Advice for mobile e-newsletter creators
When I first wake up in the morning I typically reach for my iPhone to find out what is new in the world of educational technology. I subscribe to several e-newsletters, most of which are delivered in the middle of the night. Some of my favorites include: SmartBrief on Ed Tech, Inside HigherEd, PadGadget, and EdSurge. EdSurge is my current favorite of favorites because it focuses on emerging educational technologies and the entrepreneurs who are making it happen. However, I have a small problem with this newsletter that I will explain later.
My typical workflow is as follows:
- Wake up
- Reach for my phone
- Triage work-related email
- Review ed tech e-newsletters, tweeting and plus-ing some headlines and marking others to read later
My small problem is that some newsletters (e.g. EdSurge) are not formatted to be read on an iPhone as there is no way to comfortably zoom in on the text. Other newsletters (e.g. Inside Higher Ed, PadGadget) make it possible to double tap to enlarge text while still seeing an entire line of text. Better yet, they provide links to open newsletter articles on their websites. This allows me to use the Reader button in the address bar and make the text as big as I want. The links make it easy to share content with my professional learning community through Twitter and Google+.
I have contacted EdSurge a couple of times about this issue. Each time they have kindly asked me to provide alternative examples. The video below is my attempt to explain how they can make their newsletter iPhone friendly so that I don’t have to remember to read it later in the day when I am on my computer. Thanks for listening EdSurge and anyone else who wants mobile users to read your e-newsletters.
I have been active in the instructional technology world for over 20 years. My previous positions include: high school teacher, university lecturer, school district technology facilitator, multimedia author, and project manager for an educational technology company. My current position is Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education at Seattle Pacific University. My current task is exploring the possibility of creating a masters degree in digital teaching and learning. My most recent previous position was Director of Instructional Technology at SPU. As Director, I regularly consulted with faculty on effective uses of technology. I have been involved in the development of numerous online and blended courses. In addition, I have taught face-to-face, blended, and online courses in the School of Education for over ten years. Recent projects include: developing a Web 2.0 electronic portfolio system based on WordPress, creating a feature-comparison matrix for lecture capture solutions, and leading SPU’s iTunes U project. I have facilitated faculty learning communities on topics such as learning spaces, active learning, blended learning, and mobile learning. I am an Associate Editor for MERLOT’s Teacher Education Editorial Board. I served as program chair for the 2013 International Symposium for Emerging Technologies in Online Learning, and will be the conference chair for the 2014 conference.
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