The Grovo Blog

Are our Children Learning from Technology Leaders or Laggards?

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Teachers are extremely important in our ecosystem of learning and the quest to attain knowledge and become enlightened individuals. They work hard, they mold young minds and they often convey highly complicated concepts in ways that allow for those minds to purposefully stretch.

However, for all of the remarkable feats of teachers, professional development initiatives have lagged when it comes to equipping many educators with the digital skills and technological competencies they need for the current 21st century world.

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Posted in Digital Skills Gap, K12

5 Innovative Lessons that Promote Teamwork & Collaboration

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Every time a student sits at a computer, whether to watch Netflix or use social media, they have access to the accumulated knowledge of the human race. For K-12 teachers, the information revolution means that the traditional method of textbook-based, one-way knowledge transmission is in for some radical changes in the coming years. The struggle for learners moving forward won’t be acquiring knowledge, but contextualizing and applying it constructively.

The traditional mode of silent, independent examination is not always the most complete method of testing for that skill. Working in teams, conversely, requires both social skills and critical thinking. It’s not inconceivable that in the near future, assignments and exams with teamwork built into the grade will entirely replace the traditional sight of lonely students in the library and silent, anxious test-takers being patrolled by a teacher on the lookout for illicit information-sharing. In tomorrow’s digital economy, information-sharing will be a virtue.

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Posted in K12

Grovo Voted the Best Place to Work in NYC Tech!

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Grovo Learning is extremely proud to have been named the “Best Place to Work in New York City Tech” by Internet Week New York!

The award was presented by Internet Week New York at a ceremony honoring the 30 best technology companies to work for in the city. The list of nominees included heavy hitters like BuzzFeed, Barbarian Group, and Squarespace. Ultimately, the voting results confirmed what we Grovo Sapiens have long felt: there is no better place to work in New York City.

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Posted in Press

Are We Equipping Our Children with the Right Tools?

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Today’s children are very familiar with an exhaustive list of new and emerging technologies. These include devices such as iPhones, iPads, Chromebooks, tablets, laptops and more, along with an array of online digital software, email, texting and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The 21st century is upon them. As net denizens, most are just fine seamlessly blending new technologies into their everyday lives.

The question is, are we providing them with the correct and necessary tools to navigate the new digital-centric world in which technology continues to evolve each and every day? Will they have the essential skills required to compete in college and/or the fast-moving digital workplace?

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Posted in K12

Crunch Management: 5 Tips For When Time Management Has Failed

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These are the moments that try even the best planners’ souls. You have a deadline, you have the resources, and you’re willing and able; you just don’t have any time. The clock is ticking and you need to detonate your workflow into an explosion of laser-guided productivity, now. Welcome to crunch time.

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Posted in Soft Skills

The War Between E-Learning and Traditional Learning is a Mirage

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Do you prefer peanut butter or grape jelly? Would you eat a hamburger without a hefty slice of cheese? Would a salad without both lettuce and tomato be appealing?

The truth is that certain foods just pair up beautifully, enhance each other and together give you a more fulfilling dining experience. You certainly could have one without the other, but why would you?

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Posted in E-learning, K12

Roundup: Learning and Development News

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Did you attend the DevLearn Conference in Las Vegas late last month (October 29 through 31)? Not only was Grovo represented at this much anticipated learning and education technology conference with a highly visible and much visited exhibitor booth, housing key members of the Grovo team, but it was also where our CEO Jeff Fernandez could be found talking to everyone who sought to learn more about what Grovo does, and how we do it. At the Grovo booth number 404 (error: booth not found!), members of our team were busy giving demos on TV screens of our 60- to 90-second video training using our microlearning platform.

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Posted in Learning & Development

The K12 Digital Skills Gap: A Peek Inside Classrooms

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Can you “see” what’s missing in our schools?

K-12 classrooms all over the US are experiencing a digital skills gap in which teachers’ online skills have not kept pace with advancing technology. In many cases, perfectly wonderful, veteran, and dedicated educators have fallen behind the rapidly emerging technological wave. Their online skills, learned just a few years ago, have quickly become outdated and have not kept pace with today’s 21st century technology. In many schools, upgrading educators’ cutting edge digital competencies simply hasn’t been a high level priority.

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Posted in Digital Skills Gap, K12

The Digital Skills Gap & Company Leadership

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A successful company needs to work in unison, as each team member must have not only an individual skillset to succeed, but also the ability to work as part of a whole to meet the needs of the team.

The leader’s responsibility lays in making sure that the individuals on his or her team have both qualities, but the necessity of efficient leadership often is less emphasized. Even greatly proficient members of a team will be poorly equipped to succeed without adequate guidance, and this problem is epitomized by a lack of sufficient digital skills in the US workforce.

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Posted in Digital Skills Gap

Grovo Makes the Grade as a Top Ten “S’Cool Tool”

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Grovo is pleased that it has been selected (among more than 60 candidates) to be among the top ten free “S’Cool Tools” for use by schools, as chosen by EdSurge which made the announcement October 2 of its selection of faves.

In EdSurge’s own words about Grovo, “Thanks to the big bad Internet, the 21st century teacher has access to a whole new world of tools and communities. But how can you take advantage of what’s out there? Grovo aims to help you develop skills and figure out how to take advantage of what the Internet has to offer. With 60-second videos on on popular tools such as Google Drive and how to do “online research” using the likes of TweetDeck, Grovo can help you (and your students) optimize the Internet for your needs.”

Thanks, EdSurge. We appreciate the independent and unbiased recognition!

Grovo fans should know that our company is extremely civic minded and believes in the bigger mission of helping those who could directly benefit. To date, the company has donated site licenses for Grovo online training to more than 100,000 students. In this way, Grovo can help ensure that today’s students — who will shortly become tomorrow’s leaders — have the skills necessary to compete in the 21st century workplace.

And speaking of those necessary digital skills, watch for Grovo’s upcoming release of a compelling new white paper geared just for the K-12 education market. The paper will explore the reasons behind the two-pronged skills gap in K-12, identify six key trends driving the skills gap, offer case studies of how two schools are effectively addressing the problem, showcase the eight essential digital skills needed for today and tomorrow, and provide a roadmap for what next steps education leaders can take to close that gap.

 You can see the full EdSurge’s favorite “S’cool Tools” list here: https://www.edsurge.com/n/2014-10-01-the-top-ten-s-cool-tools-for-q3-2014

 

Posted in Online Training, Press, Real-Time Updates

Happy 4th From Grovo!

stress-management-banner-playbtnTomorrow is the 4th of July! Time for beaches, barbecuing, friends, and fireworks.

Here at Grovo, we’re taking a nice long weekend to enjoy the festivities and summer weather.  If you’re like us and you love your job so much that you can’t bear the thought of not being able to work for four days – you’re in luck!

The How to Make the Best of a Long Weekend track will show you how to use some common apps in offline mode.

Check out this learning track so you can be working even when your internet isn’t.

1. Evernote

  • If you are an Evernote Premium user, you have the ability to set your notebooks up for offline access.  If you have notebooks you think you might need to access over the weekend, take a few minutes to download them while you’re still in the office.
  • Pro Tip: Use an offline note to keep track of how many hot dogs you’ve eaten.

2. Gmail

  • You can install Gmail Offline to your computer so you always have access to emails.
  • Pro Tip: Offline access to your email means you can find the addresses of all those parties people have been inviting you to, even if you lose internet access.

3. Google Drive

  • Google Drive gives you the ability to download your files in a range of formats for offline use.  One of the most helpful features is the ability to save a Google spreadsheet as an Excel file.
  • Pro Tip: Leave your spreadsheets online and enjoy the weekend!  I promise they’ll still be there on Monday.

Posted in How To, Online Training, Pro Tip, Uncategorized, Video Tutorials

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Grovo for Marketers

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The proliferation of the Internet has changed many industries, but it’s completely revolutionized marketing.  Gone are the days of successful marketing campaigns built exclusively around witty commercials and billboards.  Creativity is as important as ever, but that creativity is more about how you leverage the tools at your disposal and less about how you create campaigns.

As a successful digital marketer, you understand that good campaigns are built on quantitative analysis, and that you need tools to collect and analyze data.  You also know that social media and mobile devices offer you unprecedented access to consumers.

What you may not always understand is the technical side of your campaigns. In a digitized world, executing on ideas is not always as intuitive as we might like.  Luckily, Grovo is here to help with courses on social media, analytics, and mobile marketing.

1. Social Media Marketing

  • The explosion of social media has set the stage for an entirely new form of marketing.  If used effectively, a social media presence can allow companies to connect with their customers on a deeper level.

  • To start using your social media accounts more effectively, check out these learning tracks: Social Media Fundamentals and Create Social Media Content Around the Web.

2. Analytics

3. Mobile Marketing

  • According to the Pew Research Center, over 58% of adults in the US own a smartphone – and based on personal observation, some spend upwards of 75% of their free time staring at theirs. Mobile marketing is an opportunity you cannot ignore.

  • Introduce yourself to the world of mobile marketing with the Fundamentals of Mobile Advertising.

Hopefully this post taught you a little something about the tools that are available to digital marketers.  Check out Grovo’s library to find more advanced marketing tips.

 

Posted in How To, Online Training, Pro Tip, Video Tutorials

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Is the Digital Skills Gap Hurting Your Company?

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Throughout the 1990s and the first half of the 2000s, the first wave of the digital revolution brought huge gains in productivity.

Unfortunately, despite the promises of cloud-based and mobile technologies, the second wave has so far failed to deliver. Productivity growth rates have declined to the 1-1.5% level, and businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to get more from their workforce.

Grovo’s new whitepaper explains how the productivity crisis has been brought about by a growing digital skills gap, as training has failed to keep pace with the rapid advance in technology.

This is no joke – this skills gap comes at an estimated cost of $1.3 trillion to the US economy.

By laying out the eight core competencies of digital skills, we provide a framework you can use to develop an action plan that addresses the digital skills gap in your business.

Check out the whitepaper today and let us know what you think @Grovo!

Posted in Internet Trends, Pro Tip

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Get the Most Out of Your Hardware

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Here at Grovo, we cover all the most important cloud software, but today we want to bring you some tips on how you can maximize your hardware’s speed and performance so you can stay productive.

You can drastically increase your computer’s processing speed by developing some good habits and employing the techniques you’ll find below.

1. Diagnose Common Computer Issues

  • There are few things more annoying than a computer that’s taking too long to respond, but repeatedly clicking the refresh button on your web browser is not the solution.
  • To maintain computer speed, try to close extraneous apps and windows.
  • If it’s unclear what’s slowing you down, open your Mac’s Activity Monitor (or the Task Manager in Windows) to see if one application is using a particularly large amount of RAM or CPU.  Also check if any applications are labeled “not responding.”  Closing these applications could solve your issue.
  • Also never hesitate to restart your computer; it’s an incredibly effective troubleshooting method.

2.  Tools to Maximize Computer Speed

  • While the techniques above will increase your computer speed, they’re short-term fixes rather than long-term solutions.  Computers inevitably become slower over time, but you can postpone the decline by developing good maintenance habits.
  • Keeping your applications up-to-date will go a long way in helping your computer maintain peak performance.  Updating your applications seems like a chore, but the more often you do it, the less time it will take each time around.
  • Another excellent way to keep your computer running like the day you bought it is to maximize free space; this can be accomplished by deleting applications and files you no longer need.
  • As a last resort, you can always upgrade your hardware to increase speed.  Common upgrades include adding more RAM and replacing your hard drive.

3. Wi-Fi Tips and Tricks

  • If your computer is slow to load websites but otherwise fine, there’s a good chance you have a bad Wi-Fi connection.
  • One of the most common issues, and the easiest fixes, is that your router is simply too far from your computer.  This can be easily solved by moving your router closer to your computer or installing a Wi-Fi repeater into isolated parts of your home.
  • If your Wi-Fi isn’t password-protected your internet speed could be adversely affected by strangers tapping into your network.  Keep your network to yourself by adding a password.

We all have issues with our computers every now and then, hopefully these techniques will help you alleviate them.  Try making these changes and see how much faster you can zoom around!

Posted in Expert Series, How To, Online Training, Pro Tip, Video Tutorials, What Momma Don't Know

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Stay Focused on What’s Important

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We all know staying on task is hard, and as new technology continues to make life more complex, staying focused and productive becomes even more difficult.  Each new device in your pocket increases the number of possible distractions.

In the flurry of texts, tweets, snaps, news stories, company emails, and cute animal pics we often lose sight of the fact that the technology we have at our disposal is intended not just to entertain us but also to make us more efficient workers.  To help you navigate the information overload, Grovo is bringing you a few basic techniques that will help you stay focused longer and live a healthier, more productive life.

1. Build Good Work Habits

  • One of the keys to working effectively despite information overload is to attack it at the source, by controlling when and where you interact with certain information.
  • Building good work habits like only checking your company email every two hours, staying off social media sites during business hours, and only using your personal phone during breaks can help you stay laser-focused.

2.  Strike a Heathy Work-Life Balance

  • The proliferation of technology does more than allow your personal life to distract you during the work day, it also allows work to follow you home.
  • Being constantly connected to the office effectively destroys your leisure time.
  • In order to leave your work in the office and be able to truly relax during your time off, it is important that you put some barriers in place.

3.  Tools to Help You Make These Changes

  • One tool you can use is the SelfControl app, which allows you to add URLs to a blacklist, blocking your computer’s access to them for a predetermined amount of time.
  • Things like running apps in full-screen mode and drowning out background noise with headphones can also help you eliminate clutter and focus on the task at hand.

These tips should have set you up to have a more productive day. Let us know what tools you use to stay focused @Grovo!

Posted in How To, Online Training, Pro Tip, Video Tutorials

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