A3 – MARGE: Mobile Augmented Reality Games for Education

Hi all:

Here (http://webfiles.bcit.ca/jdabell/www) is my pitch/proposal for an intrapreneurial venture – a mock technology/educational research project, for a mock polytechnic institute.  All the mocks aside, I’m wondering about finding aspects to maybe pursue when I go back to work, so am looking forward to feedback.

There are two short video clips as part of the pitch. The movies have been uploaded to Google Video and linked into the website. An introductory summary is also provided as a PDF document. The videos didn’t come up for one of my “site testers”. (Their system was older and their browser plug-ins are very limited). If anyone here encounters difficulty with any of the media, or accessing the website (on my work server), please let me know: joeyMET AT gmail DOT com.  And I’ll do my best to address it.



1 D.B. { 11.23.08 at 10:44 pm }

Just as an FYI: No problems whatsoever accessing the files. Great work and really neat idea! Well explained.

2 Joey Dabell { 11.24.08 at 11:09 pm }

Hey Dieder, Thanks for letting me know about the file access (whew! ;), and for the vote of confidence.


3 Sarah Wood { 11.26.08 at 3:15 pm }


You put a lot of work into your presentation and it showed. I didn’t fully understand the game until well into the presentation. I think that perhaps showing the game clip up front would explain things best. You have a well thought out time line which strengthens your argument. I also thought the name was highly effective and I could see it being “thrown around” the school.

Good luck with your venture!

4 Carolann Fraenkel { 11.26.08 at 8:15 pm }

Hi Joey,

Well done.

You present a good case for using mobile technologies, and gaming in one neat package.

Your video was very informative and presented a great visual picture of what the concept is for the product.

The website was easy to navigate and full of information.

The people page was hard to read, too much text in one paragraph. I would highlight the important people with less other information, or at least break it into several smaller chunks of text.

You make some really good points that are sometimes lost in all the words. Like “Leverage advances in technology and infrastructure by developing mobile augmented reality games for education emphasizing:” Those are a lot of words that say “Use the tools we have available today to create reality games that:” Remember that people listening to these pitches have limited time, and you have to make sure they understand you. I had to read some of the text 3 times to try to tease out what you really wanted to say.

You provide a clear business model, with regard to implementation, but you don’t tell me how you are going to make money. If I’m going to invest, I want to know how I’m going to get paid back.

In spite of that, the idea is so well thought out, and I can see the potential for revenue even if you don’t spell it out, that I will fund your venture, as soon as I get a budget and fee structure.


5 David Wees { 11.27.08 at 1:01 am }

Assessing the Need

Although your idea is very interesting, I don’t see much information about the need for this product. Why should teachers invest their time and energy in your product? My guess is because of increased student involvement and integration between the real world and the classroom, but I don’t remember this being explicitly mentioned.

Well-defined Target

Your target audience is well defined. Individual teachers who are early adopters of new technology, and possibly schools interested in trying out new pedagogical techniques.


Your management team looks complete, although specific bio information for each person could be useful in selling your venture.


This is a very creative idea, although as you note there are some similar products on the market.


It seems that all of the technology required to make this work exist already. The difficult part has been done, now you have clear stages ahead of you which essentially involve managing and encouraging teachers to participate.


Planning has been superb for this project.


How your day to day operations are actually going to function seems a bit unclear.


As I said on someone else’s mobile learning idea, mobile devices are “fad” devices and keeping up with a moving target can be difficult. I think an early exit strategy, like you have, is a good idea.

Social Impact

This kind of technology may help schools realize the value in the mobile devices they currently ban from many public schools. If this becomes popular, learning could end up looking a lot different than when I was in school.


Your presentation is very good, very clear. I think a page with a brief summary of the overall points of your presentations’ key points would be a good idea.

Very cool idea, I like it a lot. If I had the cash, I’d help support you, especially given the heavy lifters you have already.

6 David Wees { 11.27.08 at 1:03 am }

Sorry, I just realized you HAD an executive summary, but I missed it, my bad. Ignore my “presentations” 2nd sentence.

7 Ellen Wu { 11.27.08 at 10:55 pm }

Hi Joey,

I really like your presentation formats of the website and video. Also, what a great and innovative idea! You clearly outlined the problem, solutions and benefits and analyzed the market using the CUBE analysis. Your venture pitch is professionally completed and persuasive. Well done!


8 Joey Dabell { 11.28.08 at 10:52 am }

There is some great feedback here. Thank you all.

Carolann, you’ve certainly hit the nail on the head about too many words especially for people with limited time and unlimited pitches to review 😉 It is ongoing battle I have with myself, so your reminder is particularly valuable to me.

I see from the feedback that the description of my business model was a bit fuzzy. Also, since this is an post-secondary intrapreneurial venture, I may need to be clearer about how I relate the business model to that. And in this case, some of the benefits to the institute might also come indirectly. FOr example partnering with high-schools on the research may increase awareness of our programs among high-schools students, leading to greater enrollment.

I see too that I could provide better support for the idea of using mobile phones in education. My supporting examples were strongest from the UK where mobile phone use seems to be more acceptable.

Thanks so much for taking the time to provide such thoughtful and valuable feedback.


9 Susan Wilson { 11.29.08 at 9:56 am }


I am really interested in your venture. I believe that problem or project based learning scenarios like this are effective at engaging students and I think that the hand-held gaming aspect is the clincher.

That said, the market is determined by the local content isn’t it? Would multiple forms of the game be available for use in other provinces and focussed on other situations – like, say finding Indian Burial grounds? I believe that this is a significant concern when using authentic material – how can you market it.

I am glad to see that you included the videos, they were interesting and informative. I must admit that I had to read the PDF summary of the first one as I spent too much time trying to decipher the images and didn’t receive all oral information. I also was taken off track by the placement of some of the pictures – cuting off heads and such, Tended to be distracting.
The second video was clear and very well done.

The web-site information is complete, well-organized and informative. Good job!

I may not invest at the start. I would want to see a prototype and see how it could be tailored to use with other problem situations, but I think that there is enormous potential for your proposal!

10 D.B. { 11.29.08 at 1:19 pm }

MARGE Point form EVA response:

Market Focus: High School/University education range. Could be equally at home in senior high schools as it could be in colleges or university, providing a structure for intensive geo-location specific education.

Type of Offerings: Integrated software infrastructure with current mobile technology to support the creation of a location-aware and location-specific education opportunities. This EVA could also see it offered as a set of pre-built/pre-packaged packages as well ready for purchase once the software suite has matured.

Buyer: Educational institutions and individual instructors depending upon level and cost of technology needed to complete the project. This EVA can predict that as technology costs go down and geo-location becomes more accessible and affordable that the buyer could eventually be individual teachers. Presently the buyer would be an institution or at the smaller scale, an educational department within a school.

Global Markets: The MARGE idea is not language specific, could be implemented in non-Europen contexts. Primary determinant of market access will be existing internet infrastructure and if it can support large data volumes in a cost effective way. Not recommended for under-developed regions or low bandwidth capacity areas.

Development of Markets: Could work well in any market that has existing IT infrastructure. Thus materials could be integrated/augmented with existing indigenous providers of information or material could be brought in. Primary determinant of market development is the state of existing IT infrastructure in target markets.

Competitors: Many and varied competitors in the region such as New Media BC, UBC “Ancient Spaces” etc. In order for MARGE to succeed, it must differentiate itself from its competitors by designing its toolkit to be accessible by resource-limited departments/specialists and able to be used with existing geo-aware technologies.

EVA Evaluation: While the pitch has no $ figures mentioned, I do like what MARGE has to offer. It looks feasible and achievable within a reasonable time-frame using existing and future technologies that are in development. Further discussions with MARGE’s coordinator would be a requisite before any funds would be committed to see MARGE achieve public-beta/pilot project details.

11 nancy castonguay { 11.30.08 at 7:25 am }

Hi Joey, your presentation format was outstanding and the project idea shows promise. I was wondering though, what happens to students who don’t have a mobile, have lost it, don’t have GPS equipped mobile, forgot it at home, had it stolen? Would your company include a class set of especially equipped devices as part of the package?

12 Melissa Anders { 11.30.08 at 1:15 pm }

I really enjoyed reading about your project. The website itself was really well organized and easy to follow. I think the idea sounds great, I would have liked to know an estimated cost to implement this type of technology. I can see how this type of technology can be beneficial and implemented into the classroom at many different levels. It helps to add authentic and meaningful learning to the classroom. Best of luck!


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