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Category: Technology

Technology Integration Overview

As the sophistication of technology progresses, the more it is incorporated into daily life. Technology integration is everything from a cohesive digital marketing strategy that allows businesses to reach customers on multiple devices to schools using a learning management systems for seamless integration in classrooms. So, what exactly is it and why does it matter?

 

What is Technology Integration?

Technology integration is defined as the use of technological resources – devices, applications, networks, etc – in daily practice and management. Simply put, it is the seamless connection between the different software and platforms that we use in business. It is about how various technologies integrate with each other. As of 2015, 68% of U.S adults own a smartphone, which is a sharp increase from the 35% in 2011. Tablet ownership has also increased from 3% in 2010 to 45% in 2015. All while ownership of the humble desktop/laptop has only increased 2% since 2004. So what do these numbers mean for technology integration? Simple, the usage of mobile devices continues to increase and so the need for integration among all of your devices (phone, tablet, and computer) and different types of applications and software increase as well.

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Integration Across Industries

Technology has become such a crucial part of our everyday lives so it’s no surprise that it plays a large part in our work. It’s difficult to find an industry that doesn’t utilize some form of technology integration in how they run. However, some of the largest growth of integration lies in 2 places: service businesses and education.

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Technology and Business Services Goes Hand-in-Hand

In the world of business, the increase of technology is a no-brainer. Integration is vital for for millions of businesses across the country both internally and externally who are delivering a service to their customers – especially a digital service. These service-based businesses are making the process of reaching customers, clients, and audiences more effective by having their CRM connected with their email platform and text messaging platform. The ease and effectiveness of having different systems talk to each other has helped many businesses grow by leaps. Internally, technology integration makes collaboration and communication among staff stronger and better. Employees, like the 37% telecommuters, rely heavily on technology to support and maintain operations.
 

Integration Betters Education

For education, technology integration has become a necessary tool. Many schools are implementing technology initiatives to both aid in the process of teaching as well as better prepare students for the technological landscape. Technology integration key for the success of education technology, or EdTech, to be successful – both inside and outside of classrooms. Teachers need their LMS to speak with any communication platforms such as Email or SMS to keep information up to date for students and the teachers.

 

Sources: Edutopia, Pew Research

 

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Learning management systems (LMS) have proven to be a crucial tool for education institutions. However, learning isn’t limited to children or classrooms. In fact, many businesses use a LMS for training and professional development of their current workforce including onboarding programs for new employees.

 

Professional Development Using a LMS

One important way that learning management systems are being incorporated into the workplace is by assisting in employee training. Over 76% of employees desire opportunities for growth within their company. Since internal employees make up 59% of new hires, fostering their skills through training holds long-term benefits. You are creating a new wave of employees from pre-existing talent. So, where does LMS fit in?

Using a LMS is quickly becoming a popular way to conduct and organize professional development. Having a centralized learning platform allows employees to access all the necessary resources and training materials from anywhere. The seamless integration of learning management systems also means that employee development doesn’t stop after the a training session ends. Mobile integration is built into most LMS platforms. Two of of the top professional development systems – Litmos and Bridge – boast about their mobile capabilities allowing employees 24/7 access to learn. This means that professional development can occur at anytime regardless if employees are at their desks, in between meetings, or while on company travel.

 

Professional development, LMS, Learning management systems, Mobilizing Education, SMS education, mlearning, mobile education, SMS operations, Mobile Operations

Simplifying the Onboarding Process

68% of HR professionals want a stronger link between onboarding and learning. What better way to strengthen this connection than with a learning management system? Using a LMS can improve the efficiency and outcomes of your onboarding process. It supports a uniform onboarding experience for new hires that is both quick and effective. And seamless mobile integration is beneficial for new hires as well as current employees.

The mobile components of professional development a LMS also make it easier for onboarding remote employees and disperse teams. Telecommuting has grown in the US to 37% as of August 2015. Since remote work allows employees to work from anywhere in the world, having a digital onboarding program ensures that your team is connected and educated with the same materials.

 

Learning management systems are changing the way professional development is conducted. It has literally put the entire training process at the fingertips of employees. By providing instant uniform access to learning tools, employers can expect to see a more skilled workforce. For employees, these skills translate into better productivity and assistance in achieving professional aspirations.

 

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The Future of EdTech

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

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.

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Mobile Education Globally

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.

 

Follow the conversation about #EdTech on Twitter

 

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It’s no secret that mobile is constantly changing the realm of business. In fact, 61% of people have a higher opinion about a brand when it offers a positive mobile experience. In such a dynamic landscape, it is important for businesses to stay on top of emerging technology and be aware of how their audience is using it. We’ve gathered key recruiting statistics and outlined how changes in the market are shifting the industry.

 

Recruiting Statistics

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The recruiting process tends to be a timely process. Great strides in SMS communications have proven to be fruitful for many recruiting and staffing firms. These recruiting statistics reflect those areas of growth.

  • Disregarding those over 45, 43% of job seekers consider recruiters who send SMS to be professional
  • 17% of recruiters use SMS to notify job seekers about an open position
  • 21% of job seekers are using SMS to confirm an interview appointment
  • Recruiter texts sent through SMS software had a 26% response rate compared to the 8% response rate of emails

This increasing connection between recruiters and candidates via SMS is highly beneficial for the emerging millennial workforce. As of 2015, the millennial workforce is the largest generation in the U.S working economy. They are described as being quick paced, innovative, and extremely tech-savvy.

 

How New Technology is Re-Shaping Recruiting

Knowing all of these key statistics, the recruiting business landscape is making room for more mobile solutions. Whether it is mobile marketing, mobile web design, or SMS for their communications, mobile’s high open rate of 98% is perfect for instant up-to-date communications. Mobile media alone now outranks desktop 51% to 42%. This means that room for new mobile and SMS technologies is expanding. So, how do these new technologies affect recruiting and staffing?

 

Mobile Video for Recruiting

One of the more trendy aspects in mobile technology is the use of mobile video. Mobile videos are a great way to instantly showcase great business related content. Mobile video ad spend is projected to reach $6 billion by 2018. This comes as no surprise since consumers respond favorably to videos in general. Online videos now account for 50% of mobile traffic. Using mobile videos help you to stand out from other recruiters. As MMS is poised to shape the way businesses communicate, video can now be integrated into your mobile strategy via MMS as well. For standard SMS however, recruiters can text links to view videos on a mobile website such as the company overview, tips for success, and general FAQ videos.

 

Geo-Targeted SMS

Another emerging mobile technology trend is geo-targeting your SMS messages. Typically, geo-targeting is used by mobile marketers to deliver content to a user-based on their location through a mobile app. However, geo-targeting can also be leveraged through SMS dialog technology to support recruiters with candidates ranging from technophiles and college students to truck drivers. Knowing the zip code or general area that candidates are in helps to shape the way recruiters stay connected throughout the recruiting process. By utilizing geo-targeted SMS, candidates can receive on-the-spot communication from their potential employer as they walk through the door. Transparency is highly favored by job candidates, especially as they begin to narrow down their options.

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Overall, recruiting statistics show that the industry is growing their use of mobile as a dominant communicationmethod in the job market.  Mobile technology is crucial to everyday life and business functionality – especially to the younger, millennial market. It is important for job recruiters to keep up in the fast, dynamic, and mobile world or fear getting left behind.

Sources: Software Advice, Tech Crunch, HubSpot

 

 

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While True Dialog and many other SMS providers offer short codes for sending and receiving SMS, there has been big growth in the need for long codes – especially for certain businesses.  True Dialog offers long codes that are dedicated to each client who signs up for either our Business-Class Free Trial and for anyone with a paid SMS subscription with True Dialog. SMS messages sent from a long code are usually treated as a standard text message for the end user, which makes them widely accepted as a tool for different mobile messaging campaigns.

If you are unfamiliar with the use of different codes with SMS, then check out this overview that compares long codes with short codes.

Advantages of Long Codes:

  • Cost effective. Long codes cost a little less overall for your messages.
  • Fast setup. There is no waiting period with long codes. They are ready right away.
  • International. Many long codes can be used for sending business SMS messages internationally.

 

True Dialog mobile marketing, short codes, long codes, sms marketing, sms operations, text message marketing, sms api, offers long codes

Whether you are testing out new technologies or just curious about SMS, then long codes are an excellent starting point for your business. We offer for you to use long codes through the True Dialog platform or our SMS API.

Need more information? Get in Contact with us, and we’ll happily answer all of your questions. 

 

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As important as it is to stimulate and engage students inside the classroom, how a student continues his or her learning outside the classroom is equally important. On average, U.S primary school students spend nearly 950 hours in classroom instruction per year, just shy of the 1,016 hours that secondary school students do (Pew Research). What about the other 7,800+ hours in a year? How are schools making sure that students continue to be intellectually stimulated when so much learning occurs outside the classroom?

 

Mobilizing Education

One way to keep students engaged is to literally make learning an on-the-go activity. Over the past few years, mobile learning (mLearning) has taken off both domestically and around the world. A big purpose of mLearning is to providing opportunities for learning to the students who live far from schools. However, mLearning tools (such as SMS Facts & Quizes and Mobile Learning Applications) also offer supplemental materials for students attending a physical school. The Mobile Economy Project at the Brookings Institution aims to “improve learning and engage students and teachers” using mobile devices. Having classroom activities available outside the physical classroom is one of the easiest ways to keep students continually engaged. Schools are mobilizing education by using these tools.

 

Extracurricular Activities Go Mobilemobilizing education, SMS education, mlearning, mobile education, SMS operations, Mobile Operations

Nearly 6 out of every 10 U.S children (ages 6-17) participate in extracurricular activities according to the Census Bureau. Among our high school students, 87% who participate in extracurricular activities do so because they genuinely enjoy it. Extracurricular activities keep kids on the path of academic success since so many of activities, such as sports teams, require a minimum GPA to participate. These activities also support the development of  time management skills, leadership and teamwork. Keeping up with multiple extracurricular activities can be taxing on a high school student.

Mobilizing education tools can be extended to include these activities, and it provides a great opportunity for the schools using the tools to stay connected with their students in multiple ways. Students can get SMS updates from coaches and teachers. Club leaders can setup a basic SMS campaign to send out regular club announcements and news. Or they can use a dialog SMS campaign to invite team members to vote on club issues and ideas.

 

Teachers, Coaches & Administrators Win

Education may be one of the oldest institutions we have, but it is becoming an incredibly dynamic space as technology continues to support the development of education. Teachers, coaches and administrations are collaborating with software companies on mobilizing education in various ways, and they are winning. They are engaging students to learn and continue learning no matter where they are in the world. And these mobile solutions continue to be fruitful tools for fostering young minds to stay stimulated outside the classroom.

 

Curious how mobile technology can improve communications in your school? Learn More

 

Sources: Brookings, I Have a Plan Iowa, The Mobile Economy Project

 

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Mobile Learning is Improving Education

 

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.

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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.

 

mobile education, m-learning, mobile learning, sms learning, sms educationReach 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

 

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Video advertising is nothing new in the world of mobile marketing. However, mobile video is about to go even further in 2016. With a bevy of new options to present your video content, we are poised to see mobile video advertising grow bigger than ever before. So how do you, the innovative mobile marketer, tap into the beast known as video advertising?

 

Mobile Video Through 2015

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Ericsson Mobility Report, November 2015

Before we dive into predictions, let’s revisit the success of this marketing tactic. According to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report, consumers use far more data for video than for any other application. Mobile data traffic in Q3 of 2015 was 65 percent higher than in Q3 2014, which was largely driven by increased video consumption on mobile devices.  Mobile video is quite the successful fiend but, how are businesses using it to their advantage?

The obvious Goliath is in-app commercials for video and music streaming services. YouTube owns nearly 20% share of digital video ads with 50% of website traffic coming from mobile viewers. It is a similar story for other streaming giants such as Spotify and Hulu. Users are enjoying these services while on-the-go, whether from their smartphone or tablet.

Another aspect of video is the use of text messaging for driving views. Businesses build a mobile database and share exclusive content through either a dedicated & private URL or in an MMS message. The customer database gets early access to the newest video content and rejoices.

 

Where is Mobile Video Heading in 2016?

Mobile video ad spend is projected to reach $6 billion dollars by 2018 (TechCrunch). So when it comes to video content, making it mobile accessible is no longer a nice-to0have, but a necessity. The number of channels for creating and distributing video has grown, which makes it even easier for you, the business. Everything from new applications such as MyTape, to new features on existing platforms like the new Facebook live video option and Instagram’s sponsored video posts, is all indicative of a rapidly growing video landscape.

This growth means that a simple video won’t cut it anymore. Not only will video content be engaging, but the way in which that content is delivered matters as well. Being conscientious of your customer demographic is crucial to selecting the right channel. Take time to do the research, find your audience, and understand how they want to consume videos.

The business landscape is saturated with mobile video ads, so great content is still king. Finding new ways to engage your customers is the only way you can let your business’s brand shine through. Yes, a video is traditionally one way but, it can also be engaging. Make more enticing videos in 2016 that are about your audience, rather than shouting information. Create content with interactive components or utilizing the popular 360 degree viewing.

 

Predictions for Mobile Video in 2016

1. As technology for mobile video evolves, so should your mobile marketing strategies. Explore different approaches to use video as a marketing tool.

2. Don’t lose sight of your content. There is no need to reinvent the wheel but, a strong story or interactivity could mean higher customer engagement.

 

Sources: Forbes, ReelSEO

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According to the Global Multidimensional Index of Poverty (MPI) approximately 1.6 billion people worldwide are living poverty. MPI calculates these figures  not just by income level, but access to healthcare, quality of housing, and access to education as well. Although this is very disheartening, it is uplifting to know that these numbers are nearly half of what they were 20 years ago. A large reason why poverty levels are improving is due to the continuous strides in technology – creating jobs. Technology helps create demand in the job market, but also helps to close the gaps in accesses to education and healthcare. With the aid of global SMS practices and mobile technology (such as mobile phones), many organizations are looking to improve the world for those struggling in poverty.

 

Literacy and Learning With Mobile

SMS Education, Global SMS, Mobile Education, SMS Operations, SMS Solutions, SMS APIEducation is one of the most important aspects to breaking the cycles of poverty. However, many families lack not only the monetary needs to send their children to school, they may also live miles away from the closest school. To make education more accessible for students in poor rural areas, UNESCO implemented a mobile solution. Worldwide Reader is a learn-to-read mobile app. It was distributed to highly impoverished nations to test out if a mobile tool can help raise literacy levels. The mobile app grants users access to reading education materials as well as books for practice reading. Not only did literacy rates increase, but school performance and attendance increased as well. Now there is more demand to provide similar services to aid in literacy for local languages in addition to English.

 

Mobile Access to Healthcare

Staying in healthy can be challenging for those living below the poverty line. Poor sanitation, unsafe living conditions, and a lack of proper medical facilities can mean disastrous effects on one’s health. One study is looking to change this using global SMS as the solution. To improve adherence to medical advice in rural Nigeria, health care professionals are using global SMS to HIV patients reminding them to take their medication. SMS solutions are also assisting in the distribution of valuable medical information: such as newborn care support for new mothers, sending and receiving prescription orders, and showing where pop-up vaccine clinics will be.SMS Education, Global SMS, Mobile Education, SMS Operations                                                                                                                  Photo Credit: UNESCO 

 

Income distribution is always a hot button topic in global politics. Although poverty levels are lowering, war and drastic environmental changes can lead many to poverty in an instant. Simple SMS integration can, thankfully, provide many in poverty the chance at a better life by helping with everything from healthcare and education to banking. This only proves that global SMS is both good for business but for the world as well.

 

 

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