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Jon's Corner

At TABS last December I talked about the importance of speed. Amazon.com says that a 100 milliseconds delay results in a 1%% sales loss (potential 191 million dollars in lost revenue in 2008). Google says that a 500 milliseconds delay drops search traffic by 20%% (the cost of slower performance increases over time). The faster your site loads, the more likely folks will stick around to surf.
 
In an ongoing effort to boost the speed of your website, we’ve partnered with Limelight Networks to serve selected content via their global content delivery network (CDN).  We have just completed the rollout of our initial CDN implementation phase, which includes all your public media content and some system-level files.   These will now be delivered from the CDN server geographically closest to you.

A sampling of speed boosts we’ve measured in various cities downloading single files via the CDN vs. the finalsite datacenter:

Zurich, Switzerland311%%San Jose, California 266%%
Vienna, Austria217%%Montreal, Canada213%%
London, UK185%%Bucharest, Romania167%%
Honolulu, Hawaii137%%Mumbai, India138%%
Kobe, Japan232%%Taipei, Taiwan122%%
Singapore162%%San Paulo, Brazil82%%

The use of a CDN means greater speed for you, our finalsite clients, and is one more sign finalsite continues to be the world leader in web software for schools.

I'm looking forward to visiting with clients at NAIS. Please stop by and say hello.

Jon

In This Issue:

News You Can Use

Best Practices

Teacher's Corner


News:

1-26 REDESIGN: American School of Paris
Paris, France
1-26 REDESIGN:
Trinity Christian School
Fairfax, Virginia
1-21 NEW:
River School
New York, NY
1-21 NEW:
Waterside School
Stamford, CT
1-20 NEW:
Charlotte Christian School
Charlotte, NC
1-20 NEW:
Jesuit High School
Portland, OR
read more >

News You Can Use

 

What's New With finalsite? A 2010 Recap and 2011 Preview

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On February 9 at 2:00 PM EST, finalsite President and Founder Jon Moser discusses last year’s software additions and product enhancements and offers a sneak peek of what 2011 will bring. This is for clients only, please. Register early to ensure a spot in this popular webinar! Don’t miss any of our upcoming marketing or product webinars!

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Join Us In Singapore On February 18

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finalsite’s Singapore office will host a Web Tech Event on February 18, 2011 (dinner 17 February). Topics range from big picture to the practical. Go to finalsite.com/singapore to register or to find out more. See you there!

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Atlanta, Sarasota, Montreal and More...

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finalsite is on the road with Web Tech Events. These free half to full day workshops are filled with the latest web trends and networking opportunities and include a free lunch. See finalsite.com/webtech for a complete listing of upcoming events as well as more information. Don’t miss out!

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See You At NAIS

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Stop by booth #301 at the NAIS Annual Conference and say hello to Jon Moser, Rob DiMartino, and Lorrie Jackson. And be sure to join finalsite staff on Thursday, February 24 at 1:30 for one of two great presentations. Jon Moser will present “Next Generation Websites: Where Form Meets Function”. Lorrie Jackson and Doreen Kelly, Head of School at Ravenscroft School, will share a Speed Innovating Session: “Minimize Risk with Social Media Acceptable Usage Policies.”  See you there!

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Single Sign-On With Naviance

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finalsite continues its commitment to providing you with seamless access to industry-leading software. Now students will be able to access Naviance through your school’s website via single sign-on (SSO). Contact Anthony Tata to get this process started for your school.

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finalsite University 2011- Save $50 and Change!

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Sessions are being finalized, activities planned, giveaways purchased…. finalsiteU planning is in full swing. Each year, hundreds of educators convene in Connecticut to network, to learn, and to re-energize their web strategy for their schools. This year’s conference – June 21 through 23 at Avon Old Farms School in Avon, CT – promises to be the best yet! Register today for THE web strategy conference of the year and receive over $50 off your registration.

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Mark Your Calendars- finalsiteU International 12-13 April, 2011
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Broaden your web horizons at finalsite University International: Web Strategies for International Schools in Istanbul, Turkey 12 through 13 April, 2011. International school professionals will share best practices for the web, brainstorm new solutions for online challenges, and network with colleagues from across the world. There is no charge for this event and you do not need to be a finalsite client to attend. Go to finalsiteu.com/fsuinternational to register today or to learn more.

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finalsite Survey Retires
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finalsite Survey, after an illustrious career as your online forms and survey tool of choice, is due for a well-deserved retirement. Like all things online, it has been upstaged by something better, faster, and easier to use (something which no doubt also comes with a higher version number!): our new Forms Manager. So on July 1, 2011, we will take finalsite Survey offline. You will still be able to send it a letter by mail, if you wish, or by courier, if you must, but you will no longer find finalsite Survey in the online world. Its forms and surveys will cease collecting information and will instead display a polite but firm message saying it has retired. Visiting the finalsite Survey login page will earn you an admonishment for disrupting its new-found peace and quiet. And attempting to create a new finalsite Survey page in our CMS… well, that simply won’t be possible. Mark the date! finalsite Survey retires on July 1, 2011.

 

 

Best Practices for Schools

Video Brings Campus to Life: ISZL's Story

 

“The goal is to send a video message every month, ultimately producing a video magazine.”

-International School of Zug and Luzern

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If a picture’s worth a thousand words, what’s video worth? Much more, probably. Schools everywhere are taking advantage of finalsite’s enhanced MultiMedia Manager to upload and embed videos throughout their site. For the International School of Zug and Luzern in Switzerland, videos are successfully used both in public and private web spaces. Through creative subject matter, use of high quality equipment, scheduling of messages, and exemplary staffing, the school is able to tell their story through video throughout their website.

ISZL’s Web Manager Alok Das and Director of Development Jeff Snyder head up the video initiative, with Alok attending extensive training on video production. They purchased HD video equipment and worked out a shooting schedule. Many events are documented regularly, such as the fifth graders giving holiday messages in 18 languages or sharing what they like about ISZL in their mother tongues.  Some of these videos are shared publicly, while others are kept secure on the parent portal.

The goal is to send a video message every month, ultimately producing a video magazine. February’s focus, for example, will be the fine and performing arts. Videos for recruitment and fundraising are also in the works. Look for more great ideas from this creative team in the months ahead!

Tips from ISZL on launching a successful video campaign:

  • Do it! 
  • Purchase the best equipment possible within your budget. 
  • Come up with a plan, and be able to adjust it as you go. 
  • Remember less is more. 
  • Have a big picture plan but also start small.

For more finalsite-in-action stories from schools like yours, go to finalsiteShare.

 


Teacher's Corner

Posting Files As A Class Resource
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When posting files to the resources section of either your Group Space or Teacher Site you may notice that you have three different options. Why? We wanted to make posting files easy and flexible, so we provided choices each with its own benefits.

Option 1: Upload a Single File

Uploading a single file will allow you to browse your local machine (desktop) for a file to upload to the class page.  This does not go through the File Manager and can provide a little “shortcut” to uploading files.  When files are uploaded to the class page they are then attached to the class page and not your teacher account. This means that if you no longer teach that class the files will remain with that class and not “follow” you to a new class.  As files are not tied to the File Manager, when the resource is deleted the file is also deleted.

Option 2: Link to an Existing File

Your second choice is to link to an existing file.  This will allow you to browse the File Manager for a file. The File Manager is great for organizing files in sub-folders, viewing and sorting files, and managing disk space. The File Manager also allows you to “bulk delete” to make clean-up easier.  Unlike uploading a single file, the files uploaded to the File Manager will be tied to your teacher account; if you switch classes you’ll take your files with you.  And, despite the name you can upload and link to an existing file at the same time!

Option 3: Link to a Dynamic File Folder

Linking to a dynamic folder is probably the most efficient way to upload new class resources!  Linking to a dynamic folder in the File Manager will allow you to select a folder you’ve created from the File Manager and it will automatically pull all files in that folder and turn them into resources for you. You don't have to provide a name, pick the resource type, etc. All you have to do is upload the files to that File Manager folder. Also, if you delete a file from the folder it will automatically remove this as a resource, which will also make clean-up easier.  If you have a large number of resources to post but don’t want to create them individually – bulk uploading to File Manager and linking to a dynamic folder will certainly save you some time! Bear in mind that the resource title that appears on your class page will be the same as your file name. Make sure before you upload your files that they’re named clearly. If you’d like to use dynamic folders, it’s worth investing a bit of time up front to think through the folders you’d like to use throughout the year or semester and get them created for easier organization. 

There you have it: three easy ways to post files to Group Spaces and Teacher Sites. Choose the one that’s right for you!

 

 

Past Newsletters:
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010

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