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Inspiration

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If you’re new to setting up your own online school then setting about creating content for your courses can be difficult. It can be hard to know where to begin! How you can do it yourself but still make it look professional.  We look at free tools you can use to make your online courses look like they are worth 1,000 bucks.

High Quality images for course material and for school customization

You might not be a professional photographer and haven’t got the money to hire someone to take photos for you. So why not turn to the generosity of the internet. There are lots of free royalty images sites where you can use their high quality  images for your business.  Unsplash is one of them and the best I think we have found so far. They have so many beautiful images you can use to make your online courses look professional and make your school look sleek. We have Unsplash integrated into our platform, so you can browse and select without having to open a new window- how handy!

Our image above is from https://unsplash.com/@brookecagle/portfolio! See great images for free!

Record high quality videos of yourself sharing your screen

Now this is cool, one of our favourite free tools! So depending on what you are teaching you might find this tool super useful! For example if you are teaching something technical on the computer such as Photoshop, then the ability to share your screen so your learners can see what you are doing while you speak over it is super useful. Have a look at Loom! 

Loom is super easy to use and collects all your videos in one place.

Free tools you can use

Create infographics, visuals and more with these free tools

So I am sure you have heard of Canva, it is fantastic. Create exciting graphics that can be used as  a way to share your information in your online course.  If you need to show something- maybe your product or service being used across multiple devices during your course.  Awesome Screenshots is an excellent tool to use for  demonstrating your point and using visuals to bring your ideas to life. Annotated screenshots can be really useful for learners to see exactly what you mean.

Support your text with summary videos

There is this fantastic tool called Lumen5! Which can be a great way of supporting your text files/pdf’s with a summary video which is short and drives home the main points. What is great about this tool, is that it can also be used on social. Check one of ours below:

 

As a small business owner, you only have so many hours in the day to promote and market your products and services, and social media and pay-per-click advertising will likely be the first avenues you choose to go down. But launching and maintaining a blog for your business is one of the most rewarding methods of marketing; below, we round up some of the reasons why.

Positions you as an authority

Perhaps one of the greatest reasons why content marketing is so important for small businesses is that it can position you as an authority figure in your niche. Think of it like this: if you’re writing high-quality material that helps potential customers find answers to their questions, they’ll naturally think of you as a valuable source of information, and be more likely to recommend your website (and therefore your products and services) to their friends. As such, the more content you write, and the more value you give away for free, the more authoritative you’ll become.

Drives organic traffic to your website

One of the biggest benefits of content marketing is driving free, organic traffic to your website. If you write a blockbuster post and hit rank one on Google for it, then you can expect to receive hundreds, if not thousands, of organic hits to your website – and every person is a potential customer. The key to getting rank one on Google is to write material that’s much better than everything else that’s out there (see also the skyscraper content technique) and building links through guest blogging, blogger outreach and search engine optimisation (SEO).

Gives you material to share

As a small business owner, it can be hard to find new material to share on social media, particularly if you don’t want to share content from one of your competitors. By writing lots of content for your website, you’ll quickly be able to create a pool of valuable material that you can share on social media as and when you like. And there are even greater benefits to this; posting your own content on social media will increase referral traffic back to your website, and you can add calls to action and lead generation techniques to persuade visitors to become customers.

Encourages you to learn more

Writing quality, original material every week for your blog is harder than you might think. Sure, you will likely to be able to round off 100 blog post ideas from the top of your head, but when it gets to the nitty-gritty of writing a post for your audience, you’ll soon see the work involved. You should start every blog post by reading and researching the topic so that you have the most accurate and up-to-date information. Doing this will not only ensure your blog posts are topical and accurate, but it will help you learn more about your industry and become a better leader.

Wrapping up

There’s no denying that writing blog posts is hard work, but the key is to stay motivated and think of the bigger picture. By sticking to a content marketing strategy, you’ll quickly build up a loyal audience of readers and convert some of your followers into customers. Good luck!

 

About the Author

Max Greene is the Managing Director of Muffin Marketing, a UK-based marketing agency specialising in content marketing, social media and search engine optimisation. When he isn’t working on campaigns for clients, he loves binge-watching Netflix shows and walking his dog.

Learning Management Systems are broken. Period.

It’s in the name – they exist to manage learning data and admin, but the need is a digital learning space where teachers and learners can interact.
Rather than being a glorified file storage platform, we’re designed to engage, educate and enable. In simpler terms, a platform for teaching and learning that is interactive, personalised and encourages active participation.

We’re the interface.

Moving on from digitisation of content and running admin tasks, we’re creating a technology-enabled space to enhance learning. To deal with the needs of the modern day learner, it is going to take more than a few UX tweaks on an existing LMS framework because these things are linear in nature and were designed for a different need. What is clear is that the LMS has been highly successful in enabling the administration of learning but less so in enabling learning itself.

The pedagogy itself needs to change.

If eLearning 1.0 was about getting content online – eLearning 2.0 is about using technology to enable learning. This is about bringing together teachers and learners through a native digital learning experience – not about an over-complicated platform with a ton of niche features.
We need to turn passive learners into active learners. We need to foster a community of learners. We need to personalise learning at scale. And where content is king, context is God so we need to make learning available when and where the learner needs it.

That’s why we built HowNow.

It’s in the meaning of our name – both a jovial greeting and a teaching technique in elocution. A nod to how we’re combining interaction with education to create a digital learning space where people can communicate, share ideas, teach and learn. The way we engage with content has changed across other consumer platforms i.e. Snapchat, Facebook, but it is yet to happen in education and this is where it matters.
So dear LMS, it was good while it lasted but it’s time to hang up your coat and enjoy retirement.

We have been focusing on Mental Health this week. To continue that theme we have teamed up with nutritionist Ali Prentice from NutriknowHow, who has created a great mood food recipe. Ali is a nutritionist and wellness consultant based in London with expertise in nutrition, healthy cooking, coaching and behaviour change. We asked Ali if she could create a recipe that would be brain food for busy entrepreneurs on the go. Here is the fantastic recipe she came up with:

 

Mood Food: No Bake Energy Power Bites

Makes about 24

These portable little spheres are loaded with slow burn goodness and are easy to grab for breakfast, as a snack – or to round off a light lunch or dinner.

They are designed to deliver an intense nutrient punch – including a host of vitamins, minerals and other plant-based chemicals to support energy levels, mood and mental wellbeing.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 100g cashews soaked for a least an hour in cold water and drained
  • 100g plain porridge oats
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, or smooth peanut butter
  • 75g dates
  • 50g dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp cocoa, or raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Coating – choose from:

  • 20g pistachio nuts
  • 1 tbsp cocoa, or raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp grated (desiccated) coconut
  • Milled seed mix (such as Linwoods) – or make your own from linseeds, sunflower, chia and pumpkin seeds – plus add goji berries for some colour!

 

 

Instructions

  1. If possible, soak the cashews for an hour or even overnight in water to soften. Drain cashews before use.

 

  1. Blitz the oats in a coffee grinder or food processor until they resemble coarse flour. Set aside.

 

  1. Melt the coconut oil very gently. Whizz the oil (or peanut butter) with the cashews, dates, dried cranberries and vanilla extract in a food processor until they form a paste.

 

  1. Add in the oat flour, cocoa/cacao, cinnamon and salt and process until it forms a cohesive mass.

 

  1. Manually roll the mixture into balls with clean hands. If the mixture sticks to your fingers, moisten your hands lightly.

 

  1. Sprinkle your choice of coating on a plate and roll the balls around the plate to coat evenly.

 

  1. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge – where they should last for about a week, or one month in the freezer – if you can resist them!

 

Definitely give these mood food bites a go this evening or this weekend! Have you thought about consulting a nutritionist before? You can email Ali at alisonpren@gmail.com for more information on her services or visit her website.

If you want more amazing inspiration then follow Ali on the channels below:

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

If you’re a teacher, an educator then you will want to listen to these 5 outstanding podcasts.  It’s always great to find a podcast or tv show or book that you can relate to and shares some of your own experiences. We have found 5 great podcasts that will have you keen to hear the next episode.

1.Truth for Teachers

This podcast is frequently ranked highly within the educational podcast space. Angela Watson the person behind this assassinating podcast covers the day and life of a teacher while giving you stories and advice to inspire you onwards in your own educational career.

 

2.House of Edtech

Chrisopher Nesi hosts this podcasts which investigates the technology within the educational sector and how it is impacting teachers and educators as they teach. You can expect some great stories from teachers and invators within this industry on how they believe technology can take you to the next level.

 

3. Inspiring Educators

Educators can often feel like the  heros overlooked for their hard work and their passion to share their knowledge with others.  Sung Lee who started this podcast wanted to give teachers aned educators a voice. You can oftern here guest educators share their stories of success and struggle in their classroom and out of it. A good listen and hopefully something which will inspire you.

 

Elearning Coach

This podcast will keep you up to date with the latest technology and trends in elearning. Find out how it can affect you and your learners. They cover a range of hot topics. You may find yourself taking the stairs at work so you can just listen to a bit more. A podcast, great for educators and course creators alike, so, if you’re thinking of teaching online get this one downloaded into your library.

 

The Bedley Brothers

These brothers were teachers of the year! Their podcast is 30 minutes long interviewing high profile guests about their lives. They deliver great little anecdotes and practical information that will help any educator.

 

If you are planning to teach online and want to find some successful Educators to take inspiration and guidance from then keep reading.  So if you’re wondering who to follow and who is in the know in the world in of educators? Here are some of the influential educators you should follow on social as well their personal websites that are worth a visit.

 

1.Alice Keeler

Alice is very successful as a result of teachers and Educators coming to her for fantastic inspiration and resources. Alice is an advocate of Google Suite for education purposes and thus features it in her posts.  There are a number of tools that Alice advocates on her website such as Grammarly which will grammar and spell check your words.

 

Twitter: @alicekeeler

Website: http://www.alicekeeler.com/

Instagram: @alicekeelorg

 

2. Wendy Kopp

Wendy has received the recognition as Time’s Magazine’s 100 most influential people as a result of her inspiring work.  She has founded a company called ‘Teach For All’ which makes education accessible to children who are living in low-income families and deprived areas across the world. Wendy’s Twitter is full of inspiring articles and interesting content that will get you pumped for teaching.

Map of where the charity works with Educators

Twitter: @wendykopp

Website: teachforall.org

Instagram: @wendykopp

 

3. Vicki Davis

Vicki’s twitter posts articles from herself in addition to other articles she shares from Educators within the industry of education and eLearning. In addition to this, you will find that she hosts a 10-minute teacher show as well as a podcast which is updated regularly for her keen listeners. Oh and she also is an author of a book. This woman does it all!

10 minute educator snapshot

 

Twitter: @coolcatteacher

Website: http://www.coolcatteacher.com/

Instagram: @coolcatteacher

4. Sylvia Duckworth

Sylvia is an educator that is very active on Twitter through her creative solution to sharing ideas such as producing beautiful sketchnotes for educators to use and share.  Here is an example below of her expressing her ideas through a simple yet effective sketch :

infographic of digital concept idea for educators

 

Twitter: @sylviaduckworth

Website: https://sylviaduckworth.shop/

Instagram: @sylviaduckworth

 

 

5.Craig Kemp

Craig is the head of EdTech in Singapore where he provides useful articles on his social accounts and website. He also runs #whatisschool together with other insightful articles on his website which are a result of some of the discussions on the#whatisschool chat. There is a snippet on his website that sums up #whatisschool and it explains that it is a chat group where ‘educators have a voice in shaping the future through their experience, recommendations and interests.’

ad for whatisschool

 

Twitter: @MrkempMz

Website: http://mrkempnz.com/category/whatisschool/page/2

 

 

 

Social Media is key to any business or to an individual who is using it to raise their own profile and engage with an audience. Therefore if you are using it to leverage your business or personal brand you will want to know how to use it best. We have picked out 5 of our favourite social media experts- some very well known, others new to the scene but offering lots of great value. They give really great advice on how to use the platforms to your advantage and also not what to do – as that can be pretty important too!

 

1. Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary is world famous and for good reason, he knows what he is talking about especially when it comes to social media. If you want really truthful insightful content that is delivered in fresh ways then follow him!

Where to follow:

Blog

Twitter

Instagram

YouTube

 

2.Lilach Bullock

Lilach Bullock features a lot of amazing content on her blog. She has a lot of how to guides for social media and lead generation and SEO. I have read many of her articles mostly in the social media section and find them really insightful.  The blog posts can be very long but there is a handy content page at the beginning which allows you to skip to the section which is most relevant.

 

Where to follow:

Blog

Twitter

Instagram

 

3. Jade Darmawangsa

Jade offers great advice when it comes to social media. Her blog is fairly new and there are not many posts at the moment but the content is really beneficial and insightful.  The youtube videos are really personable, answering many of the questions Jade gets through Instagram. Keep an eye on this space for some fantastic content.

Where to follow:

Blog/podcast

Twitter

Instagram

YouTube

 

4. Social With Rocki

 

Rocki delivers fantastic useful content in a range of formats. I recently attended her Instagram Live tips where she was delivering fantastic advice for her  #Bloggedup content. Rocki is also fairly new to the scene in terms of offering advice and only has one blog post at the moment. However, there is lots of great content on her Instagram and I think it’s an account you will want to follow.

Where to follow:

Blog

Twitter

Instagram

 

5. Desmond Dreckett

Desmond has a lot to offer. If you’re a small business you should definitely be following him. He offers really easily digestible bits of information that could really transform the way in which you use Twitter for your business. Check him out and follow him on social.

Where to follow:

Blog

Twitter

 

It’s National Nutrition and Hydration week. So we thought what would be better than sharing some of the best 5 nutritional breakfast recipes we can find. Here are 5 nutritional Instagrammers you need to check out. These recipes are an Instagrammers dream- taking food porn to a whole new level. If you want to up your Nutritional Breakfast game then check these out.

1. Scrambled Egg Toast with Roasted Asparagus by Well Plated

Instagram: @Wellplated

Asparagus on toast with Eggs

Look at this Yummy breakfast. And So instagramable but also easy! None of this fumbling around with 10 ingredients that you need to buy at some super health store that is going to cost you as much as your weekly shop. Simple and cheerful and nutritional.  If you cook eggs for breakfast anyway then this is just taking it a little step further and making it even greater on the Nutritional Breakfast scale. A great way to get you on your way to your 5 a day. Recipe here.

 

 

 

2. Blueberry Coconut Protein Smoothie by Natural Chow

Instagram: @NaturalChowBeautiful picture of a berry smoothie

For those of you that want a liquid breakfast and are all about that early morning protein hit this nutritional breakfast option is for you.  A very simple recipe you can whizz up in no time and still have enough time to Instagram it before you leave the house. Recipe here.

 

3. Simple Breakfast Burritos for Two by Edible Perspective

Instagram: @edible_perspective

Open burrito picture

 

Who says burritos are just for lunch and dinner! Check out this fab recipe for a breakfast burrito. This recipe is for two so if you’re feeling extra nice you can make your partner or housemate one. If not just pack it up and stick in the fridge for another morning. A Nutritional Breakfast with beans and eggs. Recipe here.

 

4. Peanut Butter Cookie Energy Bars by Get Inspired Everyday

Instagram: @get.inspired.everyday

Stack of protein breakfast bars

Some people are all about that sweet hit early in the morning, myself included. If things really are hectic in the morning and you want to eat breakfast but once you’ve left the house then these will do just fine. Full of sweet flavours but naturally sourced from fruit and peanuts, this will certainly give you a breakfast boost on the move. A great Nutrional Breakfast alternative.Recipe here.

 

5. 5 Sweet Spins on Yoghurt Bowls by the Food Network

Instagram:@foodnetwork

Yogurt Bowls

 

At number 5 we have 5 sweet spins on yoghurt bowls. Not that this list is in order of greatness. They are all fab- Great to have variety in your diet. So Yoghurt bowls- don’t really need a recipe for this as it’s just yoghurt with toppings. However, what you may be looking for is inspirations on how you can jazz up your yoghurt bowl so you are not having granola and blueberries every day. Inspiration here.

These are 10 fantastic Female Entrepreneurs and founders you should know. These women have been influential in founding their companies and making them the success they are today. Take a look and see how many of these inspirational women you know.

 

Whitney Wolfe-  Founder Bumble

Photo from: Racked

Whitney Wolfe founded Bumble the US’s fastest growing dating app with a difference- Women initiate the conversation first. She was also the Co-founder of Tinder, however, her negative experience at Tinder inspired her to create Bumble. Bumble focuses on women’s experience within the mobile app dating game and is now a fierce competitor to Tinder.

 

Sheryl Sandberg – COO Facebook and Founder Lean In foundation

Photo from: Forbes

Sheryl Sandberg played a crucial role in the success of Facebook as their Chief Operating Office. She is also the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board.  Her successful career includes working as the vice president of global online sales and operations for Google. On top of all this, she also founded Lean in Foundation which supports women by giving them a supportive inspiration environment to seek advice and motivation to help achieve their goals. She is an admired within the world of business for being one of the great Female Entrepreneur that paved the way.

Payal Kadakia Founder ClassPass

Photo from: Verve

Payal Kadakia if the founder of the successful fitness class booking company- ClassPass. ClassPass provides users with access to hundreds of classes in their city for a flat monthly fee. This was the perfect fitness motivation and solution for people who simply want to join the gym for the classes rather than using the gym equipment, or who wanted to try something different.

 

Kathryn Minshew – CEO and Co-Founder The Muse

Photo from: Inc

Kathryn is the CEO and co-founder The Muse, an online career website which offers people the chance and opportunity to progress in their career. They offer job listings, company reviews, Skill building resources and coaching services. Kathryn Minshew has been recognised for her work and as a result, was given the title of Forbes 30 under 30 recognition in 2011. Then in 2016 was named New York 50 award winner by SmartCEO magazine.

 

Katie Beauchamp and Hayley Barna Founders of Birchbox

Photo from: Fortune

Katie Beauchamp and Hayley Barna founded the beauty subscription service called Birchbox in 2010 and within 5 years had over 1 million subscribers. Consumers sign up for a monthly subscription plan to receive a sample selection of beauty products. Due to consumers desiring to test out the products of various high-end beauty brands before committing to buy them this made their venture very successful.

 

Jessica Alba Co-Founder of the Honest Company

Photo from pymnts

Jessica Alba the well-known actress from Fantastic Four founded The Honest Company in 2012. The Honest company sells baby, personal and household products to consumers that don’t contain any unnecessary chemicals. Therefore you can see why they strive for renewability with ingredients that are plant sourced and to have sustainable packaging. An actress and part of our wonderful Female Entrepreneurs.

 

Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish – Founders of Not on the Highstreet 

Photo from BBC

Holly and Sophie started the online marketplace where small businesses and entrepreneurs are able to sell their carefully crafted products to a global audience. The core of their idea is that they wanted to supply people with unique and wonderful products that could not be found on the high street. This website offers a lifeline of opportunity to small creative businesses and gives consumers something truly original and personal. These are two fantastic Female Entrepreneurs you should watch.

 

Michelle You Co-Founder of Songkick

Photo from: Business Insider

Michelle You is the co-founder as well the chief product officer of Songkick. If you’re a music lover then this online site where you can find tickets for the latest gigs and concerts. The company has grown massively over the years and now rivals Ticketmaster for concert information and tickets.