)
What is the future of the mHealth market? Visiongain’s comprehensive analysis contains highly quantitative content, delivering solid conclusions. This will illustrate new opportunities and potential revenue streams helping you to remain competitive. This definitive report will benefit your decision making and help to direct your future business strategy.
Avoid falling behind your competitors, missing critical business opportunities or losing industry influence. In our new report, you will discover forecasts of the market across the next 10 years and analysis of 10 leading companies in mHealth. The report assesses their strategies, technologies, competitive forces, and product portfolios. Read on to discover the prospects for the mHealth sector and find out who is at the forefront of it.
Loyalty is your number one focus. You just want to keep your customers happy, so you offer a deal based on the frequency of each loyal customer’s visits. That is a great offering to your customers, but what is really in it for you? The incentive of a “free” this or “complimentary” that is not enough to create loyalty. Today’s consumer expects to be treated as unique, and he wants to feel important. How are you creating that for your customers?
Making it Personalized
Make each interaction feel as personal as possible – through all channels of communication with the customer. If you have a store-front, it will take staff training to support their memory of the “regular” loyal customers. For your digital communications, it will require dynamic personalization in your emails, text messages, and in-app messages. The difference between “Good Morning! Welcome to our store” and “Good morning, Joe! Welcome back” is loyalty. You have the ability to create that loyalty by making each customer feel special and recognized. (Yes, there will be the 1% who do not want to be remembered. But you need to know who they are too)
Gathering Customer Data
How are you expected to learn the customer’s name, birthday, and favorite product? It is a simple ask. If you are offering value to that customer by gaining new information, then he or she will be happy to offer up information to improve the experience. The pieces to really plan out and take consideration around are the: How, When, How Much, and Why
How are you asking the customer for the information? What communication channel are you using and how is the question being phrased?
When are you asking for the information? How are you spreading our your asks? If you want to identify 5 key pieces of information about the customer (first name, last name, birthday, favorite product, frequency of purchase), then you’ll need to think about the time in between.
How much are you asking for? Frankly, asking for a customer’s life story in a long string of texts or an online survey can be off-putting to even the most loyal customers.
Why are you asking for this information? You have internal reasons for it, so can you be completely transparent about those reasons or do you need to plan for a more polite way of explaining?
This pizzeria spreads out their customer data inquiries over 6 months. As soon as you join the mobile loyalty program, we want to know what your zip code is. Why? So you only receive offers that are valid at the location nearest to you. It’s logical to the customer and useful to the company.
During a text campaign 1 month later, they may ask about a favorite order and ask for feedback on their menu items.
This structure avoids overwhelming or scaring the customer, but also fulfills your need to gather information – to drive loyalty.
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, TrueDialog is the preferred SMS solution for enterprise businesses and higher education. TrueDialog's cloud-based software and API make it simple to send mass text messages, communicate with employees, alert students and parents, and provide multi-user, team-based customer support at scale.