Reify Media is honored to be the new Web Development Sponsor for InStepp, Inc. President Sarah Glova shared this announcement with over 50 supporters of the organization on Saturday, September 26th at the 2015 Professional Women’s Brunch, hosted by InStepp, Inc.read more
When deciding what technology to integrate into their higher education courses, instructors have to consider what works best for their students, for their content, and—perhaps most important—for them! When speaking with the six campuses that make up The Cooperating Raleigh Colleges Consortium, Reify Media President Sarah Glova focused on technology integration that supports easier, more successful integration for students and teachers.read more
It’s a reality of instructional design: when it comes to video, learners have a short attention span.
This means we designers have a small window of opportunity to draw the learner in, convey important information, and set up the next task. Check out 5 ways you can seize that moment and make your instructional videos matter–no matter the length.
There’s a reason Twitter, Yammer, and TED Talks are powerful forces on the web: these bite-sized platforms are engaging, digestible, and memorable.
You can harness this same power in your e-classroom by incorporating micro-learning, a new trend in education and training that’s spiked over the last few months.read more
Welcome to the Web, certusrentalproperties.com! Certus Rental Properties offers property management services to lake home owners on and around Lake Gaston. Melody Hughes, Owner of Certus Rental Properties, is a licensed realtor who focuses on providing a high level of service to both homeowners and renters. After successfully managing her own home on Lake Gaston and working with friends and family members to maintain their properties, Melody knew she wanted to expand her reach by offering her high-quality property management services to others Reify Media built Certus Rental Properties a website that shares details service details, highlights the communities served, and advertises the properties they’ll soon be managing. Highlights of the Certus Rental Properties Website Development Project The Certus Rental Properties website features a clean design, warm earth tones, high-quality images, and intuitive navigation. Clean Website Design with Warm Colors Custom Graphic Development Website Design that Makes Information Easy to Find A WordPress Website is Easy to Maintain A Responsive WordPress Design The site responds to devices; whether users are viewing the site on a computer, laptop, tablet, or phone, they’ll be able to interact with the site seamlessly. What the Client Had to Say Melody Hughes, licensed real estate agent and Owner of Certus Rental Properties, kindly shared the following testimonial with us about the project: When you start a business you have to do everything yourself and starting a website was not one project I was looking forward to doing. Reify Media took all the worries away creating just what I asked for and imagined for my site. Thank you Reify Media! They were able to take my ideas and put them in a website that I love. They really listen, offering great suggestions and examples that helped me establish the image and functionality that I needed. Very responsive to any quires and ideas while being conscientious about the cost and time frame for the work. They even help you learn to make your own changes and additions so you can adjust the site as your business evolves. Learn More Learn more about Certus Rental Properties at certusrentalproperties.com. Congratulations on your new web space, Certus Rental...read more
Before leading a recent workshop series, I armed myself carefully: not with detailed PowerPoint slides or Prezi paths… but with handouts. This past May, I was invited to facilitate five different workshops for faculty at South Dakota State University, starting with an introduction to the FLIP model and then moving into effective pedagogy for enhanced student engagement within active learning classroom spaces. What was different about these workshops? Typically, presenters spend a lot of time talking. The good ones will pause for questions. The great ones will stop for discussion or interaction. But it’s the facilitators who really get things moving — facilitators focus less on presenting and more on supporting. Since much of the workshop content was focused on flipped strategies and active learning, I wanted to practice what we were preaching — I wanted everything to be “flipped.” I had to move from a presenter to a facilitator (or a “sage on the stage” to a “guide on the side.”) It’s an interesting move — instead of presenting, you ask the participants questions. Instead of sharing what you know, you ask the participants what they know or what they want to know more about. Instead of sharing your thoughts, you ask participants for their ideas, working to make connections that will help participants connect with content in an interactive way. In my post on the Flip It Consulting blog, I talked about some of the nervousness associated with this active learning workshop strategy; when I work to focus the attention on my participants, I fear losing that “expert” status. My BIGGEST fear is that participants will leave an active workshop feeling as though they had talked a lot but not learned a lot. So, the Reify Media team came together to prevent this by creating some really beautiful handouts. Why handouts? It was a great strategy. During the workshops, I was leading discussion and providing direction for group activity, but I wasn’t lecturing. Then, at the end of the sessions, I was able to share our handout content with faculty, so that they left the session with all the research, tips, and extra resources that a normal presentation would have gone through slide by slide. So during the session, we were able to work together, challenge one another, and share ideas, because I didn’t have to worry about “getting through my slides.” But then faculty still left with all the research, tips, and resources I wanted to share with them, and they were able to take that content with them along with their experiences from our hands-on session. How were the handouts designed? For the handout design, we focused on a clean layout, warm classroom images, and an inviting color scheme. The fonts were academic but also clean, the column text was organized and easy to read, and the spot color and gray-scaled tone changes helped the content feel linear and categorized. How did it go? The sessions went really well. The faculty at SD State were, in a word, fantastic, and thanks to faculty participation, the sessions were engaging, informative, and practical. Look at us go! #activelearning #SDStateFlips cc @FlipItConsult pic.twitter.com/RrLo6vJFSl — Reify Media (@ReifyMedia) May 13, 2015 You can learn more about the workshops and my takeaways on the Flip It Consulting blog. And of course, if you’d like to learn more about our design services, check our our services page or contact...read more
Responding to the WordPress “Critical Security Release” We’ve been doing some spring cleaning! In response to WordPress’ proactive approach to a potential security conflict, we’ve taken the initiative to update and strengthen our login passwords to all our WordPress sites. Why Change Your WordPress Password? It’s a good idea to change your password at least once a year, and spring cleaning is a great time to do that! Remember, no matter how secure your site is, if your WordPress password isn’t secure, your WordPress site is vulnerable. What’s a Good WordPress Password? Hackers sometimes use brute force techniques to attempt millions of password combinations—quickly. So to keep hackers from guessing your WordPress site’s password, follow these guidelines: Keep your password unique; do not use passwords that you have for other accounts Don’t use any of the most common passwords like “123456789” or “superman” Avoid real words and phrases (Hackers use tools like dictionaries, Wikipedia, the Gutenberg Project, and even YouTube to collect common phrases, quotes, and slang that have become common passwords.) Use eight or more characters, since shorter passwords are easier to guess/hack Use weird ch@r@c+er$ to help spice up your passwords (like !, &, and ^) If you get password writing block, delegate the work to Norton’s free password generating tool Don’t use the general “admin” username (which most our clients don’t!) If you suffer from password fatigue (like we do), consider using a service like LastPass or Dashlane, that way you can generate secure passwords without having to keep track of them. WordPress Security is Important Quality passwords are only one part of site security. This week, our team also performed all outstanding updates to the website software and to the plugins within our sites, ensuring that the WordPress sites we manage are up to date and protected. If you have any questions about website security, WordPress updates, website backups, or general maintenance processes, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Happy Spring! We used Critical Update notices from #WordPress as a reminder to spring clean our #passwords – http://t.co/FmHoZ6nGAe pic.twitter.com/uFhW4N3zHR — Reify Media (@ReifyMedia) April 28,...read more
Everyone is talking about the Google Mobile Algorithm. For good reason! These changes, rolling out April 21st, could seriously affect Google search results—with mobile-friendly sites performing better in rankings. Now everyone’s buzzing about responsive web design, since it’s the best way to make sure your site is mobile friendly. But responsive design isn’t just a way to create a mobile friendly website—that’s only one important part of what it is. So, if you get tired of the algorithm scare talk (I mean, Google does change it hundreds of times a year, after all), here are six responsive design trends that’ll help expand the responsive design discussion beyond the Google Algorithm. 1. Responsive Design in eLearning How can responsive design help learners interact with online training or online courses, and what design strategies do eLearning developers need to keep in mind when utilizing responsive design? This trainingZONE article shares great tips, from font choices to animation advice, and includes helpful examples of screens across device types. 2. Responsive Design for Logos What if your website is responsive but your logo isn’t? It’s important to consider all the media in your website, not just the website itself, when you talk about responsive design. Logos are a paramount part of that discussion. We love this article from Econsultancy because it shares lots of great logo examples from some of the top brands. 3. Responsive Design for Storytelling and Reporting A lot of people talk about responsive design as a way to take existing content and make it more mobile friendly. But how is responsive design changing the way we make content in the first place? One great example is in storytelling and reporting. Check out this great Forbes article about the concept of responsive storytelling, or this interview with WSJ digital editor John Crowley about mobile reporting. And for a cool example—check out the Europe Without Flights article on your phone or tablet. 4. Responsive Design for Wearables Often, the conversation of responsive design is limited to the big three—phones, tablets, and computers. But what about the elephant in the room—or, more likely, on your wrist? The Apple Watch is coming, and plenty of smartwatches are out there already, with their small screens that will rely on serious responsive design considerations. Meanwhile, research centers from NC State to Stanford are expanding our ideas of wearable tech and their possibilities in sectors like health, safety, and entertainment, and our client Porticos helped develop a novel kid-friendly wearable. (Basically, who knows what kinds of screens we might see on our bodies in the future.) As this great Designmodo article points out, it may be time to “…embrace the small screen and find its limitations a glorious creative challenge.” 5. Responsive Design for Virtual Reality This great article by GIGAOM talks about WebVR, or web-based virtual reality experiences (with plenty of cool VR goggle pictures). This Scientific American article gave us some hope for seeing cool effects in our lifetime (again, goggle pictures included). 6. Responsive Design as a Philosophy on User Experience We saved the best for last. We love this article, which argues that responsive design is about more than how something looks; it discusses responsive design as a new philosophy for understanding user experience. #Responsive philosophy [is] the ability to respond to any situation, anywhere, for any user, inside and out. That’s a credo we can get...read more
Tomorrow, President Sarah Glova will facilitate the Flip a Lesson workshop for faculty at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, Texas. In the workshop, developed by Flip It Consulting’s Dr. Barbi Honeycutt, participants analyze current research and models of the flipped classroom, develop a flipped lesson plan, and explore resources for continued professional development related to the shifting roles in the flipped environment. Sarah facilitated a similar workshop this past January for faculty at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, CO and posted a workshop recap to the Flip It Consulting blog. Other recent collaborations between Reify Media and Flip It Consulting include: Dr. Honeycutt and Sarah Glova co-authoring 101 Ways to Flip Your Online Class; Dr. Honeycutt and Director of Education & Training Sarah Egan Warren producing a 20-Minute Mentor 4-Pack Series on the Flipped Classroom through Magna Publications; both Sarahs facilitating a custom Instructional Technology workshop in California last August, working in partnership with Flip It Consulting’s multi-year project for faculty at Chapman University’s School of Pharmacy. During tomorrow’s workshop at NVC, Sarah will be tweeting from @ReifyMedia, and she will invite participants to share with her on Twitter through...read more
Welcome to the Web, annaweaver-poet.com! Self-titled Open Mic Tourist and Poet in Progress Anna Weaver aims to read in all 50 states, starting with the lower 48, by 2020. So far she’s up to eight, including events in Chicago, Savannah, Nashville, Las Vegas, NYC, Charleston, and all around North Carolina’s Triangle region (where she calls home). Reify Media built Anna a website to help her track her progress, record her adventures, and share her poetry with the world. Highlights of Anna’s Website Development Project A customized header that features an embedded contact form. Anna wanted to make it as easy as possible for her site visitors to be able to contact her and invite her to open mic events; therefore we embedded the contact form in the header area for easy access and used action language to prompt users to suggest events. An interactive sidebar map that automatically updates when Anna tags her location in her posts. Anna wanted to be able to share her open mic tour with her readers in a way that was appealing and easy to see all at once. The interactive map was a clean and easy-to-update way of doing that. Visitors can hover over the colored map markers and see the states Anna has been to and how many of her posts are associated with that location. When the markers are clicked, all the associated posts for that state are listed on the page. Social media integration, with Anna’s Twitter feed (@notanna96) directly embedded. Dear #Raleigh, I made a #poem out of your street signs downtown: http://t.co/iPCJVcSBUh #PoMoSco #nationalpoetrymonth — Open Mic Tourist (@notanna96) April 10, 2015 Easy-to-view block-style display of Anna’s poems on the Poems page http://annaweaver-poet.com/poems/. Anna has many publications listed on various locations throughout the web. She wanted a page that served as a sort of portfolio where visitors could quickly see her work and where to find it. By utilizing a grid system to display her work, it allowed for the varying lengths of text to still look uniform and made the page easier to navigate . A custom favicon that matches Anna’s site color palette. To add another custom element, another POP of color, we added a custom favicon. A mobile-friendly, easy to update WordPress-based site for a poet on the go! Having a mobile-friendly website is a must for everyone, but especially Anna. As someone who is constantly accessing her site while on-the-go, and connecting with others who will also most likely view her site from a mobile device, having a responsive website was essential. Anna’s Thoughts When we asked Anna about the project, she wrote: Working with you has been terrific! I appreciate the way you took time to understand what I want to accomplish with my blog and create a design that reflects the ‘me’ I want to be online. Your vision for the macro design and the details really synced up with my goals. Check Anna out at annaweaver-poet.com. Congratulations on your new web space,...read more