Monday, October 29, 2012

A New Approach With New Attitudes for the New Year

Schools of the 20th Century always approached learning in the traditional sense which was based on the industrial model of teaching. But what exactly does this mean? Well, this meant that classroom space was arranged linearly, teaching was almost always done from the front of the room, and students were taught things in order to occupy jobs in an industrial based economy. This type of learning was predominately passive. However times have changed. As we continue to educate and prepare our students in the 21st century, many schools have not changed to reflect and accommodate how today's students interact and learn.
Where Schools need to be in the 21st century
The 21st century that we are living in a very different world and schools are populated by a very different student. Today's students are conversing through email and texts, using the internet as their news forum, and communicating with students residing other states and countries via Skype. School's need to create learning spaces to support the new generation of students. They need to create spaces that elicit social learning in lieu of passive learning. Because, active learning is how our students of today better themselves as capable members of a team and community.
How can this be done
Take your stationary classroom and make it mobile. Adding casters and power to desks and chairs takes the traditional linear classroom into a flexible learning space accommodating all different learning styles and course topics. Lightweight mobile classroom furniture allow quick transitions from row to circle to curved layouts. Elicit socialized learning within the cafeteria. Rid your students of institutionalized rows of tables. Round tables, high tops and booths bring active learning to the cafeteria. Provide school logos on table tops and trash receptacles promoting school pride and a continued sense of school community. New chemistry lab tables, lockers, bleachers, and more can do more than just replace old fixtures. They too can help to rejuvenate a school. Kids will get a kick out of seeing bold new lockers the colors of their school, or when telescoping bleachers are retracted they spell out the name of their mascot. There are a lot of possibilities available, and both kids and teachers will be proud and delighted at a fresh look.
Ready to Help, All The Time
There are times when not every school may have the immediate funds for a lot of renovation, and we understand that. That's why we work with a quality financing company that may be able to help the process along. Our skilled technicians and staff are ready to help make a school's renovation a reality so that kids and teachers alike can develop in an environment fit for the 21st century. Contact us and see how we can transition your space!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Making Sense of Social Media Advertising

Should I advertise my business on social media? That's a question many small businesses are wrestling with today. The answer is - it depends. Specifically, it depends on your target audience and your marketing goals. Most small businesses can benefit from a well-designed social media advertising strategy. The key is to make sure that you use the right social media platform for your customer base.
Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages and people use them for different reasons. For example, people who regularly use LinkedIn may not be on Facebook and vice versa. Also, options for targeting paid ads are different for each platform. So don't make the mistake of adopting a "one size fits all" social media advertising strategy. Instead, research your customer base to find out which social media platforms they use and how they use them. Then figure out how advertising on those platforms fits in with your overall online marketing plan.
Facebook advertising can be a great way to grow your Facebook fan base. During the vetting process, many people will check out your Facebook page, and when people "like" you on Facebook, it helps to build your credibility. For example, if you have hundreds of "likes" and your competitors only have a few dozen, it makes you look more connected and more entrenched in the community.
Another advantage of Facebook is that it allows you to target people based on age, relationship status, interest, or geographic region. Keep in mind, however, that Facebook tends to be more casual and personal relationship oriented, and Facebook users don't want or expect a hard sell. To get the best results, keep your ad simple, make your product or service stand out, and have a clear call to action.
Twitter tends to be faster-paced and more news/current events oriented. It's important to curate compelling content, as it positions you as a thought leader. Twitter ads allow you to draw attention to your thought leadership and promote your account to others who have similar interests. You can also pay to promote specific tweets to people who aren't following you. Currently, people can't access your website through Twitter ads, which is why it helps to use Twitter in conjunction with other social media platforms. However, you can get a lot of bang for your buck by getting people to retweet your Twitter posts.
Two points to remember with Twitter: people will only follow you and interact with your tweets if they're interesting and relevant, and there's no value in advertising on Twitter unless you're actually using your account.
This is probably the best platform for B2B advertising because people are more ready to do business when they're on LinkedIn. It also allows you to target individuals based on the companies they work for, specific job titles, or positions. Plus, targeting by job title allows you to narrow your ads to exactly the people who would be most interested in your B2B products or services.
Another benefit is that LinkedIn has its own self-service ad network, called DirectAds, with options for display ads and sponsorships. To use LinkedIn most effectively, target your audience carefully, and create short, relevant ads with a specific call to action.
YouTube offers a unique advertising opportunity in that your ads can appear within videos or alongside them. Because the ads combine video and sound, they can be more engaging than other advertising platforms allow for. YouTube provides many resources to help you advertise more effectively on their site.
But be aware that viewers have short attention spans. If you advertise with videos, keep them short, to the point, and entertaining as well as educational. Be sure to deliver your key messages early, as viewers tend to tune out after only a few seconds.
Regardless of which platform(s) you use, remember that social media ads should never send people to your home page. Instead, have a landing page that clearly shows visitors what you want them to do next. Always include an option for providing their contact information so that you can build your email or social marketing list.
Jeremy Durant, Business Principal at Bop Design
Bop Design is a San Diego Web Design and Marketing Agency
Bop Design is a boutique marketing communications firm. We express your business' values through branding, advertising, print design and custom web design and development. We also help attract your ideal customer through affordable seo services and search engine marketing. Our focus is on small businesses that want an external team of marketing specialists to help give their brand an edge in the marketplace.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Are Our Elections and Threats of Sequestration Hurting Our Defense Industry

It has always been noted that the US government needs to do all it can to keep our defense industry strong, therefore we can ramp up production very quickly in case of a war. Of course, if the defense contractors and defense industry becomes fat, dumb, and happy due to the free flow of money, then all we will have done is made them weak, and given them too much political clout and power. We know this happens because we know how the lobbyist system works in Washington DC, and we realize the system is broken, and it hardly matters if it is the defense industry, education industry, computer industry, academia, or healthcare sector.
Okay so, nothing new, no new information, and we already know all this correct? Sure, but we still need to help our defense industry and keep it running because we could need it in the future. Anyone who doubts this doesn't study their history, or isn't watching what China is doing right now as they are spending more and more money on their national defense. China has no challengers, why would they do that? Because we could be a potential challenger as they push their political will against their neighbors as they have recently with disputes over territorial waters.
There was a reality based article on Military and Aerospace News on October 31, 2012 titled; "Military business slows to a trickle; now a matter of how hard things will get," by the Editor John Keller. Now then if you do not know of this publication I suggest you get acquainted, because he and his publication have been bull's eye spot on from my experience. In his most recent piece he noted;
"We've been hearing for a long time about hard times coming for the military and aerospace business. In fact, I've been hearing about a defense downturn since long before President Obama even took office. Still, the beginning of federal fiscal year 2013, which was the first of this month, has left me with little doubt that the hard times no longer are coming - they are here!"
When President Obama was a member of the Illinois legislature, he was interviewed and he said he wanted to gut the military. You can see the YouTube video by searching that site. It's hard to say if he still believes that or not, he's obviously a lot more grown-up today. But that sits in the back of my mind and it makes me worry about the future of our country, and our need to remain strong to maintain peace in the world. We are sending a terrible message to our allies, and visions of opportunity to our enemies over this sequestration talk, and the severe budget cuts in the future when it comes to our military.
It's not that we do not wish to have our defense contractors running in an absolute Six Sigma strategy, we do. We also want our military to run as efficiently as possible, and therefore free-flowing money isn't a good idea either, that just makes us weak. Still, by putting everything on hold, and putting the pause button on the industry and our military we are making it very difficult to do long-term planning.
That's something else the Chinese are very good at. I feel we are making a mistake, and if I were running this country that's not something I would do. Peace through strength, always and forever. Please consider all this and think on it.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Breast Cancer Screening Saves Lives

There has been a lot of debate in the last few years on the benefits, risks and limitations associated with routine breast exams. Some of the reports out today are confusing for women who are undergoing regular screenings.
The NHS's National Cancer Director in the UK has issued a review that reveals good news for women. Despite the reports of over diagnosis, the report shows that routine breast screening does save around 1,300 lives a year in the UK alone.
This significant number is because a diagnostic mammogram detects cancer at an early stage before other signs and symptoms are noticed. The sooner cancer is detected, the more effective and successful treatment will be.
The review has reported that some women who have cancer detected will be over-diagnosed. This is due to cancers that are detected but will not cause harm to that woman in her lifetime. Critics argue that such women will undergo treatment that is not necessary.
It is important to note that there is no way to know which cancers will grow and become deadly and which won't. Therefore, all women will be offered treatment. Statistics show that some women are over-diagnosed but not which individual it will happen to. Some women will have their lives saved. For others, early detection will allow them to avoid more aggressive and invasive treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation.
It is also important to note that over diagnosis must not be confused with misdiagnosis.
Misdiagnosis is when someone is told they suffer from a disease that they in fact do not. Over-diagnosis in regards to breast cancer is when women are correctly diagnosed, but it is believed that the cancer will not progress if left untreated.
It is important that women understand the risks and benefits associated with routine breast imaging so they are able to make an educated choice about attending their appointments. Women should discuss all concerns with their doctors and local screening service.
Although breast affects older women at higher rates, it is important that younger women who do not receive a routine mammogram to be breast aware. This means knowing what their breasts look and feel like normally, looking out for any unusual changes and having them checked regularly by a doctor. It is important that women understand what the results mean for them and that they have access to clear and unfiltered information regarding the pros and cons of breast screening.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Careers In Civil Constructions

The civil constructions sector is among the most dynamic fronts of the national economy. As the world recovers from the financial downturn felt in the past several years, the engineering industry is largely expected to take in a surging demand for domestic, private, and public constructions. This is certainly good news for those planning a career in the civil works industry.
An army of skilled workers
The industry employs a wide variety of people with vastly different professional and technical backgrounds. It is often compared to the military, which also hires people of different professional backgrounds. As in the military, the workforce consists of the rank and file laborers, up to higher-echelon engineers and scientists, some of whom never even go near an actual construction site. But as in any other industry, the work and skill requirements is highly regulated both by the government and by the industry itself, and is increasingly becoming professionalized, even for the trade and operator type of jobs.
The nonstop and ever-increasing adoption of new technology in the civil constructions sector is the main force behind the need for a skilled labor force. Unlike in the past, when brute force and practical experience were all that is required of workers, modern constructions now mostly rely on sophisticated equipment and precise techniques, so much so that operating these machines and performing these tasks need a certain level of proficiency.
A career in civil constructions
How much does a career in the civil works sector pay? Of course, this depends on the type of job and the skill set required for the task. In Australia, for example, a qualified Road Constructor could net $60,000 - $110,000 per year; a Pipe Layer could fetch $60,000 - $120,000; a career path in Human Resources could get $95,000 - $120,000; a Foreman's yearly earnings may range from $60,000 to $120,000; and a Civil Engineer could earn from $80,000 up to $120,000.
There is a continuous need for a new workforce in the industry as the older employees retire. The sector is traditionally known to seek the younger and latest entrants to the labor force, as most of the jobs in the industry require the agility, dexterity, discipline, and alertness of a younger worker.
There are three general pathways for entering a career in civil constructions in Australia -- from a university (for example, civil engineering); a diploma or advanced diploma from a Technical and Further Education institution, or from a trade entry option.
As in other industries, successful careers start at the lowest levels, but this is even truer in the civil constructions industry where the practical knowledge of manual work is highly valued in senior management roles.