Category — General Discussions

Closing food for thought….

Now that we’ve finished our ventures, consider the following early October perspective from the point of view of Sequoia Capital, a venture capital company re: new ventures

What has happened, what is happening, what may happen

December 6, 2008   No Comments

Bravo to ETEC522’s EVA Swarm

Or is it a hive?

As we begin to wind down, I just wanted to express my thanks to everyone for a very stimulating and worthwhile learning adventure.

I’d hoped to have your A3’s marked by now, but that’s an impressive and daunting set of work – I’ll need another few days.

As you venture forward please remember that the best opportunity to make any start-up work is to bounce it off lots of smart people first, so keep your connections with the swarm (and your humble instructors) active.  You all qualify as “sophisticated” investors now….

Warm regards,


November 30, 2008   12 Comments


Hi everyone –

I just read an interesting review of a new book by a cognitive neuroscientist about multitasking and I thought, given our discussions earlier in the term, that others may find it of interest as well.

Just don’t read it while assessing the venture proposals!


November 26, 2008   3 Comments

Assignment 3

Life is full of surprises…just when you dont want them. After a trying week at a conference in Seoul, I returned home early Sunday morning, started to finalise my pitch document (pptx) only to realise that there was a problem with my broadband connectivity – helpdesk said it would be restored monday afternoon. Did not want to wait till Monday afternoon, so this morning I got myself a wireless modem – atleast I am connected although it is quite slow! Started to upload my pptx via Google docs and what do I find – Google Doc does not support pptx …so now I am having to download the compatibility pack so I can open my pptx as a ppt and upload to Google Docs. Surely there was an easier way to do this! So if you do not see my assignment on Monday morning Vancouver you’ll know I have been struggling and please post me a couple alternatives. Slideshare does not support pptx either!

Till then…


November 24, 2008   No Comments

Throwing Open the Gates at Royal Roads University

Hi all,

My pitch is intrepreneurial and it’s real – I’m meeting with the AVPs Academic and Research as well as a bunch of others next week. The goal of my pitch is get people on board with the idea of Royal Roads beginning to share course content and ultimately joining the OpenCourseWare Consortium.  My rationale is that sharing could help us in a number of ways, some that would benefit us, and some that would benefit education generally and enable us to have a positive impact on learning in a global sense.

Please view my pitch on Youtube here:

Looking forward to your feedback!


November 23, 2008   13 Comments


Hello Everyone

Because of where I work, I am unable to use YouTube as access to this site is restricted. I’ve had to resort to a PowerPoint Presentation instead.

I tried loading a .htm as well as a .mht file to demonstrate my pitch but this site would not allow me to load these files. I switched it over to a PDF file which is a shame because it looks and works so much better in a browser.

The PowerPoint (Pitch) is best viewed either in a new window or in a seperate tab. Double click on the picture to activate the presentation.

Pitch     Sound for Pitch

The website (Collide) is below


Cheers all!


November 22, 2008   13 Comments

Interesting new study

This study was released yesterday – it is one of the largest studies done to date of teens and their use of digital media.

I’ve watched the intro video and it looks like it contains some very interesting findings.


November 21, 2008   1 Comment

Profitting from Open Source

I came across this blog while looking through Stephen Downes and George Siemens open course on Connectivism and Connective Knowledge.  I thought some might find it informative:

November 16, 2008   1 Comment

Module 10 – Summary of Informal Learning Presentation


Informal Learning technologies are a valuable market segment within the e-learning venture environment.  As apart of the ETEC 522 course, an online discussion took place during the week of Nov10th to November 16th.  The discussion was hosted and moderated by Group 10 members Alexandra (Alex) Marsh, Cheryl Milner, Michael Peterson and Jagpal (Jag) Uppal.


The purpose of this summary is to provide a qualitative assessment of the success of this hosting and moderation experience.  What follows are a description of the experience and an analysis of the entire process from set-up and design to findings and reflections.


Set-up & Approach

Our group decided on using Freewebs as a platform for our presentation.  We decided on Freewebs for a variety of factors, including a simple and friendly user interface.  On our homepage we have clearly stated objectives of what we wanted our classmates to walk away with by the end of the week.  Links are clearly visible on the side of the page, and under the “Getting Started” page we provided information on the definition, history, motivation and value proposition of informal learning.  These resources provided a knowledge base for our classmates as a foundation and further resources and readings were provided under the “Resources” section.  Under the “Territory” section, we provide a visual mindmap of our interpretation of Informal Learning and than we provide a series of examples and case studies of where Informal Learning occurs.  From the case studies, students are invited to share their comments and experiences with a few guiding questions.


Collaboration Tools

Our group used a variety of software applications to facilitate collaboration.  Google Groups was used to upload files and common documents that we could all access.  We also used Google Talk and telephone to facilitate discussions.  Some of the challenges we experienced for trouble logging in and for all members to connect into a teleconference.  On some frustrating occasions, we spent considerable time on technical components and trying to get everyone together in the chat.  We missed one of our group members for the first chat, as there was some confusion in terms of meeting times and time zones.


While we were able to perform online meetings using Google Talk, we often had trouble staying focused and articulating ideas.  While we had many excellent ideas and brainstorms, the function of instant messaging was not as productive as an actual phone call.  We held a group teleconference and found that this was more productive than any of the previous online chats.  Two of our group members met face to face outside the group discussions.


Presentation Platform

Our group spent a considerable amount of time and effort in discussing the pros and cons of various presentation platforms.  While any platform could have been used, the process of discussing and evaluating these platforms was a great informal learning opportunity.


Originally our group created a PB wiki shell and we discussed some of the pros and cons related to PB wiki.  In particular we discussed the idea of surveys, discussion posts, and the difference between a paid licensed version and the free version.  In terms of discussion forums, we considered the option of referring back to the course website for discussions, as we felt that students would participate more on the course website, than if required to sign in and register on a different domain.


Other than PB wiki, the group tried using WordPress, but was not prepared to develop neither the wiki nor the blog collaboratively.  The group then decided to move on to creating web pages appointing one of the members to be responsible for uploading and formatting information on the website.


Ultimately, after analyzing other group’s presentation and discussing layouts, we decided on using Freewebs. Including Zoho wiki which was created at the very start, we developed 5 websites, 3 forum sites and 2 chat sites.


Discussion FORMS

There were many interesting and lively discussions.  Here is a short summary:


WEB 2.0

 1 original post with 14 replies and a total of 82 views.


Informal learning is a process that is highly individual and unique.  As Carolann wrote, “As soon as you structure learning, it is not informal any more….Motivation is the key.”  These sentiments were echoed by most participants, and the issue became differentiating formal versus informal learning.  Is it still possible to have formal aspects within informal learning?  One of the keys in identifying informal versus formal learning is evaluation and instructions.  From his perspective, DavidP articulates, “the difference is between instruction and learning, not necessarily the formal and informal aspects.”  In terms of evaluation, MikeA wrote, “informal learning is highly constructivist and leads to unique experiences and understandings.  You cannot evaluate this type of learning as it is, by its very nature, going to be different in every individual.”




 sub topics of e-portfolios,

2 posts with 22 replies, and 117 views


From no e-portfolios to facebook and flicker pages, this was a very insightful discussion into the development and purpose of an e-portfolio.  Many students are creating e-portfolios due to the MET course requirements; others are still contemplating their portfolios and the various platforms and hosting sites to use.  Motivation continues to be a factor as Marc writes, “I have an e-Portfolio in accordance with a MET course requirement however am finding that having to create one is not as useful and wanting to create one…”  In this case, the e-portfolio is apart of a formal learning process.  Outside of motivation, other issues regarding the creation of e-portfolios are privacy and time.  While it is possible to restrict who can view your portfolio, db asks, “How many people are willing to click on a ‘mailto’ link and then wait to gain access to a portfolio? Some won’t and opportunities for contact and new connections will be lost.”



Resources for professional development,

3 posts with  45 replies, and 215 views.


While formal learning opportunities offer students the ability to learn in a credited environment and add to their personal resumes.  Formal opportunities are excellent for one’s resume, however informal learning is often more useful to our students.  Informal learning involves using the Internet and peers as resources.  Mary mentions “an instructional design community of practice. Those of us who work in the field get together once a month to talk about tools, articles we’ve read, specific problems we need to solve in a course or with an instructor. It’s a great way to share knowledge in a relatively informal setting.”  Thus, your network can be a valuable resource.


While informal learning is extremely valuable it doesn’t fit on a resume and pay grades are not adjusted for informal learning.  Often a motivation for formal learning is professional and career development.  Carolann articulates the views of many in her post, “I am taking part in MET only because the education system will not recognize any kind of informal learning, including years of industry experience, not for jobs and not for pay.  It is an archaic system in which we work.” 


Using informal learning ICT technologies at the workplace

1 post with 13 replies, and 54 views. 


We live in a digital world and are constantly multi-tasking.  Everyone in the discussion agreed that Information Communication Technologies can be used for informal purposes at the workplace, provided it does not interfere with the user’s work obligations.  Many point out that they perform work related activities at home, and this could potentially stop if their employer would restrict them from checking the odd personal email, or interests during work hours.  



Games – your experiences

2 posts with 3 replies, and 54 views


One can get a sense of learning from some games but not from all  computer games. The kinds of games which can be educational are: simulators and text adventures. The educational values one can develop by playing  computer games include: reading skills and mapping skills. 


We found that Freewebs have difficulties handling widgets unlike many other platforms and the Games page, which was made for a WordPress was dysfunctional in some browsers most of the time.


3 topics, 37 posts, and 78 views


Learning about nature by being directly in contact with it is an emotional experience, whereas reading/watching a video about nature is intellectual. Experiences in nature initiate an interest in finding more information, but learning through experience is time consuming and unpractical, and many of us prefer to obtain information indirectly. In light of learning giving perspectives and adding dimensions to one’s understanding, direct observation/experience adds a unique layer of learning. Though there is undeniable merit in informal learning, formal learning is required to cover the wider and deeper aspects of education. Informal learning and formal learning complement each other for deepening knowledge and interests. Reading and researching before coming into contact with nature can make the experience more productive and memorable. We have to note that there are definite dangers and safety issues associated with nature: This is a serious limiting factor of informal learning in this area. It is always difficult to decide to what degree one needs to explore nature without endangering oneself, yet while still maximizing valuable contact. Through social networking with children who live in the country, we can provide city kids with extra informal learning opportunities.




3 topics, 20 posts, and 92 views


Visiting museums provides connections between the past and the present: going over artifacts has much greater emotional and intellectual impact than learning at a distance or by reading about them. Museums play a major role in raising awareness, fostering interest in a particular field, or simply providing intellectual stimulation.  What one learns in museums informally can make subsequent learning – formal or informal- more meaningful and productive.

Museums can increase their popularity by providing competitive and current appeal of the contexts. If museums maintain the delivery/presentation method and keep their content attractive, they can increase the number of visitors and become competitive/profitable. We must also consider the success of museums in terms of their quality. Even the most unprofitable museums may have deeply inspired or affected a significant population. They are part of the informal/formal learning system; they are part of “learning and discovery”, and hence, are part of everybody’s life.




 1 topic, 4 posts, and 33 views


 The discussion for Sports & Entertainment was limited.  While there were many viewers, there was little discussion.  This may have been the result of poor questions that were unclear and unrelated to professional development.    Sports Franchises are using web2.0 applications to allow their fans to network and post questions, videos and support their favourite team.  Perhaps a better question could have been, “do you learn to play a sport formally or informally?”  As a coach, I notice a major difference between players that have played the sport on a formal team versus pick-up play.  Those with formal training have a better understanding of the game in terms of positioning.



1 topic, 2 posts, and 9 views


The media can be a valuable resource in informal learning.  Stations such as PBS, BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic’s offer many interesting documentaries that provide “edutainment”. Early education programs such as Sesame Street and Mr.DressUp are also prime examples of informal learning.



 3 topics,  27 replies, and 136 views


 This lively discussion was user-based and delved into the topics of parenting, pets, and dealing with tragedy.  All three topics provide an opportunity to learn informally and all can be considered “apart of life”. While it might be helpful to have a parenting manual or a formal course for parents, Gillian points out, “There really isn’t any way to learn everything, whether it be about becoming a dentist or teacher or CEO.  Formal only goes so far and then the rest gets “filled in” with informal.”  In terms of informal learning for parents, support groups and networks are important resources.  Having a pet or considering having a pet also provides for valuable informal learning experiences.  Children learn responsibility, provide affection, and often grow as a person from having a pet.  Experiencing the loss of a pet or loved one is a tragedy that reminds us that we are all human.  Often in times of tragedy we learn and grow the most…yet this is entirely an informal learning process.  It is not possible to replicate a ‘real’ tragedy within a formal learning environment and achieve the same level of personal reflection and growth.  Db points out, ” students pass away (for real) because of (avoidable) accidents/incidents or illness. Those closest to the victim may mourn and learn, but in big schools (1500+)… the air of normalcy on account most students not knowing the victim can also be quite disconcerting.”  Informal learning is life learning.


Reflections & Thoughts on Moderating Process

Informal learning is integrated with life long learning.  As facilitators of the discussion, all group members tried to respond to peer comments and provide interesting resources and questions to further the discussions. Upon reflection, it is evident that not all posts were of interest to the class.  This may have been due to a variety of factors: poor questions, a lack of correlation to the learning objectives and possibly redundancy in topics.  Many users including the group members had occasional difficulties in uploading their posts, and this unforeseen frustration may have prevented more posts from being posted.  As our group contemplated many different presentation platforms, some of the resources that were posted on some of the shells, did not appear on our final presentation.  In the future it would be nice to include some videos that help visual and auditory learners understand key concepts in addition to readings. It would also be helpful to include some surveys and polls to encourage participation and gauge the class on issues regarding informal learning. Overall, this was an enjoyable experience and Group 10 thanks all participants for their contributions and efforts! 


November 16, 2008   3 Comments

For the third time! Dumbed down reply

Here we go again, I just spend I don’t know how long responding to this post, hit ‘submit’, but my post has miraculously disappeared! Moral of the story: alway copy your work before submitting!

The gist of it was that I liked the article; I agree that our students often seem incapable of working at their grade level. But I wondered how much had to do with technology overdose and how much had to do with the education system. Students arrive in grade 9, many, reading at a grade 4-5 level, if that. Nevertheless, they have been promoted for 8 years even though they could not read. I think students no longer read because they don’t know how and have never been held accountable for much. They are overly babied, resulting in them perceiving their failures as someone else’s fault. It’s almost always ‘the teacher failed me’, and almost never, ‘I failed’. It seems that we have lowered standards across the board to accommodate illiterate students; even colleges and universities in France are admitting that they must ‘dumb’ down their instruction because many students cannot read and write at the required level.

November 16, 2008   No Comments

Dumbed down

My copy of last week’s Macleans arrived today, and it has an interesting article with a lot of relevance to the MET program and this course. The article “Dumbed Down: The troubling science of how technology is rewiring kids’ brains” can be found online at:

In essence it discusses the pros and cons of overexposure to technology – in and out of the classroom – on childrens’ brains.

November 14, 2008   5 Comments

Book List

Hi.  Saw book recommendations here and there through the modules, perhaps we can create a thread here with titles, authors, subject, and reason for recommendation (in time for the dark of winter).

November 13, 2008   3 Comments

Assignment #3 Briefing

Hi everyone.

Most of you are well into thinking about Assignment #3 (“A3”), if not far into production, so I wanted to provide some additional orientation to the process we have in mind:

  • I will be marking A3, so please direct all of your questions in my direction.
  • Please pay close attention to the A3 rubric provided.
  • Submit your A3 to me directly via email before end of day November 23rd.  Given the Venture Forum activity in Module 12, late submissions will be unacceptable.
  • Also post your A3 to the Module 12 Venture Forum here before end of day November 23rd.  The basic idea is that your A3 should begin with a short executive summary (‘elevator pitch’ or ‘pitch page’) that captures the essence of your venture in a compelling way that encourages venture analysts (in this case, your classmates) to review the entire pitch.  Please note that your Venture Forum submission should not include the “self-evaluation” portion of A3, this should be something that is just included in your email to me.
  • If there is any reason you do not wish to expose your venture concept to the world (remember that outsiders can review any posting here) please discuss this with me ASAP.  If the intellectual property (IP) involved is sensitive, I’m willing to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before receiving it for marking purposes.  We could also arrange for peer reviews to be done via private email if that is your wish.
  • You will all be receiving your Module 12 analysis assignments by noon on November 24th.  Please post your analyses as responses to the respective pitches before end of day November 30th.
  • In the spirit of the Venture Forum, I intend to submit a real pitch of my own, and look forward to your critical response!

Good luck!


November 12, 2008   2 Comments

ETEC 522 Last Year (or in years past)

I did a Google search for ETEC 522 module today, I think I was hoping the url to one of the modules we just completed would show up.  Low and behold, instead a bunch of old modules completed in past years showed up.

They are pretty interesting to check out actually.

November 11, 2008   No Comments

Question about eportfolios

I am researching eportfolios for a pitch to my k-8 DL program.  They sound like they would fit our program perfectly, but I don’t have any experience with them.

I am wondering if anyone has experience with using eportfolios in  k-12 system that they could share – platform, security, etc.

If you prefer, you could email me at sonnannAtgmailDotcom.

I would appreciate any advice, particularly about platforms used.



November 9, 2008   4 Comments

Module 9: Serious Game Environments – Wrapping-up

Thank you ETEC 522 class for your great participation in this week’s presentation! We’ve got over 200 posts in response to our discussion topics and still counting! We’re learning a great deal from your insight and are very pleased with this outcome. We invite you to keep sharing your opinions through Google Groups and take a moment to participate in our survey (located on our homepage

Have a great week-end!

Team 9 – Doug, Fetya, Dieder, Joey & Joe

November 8, 2008   2 Comments

Cricket fans?

A different type of a cricket pitch –



November 7, 2008   No Comments

K-12 Online Conference

Just making sure you all know about this.  Lots of great information and interesting discussions.

October 30, 2008   1 Comment

Module 8 team

It has been frustrating past few days as I have been unable to log  into Module 8 website successfully for any decent length of time. Although I have been able to make a couple posts… I have usually been unsuccesful in posting my piece after having typed the whole thing…including the collaborative story! I am sure this is a problem peculiar to me and I just have to wait for that moment when the network isn’t overloaded to post (I tried laste last night with no success though!) – though that shouldn’t be it – any other thoughts on what could be causing this?

Meanwhile…may I request module 8 team to post me the module reading links and discussion questions via email (deepikaunderscoresharma2atyahoodotcom) so I can keep everything ready and post when I get “that window” 🙂 Apologies for this extra work, but my frustrations are getting the better of me …I want to participate!



October 29, 2008   4 Comments

Open Source last couple of days

Hi all – just a quick reminder that we’re nearing the end of our discussions and activities about Open Source Emerging Markets here: The dialogue has been incredibly robust and it’s really exciting to see so much action on the site. We’ll be having a synchronous chat on the site tomorrow night (Sunday)  at 8:30pm for those who can join us. We’ll also be posting a transcript of the chat and a summation of the activity that’s happened this week shortly after our week is up for those who’d like to see it in that form.

Thanks for all the fantastic contributions!


October 18, 2008   3 Comments

Welcome to Open Source Emerging Markets

Good Morning and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

The Open Source Emerging Markets team invites you to join us in a Moodle shell. Please go to , create an account and log into the course called “Group 6 Open Source”. Once there, you’ll see a list of activites in which to participate with accompanying instructions.

Thanks, Marc, Bryan, Dave and Mary

October 13, 2008   13 Comments

Analysis prose query

Quick query re: our Assignment 1 (I put this on a comment to another question, but wanted to be sure that others would see the answer to this question)

Is it acceptable to include inline hyperlinks within the text of whatever document we provide in our analysis? I am assuming that APA documenting rules would also mandate the use of further documentation in the Bibliography/Work Cited area too?

October 11, 2008   2 Comments

Assignment #1 Reminder

Hi everyone – just a reminder that Assignment #1 is due by end of day on October 12.  Please email it to me at david dot vogt at ubc dot ca.

You can also email me with any last minute questions you might have.



October 11, 2008   4 Comments

Research Help

If you are looking for some market research to help with your A1, look here:

There is a wealth of information 🙂

October 8, 2008   2 Comments

Digital textbooks

You are all probably aware that this is my particular preoccupation, but I thought this article from Inside Higher Ed yesterday was worth sharing with everyone. It has an interesting analysis of the crumbling business model for large textbook publishers, who have been the key supplier of course-related material, which plays nicely into some of the discussions we’ve been engaging in. The comments following the article are also very much worth reading:

The key concept this raises for me is that of ‘unfair’. Because I see this from the inside, I wonder if when students say prices are ‘unfair’ they recognize how much labour goes into a textbook. Content creators (writers, photographers, graphic designers) have to be paid, the people who fact check, line edit, and proofread have to be paid. The people who design and typeset have to be paid. Do without these aspects and students and profs complain about texts being ‘unengaging’ and ‘full of errors’.

One of the deeply troubling aspects of open source to me is the question of payment for creators. In the great open source future, will everyone just be expected to volunteer their labour?  Is the assumption that only the truly driven will create resources, because they will do so despite not being paid for it? If that is the case, is it okay? We pay people now for their intellectual labour (for example, the Davids’ salaries as paid by UBC) – will a system emerge that takes on this role?

I’m curious to hear the group’s thoughts on these issues. And despite where I sit right now, I’m genuinely curious about, and open to, alternative futures – I think that’s why we’re all in this course.


October 8, 2008   10 Comments


Just wanted to add my 2¢ and kudos to the organizers of this past week’s activities on freeweb! It was thought provoking and quite a bit of fun too! Well done on an easy-to-participate, engaging module!


October 6, 2008   4 Comments

5 Minutes of Fame

Hi everyone,

Here’s an interesting web site, and presentation, that I picked up from my 511 course.  It is part of a larger and equally interesting initiative called Ignite Philly whose premise is this…

“If you had five minutes on stage what would you say?  What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? …”

Take a look at the speech given by Steve Welch from DreamIt Ventures.  He offers up some thoughtful suggestions for both getting a business off the ground and developing a successful pitch, not to mention the presentation itself is a pitch.

Many other good speeches/pitches to enjoy as well!


October 5, 2008   1 Comment

Crowd Trust question

Davids –

I can’t get the Crowd Trust website up – is anyone else having this problem?

And holy cow – setting the bar pretty high, module 4 group! It looks amazing!


September 30, 2008   1 Comment

the e-Learning Guild

check out, the “

269 magazines for sharing strategies, techniques, best practices, and case-studies for the management, design, development, and delivery of e-Learning – dated back to March 5/2002 – read the abstract on the right hand column of the article, very insightful.

1438 e-Learning tools, technologies, products and services found in the e-Learning Guilds’ Buyers Guide and who are supporters of the Guild.

PLUS e-Learning books, the e-Learning Insider, blogs, research library, online forums, what people are saying, job board, educational discounts… tons of stuff.   Not cheap though.

99$ US gets basic membership plan or 695 US gets you the “Member” plus plan.  Premium Membership, you don’t even want to know… Just in case you have a couple extra bucks in your pocket… try  $1695.00

Would I purchase a “one only” subscription for my school, for a 100 bucks,

I think I would… maybe one years worth anyway.

check out, Author: Jason Shaeffer – Published Date: 06/02/2008 – sounds interesting.


Many readers are already using synchronous e-Learning tools to deliver instruction live and on line. However, there are many other uses for these tools in education and in corporate settings. This week’s author relates the success of his school with one particular such tool, and offers a number of best practices that you will be able to put to work in creating and delivering effective, competitive programs and curricula.


September 25, 2008   1 Comment

Assignments Unveiled?

I figure if I am confused, chances are good that others are too. (at least that’s what I tell my students)

I am having difficulty deciphering the assignments.

Assignment 1 is to be a written piece in an analytical format that will will consider a market environment or a specific venture.  My assumptions follow: (which may be totally off base)

  • this is to be a researched piece with appropriate citations (APA)
  • it will use narative form similar to the articles we have been reading
  • it can consider *any* market or venture

Assignment 2 is a group project about the assigned market presented in some interactive online way

Assignment 3 is the Pitch of the venture written about in Assignment 1

How close am I?

September 24, 2008   2 Comments

Google Docs in Plain English

This 2:50 minute video may be helpful to someone. As a new user, it clarified a few things for me.


September 23, 2008   4 Comments

Calendar software

This is somewhat related to what we are doing in the course… Does anyone in their district have an inclusive calendering solution that (here’s the wish list) connects to Active Directory, allows everyone to have a calendar, group calendars, has a feature to register for events on the calendar, publishes to the web, works with blackberries and iphone, and of course balances my budget and answers the phone? Well maybe not the last two.

Currently working with Corporate Time (oracle) for most of the admin, student support, and itinerants, but have a couple different solutions for publishing events, no online registration features etc.

If someone has a great solution please comment, or email me at, and I would love to look at it using some of the analysis techniques from the course. If you have an idea on costs as well that would be appreciated!



September 23, 2008   No Comments

Found this little dilly, check out – it’s a web site that analyzes web sites. Great functions like, global Top 500 sites, country Top 100, the movers and shakers… contacts by department, by level. I appreciate the function that lists the top rated sites and then a brief explanation to what they do or what they are. For example, I read about Flickr in the 522 blogs and now realize it’s almost like Photobucket which is what I use. Now there’s another one out there, ImageShack. Go figure…

Alexa also gives you a page view count or site count. Go to your favourite site and then click on the number at the end of the words, for example, Photobucket has a traffic rank of ” 27 or 29″ depending on top 500 or 100. Click on the number and some interesting stats appear re: that site.

I spent way too much time blasting around in there. One other thing, is general discussion the most appropriate spot for this message?


September 21, 2008   2 Comments

Answers to questions not asked

While reading through the module 2 & 3 materials made some notes in CMap format.  Idea is to develop them over the course of the modules and reference them when designing and evaluating pitches.  Future versions will be made available at a nominal fee – actually will just post them when and if it happens (suppose will need to add version numbers).

Curious about reaction to the blog interface format.  Candidly, I find it more frustrating to use than Vista and find it affects my interest in the course – suppose that qualifies as exploratory learning.  The use of applications (i.e. a news reader) to add basic functionality to the interface attest to user unfriendliness (and still does not resolve direct access to posts or comments, direct/private communication with users)….

It may also be that patience is worn a little thin through repeated interaction with Shaw this week.  At least telephone and internet service seem stable again (the irony of telephone and online customer support when your the reason for customer support is no telephone and no internet connection).  Will peruse the 118 posts and 197 comments currently on the blog tomorrow and resume comment.  Thank you for your patience

September 19, 2008   16 Comments

Q for David & David

For the Module 3 post – is it ok to analyse the cube characteristics for an e-learning program that was piloted in a few countries, about few years ago, but never took off – one that I know of? I do not have another elearning software or environment in mind as of now. If this would not be ok then do I have the permission to analyse this MET program?


September 16, 2008   2 Comments

highlighting links in messages?

I just posted a message in Mod 3 and including some links. When I wrote the message the links were a different color from the rest of the text but when I published it, you could no longer distinguish between the links and the regular text. Is there a way to make my links more visible to the reader?

September 15, 2008   No Comments

Corporate Jingle and Venture or Marketing Pitch – does one affect the other?

I don’t know if I’m introducing the “Corporate Jingle” a little too early in this course, or if it is part of a marketing pitch that should, should not be part of the pitch process or have I opened a can of worms by stating that I think a corporate Jingle should be part of a pitch campaign?

Case in point,

As a young kid growing up in the Interior of BC, we lived in a community 2 hours drive, north of Spokane Washington, 90 percent of our TV programs came out of that city. KXLY  TV is one that comes to mind, don’t remember the rest.

To this day, 48 years later, I still remember the jingle of two elderly ladies as they sang, “when you dis-co-ver oil… call Boyle… If you tap the notes on the keyboard of a piano, it should sound something like this. First, find middle C then follow the notes for the jingle. When (middle C) you (F) dis (G) co (A) ver (b flat) oil (C) call (b flat) Boyle (A) let the word Boyle resonate for a couple seconds. Does anyone remember hearing that jingle?

To get you to sing the jingle properly is not part of my pitch, but in my opinion, I believe that a Jingle develops an immediate auditory connection as a marketing strategy for the End User. If introduced correctly during the pitch campaign, investors have another reminder of the pitch, the product or service that they can relate to. Possibly even an image of the person who developed the jingle or the day and time it was seen in the board room. (I hesitate to mention that advertising costs money and some businesses may not be financially able to afford TV or radio spots.) I remember Jed, firing his shot gun at some food and saying to myself back then, “I wonder if he knew to call Boyle?”

Just because there is a catchy tune, does it mean a successful business venture, obviously not. But, at least the investor remembers a previous experience to it. If it’s catchy enough and heard often enough, would it persuade an investor to lean in that direction? Everyone is hearing it… I also ask, “Is a Marketing pitch part of the Venture pitch? Are they the same thing?  Is one embedded in the other?”

Let’s look at “life could be a dream sweetheart….” you know you’ve heard that before. What comes to mind? How about, “Home Depot – you can do it, we can help.” What a GREAT line, it implies that, “you CAN do it.” I know lots of wanna-be Home Reno types who are into it knee deep and have no idea how to get out.

thanks, ddp

September 15, 2008   1 Comment

Looking for inspiration and a break all at the same time?

Taken from

Taken from

Does anybody remember the 1988 movie Working Girl starring Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith and Sigourney Weaver? It’s about a working class girl looking for a chance to make it big in the investment firm where she works as a secretary.

This movie has ETEC522 written all over it… a great business proposition, your classic elevator pitch a surprise or two along the way!


September 14, 2008   No Comments

Growing Pains…

Can anyone tell me how I can see if anyone has replied to a reply I posted? I have subscribed to Googer Reader, but it only posts new posts and not the replies to posts (as far as I can see…) The thing is that I have responded to several posts, and I would like to follow through and see what was replied, if anything, subsequently. Sorry, but I’m still going through blogging growing pains… Best, Nancy

September 14, 2008   4 Comments

trying to find a comment

Can anyone tell me how to use the search function properly.

I’m trying to find a link that David V provided regarding a venture he was working on- making connections..and can not figure out who to search for it.

thanks in advance.

Katherine Lithgow

September 13, 2008   3 Comments

Re Development Gateway Foundation

Can’t access  the development gateway foundation resources. Must we join?



September 12, 2008   3 Comments

Group Presentations – Emerging Market Analysis

David ( or anyone else), where can I find the guidelines to this project? I would like to get a head start.

September 10, 2008   1 Comment

Attaching a file?

I wanted to send Nancy a link to the PDF for the how to “How to Pirch a Brilliant Idea” article but I’m not sure how to do this on a blog. Can anyone help?



September 10, 2008   3 Comments

Need help finding venture pitches

A few days ago I quickly watched a couple pitches and have since forgot where they were. Recombo & others.

Thanks in advance for your help. I’ve looked everywhere, I think.


September 10, 2008   4 Comments

Assignments #1 & #3

Hi everyone –

In terms of an advance look at your Assignment grades, our good friend DavidP will be marking Assignments #2 and #4 (no there’s not a “new” assignment – #4 is your participation in discussions), and I will be marking #1 and #3.  Please approach either or both of us with questions about any dimension of the course, but you might keep me in mind in some special way as you develop your topics for Assignments #1 and #3.

If you haven’t already done so, you should probably be zeroing in on your topic for Assignment #1 by now.  You don’t need to bounce it off me, but I’d be glad to answer any questions you might have.
Assignment #1 us due by end of day on October 12.  Thanks.


September 9, 2008   1 Comment

Building the Conversation

To follow up on DavidP’s point about tags, please also do what you can to stimulate conversation.  Two quick recommendations:

  • make all of your posts as brief and to-the-point as possible.
  • engage your audience with provocations, questions, etc., leading to comments.

Other ideas for building great discourse….?

September 8, 2008   1 Comment

Building the cloud

Hello all.

Just a little reminder to help us all navigate, as well as find posts and comments more easily.

As you write a post, please remember to indicate:

* category from the category list provided

* tags: such a M1, M2, M3 etc. to help us navigate, as well as find posts

September 8, 2008   No Comments

Module Teams – anybody missing?

Here are the teams for Modules 4-11.

I looked at the special requests posts/comments in the blog. Everyone who requested a preference got their first choice. The teams are now set.


Module 04: Katherine Lithgow, Ellen Wu, Drew Murphy, Deepika Sharma (4)

Module 05: Jarrod Bell, Alan Kilistoff, Susan Wilson, Carolann Fraenkel (4)

Module 06: Amber Van Der Mark, Marc Kampschuur, David De Pieri, Mary Burgess, Bryan Funk (5)

Module 07: Ken Heales, Michael Awmack, Cori Wickes, Vincent Spencer, Crystal Pullman (5)

Module 08: Sarah Wood, Jim Tattrie, Gilian Gunderson, Dwayne Ali, Shaun Dychko (5)

Module 09: Doug Pinder, Joanne Dabell, Fetya Ahmed, DB, Joseph Dobson (5)

Module 10: Alexandra Marsh, Cheryl Milner, Michael Peterson, Jag Uppal (4)

Module 11: David Wees, Laura Mcleod, Nancy Castonguay, Zilong Zhai, Melissa Anders (5)

Additional instructions will be coming along shortly. You may wish to get acquainted with your team members via email in the interim before kickoff in two weeks.


September 7, 2008   1 Comment

Avatars – visually representing your posts

One of the features of the Word Press blog we’re using is its ability to associate your comment with a visual “avatar,” a picture or image representing you.

You can find where to upload your avatar by logging into the blog space and then selecting from the top menu:

Users > Your Avatar

There, you can select and upload an image from your own files.


September 7, 2008   3 Comments

Problems accessing pitches


I’ve been watching the pitches this rainy, cold afternoon, and Recombo 2004 and the UBC IT pitch won’t play for me. They give me a message saying ‘unexpected system exception’. Is the problem on my end or your end?

Thanks! Laura

September 7, 2008   5 Comments