Monday, July 7, 2014

Guest Post: Mobile Web App Developers Breathe New Life Into Old-School E-Learning Platforms

Academic commercial and education industries around the nation understand the benefit of integrating uncomplicated, e-Learning systems into their collection of educational applications. Such resources help broaden the influence of education and learning way past the entrances of collegiate institutions by offering learners and their professors some straightforward connectivity to education content.

That being said, it is not a surprise that these very same organizations would attempt to deliver their web-based learning platforms into the hands of the twenty-first century student. Yet, among the dilemmas that many web-app service providers face today is how to discover effective ways to take their well sought-after PC/MAC learning programs and relocate them to mobile solutions, which is exactly what the majority of young, on-the-go adults work with to obtain their information.


Four-fifths (eighty-two percent) of new university and college students own a smartphone and at least twenty-percent have a tablet.


Cell phones, tablet computers, netbooks and notebooks are the mobile gadgets that folks use to devote their free time in learning. Unfortunately, the smaller-sized displays and diverse functions in these devices often restrict what can be accomplished on a mobile platform. 


Repositioning Education Technology from Old-School to Cutting-Edge

There are various e-Learning platforms out there that have embraced the challenge of going mobile; despite the fact that these old-school apps were not exclusively produced with mobile in mind, these programs have succeeded in transferring a comparable user interface onto miniature portable devices.

Blackboard: One of the oldest e-Learning platforms offered, which reaches millions of online learners, instructors and educators around the world. This app’s well-known discussion boards, blogs, and e–mail accounts launched for PC in 1998, and they are now available on Blackboard Mobile.

E-College: An extremely-popular, easy-to-use learning portal that provides a virtual-learning environment by managing, developing and hosting e-Learning software applications for institutions, colleges and universities. This technology hit Mac computers in 1998, and it’s now launching a new mobile solution remedy.

Moodle: One cannot think about online-education course management without considering Moodle. This electronic-learning setting has become very popular among educators around the globe for conducting online degree programs. The platform runs on any computing machine, and it is now a cross-platform app with the launch of Moodle Mobile.


Mobile App Developers Save The Day

Websites like Degree Jungle for mobile began to break the ice by putting web-based learning platforms in layman’s terms for students to locate quickly. The e-Learning systems and apps mentioned above had no notion fifteen years ago that mobile would take on such an important role in the survival of their business.

It wasn't until shortly after app development companies like gWhiz began introducing hundreds of highly rated, online education platforms on countless iPod, iPhone & iPad, Android systems that the old-school, e-Learning organizations began to take notice.
 

Major educational publishers began to see the value in developing partnerships with independent mobile software developers like gWhiz. Entrusting their valuable content to innovative developers led publishers like McGraw-Hill, Kaplan, and Pearson to expand their reach beyond traditional channels. And even though some may allege that the traditional e-Learning platforms on smart device browsers are a less than ideal experience; evolving innovation assures that more satisfying user interfaces are en route.

We hope you've enjoyed this guest post from our friends at Degree Jungle. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Want to Win a $100 iTunes or Amazon Gift Card AND Learn More About gWhiz? You're in Luck!


Learning.

Studying.


Prepping.


Cramming.


It all used to take place indoors...at a desk...with books...and pencils and paper and maybe an eraser or two. But look how far we’ve come! With mobile technology, we are free to study wherever we happen to be and at our own pace, on our own time.


Alleluia!

For those of you who don’t know much about us, gWhiz came about in 2008 when mobile was in its infancy. With our first flashcard app, gFlash, we combined portability with function in an attempt to make studying easier and more fun. Millions of downloads later, we think we’ve succeeded.

But we are not content to sit back on our laurels. We are constantly striving to create and innovate, integrating the latest in mobile technology into the hundreds of educational apps we offer users today. Did you know we have apps for the pre-K through 12 crowd as well as test prep apps for students with their sights set on college, grad school, and beyond? So whether you’re studying for the AP exams, SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, CPA, or virtually any other professional certification, we have an app for you!

In an effort to spread the word about all that gWhiz has to offer, we have decided to run a little contest. Don’t worry, it’s a cinch to enter. Earn entries in three ways - like us on Facebook, tweet/follow us on Twitter, and/or comment on this blog post.

Two lucky grand prize winners will receive a $100 gift card to either iTunes or Amazon to be spent however they choose. We will also choose 5 additional winners to receive our nifty PrepZilla t-shirt. You know you want one!

backfrontPrepzilla.png

Entering the contest is easy. Just use the Rafflecopter Giveaway form below to earn your entries. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Official Rules
1.             NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Log on to Learning on the Go, the official gWhiz Blog at http://blog.gwhizmobile.com between 12:00:00 am EST on 5/7/2014 and 11:59:59 pm EST on 6/4/2014 (the "Promotion Period") and follow the instructions posted on the blog to enter via the Rafflecopter entry form.
2.             ENTRY DETAILS: An entrant may submit one (1) Rafflecopter entry form per email address. Each entrant will be required to 1) “Like” gWhiz on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/gwhizmobile). Additional entries may be earned by completing selected tasks through the Rafflecopter entry form on the Giveaway Page: Tweet about the Giveaway, and post relevant comment on Blog Post regarding PrepZilla. Daily entries can be earned with the “Tweet about Giveaway” entry option.
3.             ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible to enter the Giveaway, an entrant must be sixteen (16) years of age or older, live in the continental US, and have a valid email address. Limit one (1) Rafflecopter entry form per eligible person. If more than one entry form is submitted per eligible person, all entries submitted by that entrant will be deemed invalid. All entries submitted by individuals younger than thirteen (16) years of age will be deemed invalid. If more or less information is submitted in the entry than what has been requested, an entry may be deemed invalid. All entries must be received during the promotion period to be eligible for a prize.
4.             PRIZE: Two (2) Grand Prize Winners will be selected at random on or about 6/5/2014. They will receive their choice of a $100 iTunes or Amazon Gift Card. Five (5) T-Shirt Winners will be selected via random drawing on or about 6/5/2014.
5.             GENERAL PRIZE CONDITIONS / PRIZE CLAIMS: The Winners will be notified via the email address submitted through their Rafflecopter entry following entry validation. If gWhiz is unable to contact the Winners from entry information within five (5) days of the giveaway end, the Winner forfeits his/her prize and another Winner will be selected via random drawing. The Winners will receive their prizes within four (4) weeks of the giveaway end. No substitution, assignment or transfer of any prizes will be permitted, except at the sole discretion of gWhiz, which reserves the right to substitute a prize or prize component with cash or another prize of comparable or greater value. If a prize is forfeited for any reason, gWhiz reserves the right to award the prize to an alternate potential winner from among the remaining eligible entries.
6.             RELEASE: This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Rafflecopter. All entrants are providing information to gWhiz. Participation in this promotion is subject to the Official Rules. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by fans on social media webpages do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of gWhiz. gWhiz is not in any way liable for fans’ words, submissions, or actions. gWhiz retains the exclusive right to, at its sole discretion, determine whether or not to publish, remove, or edit a posted response.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Our first ever T-Shirt and Promo Code Giveaway!


Spring is finally here, and I don’t know about you, but I think we’ve earned it. What a winter!
With warmer days ahead, you may be thinking about breaking out the flip flops and short-sleeve t’s. We say, go for it! In fact, we’d like to jumpstart your wardrobe turnover with a cool t-shirt giveaway.
You may or may not be familiar with gWhiz and our plethora of amazing, effective, and fun-to-use educational apps designed for students of all ages and from all walks of life. Whether you’re in high school, college, grad school, seeking a professional certification or just want to learn something new, we have an app for you.
And, right now, we are working on an upgrade to PrepZilla, our engaging test prep game which allows you to study with your friends or on your own. Before we finalize the update, we want to get some user feedback to see what you like and what you think we could improve. So we’re offering a free PrepZilla t-shirt as well as a promo code for any of our paid iOS apps (we have lots!). Not to sound like a bad commercial, but this is a prize valued at up to $75.00.
And who wouldn’t love this t-shirt? backfrontPrepzilla.png


Entering the contest is easy. Just use the Rafflecopter Giveaway form below to earn your entries. You can earn entries by first liking us on Facebook, providing insightful comments to this blog post and/or tweeting about the contest. Whew. Lots of choices.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Official Rules
1.             NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Log on to Learning on the Go, the official gWhiz Blog at http://blog.gwhizmobile.com between 12:00:00 am EST on 3/24/2014 and 11:59:59 pm EST on 4/7/2014 (the "Promotion Period") and follow the instructions posted on the blog to enter via the Rafflecopter entry form.
2.             ENTRY DETAILS: An entrant may submit one (1) Rafflecopter entry form per email address. Each entrant will be required to 1) “Like” gWhiz on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/gwhizmobile). Additional entries may be earned by completing selected tasks through the Rafflecopter entry form on the Giveaway Page: Tweet about the Giveaway and post relevant comment on Blog Post regarding PrepZilla. Daily entries can be earned with the “Tweet about Giveaway” entry option.
3.             ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible to enter the Giveaway, an entrant must be sixteen (16) years of age or older, live in the continental US, and have a valid email address. Limit one (1) Rafflecopter entry form per eligible person. If more than one entry form is submitted per eligible person, all entries submitted by that entrant will be deemed invalid. All entries submitted by individuals younger than thirteen (16) years of age will be deemed invalid. If more or less information is submitted in the entry than what has been requested, an entry may be deemed invalid. All entries must be received during the promotion period to be eligible for a prize.
4.             PRIZE: Five (5) Winners will be selected via random drawing on or about 4/8/2014.
5.             GENERAL PRIZE CONDITIONS / PRIZE CLAIMS: The Winners will be notified via the email address submitted through their Rafflecopter entry following entry validation. If gWhiz is unable to contact the Winners from entry information within five (5) days of the giveaway end, the Winner forfeits his/her prize and another Winner will be selected via random drawing. The Winners will receive their prizes within four (4) weeks of the giveaway end. No substitution, assignment or transfer of any prizes will be permitted, except at the sole discretion of gWhiz, which reserves the right to substitute a prize or prize component with cash or another prize of comparable or greater value. If a prize is forfeited for any reason, gWhiz reserves the right to award the prize to an alternate potential winner from among the remaining eligible entries.
6.             RELEASE: This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Rafflecopter. All entrants are providing information to gWhiz. Participation in this promotion is subject to the Official Rules. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by fans on social media webpages do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of gWhiz. gWhiz is not in any way liable for fans’ words, submissions, or actions. gWhiz retains the exclusive right to, at its sole discretion, determine whether or not to publish, remove, or edit a posted response.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2013 Has Been Good to Us...


Some things never change.

The holidays come and go in a flash - here and gone before we know it. The new year is almost upon us, but before it arrives, we’d like to take the time to reflect. Because after all, taking the time to smell the roses, or candy canes as this season would have it, allows us to savor our victories in the year gone by.

Here at gWhiz, it goes without saying that we value our long-standing relationships with our publisher partners, many dating back to the company’s inception in 2008. The compelling, branded content available in many of our apps is just one reason for our continued success. With hundreds of educational apps developed in partnership with publishing powerhouses including McGraw-Hill Education, Wiley Publishing, Barron’s, Pearson, PPI, and more, we have garnered considerable market share and continue to grow.

In fact, just this year, we released two new apps with Barron’s - Hot Words for the SAT for iOS and EMT Exam Review for both Android and iOS. We have also expanded our offerings to include two brand new McGraw-Hill Education apps - EMT Certification Flashcards and Paramedic Certification Flashcards - both for iOS. We are gratified to see steady sales and consistently positive feedback for these apps in the marketplace.

Beyond leveraging our existing publisher partnerships to gain new content, this year we were thrilled to establish a new partnership with Wolters-Kluwer, publishers of the acclaimed Lippincott Illustrated Review series. Three titles are currently available in iTunes - Rubin’s Pathology, Anatomy & Embryology and Microbiology & Immunology - with more on the way. Whether their goal is self-assessment or board prep, medical students everywhere are finding our Lippincott apps to be an essential resource.

Also new in 2013 is our soon-to-be-released first cookbook app - Weeknight Dinners by Betty Crocker. Based on the Big Book of Weeknight Dinners published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, this app makes planning, shopping for, and preparing simple and delicious meals a joy. With so much to offer including the ability to search by meal category or key word, a full color recipe slideshow, shopping list, social media sharing capabilities and more, this app belongs in every kitchen.

Bringing new apps to life is a particularly rewarding part of our work here at gWhiz but we also pay close attention to the apps already in our portfolio. Staying at technology’s forefront, we make sure that each app is the best it can be. To this end, some of our proudest moments in 2013 involved the updates we made to our flagship flashcard app, gFlash+, and our multi-player test prep game, PrepZilla. Fully optimized for iOS7, the latest version of gFlash+ is jam-packed with new features including a Matching Game study mode and improved user interface. And we made PrepZilla even more fun by adding a brand new gaming option entitled Zombies! in the self-study mode.

At gWhiz, we’re thankful for many things - some big like our families and friends…and some small like eggnog and mistletoe. But what we are most thankful for is the unwavering support of our loyal users who, through their downloads, keep this company chugging along.

So, thank you, all of you.

And Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

gFlash+ Stands Out in a Crowd...



We are proud to report that our popular mobile flash card app, gFlash+, is a candidate for a Bammy Award in 2013.  Not familiar with the Bammy’s?  It’s an effort put forth by the BAM Radio network to identify and recognize leaders in the educational field - from teachers to researchers to educational technologists and beyond.  The good folks at BAM Radio believe in the value of education as an avenue to life-long learning.  

Here at gWhiz, we could not agree more. 

Our educational apps are designed to allow users to integrate learning into their already busy lives.  By offering powerful and collaborative learning tools that are eminently portable, our users can make educational choices that fit into their schedules neatly.  And isn’t providing students of all ages greater access to education something worth celebrating?  We think so, and so does BAM. 

This year’s Bammy Awards will be held at the Arena Stage at the Mead Center in Washington, D.C., on September 21(st).  We look forward to a night honoring the best in education!  Stay tuned to find out if gFlash+ is a winner...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Some Advice for Summer Study Slacking...




It happens every year.  Students have their noses to the grindstone until mid-June (or in the case of spring fever sufferers - mid April) and then sail through summer without cracking open a book.  

We’d like to say it ain’t so but, for the vast majority, it sadly is.  In fact according to the latest Rand report, “by the end of summer, students perform, on average, one month behind where they left off in the spring.”

In an effort to stem this slow ebb of knowledge, here are some common-sense moves concerned parents can make.

1)  Advocate reading - here, there, and everywhere

It makes no difference to me what my kids read as long as it is age appropriate.  So, I am happy to see them reading chapter books, graphic novels, newspapers, magazines and the like, on whatever medium they enjoy.  Reading is reading, simple as that.

Although I must admit that I am less happy about the reading they do associated with incessant text messaging which leads me to my second point.

2)  Limit social media

Gone are the days when children frolicked outside for hours until the call for dinner drew them inside.  Today’s kids (especially tweens and teens) are more likely to be found huddled over a glowing screen than anywhere else.  Whether it’s Instagram, Vine, Twitter, or any other social site, it’s a siren call to young adults everywhere, not to mention a huge time drain.  

But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

3) Be technologically savvy

Not all screen time is mindless, however.  Mobile software has made learning on the go an easy and, dare I say it, enjoyable task.  There are many educational websites and mobile apps designed to get kids thinking outside the classroom.  At gWhiz, we believe education should be accessible no matter where life takes you.  With a combination of premium content, dynamic easy to use features, and unparalleled portability, our flashcard and test prep apps are the perfect antidote to summer slacking.  After all, shouldn’t learning be fun, all year long?

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Look Back at 2012...


Tis the season to reflect back on the year gone by.  And here at gWhiz, it’s been another good year.  We have realized solid growth in overall sales of our engaging mobile educational apps - no small feat given the political and economic uncertainties we all faced in 2012.  We expect continued gains in market share in 2013 as the mobile apps currently under development are released and our newer existing products take hold.  

One of our latest and most exciting innovations this past year was PrepZilla, our multi-player test-prep mobile gaming app.  In the spirit of the popular Words With Friends app, PrepZilla allows for asynchronous game play, turning test prep into a social experience.  With downloadable premium content from major educational publishers including McGraw-Hill, Barron’s, FLVS, and CCI, PrepZilla appeals to a wide audience.  Available on iOS, PrepZilla
is like no other study tool on the market today.  But the innovation didn’t stop there.  

User feedback has always been important to us, and our flagship flashcard app gFlash led the way in 2012 with user-driven upgrades.  This year we rolled out a much-requested new version of gFlash+ for Android with features previously available only in our iOS version of gFlash.  Now Android users can enjoy complete integration with Google Spreadsheets, a premium library of high-value publisher content, flashcard boxes, image flashcard support, embedded HTML and much more.  gFlash+ for iOS also received some major updates this year including the premium library, integrating pictures and audio with the flashcard editor, email sharing of flashcard sets, and the ability to sync purchases via iCloud.  Genius, we know.  

But lest you think we have focused solely on our internally developed mobile apps, we would like to point out the exciting new partnerships we have forged with leading educational publishers.  In 2012, we contracted with Pearson to develop a dynamic application for teacher candidates entitled Teacher Prep, to be released in early 2013.  We also began work on The Official GRE Guide mobile app from ETS, the creators of the GRE exam.  And our current relationship with McGraw-Hill continues with several new titles in 2012 including MCAT Exam Prep, PreTest Self-Assessment and Review, Lange Medical Flash Cards, and College 101 Exam Prep Questions.  We are grateful for the continued support of these and all of our publisher partners.   

Of course, what would the point be of all these achievements if no one knew about them?  We asked ourselves the same question.  So, this year, we have expanded our presence across numerous social media sites.  You can friend us on Facebook, tweet us on Twitter, pin us on Pinterest, stumble across us on StumbleUpon, link to us on LinkedIn and follow us on YouTube.  Our apps have even been showcased in a few network TV spots.  In a word, we are EVERYWHERE.  

As you can see, a lot of good has come our way this year.  So, we’d like to take a break from all the hustling and bustling, tree trimming, and holiday shopping to say “thank you”.  Our success has depended upon many things - user loyalty, solid relationships with our publisher partners and dedicated employees.  But the key to our steady climb has been the steadfast support of our family and friends.  And for all of this, we are grateful.  

Happy Holidays.