Showing posts with label Advertising. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Advertising. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Ruff Ruffman Presents Lessons on Search and Advertising for K-2 Students

Ruff Ruffman is the "star" of a PBS Kids series. Yesterday, one of my high school students asked me if my kids watch the show. My daughters are still a little too young for it. But the question did remind me of a couple of little PBS Kids lessons about web search and online advertising that feature Ruff Ruffman "Humble Media Genius."

Ruff Ruffman's Find What You Want features a short video about the basic concepts of web search and a short video about the basics of online advertising. After each of the three minute videos kids can take a self-paced quiz. If you would rather not show the videos, PBS Kids does provide storyboard of both Find What You Want videos that you can show to your students.

Applications for Education
Ruff Ruffman's Find What You Want videos and quizzes aren't going to be a replacement for comprehensive lessons on how to conduct internet searches. That said, the videos and quizzes could make for engaging introduction to the concepts for K-2 students.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Advertising and What YouTube Knows About You

We've all had the annoying experience of going to show a YouTube video in a classroom or to a friend only to have an advertisement play for five, ten, or thirty seconds before you can actually watch the video. How does YouTube know which ads to show to you? That's partly based on your viewing habits and the channels to which you subscribe. It's also partly based on what advertisers are willing to pay to appear on a video. That process happens in less than a second. Learn more about YouTube advertising and how much a video earns by watching the following CGP Grey video.

Applications for Education
Many students happily click from one video to the next (YouTube says that average user watches 40 minutes of video per day on a mobile phone) without thinking about the digital footprint that is left behind. Ask your students to think about the advertisements they see and how they get there. Then show them CGP Grey's video. They might be surprised by what YouTube knows about them.

You can avoid much of the video viewing habits tracking by watching YouTube without signing into your Google account and by using an incognito browser window.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Consumer Education at the Mall

The FTC offers a lot of good resources designed to help students and adults become savvy consumers. One of the resources they provide for students is an online environment called Consumer Education at the Mall. This virtual mall features animated lessons, games, and other activities that help students understand advertising methods, product pricing, and privacy protection. The virtual mall also has a section in which students can learn about common consumer scams.

The consumer education mall has four sections. In the west terrace students learn about advertising methods and truth in advertising rules. The west terrace also includes a game in which students have to match advertisements to their intended audiences. In the consumer education mall's food court students learn about how competition between businesses can be a good thing for consumers. In the food court students students also learn how supply and demand affect prices. The mall's security plaza is where students head when they want to learn about consumer privacy protections, what kind of personal information is safe to share and which kinds are not safe to share. In the mall's east terrace students discover why enticing prices, give-away promotions, and flattery isn't what it appears to be on the surface.

Applications for Education
The activities in Consumer Education at the Mall are designed for students in upper elementary grades and middle school. You could have students attempt to go through all of the activities in one sitting or you could break it up into sixteen smaller lessons for your students. The FTC provides PDF fact sheets for each activity in the consumer education mall.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Admongo - A Fun Game to Help Students Learn About Advertising Techniques

This evening as I watched an episode of Mad Men I was reminded of Admongo. Admongo is a game and curriculum designed to educate preteen students about the forms and methods of advertising. Admongo's primary feature is a game in which students earn points by collecting advertisements as they move through a fictional city. As they advance through the game, students will see short videos that explain the type of advertisements they see and how those advertisements attempt to get them to take an action.

Applications for Education
Admongo provides a curriculum for teachers to use with 5th and 6th grade students. The curriculum is designed to complement the lessons students learn by playing the game. On the Admongo curriculum page teachers will find posters, handouts, quizzes and other printable materials to use in their classrooms. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

About Advertising

Dear Readers,

I thought about using, "I don't support Scott Walker" as the title of this post, but that would be way too political for my liking. And while it would be a good SEO ploy, that's not what this post is about. It's about advertising that you see here on my blog.

I received an email today from a reader who was very concerned that I had accepted money from Scott Walker for an advertisement that she saw here on Free Technology for Teachers. First, I want to clarify that I do not support Scott Walker nor did I intentionally display that advertisement. That advertisement was a Google Adsense unit. I currently have two Adsense units on this blog. Adsense displays ads to viewers on an individual basis based on each individual's browsing and viewing history. I only receive a payment if someone clicks on one of those ads. If you want to opt out of Google's tracking I wrote about how to opt-out here. In short, I never saw the Scott Walker ad until it was pointed out to me because Google currently thinks that the best ads to display to me are about mountain biking, dogs, and airlines (they're actually pretty accurate too).

Where I messed up.
While Google Adsense does have filters for categories like "dating," "health," and other potentially PG-13 categories it does not have a filter for "political ads." It was my mistake not to foresee an ad campaign by Scott Walker and block the url for his campaign ads which is something I have done now.

What I'll do in the future.
The 2012 U.S. Presidential Election Campaigns will be in full swing this summer. In an effort to be as bi-partisan as possible, I will try to block urls from both campaigns.

Why don't you stop running ads?
I'm sure some people are wondering that. The short answer is, ads help me keep the lights on and feed my dog.  Researching and writing content for this blog takes 50+ hours a week. While I never intended to start a small business, thanks to so many of you and your loyal readership, this blog did turn into a small business. For that, I am very very grateful. Thank you for reading my blog and sharing with others.

All the best,

P.S. If you do see an advertisement that is inappropriate please feel free to email to me the url of the ad and I will block it. My email is richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers (dot) com

Saturday, December 17, 2011

About Accepting Advertising as an Ed Tech Blogger (or just as a blogger in general)

Warning: this post is a bit of an editorial rant with some advice for bloggers thrown in. 

In the last couple of months I've noticed a trend on ed tech blogs that is positive and potentially negative if it's not nipped in the bud soon. The positive is that ed tech start-ups (and some established companies) have realized that advertising on well-known ed tech blogs can be a good way to reach new markets. I know this because not only do companies approach me, but other bloggers have reached out to me for advice on this topic. I'm all for bloggers, especially teachers, making a little cash for their time spent writing. And at this point I should say I am very very thankful for my current and past advertisers on Free Technology for Teachers who help feed me and my dog every month. Check out my current advertisers here.

Now the negative part of this trend that I am seeing is that some of the ed tech bloggers who are accepting advertising are not making the appropriate disclosures as required by the FTC (link is a PDF). I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding is that if you have an advertising relationship of any kind (even my in-kind relationship with Common Craft counts) you have to disclose that when you blog about or Tweet about that company. There are two things that are wrong about not making the disclosure. First, there are potential legal ramifications which I won't pretend to be knowledgeable of. Second, there is the issue of transparency. Are you blogging or Tweeting about a company because you actually like their service or product? Or are you blogging and Tweeting about company's product because they paid you? Your readers and followers should know.

As I said in the first paragraph, I've been approached by a lot of companies wanting to advertise on my blog. With the exception of Lesley University, the only advertisers I have accepted are those whose services and products I personally reviewed and used before they became advertisers. I've had other companies approach me whose products or services I had not tried before I and I turned them down. Likewise, if I decide that I don't like a particular company's business practices, I'll say no to them. At this point I feel that I should tell you that I make a decent part-time income through advertising. If I said yes to every company that wanted to advertise in some form, I could probably make that a full-time revenue stream (of course my blog design would be even uglier if I did that). I choose not to accept all offers because I don't want to introduce readers to services or products that I wouldn't put in my own classroom if given the opportunity.

Since I'm asked about it quite a bit here's my two cents on Adsense. Adsense is Google's advertising network for web publishers. I've been using it for almost four years and learned a couple of things about it that you should consider if Adsense is in your monetization plan. First, if you decide to use Adsense bear in mind that it takes a lot of pageviews to earn any significant amount of money. Adsense policies don't allow me to say exactly how much I make from it, but I can tell you that I started using Adsense in January 2008 and it took until June 2009 to cross Google's minimum payment threshold of $100 (in that time I went from about 1,000 subscribers to 8,000 subscribers). Currently, Adsense revenue covers my truck payment. The second thing you should know if you decide to use Adsense is that you can and should turn on the ad filters to prevent displaying inappropriate ads for things like "pharmaceuticals" and "match making" services. Also bear in mind that Adsense displays are contextual based upon not only your content but also your readers' web surfing habits in general. Unless your readers clear their cookies daily, the ads they see will be based on those two factors.

Finally, I hope this post didn't come off too preachy sounding. For more information about disclosures and how to handle them as a blogger, I recommend reading Disclosure Always by Chris Brogan, Disclose Yourself by Steve Dembo, FTC Mandates Disclosure for Bloggers Receiving Freebies/ Payments by Wes Fryer, or this set of visuals that I found on Louis Gray's blog.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Admongo - Educating Students About Advertising

Admongo is a game and curriculum designed to educate preteen students about the forms and methods of advertising. Admongo's primary feature is a game in which students earn points by collecting advertisements as they move through a fictional city. As they advance through the game, students will see short videos that explain the type of advertisements they see and how those advertisements attempt to get them to take an action. Watch the video below to learn more.

Applications for Education
Admongo provides a curriculum for teachers to use with 5th and 6th grade students. The curriculum is designed to complement the lessons students learn by playing the game. On the Admongo curriculum page teachers will find posters, handouts, quizzes and other printable materials to use in their classrooms.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Visual History of American Automobiles

Did you know that Ted Leonsis, the owner of the NHL's Washington Capitals and soon-to-be majority owner of the NBA's Washington Wizards, is a prolific blogger? I did and that's why, despite being a Bruins fan, a small part of me felt bad about watching his team lose in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Everyday, Mr. Leonsis writes posts about sports, technology, business, and new media. Today, one of his posts featured a neat website that is attempting to catalog the brochures of every American car manufacturer in the 20th Century.

American Car Brochures scans and displays the brochures that you would have found in automobile dealers' showrooms in the 20th Century. The brochures are organized by manufacturer and by year. The scans are of a very high quality which makes it easier to read the fine on some of the brochures. Below is an image of the brochure for the 1955 Packard Clipper.

Mr. Leonsis is also one of the major investors in Snag Films. I've written about Snag Films many times in the past, check out two of those posts here and here.

Applications for Education
A resource like American Car Brochures is an easily-accessed resource that could be used to in a history lesson about 20th Century US history. American Car Brochures could also be used as a historical reference in a graphic design or advertising design course.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ad Decoder - Kids Learn About Advertising Scams

The Ad Decoder is produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The game appears on the B.A.M. (body and mind) section of their website. BAM is full of great resources for health and physical education teachers. The Ad Decoder provides students with two virtual magazines which they flip through to see examples and explanations of advertising tactics used to grab the attention of tweens and teens. After flipping through the magazines students can test their new knowledge.

Applications for Education
The Ad Decoder could be a good way to teach students how to recognize deceptions in advertising. The activity is simple, but provides students with useful information about advertising and the hidden meanings in advertising. The Ad Decoder has quizzes students can take regarding advertising. The Ad Decoder also offers an in-depth look at advertising practices which they call Under the Microscope.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:

35+ Educational Games

Five Ways to Build Your Own Educational Games

Get the Glass Promotes Healthy Choices

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vintage Ad Browser - View Old Print Advertisements

I discovered the Vintage Ad Browser this morning through marketing guru Seth Godin's blog. The Vintage Ad Browser is a search engine for old print advertisements. You can browse advertisements by tag or enter your own search terms to located advertisements. In the larger advertising categories such as Cigarettes and Tobacco you can narrow your search by selecting a range of dates.

Applications for Education
My school offers courses in both marketing and advertising design. I can see the Vintage Ad Browser being useful for those students to examine the evolution of print advertising. The Vintage Ad Browser could also be used for teaching lessons in recognizing bias and hidden messages in print materials.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Kid's Economic Glossary
A Virtual Mall to Teach Student to be Smart Consumers
Why .Org v. .Com is Irrelevant

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Websites That Keep Users' Attention

Yesterday, Techcrunch ran a story with this image (among others) in response to Morgan Stanley's evaluation of Internet trends. As you can see in the image to the left part of the story was about why Facebook is growing faster than Myspace. The explanation offered in the image to the left is based on the visual design of a site including the placement of advertising and the type of advertising displayed. As I thought about it I realized the explanation given and demonstrated in that image does explain exactly why I use Facebook and not Myspace (I did use Myspace at one time). When I'm evaluating websites to include on this blog one of the biggest items I take into consideration is the number of advertisements and the intrusiveness of the advertisements. If there are too many advertisements or the advertisements are intrusive to the point that they detract from the educational value of the website I do not include those websites on the blog.

To see if this pattern of gravitating toward websites with less intrusive advertising held true for high school students I did a little survey with my students. Only a handful of my students use both Myspace and Facebook, but of the ones that do use both all said that they prefer Facebook. Interestingly, all that use Myspace exclusively say that the advertising is annoying, but that they stay with Myspace because that is where their friends are and or they're more familiar with Myspace. So in the case of my 60 students familiarity and friends were worth the annoyance of intrusive advertising. My little study is inconclusive so I'm going to do a little more research tomorrow with some students by having them evaluate some of the websites I've written about on this blog or have considered writing about on this blog. In the meantime if you have any ideas about what makes students gravitate toward a particular website or use one website over another, please leave a comment.