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Jon's Corner

Ever taken a walk around your campus to keep current? Recently, I took a walk around the office to see what the finalsite team was working on. Here is just a glimpse of what I witnessed:

Content is King
In one office we started talking about all the areas where content can be displayed in finalsite products. We came up with 10 different areas:

  • Pages
  • eNotify
  • Banner Module
  • Print
  • Portal Element
  • Mobile Pages
  • RSS/iCal
  • The New IOS App
  • SMS Alerts
  • The API

To improve content on your website, ask yourself where you spend your time adding content and how you can simplify that process. For example, did you know you could auto-pull content from one page into another in Page Manager? This is just one of the many strategies to make content-building more efficient.

What's New
I took a walk down the hall to the developers' room and checked out some of the new software in development. I specifically asked the eNotify team to show me something new and impressive. I saw:

  • An all new admin user interface
  • Implementation of more granular permissions
  • Better statistics, reporting, searching, and filtering
  • Improved list and bad email management

I also checked out the new Quiz Manager and was very impressed. I'm convinced that it is going to change the way we give quizzes in the classroom.

Another area where enhancements are really transforming the user experience are the updated Group Spaces with its features and layout. Things like:

  • A new tabbed layout that better organizes and displays relevant content
  • A Recent Activity element that provides a fast overview of what's new
  • A new dashboard tab that includes optional content, incoming RSS, and embedded media elements
  • A new Group Space blog capability

All this in just a few short minutes. Look for more details on these new improvements, as well as techniques for using content on your site, at finalsite U. The finalsite team is excited; are you?


In This Issue:

News You Can Use

Best Practices

Teacher's Corner


    NEW: Christian Academy of Knoxvillle
    , TN
    NEW: Crofton House School
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    NEW: Learn Different
    NEW: Green Dot Schools
    Los Angeles, CA
    NEW: The International School of Turin
    Chieri (TO), Italy
    NEW: Vernon Township Schools
    Vernon, NJ
    NEW: Australian International School
    NEW: The Growing Room
    San Ramon, CA
    NEW: Pathyways To Technology Magnet School
    Windsor, CT

    NEW: St. Clement School
    Chicago, IL

    NEW: Shelton School
    Dallas, TX
    NEW: Saint Joseph Parish and School
    Herndon, VA
    NEW: Episcopal School of Acadiana
    Broussard, LA
    read more >

    News You Can Use

    NEW! finalsite Virtual Bootcamp - June 6, 7, 8


    You asked, we delivered: finalsite is offering 16 webinars the first week of June to inform and inspire you to take that next leap with your website. Virtual Bootcamp provides the basic training you may want or need prior to finalsite U, is free for all clients and you can select one or more of the 45 minute webinars to attend. These sessions are hosted by folks you know and love from Deployment and Support so don't miss out. Register today or learn more at

    LAST CALL for finalsite University

    Calling all procrastinators: time is running out. Register today for finalsite University, held June 21 through 23, 2011 at Avon Old Farms. Meet with developers, designers, sales staff, the support team, and project managers! Learn best practices in 70+ sessions! Be inspired by keynotes from NAIS President Pat Bassett, TABS Executive Director Pete Upham, and finalsite President and Founder Jon Moser! Work hard, then play hard in our fun afterhours activities! Don't miss out: register TODAY! Revisioned


    Have you seen the new Our website has been redesigned to improve both the look and functionality for you and for the community-at-large. We'd love to hear your thoughts on our redesign: go to Community Voice and let us know what you think!

    Don't LOSE Your Valuable Forms! Act Today!


    ACTION REQUIRED! All support for the obsolete finalsite Survey tool at will end on July 1, 2011. Our records show there are still a number of active forms in use that were built using the old Survey tool. These must be rebuilt using Forms Manager in Site Manager > Modules. After July 1 you will not be able to collect or view results with the old Survey forms. If you have not yet explored the capabilities of the new Forms Manager, please visit the Knowledge Base for tutorial videos and User Guide, and see your Admin Dashboard for upcoming Forms Manager training webinars.

    Best Practices for Schools

    QR Codes - Bancroft School's Story


    QR codes - short for quick response - are grabbing headlines these days. But, what are these and how can a school use them? QR codes are 2-dimensional bar codes that are short-cuts to information. A user with a mobile phone (equipped with a camera and a QR code reader, available as a downloadable app) takes a photo of the code that is displayed in print somewhere. The user’s browser (Firefox, for example) opens up and displays a website or other content is provided via the code reader application. Many mainstream newspapers and magazines are using these to direct readers to additional information.

    The finalsite CMS has the ability to generate QR codes for any page on your site. In Page Manager, simply look just below your page URL and click the words “Generate QR Code” then copy and paste that code into any print document. Loomis-Chaffee recently used this process to embed a QR Code on an alumni reunion postcard.

    Another great idea for QR codes comes from Bancroft School in Worchester, Massachusetts. Bud Brooks, Bancroft’s Director of Technology, worked with the admission office to create an interactive QR code scavenger hunt to take place during the traditional student tours with prospective students. Here’s how it worked:

    • Bud worked with a company called SCVNGR to set up the hunt.
    • QR codes were printed and placed on buildings across campus. Each QR code contained a shortcut that ultimately would lead students to the next QR code.
    • A prospective student would be paired up with a current student for a tour and both would be given an iPod Touch to be used during the tour.
    • The pair would take a photo of the first QR code, the iPod Touch would open up a question such as “Find the building with the same name as a furry cartoon character.”
    • Both students would then locate Garfield building, find the QR code on the building, and take a photo of it to move to the next question.
    • Alternately, there were locations where the QR code opens up a photo that the students have to identify by moving to the corresponding location or a fill in the blank question whose answer can be found at the next location.

    Already, the admission office is reporting that this scavenger hunt has become one of the students’ favorite parts of their campus visits. This is currently used just for Upper School with plans to possibly expand to Middle School.

    How is your school using or planning to use QR codes? Let us know!

    Did You Know?

    Videos and Podcasts Broaden Learning


    It’s time to get creative with your class page and how you’re delivering content. Have you thought about recording class lectures, notes or lessons in either a video or mp3 file? With all of the tools we have at our fingertips, it’s not hard to do. You could post them to your group space in the Multimedia Manager and automatically deliver them to your students by setting your audio or video playlist to be a podcast.

    When you add a new media object, just say “Yes” to podcast: this allows students to sign up for that playlist and deliver the content directly to their program of preference – even iTunes!

    Why consider video or podcasts for your class?

    • Increase collaboration. At Loomis-Chaffee for example, teachers record electronic whiteboard lessons and students view those videos prior to class. Class time is then spent on projects or tasks that might have benn homework previosly.
    • Provide instruction during your absence. Record your lesson in advance when you have a substitute in your class.
    • Keep sick or otherwise absent students current on instruction. For example, some international schools have had instances when they could not meet on campus. Videos and podcasts can keep students current in this instance.

    How are you using  videos and podcasts in your class? Contact us at and let us know!

    Past Newsletters:
    May 2011
    April 2011

    March 2011

    February 2011

    January 2011
    December 2010
    November 2010
    October 2010
    September 2010
    August 2010

    finalsite Headquarters
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    East Hartford, CT 06108 (US)
    Phone: 860.289.3507
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    Fax: 860.289.3891

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    Phone:  +44 20 8816 8392

    Phone: +65-9138-1489


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