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Inspire Students to Code

August 14, 2017

Happy to announce that StudioWeb is entering its’ 7th year!! Check out the new short facebook promo:

If you want to learn how you can inspire your students, check out StudioWeb.com

Stef

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Start Teaching your Web Design Class

August 10, 2017

Getting your web design class up and running is easy with StudioWeb.

The steps are:

  1. We set up your StudioWeb classroom(s), where each student gets their own user ID.
  2. Teachers give students their IDs, and they log in and start with the HTML course.
  3. As your students watch the videos and answer quiz questions, the StudioWeb software tracks their progress auto generating grades for you by course, chapter and even the lesson!
  4. You have the option to assign them projects that we provide. The projects start on ch3 of the HTML course.
  5. We have a total of 57 projects between the HTML,CSS and JavaScript courses. Each project bound to a chapter in a course.
  6. We provide an easy to use grading rubric for the projects. Even teachers who don’t know code, can accurately assess student work with help of the grading rubric. Using the projects is optional, since the StudioWeb auto grading is very accurate.

It is practically impossible for students to get stuck on a lesson, given how the StudioWeb app and courses are designed. But, if ever a question should come up (and you don’t have an answer,) the course creator (Stefan) will be able to answer questions the same day.

… I make it a point to be in contact with teachers. I am able to do this since we get so few questions!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Stefan Mischook
StudioWeb

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HTML5 bases Apps versus Native

August 5, 2017

In this video I talk about why HTML5 based mobile apps are the better choice over native most of the time.

… Yes, I am a heretical nerd!

Stef

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Starting a Kids Code Camp

August 5, 2017

Everyone knows that kids should learn to code for a variety of reasons. Here are just a few:

  1. Opens up possibilities for future jobs
  2. Develops problem solving skills
  3. Develops logical thinking skills

… As such, we are starting to see the growth of coding camps for kids.

Schools are slowly introducing coding

Often times, schools have limited time and resources, and as such, it will likely be many more years until coding is part of core curriculum in many schools.

Parents around the world are taking the initiative to give their kids a headstart, and are enrolling them in code camps. These camps take place either during the summer months, or throughout the school year, after regular school hours. Many entrepreneurs are stepping up to meet this growing need.

What are the skills required to start a code camp?

Typically, if you are to teach code, you need a person who knows how to write code, and who knows how to teach as well. Not a common skillset, and not that easy for the average person to learn both skills.

Code camp owners have a few options: build these skills (which is a daunting task for most,) or hire a teacher/developer. But both options presents its’ own problems. Another solution is to use StudioWeb, a system that allows just about anyone to successfully manage a code class.

StudioWeb allows teachers to facilitate a code classroom

After 7 years of refinements, the StudioWeb app and code courses, allows anyone to lead a coding classroom. With StudioWeb, teachers don’t need to know the languages (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python), they don’t need to design the course lessons, the quizzing and student projects. With StudioWeb, you literally have a turnkey tool that automates the classroom.

… Among the many features, StudioWeb generates accurate grades, usage reports, and even awards badges and certificates that students can print and mount. All handled by the StudioWeb web application, and is practically effortless to manage. Teachers love it. Especially teachers who don’t know code!

Advantages of starting a code camp:

  1. No coding skills required with StudioWeb.
  2.  Great for stay-at-home moms!
  3. Very small startup cost, since most students will have a laptop, or the camp will only need to supply inexpensive Chromebooks and inexpensive headphones.
  4. Easy to get people excited to sign up to a camp.

If you would be interested in setting up a code camp, feel free to contact StudioWeb.

Stefan

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What Yale’s Socially Assistive Robots and StudioWeb have in Common

August 4, 2017

I was reading an article on Yale University’s research with socially assistive robotics, that help to teach kids. The main points I got out of the article:

  • Robots learn and adapt to individual student need.
  • Students are motivated when the learning process is turned into a game. A little competition is very motivating for many students. Otherwise known as gamification.
  • When students work one-on-one with a robot, they are not afraid to answer questions, since all the students are busy working with their own robots.
  • The robots look like fun toys.

This is interesting to me, because the StudioWeb app and curriculum, has been developed with an awareness of the above lessons.

StudioWeb’s experience reflects Yale’s:

StudioWeb’s software shares similar traits (if you will) with Yale’s socially assistive robots. StudioWeb is a gamified app where students learn to code, as they unlock levels, earn badges and score points. Students work on their own computers, at their own pace, and so they don’t have to worry about social pressures.

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Complete Web Design Curriculum for 2018

July 26, 2017

This August will mark our 7th year since StudioWeb first entered the classroom with our clear-cut, easy to use curriculum on web design.

We have helped many teachers and schools, make the coding languages of web design (HTML, CSS and JavaScript,) both fun and easy to learn.

We learn, to help you teach

It has taken a willingness to listen to teachers and students, visits to classrooms, and persistence to get StudioWeb to where it is today. With practically a 100% renewal rate, teachers of all web design skill levels, find our solid course curriculum and software, an invaluable teaching aid.

… In fact, having StudioWeb in the classroom is almost like having your own teacher’s assistant, who happens to be an expert at teaching web design!

There are about 100 elements that when combined, make StudioWeb’s courses so effective. But, after speaking with many teachers, I’d say the top features they mention are:

  1. Instant feedback in the quizzing and code challenges.
  2. Built-in powerful hinting – students can never get stuck.
  3. Accurate auto grading by course, chapter and even the lesson!

There is so much more that makes StudioWeb so effective (student projects, 360 optimized video lessons, realtime tracking) … but in the end, all that matters is that your students will learn how to write code, and build websites they can proudly show their friends and family.

… Nothing motivates students like seeing their work produce real results!

If you would like to learn more or try a demo, please feel free to visit StudioWeb.com

Thanks!

Stefan Mischook

 

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How to Learn Technical Skills Faster

July 25, 2017

The following is an excerpt from the best-selling The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide by John Sonmez.

From the chapter: How to Learn Technical Skills Faster

Now that I’ve given you a nice long list of technical skills to develop, you might be wondering how you are going to develop all of those skills and how long it is going to take you.

Well, as for the length of time—don’t worry—you’ll be developing your technical skills as long as you are a software developer. Think of it as a journey, not a destination.

You will always be able to get better—if you choose to.

I’ve spent plenty of time developing my technical skills the wrong way.

However, in my three years of creating over 50 highly-technical developer training courses on Pluralsight, I’ve also learned how to develop technical skills at a lightning fast speed while teaching others at the same time.

I used to think the best way to learn a technical skill was to take a big reference book and read it cover-to-cover.

Back then, I read too many 800+ page books to count and didn’t benefit much from the exercise; although my arms might have grown from carrying around books of that size.

I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did, and if you already have, I want to show you a better way.

Learning How to Learn Quickly

Before we get into the specifics about learning technical skills, I think it’s worth taking a second to talk about learning anything quickly and teaching yourself in general.

We’ll go much more in-depth about the topic of teaching yourself in an upcoming chapter in this section, but I want to go over the basics here and talk about a methodology I use to learn anything quickly.

As I mentioned, I spent a large amount of time both learning and teaching various technologies.

I learned whole programming languages in a matter of weeks and then turned around and taught courses on them.

During that process, I developed a reliable system for learning just about anything I needed to learn.

This wasn’t so much a conscious effort as it was a necessity. I was trying to learn at such a rapid rate that I had to come up with efficient ways of doing things, and naturally, patterns of learning developed which helped me to become faster and faster.

I’m just going to cover the basics here, since you can find a whole course I put together on the subject at 10 Steps to Learn or in a few chapters in my Soft Skills book.

Buy John’s book on Amazon.

About the Author

John Sonmez is a developer, entrepreneur, blogger and the author of two best-selling books for software developers. Learn more about John here.

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Establishing Revenue Streams from Your Social Media Efforts

July 7, 2017

By: Josh Weikel

Social media is a vital tool for businesses when it comes to engaging with their customers and reaching new audiences. If you have followed this blog, you already learned how to develop a social platform strategy and what platforms are priorities for your business.

Your social media campaigns should be all about interacting with your customers in genuine, meaningful discussion. However, it’s possible (and easy!) to bring business conversion to your social media efforts without turning your accounts into endless streams of promotions or alienating your followers.
Look at what your competitors are doing for easy wins

Competitor analysis is one of the oldest tricks in the book and remains relevant (and potent) to this day. You can apply a competitor analysis to see what channels they are using and what methods are getting engagements. This can help shape your strategy on what tactics work and what not to waste your time or money on.

Create a list of competitors in your industry. If you’re a small business that serves a local area primarily, be sure to get a healthy mix of small business and larger, regional companies. While that other photography and picture frame company in town may be your most direct competitor, larger companies likely have larger marketing budgets. This means they’ve done a lot more research and investment on social media marketing and engagement.

After you have a solid list of your competitors, it’s time to investigate what platforms and methods they use to bring people to their sites or sale pages. This can come in many forms, including:

  • Twitter hashtags, tweets, and retweets
  • Facebook ads, posts, pages, replies, and comments
  • Reddit threads
  • Instagram posts
  • Snapchat videos

Keep an eye out for times where the competitor funneled followers to their sites or their business partners, especially if it also has strong, positive engagement in the form of likes, replies, or shares. If you spot a common tactic among your competitors that consistently receives positive responses, this is a strong indicator of a worthwhile approach and easy win for you. Also, don’t base your conclusion on just one competitor or a handful of tweets. The more research you do, the better sense you will get of an effective strategy.

Finally, it’s important to consider the size and marketing budgets of your competitors. If you run a small business, don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to do everything that other large companies are doing. Focus on your largest audiences that engage frequently.

Occasionally promoting your business is ok

Occasionally promoting your business with direct or affiliate links is acceptable, but don’t go overboard! Many of your followers are likely already customers so showing them sales or discounts on services they currently have will not further increase your revenue. However, new features, products, services, campaigns, charities, and business partnerships could bring them back into the buying cycle along with new customers.

Look for genuine opportunities to direct users to your service or product. “Did you know you could do this with our service?” posts are a great way to encourage interest from both current and new customers. Answer questions about your service or product – this can be a great way to mention trial or starter deals to potential customers. Some followers may be looking for a feature that is included in a higher level (or pro) package, creating an opportunity for an up sale.

Affiliate partnerships can also be an effective way to benefit your followers and earn money at the same time. Several businesses will pay you for sending them new customers. The important thing to keep in mind is to only become an affiliate for services that compliment your business and are relevant to your social media audience. If you run a site focused on movie news and reviews, consider affiliate programs for ticket buying services or services related to media in general.

Don’t constantly post promotional and affiliate links, but when you do, get the most out of it by following social media best practices:

  • Use URL shorteners for links.
  • Use emojis if it makes sense and feels natural.
  • Arrow emojis or even text-based arrows (?) are a great way to draw attention and encourage clicks.
  • Use pictures and video in your posts as much as possible; they draw much more attention than text alone.
  • One size doesn’t fit all: different platforms will likely require approaches.

There are several platforms out there that can help you assess the engagement and, ultimately, success of your posts. Services like Hootsuite and Sproutsocial will give you great insight into your social media campaigns on various platforms as well as compare your performance to your competitors.

Use social proof to establish trust

Social proof puts names and faces to the people that have actually used your product. By doing so, you build trust and rapport with the people around the initial person who used your service. It’s the online version of word-of-mouth advertising. A simple example of social proof is seeing your friends’ names and faces in the Facebook widget on a site you’re visiting. This becomes a form of social endorsement for the site.

Social proof for your company can accrue naturally, but it’s best to take a proactive approach. When someone uses or buys your service, encourage them to share the good news with an automated tweet or post. This generates positive feedback about your company in hashtags, threads, and discussions and can lead to the customer’s friends and followers seeing the post and checking out your company as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, you can squeeze even more value out of social proof! Embed or take a screenshot of noteworthy comments and reviews and work these into your landing pages, sidebars, and other types of sales pages. These can be used as testimonials to help build trust with people outside of the original commenters’ circles.

Use social media to promote your lead magnets and squeeze pages

When it comes to online marketing, an email address is the single most powerful bit of information you can have for someone interested in your content or products. Lead magnets and squeeze pages provide an opt-in way to obtain email addresses in exchange for giving users quick, highly-valuable content. From there, you can use the addresses in your email marketing campaigns and sales opportunities.

Turn some of your most valuable content into lead magnets and promote them directly on your social media networks. In exchange for providing useful content (the lead magnet) to your followers, the squeeze page asks for their email which you can use later for marketing. For example, the following tweet promotes the lead magnet for a healthy taco recipe:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Users are directed to a squeeze page that highlights how tasty – but unhealthy – tacos can be and offers to send the user the recipe directly to their email:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After they enter their email, direct the user to a “thank you” page that reminds them to check their email and whitelist your site if it ends up in spam. This will help your future emails land in their inbox and acclimate the user to seeing your emails. Finally, do send the user the content without any more hoops to jump through. At this point, building trust is vital so follow up on your end of the deal!

About the Writer

Josh Weikel runs WHdb where he helps visitors find web hosting, learn what features they need, and start their own web site. For nearly 10 years, The Web Hosting Database has been a go-to destination for facts on hosts and services in the US and around the world. Josh holds a bachelor’s degree in Web Design and Interactive Media and has worked on several hundreds of sites since graduating in 2009.

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