The Ed Web Blog

The Ed Web Blog's purpose is to inform you about Ed Web Services. The component used for the blog is EasyBlog by Stack Ideas and is available for your Ed Web Hosted website.

SY 2016 Update

SY 2016 Update
Summary: The past school year has been a busy one here at Ed Web Services.  We have been upping the communication game for our ten Locals with some including  Mailchimp integration to send updates and newsletters. Several sites now include timelines from Facebook and Twitter accounts for both the Locals and NYSUT. Most sites are keeping the money coming in for Member Benefit ads from NYSUT and AFT although more could be getting the AFT money.  Above all keeping our site's software updated to stay ahead of spammers and hackers has occupied many back office hours this year.
Mailchimp has become a new ally in the effort to keep our members informed.  Integrated with Joomla (our core software) we are able to pass our member lists from the site to Mailchimp with very little effort.  Once the list is there we are leveraging the email marketing power of Mailchimp's platform.  The templates as well as the drag and drop editing make it easy to put together a branded newsletter and push it to your members with a few clicks. After the fact tracking is also valuable to keep track of who is and who isn't reading the info that you send.  The local's currently using Mailchimp are using the free package but could up their game with the premium services that Mailchimp has to offer.  
User/member list management on your site, as always, is a critical piece of making Mailchimp work for you to accomplish your communication goals.  There is no more powerful tool for a Local than a finely tuned list of member's non-school email addresses coupled with website content delivered to specific groups using the access control of our Joomla websites. 
Facebook and Twitter feeds have become important pieces of the communication puzzle for the big Unions and Locals alike.  Although the access control is not there for delivery of sensitive info, the newsfeed are a powerful broadcast tool for keeping both members and the school community informed.  Many of the Ed Web sites now contain a newsfeed from the local we have included a NYSUT Facebook and Twitter feed along with the NYSUT RSS article feed on most sites. 
One area that could use improvement is getting reimbursements for the Locals.  Several Locals are getting the $500 NYSUT ad money but only three are receiving the AFT money.  There a few steps to getting set up to get the money and after that, Ed Web Services does the rest.  For both NYSUT and AFT we change the code monthly so that everything is in place for you to get the money.  With both reimbursements combined your $600 Ed Web Services site gets you $750 dollars annually (more for larger locals).  How can you argue with that?  The steps to get both of these payments can be reviewed on the Ed Web Blog
The back office work of site maintenance has kept us on our toes here at Ed Web Services this year.  The relentless persistence of internet spammers and hackers has kept site security at the forefront of our efforts.  There have been no fewer than 5 major software updates to the core software for our sites as well as all of the updates for the corresponding extensions.  All Ed Web sites are up to date.  All of your sites have the latest version of  'Captcha' installed to keep robots from creating accounts.  On our servers security is a priority and we are always keeping careful watch for attempt to compromise our sites. 
Following this update you will see another email sent from Paypal containing your annual invoice from Ed Web Services. You may pay it directly from the email using a credit card or, as always, a paper invoice will follow to your address  on record. 
Thank you for continuing to allow Ed Web Services to be your Local's web provider and thank you for all that you do for your members. 
As you enter the home stretch, enjoy the Memorial Day weekend and as only a Teacher can fully appreciate... I wish you a happy June ?! 
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EWS: The School Year in Review, SY2015

EWS: The School Year in Review, SY2015

The Winter of 2015 was a rough one and the Albany politicians seemed to be taking their intensity from Mother Nature's playbook.  As Albany continues its agenda of education privatization, NYSUT has held stood fast to her principals.  The NYSUT local leaders have worked tirelessly to deliver the information to their rank and file and we here at Ed Web Services continue to facilitate that communication.  As the 2015 school year draws to an end allow me to share our achievements. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_service-areax200.png Expanded Service Area: EWS is now working with NYSUT Teacher and Support Related Professionals locals throughout Central New York and The Southern Tier across a 100 mile diagonal from the Oneida Boces Teachers Association to the Horseheads Teachers Association. 

Working With RC 45  EWS is serving as webmaster of as well as assisting in editing and producing the NYSUT RC45 with their 'Spotlight' newsletter. 

Ed Web Service's Website: 2015 marked the debut of a redesigned vital hub for clients.  The site hosts a gallery of Ed Web sites to share design ideas and the 'Ed Web Blog' for informational and instructional articles. Check out

b2ap3_thumbnail_logoletteredx150.pngCreation of "The Union Buzz": In 'Beta' and ready for testing by you. Now that you have your Union website where you want it and you are communicating within your Local, Its time to start communicating between Locals. Imagine negotiating your next contract with information from nearby Locals at your disposal.  Enter "The Union Buzz’",  an exclusive  social network for regional officers/executives to share, discuss, blog, and post . 

Incorporation of Mailchimp for Email Communications: Our Sisters and Brother in the Oneida Boces Teachers Association are now integrating Mailchimp into their site to push their news to their members inboxes. Each email communication is sent to their over 100 site registrants.

Social Feeds: Several of the locals in the EWS family have established Facbook and or Twitter accounts to distribute information to their followers. EWS has incorporated live feeds on their sites that display in real time everytime the site is refreshed. EWS has also added NYSUT United Facebook feed and @NYSUT a Twitter feed to several of the Local's news pages. See the NYSUT Feeds

Southern Tier Technology Conference: Representing The Cortland County Teachers Center, T. Gath of Ed Web Services served on the planning committee for the first Southern Tier ConnectED Conference.  The conference was a huge success attended by hundreds of teachers.  A great conference day had by all. The keynote speech by Dr. Kristen Swanson - How Learning has changed was fantastic.  

Adding AFT Ad Revenue: Two locals got $240 in ad revenue from AFT ads on their home page.  EWS has a relationship with Chistine Teasdale of AFT Member Benfits to assist in getting ads on the sites and securing the annual payments for the locals.  Although EWS cannot receive the payments directly, your Local's Treasurer can and the funds can be used to cover the cost of the website. If your local is not yet getting the ad revenue from AFT is should be.  The following EWS Blog post will explain the steps necessary to get on board: Getting Ad Reimbursement for Your Local's Website .

Well, that is a summary of some of the major achievments for the 2015 school year.  Ed Web Services works tirelessly to keep you website up to date and to keep it working for you. Here at Ed Web Services we take pride in working for you, with you. 


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Getting Ad Reimbursement for Your Local's Website


Both NYSUT and AFT offer reimbursement programs for advertising on your website. Your Ed Web Services contract leverages these offers and sets up the opportunity for your local to completely cover the costs of your website development, service and support using these reimbursements. Here is the information for each organization to get set up:

NYSUT Member Benefits: (annual reimbursement $500)

Follow this link that explains the reimbursement program:

Here is the content of the email release of the ads sent by NYSUT Member Benefits with directions for reimbursement:

Hello Editors,

Attached please find the ad you can use in your newsletters. There is a color PDF, a black & white PDF, a JPEG file and the cover memo. Please use whichever version works best for you. 

You can also find the ads posted on the NYSUT website, in the Leader Access area. You will need to establish an account and log on to the site to access the ads.

To receive the $100 reimbursement from Member Benefits, newsletter editors must:

• Print the entire ad in either your newsletter that gets distributed to NYSUT members.
• Submit a copy of your newsletter to Member Benefits. Please include the name and address of the person that should receive the check and the complete name of your local (many locals have similar abbreviations).
• Send your submission to: Newsletter Program, NYSUT Member Benefits, 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, NY 12110-2455.

Your newsletter qualifies whether it is a printed or electronic publication.

❗️Electronic newsletters can be submitted to Member Benefits via email to Tammy Ross at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Have a great day!

Kathy Hans
NYSUT Member Benefits Trust
Phone: (518) 213-6000 ext. 1241
Fax: (518) 213-6413



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