Category — Module Discussions

OLT – Interesting, but not a pitch?

While I found the Michelle Lamberson interview fascinating (we have very similar jobs, mine is just on a way smaller scale) it didn’t feel at all like a pitch…?

September 9, 2008   5 Comments

Marketing Speak

I have just looked at Recombo 2005 and also Ingenia.

What I saw with Recombo was a very unfocused pitch, obviously made by a sales/marketing guy.  I don’t think there was a buzz word he left out.  I started making a list of them because it made me laugh.  Here are a couple of my favorites:  productization, (huh?) interoperability, bet the company.  Also his “focus, focus, focus” speech sounded like it was straight out of a bad how to book.  As far as I could tell, the only “focus” he articulated was his mission “to be a 100 million dollar company.”

There is an existing product but there is no pay off in terms of investment.  No competitive analysis was provided, there is no clear offering that would make IBM or anyone else buy the company. IBM has been marketing and selling software and hardware solutions for over 50 years.  I find it hard to believe that Recombo is providing any value that IBM could not reproduce on their own.  There are economies of scale to think of.  IBM has the staff, the infrastructure, the expertise already in place.  Why would they think of buying a company like Recombo, unless there were people, (customers or staff) or a product that they couldn’t attract on their own.

The CEO  of Ingenia was considerably more articulate, she had done her homework and at least came off sounding intelligent.

Ingenia is selling a service rather than a product, which in itself forces a more articulate discussion.  If they are trying to sell expertise, one would hope that the person doing the selling could sound like an expert.  The one thing that caught my attention was that it seemed like they couldn’t make it at home, so they are trying to find somewhere they can make it. (Vietnam)  Not the greatest business model in my mind.

My money goes with neither company.  I can’t see either one making it.


September 8, 2008   12 Comments

Different pitches

Hi all –

For those of you who remember my intro, I work in textbook publishing. One of the most interesting entrepreneurial ventures I’ve seen in a while is a new company called Flatworld Knowledge, which makes textbooks free, and uses all sorts of new technologies to create learning communities. It is a for-profit business, but I’m intrigued by the way they’ve turned the traditional model on its head. They have four clever little videos describing what they do at the following site: 

These aren’t formal pitches to investors, but they take a pitch-like form (although if being impressed by the presenter is one of your criteria, I’m not sure what you’ll think of stick figures!) The business isn’t yet fully launched; their first ‘books’ will be ready for the January semester. One of the most impressive things to me is that the entrepreneurs running it come from traditional publishing. Take a look and see what you think. I can’t wait to see where this one goes!


September 8, 2008   10 Comments

Pitch Pool Observations

I’m going to focus on the differences between the Recombo 04 pitch and the Recombo 05 interview because, as Susan indicated, there are some really interesting evolutionary processes revealed here.  In the 04 pitch their plan showed, I think,  some typical issues associated with early business planning.  The target market was huge and multileveled (The “virtuous circle”).  The product was a complex offering of services and software which attempted to show their all encompassing position as a solutions provider.  At the surface level this market potential and thorough coverage might appear persuasive to an investor but as an EVA, it raised concerns that the plan was too broad, lacked a compelling implementation strategy and didn’t show an insightful understanding of their client’s corporate cultures.

In the Recombo 05 interview, it was very interesting to see the adjustments they had been making.  For example, he talked about redefining their mission as selling a service and not a product. In otherwords, they’ve realized their “product” was too complex and needed less “engineering” focus and more of a solutions approach.  In fact, he repeatedly commented on the need for “focus” in their 05 approach.  In terms of their approach to their target market, there was, again, this movement towards a more specific segment of their overall market.  The establishment of a single account as a “lighthouse” client, demonstrated a more strategic approach that was not evident in the 04 pitch.  And the fact that this client was a content publisher whose clients they were looking to excavate further, again, showed a major refinement of their overall approach to their market and a more tangible path to the other segments of their overall market.  With the luxury of hindsight, if the 04 pitch had contained some of these specific strategic insights that the 05 interview revealed, the 04 pitch would have appeared much more persuasive.  (Ahhh, yes, hindsight! I know it well!!)   There lots other aspects of the Recombo 04 and 05 presentations that one could discuss. This is a really interesting duet and great example of the evolution of a business model.

September 8, 2008   1 Comment

Pitch Pool – round one

As I watched the first round of pitches, I was struck by the different levels of aggressiveness shown by the interviewees.  The pitch that emerged as the leader to me was that of Ingenia.  They were the one entrepreneurial company to satisfy the conditions of CEO credibility, a stellar management team, a feasible and well-researched business model, competitive products, technical innovation and market readiness.  Even though I was watching this video as part of an assignment, I still felt sold by the thorough research and forward thinking exhibited.  If I were to invest, this would be the one!

Another significant characteristic that differentiated the four entities was the level and degree of forward thinking.  To me, the two that stood out on top were Ingenia and the intrapreneurial BC IT.  As I listened, I was impressed by the proactive nature with which they anticipated problems, designed safeguards and planned for future success.  

The entrepreneurial Recombo seemed to react well to change in their business using a solutions-based approach.  This approach, while successful for Recombo, does not instill confidence in me as an EVA as I do not see that they are anticipating future concerns.

BC OLT seemed quite reactionary in their actions, solving problems as they arose.  I realize that intrepreneurial ventures do not necessarily have the resources to implement their vision to its fullest; working with what the IT department could support, but it seemed to me that BC OLT was satisfied to do the best they could with what was easy.  While this may instill confidence in me as a user or consumer, I would not be motivated to invest as the aggression and planning for success are lacking.

A separate study could be done just on the improvements made in Recombo’s 2005 pitch as compared to their 2004 pitch; even the manner in which Mr. MacPhee dressed and spoke affected the confidence one would feel as an EVA.   There is a lot riding on the business’ spokesperson as it is the impression one gets of their abilities that sells confidence in the company.

September 8, 2008   7 Comments

Pitch Pool EVA responses

So far I’ve watched three of the pitch’s and something that resonated about the RECOMBO 2005 and the UBC IT Services was the idea that we need to “Play well with others”. RECOMBO actually uses that phrase, and Mr. Dodd’s idea of a framework that draws people and having an e-strategy that is an enablement-strategy are excellent.

While being in business RECOMBO is looking for what a win looks like for their customer, it is not just about making money, but about helping their client. UBC’s IT department uses “partners” that work in the different faculties and help determine how IT can help them best, and how the faculty can help shape IT.

While RECOMBO is a business and UBC IT is not looking for financial gain, they both have a very service oriented philosophy. We’re not here for ourselves, but to help you succeed. As an Educational venture analyst I believe this is a critically important philosophy for business in the current marketplace.

With a move towards open source software or community source software permeating the internet and a larger community expectation of philanthropic contributions from large companies, I believe that shared success needs to be a guiding principle for companies to succeed vs make money at all cost tactics.

RECOMBO’s Brad MacPhee seemed confident about the success of the company. Moving to double the work force of a company is a large undertaking and would require a capable managment team. From my little experience with business models, the “lighthouse” client struck me as a critical asset to the feasibility of their model. The market sounds vast and their ability to grow rapidly based on their lighthouse’s clients talks to the even greater potential for growth. It seems that their transition from an engineering provider to a solutions provider has been a key reason for their success. This is a technical innovation that greatly increases the market size. Their exit strategy wasn’t clearly defined but it sounded like the IPO was a worthwhile step between being acquired by a larger middleware provider like IBM and staying as a private company. As an EVA I would put this company on my shortlist to invest with.

UBC IT’s use of the flexible framework and consultative town-hall strategy, and partners within the faculties have obviously drawn the clientele towards e-learning (or as David mentioned their pitch video, we can drop the e and just call it learning) in a successful and inclusive way. UBC has a track record of developing successful commercial products from research (WebCT for example) and now prefers to focus on community sourced software and partnerships. While not something that is going to make money immediately for the university from a free product, it will likely make the university programs more competitive and bring learning more efficiently and effectively to people at a distance. As an EVA I would support this kind of project in my university.



September 7, 2008   No Comments

Getting To Work

Thanks everyone for your introductions and first steps into the course – now its time to dive in some venture content!

Our business “boot camp” may introduce material that is unfamiliar to many of you, but we promise it will be interesting and very worthwhile.  In the first iterations of this course we actually went deeper than we do now – offering an exposure to interpreting financial data, etc, – but even then we couldn’t begin to cover all of the material an entrepreneur needs to master.  So for those of you aiming to be entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs this is just an introduction, and for everyone else it’s a solid overview of the process and thinking involved.

My original training was as a scientist, and there’s no question that the essence of all great science is asking the right question of the Universe.  In business, that same essence is asking the right question of the marketplace.  That’s why we’re focusing on the pitch – the entire story behind a venture needs to be contained there – something really credible and compelling needs to stand out.

We’re offering some good starting points, but the journey is yours.  There are lots of materials you can discover and explore on your own.  Please share those that resonate with you.

Good luck!

September 7, 2008   No Comments

Pitches on ipods

I’ve been making a point of trying to do some of my masters work using my ipod touch as an experiment. I notice that the ingenia presentation shows only the presenter video but no slides. Pretty powerful tool but doesn’t quite step up to full technology standards like regular client browsers. I’m curious about building resources that can be fully accessible via ipods and iphones for some future training, especially in large cities where a large portion of a sample company could be using mass transit and training while they travel to work.

nb. This is certainly not a complaint to the developers to the course, more of an observation about ipods


September 7, 2008   3 Comments

Alan’s introduction

My name is Alan Kilistoff and I have been a practicing Dentist since I graduated from UBC in 1976.  I started teaching at UBC Dental school in August 2000.  I got hooked on teaching so I sold my practices, and went full time, first at UBC and now at the University of Saskatchewan, where I am currently Assistant Dean Clinic Affairs.  I am sorry for the late post, but our term is two weeks old and there has been a steady stream of crises that have taken my full attention.  I have five children all now married and 11 grandchildren one of whom was still born this past July.  The eleventh was born three weeks ago and was two months premature, but he is doing very well and should be home earlier than expected.  Our Dental school is attatched to the hospital so I get to visit the little guy every day on my way home.  It is very handy as I walk by the NICU on the way to the car park.  This is my last course in the MET program and I am looking forward to learning about the business side of e-learning.  I have thoroughly enjoyed every course in the program, but I find that in my new position the work load is escalating and I am having increasing difficulty finding time to enjoy this program.  I am in charge of running the dental clinic that serves 56 students as well, I teach 6 courses, and I also teach one day per week at the National School of Dental Therapy in Prince Albert, 150 Kms north of Saskatoon.  We are implementing a new 10 million dollar computer system that finds me as chair of the implementation team.  There is a 40 week program to implement this system that we are now just starting.  I also have a few trips this fall so it looks like I am packing the laptop again.  Enough of my woes, I am looking forward to this course.


September 7, 2008   1 Comment

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

Jags Introduction

Jag supporting the Penguins

Hello everyone and sorry for the late post.  As tech-savy as I am…or not…it is often the simplest things that take me the longest to figure out.

My name is Jag Uppal and I come from a fairly large Indo-Canadian family that consists of 5 children, of which, I am the youngest.  My older 3 siblings were born in India in the late 1960s and early 70s, while my other sister and I were born in Canada.

I am currently 30 years old, recently married and in my 3rd year of teaching full time at a high school in Surrey, BC.  I am teaching Business and Computer courses, while previously I had the opportunity as a TOC to visit a variety of different classrooms from across the spectrum of grades and subjects.  In terms of education, I have complete both my Commerce and Education degrees through UBC.

As apart of my Commerce degree, I spent a semester studying abroad in the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain.  This was a great experience for me, as I got to travel across Europe, study some Spanish, and learn in a completely different environment.  It was also during this time away from family and friends, that I really began using technology (msn messenger, emails, digital pictures) as a form of communication. 

I am currently half way through my MET Masters, and I look forward to working and learning with all my colleagues.  There are many things about this Masters that I enjoy, such as the flexibility and the geographic and cultural diversity of our fellow students, however I often still miss the social interactions of being with my peers in a physical environment.  After reading through the course syllabus and introductions, I am really excited about being in this course!

my emails are: or

Jag Uppal

September 7, 2008   1 Comment

Deepika’s Intro


Hello friends,


Apologies for this late landing – I had some unexplained lapses in communication – just got to the blog yesterday and set myself up!


I am Deepika Sharma from India. This is my 5th ETEC course. I have just laddered up to the Masters degree from the TBLS that I had registered for initially – a measure of how much I have enjoyed and gained from this course!


I am a full-time mom, a part-time education consultant as well part-time student. We live in western India, in a city called Pune – the city that is known as the Oxford of the East, the automobile capital of India and now the software Mecca. No surprise then that my husband works for one of India’s largest automobile companies. I have two children age 11 (boy) and 13 (girl) and a beagle aged 2! We returned from a 5 year stint overseas 10 months ago –  Vietnam (3 years) and Kuala Lumpur (2 years) – so the children have just about settled into a new  environment albeit home base!


As a consultant I work in the field of education technology. My previous employment was with an NGO – World Links, based in Washington DC – that spun off as the education arm of the World Bank to work in developing countries in less served schools, enabling teachers to integrate technology in the curriculum and classroom. Until 5 years ago I looked after their program in India. Then came the sabbatical and this course. I have once again picked up old threads with World Links and now work with them as a part-time consultant on education projects in South East Asia, having just wound up one in Vietnam. The only other commitment that I have this term, so far,  is a course organized by the World Bank Institute for educators from the region in Seoul (I see someone in this course is based in Seoul – Ali?), in November which I will help facilitate partly.


My part-time student life will be spent with you all, which I look forward to immensely. The four courses that I have completed so far have been intensely thought-provoking and extremely enjoyable! The revelation that this course will run on a blog is exciting – I have just made “blogging for education” part of my workshop series, so it would be nice to walk my talk J


Other than this I love to travel, read, listen to music and watch movies with my family. I am an avid scrap-booker and obviously not a woman of few words J Apologies if the length of this note exceeded your patience limit!


I see some familiar faces – Nancy I remember you from the January 2008 course – great to be with you again!


…with my husband and children in Alaska (glacier) this summer




September 6, 2008   2 Comments

DB’s self intro

Hey all. Good to see a few familiar faces here from other courses I’ve taken in the past two semesters. This will be either number 5 or 6. I’ve learned a tremendous amount within the confines of WebCT and though I’ve been on the ‘net in its various forms since Bitnet and just after the TLD “.com” was introduced, I’ve never explored the blog authoring environment. To use it as a course medium will be an intriguing experience when compared to the strict confines of WebCT.

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September 5, 2008   1 Comment

Amber Van Der Mark

Hello Everyone,

My Name is Amber, I am currently working as a TOC in Comox, BC. I am working on another course (511) at the same tyme as this one. I am a shop/PE teacher. I am looking forward to the outcome of this course and to see just what it is all about.

September 5, 2008   No Comments

Amber Van Der Mark

Hello Everyone,

My Name is Amber, I am currently working as a TOC in Comox, BC. I am working on another course (511) at the same tyme as this one. I am a shop/PE teacher. I am looking forward to the outcome of this course and to see just what it is all about.

September 5, 2008   3 Comments

Ready as can be…

Hello all.

My name is Nancy Castonguay and thus far I have completed only 2 courses as part of the MET program. I am buckled up and looking forward to completing the rest of it during the upcoming year… My cupboards are stocked with prime quality java and there is no looking back now!

I have been teaching a variety of courses for the Abbotsford School district, including face to face, via tele-conferencing, and online. My specialties are language learning and social studies.

In my spare time I love to travel and attend live jazz events… this year’s highlights for me have to be the Dave Brubeck concert and visiting Beijing.

I look forward to reading all of your comments and working with you all.

Best of luck to all.

September 5, 2008   1 Comment

Dwayne Ali – Jumping In

Hey all!

My name is Dwayne Ali and I’m still early on in my MET career.

I’ve been involved in various aspects of media, technology, and education for a while now. I graduated from McMaster University with a combined honours BA in Multimedia and History. Originally from Southern Ontario, I’m been on the other side of the world since May.

I’m currently teaching at the Princeton Review in Seoul, Korea. The summer was pretty intensive, with hundreds of students coming back to Korea during their summer vacation from the US. I had some good, some bad, but overall they were likable kids. I’ve really been missing incorporating aspects of multimedia in my teaching. I miss having really visual items on a projector, and the ability to explain every detail with additional information and images that we can look up online together as a class. But, the actual task of writing on a board has been a good experience as well!

I’m really looking forward to this course! The usage of WordPress has really excited me. I’ve done work with it in the past, and I think it has a lot of potential as a ‘discussion’ tool. Blackboard never seemed to get that part right. I also look forward to ‘meeting’ you all, and getting to know all of you.

Here I am, standing on a rock, next to a giant mountain in Jeju island, South Korea.  The pic doesnt do it justice.

Here I am, standing on a rock, next to a giant mountain in Jeju island, South Korea. The pic doesnt do it justice.

September 5, 2008   3 Comments

Ellen Wu’s Introduction

Hi everyone,

This is my 9th MET course. I’m hoping to finish my MET degree next summer after I take ETEC 590 (Graduating Project) in May 2009. I know it’s still early but I feel like I can start celebrating already! I am excited about this course because it looks at educational technologies from a business perspective, which is different from the other courses I’ve taken in this program. In this course, I hope to understand the business of e-learning and discover and develop the entrepreneur in me.

I was born in Taiwan and immigrated here when I was 15. I went to high school in Richmond and have lived here ever since. I have a B. Sc. from UBC (computer science major), a B. Ed. from UBC in secondary education and a TESL certificate from UBC. I have TOCed in Vancouver and Richmond and taught at a few different schools in Richmond. I am currently a full-time ESL teacher in Richmond. As an ex-ESL student, it’s been a wonderful experience sharing my language learning experience with my students and their parents. I’m also fluent in Mandarin, which helps in communicating with Chinese parents and beginning Chinese ESL students who cannot speak a word of English.

Right now, playing badminton is my favourite pasttime. I’m not a skilled badminton player, but it’s definitely good exercise for me. Whenever I have time, I also play games on my computer and on my Wii. Since I’m quite the game lover, I’m also interested in learning more about commercial learning technologies that are fun and beneficial to learning.

I look forward to working with all of you ^_^


September 4, 2008   3 Comments

Lucky to find this course!

Hello everyone, I’m new to the MET program, and thrilled to have found this course.  Last month I wrapped up a 7 month dream trip with my partner, mainly to Ecuador/Colombia, and France.  Now, with the return to high school teaching (physics 11 and 12), I’m looking forward to implementing some changes.  Going into September I made my teaching load half time, and ordered a tablet PC (touch screen laptop that I’ve been impressed by at Math Teacher Conferences) with the intention of profiting from a commercial education venture.  THEN I found this course!  I expect it to help me be more specific about the “commercial education venture”.  I’ve created time to pursue something (reducing to part time teaching), obtained the resources to help make it possible (Tablet PC), and will find information to help make it happen (this course).  I’m ready to go!

My email for this course (specially created due to the blog insecurity) is

With my partner in front of the White Cliffs of Normandy

With my partner in front of the White Cliffs of Normandy

September 4, 2008   1 Comment

David in Delta

Greetings everyone,

I just finished reading through the course syllabus for 522 and this looks really interesting and exciting. I can’t wait to dive in. I’m also taking ETEC 511 and 512 as well. Hope I didn’t bite off more than I can chew.

I am the father of two beautiful kids, Olivia and Mikylo – ages 12 and 10. They keep me busy, soccer, baseball, fastball, piano, skiing, swimming, math… you name it, we’re doing it. Parents eh!! …ya gotta love em…

I’m also a Red Seal machinist and CNC programmer/operator. I started my apprenticeship at Tech Cominco in Trail, just after finishing high school in 1979. Yes, Jason Bay (Boston Red Sox) was one of my students and I coached him in baseball. In 1992, I completed my B. Ed. at UBC and started teaching immediately there after.

My newest venture (I’m not a static person) is a website that I’m am developing for shop teachers from around the world. I have people signed on from all over Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and some places I’ve never heard of. Very exciting. David V and David P, I’ll email you with my proposal Thursday after work.

I love old cars I have 4 of them. However, I’m in the process of trading my 63 Valiant – 2 door hardtop for a Fender Stratocaster guitar and Fender Super-Sonic amplifier. Strangely enough, I don’t play guitar I’m a drummer. I think I’ll save the G & A for my kids one day or maybe I’ll pick it up… time permitting.

I look forward to this course and meeting you folks along the way. Well, my eyes are starting to blur, time to sign off for now.

Cheers everyone, David De Pieri (another one)

September 4, 2008   4 Comments

One More Time

I am taking my 6th and 7th MET course this term, and writing one more introduction.

I teach music K-7 in North Vancouver, BC. While I was trying to decide what I *really* wanted to be when I grew up I was a: Bank Teller (too boring), Office Manager (no room to grow), database designer (design is fun, but they always want you to stay and run the system), export manager (interesting, but would have been more fun to travel than send things), and a system manager for a VAX (if you know what that is, you are old like me!) So I come by the leaning toward computers honestly, and I use them as much as possible in my teaching, and I’m the IT contact for my school.

I have a degree in Marketing and Management, so the business side of the class doesn’t intimidate me.  I’m looking forward to “boot camp” and the opportunity to learn.

I took a really nice picture to include here, but realized that I left the cord for my camera in California on vacation last week, so this is from last winter of me with my dog, Andante.

I am (also) quickly becoming frustrated with how slow this server is. It took me over 10 minutes to get this post started. I hope this issue gets resolved quickly. I gave up trying to look up what tags I was supposed to use, (I’ve been waiting for the page to load for 5 minutes now. Hopefully I came close.

You can contact me at carolannf AT gmail DOT com

September 3, 2008   4 Comments

Another “old timer” …

Hi all:

My name is Joey (short for Joanne).  I’ve been working at BC Institute of Technology for a number of years where I have also studied and taught courses in computer technology, and conducted applied research projects in information technology.

My main interest is in the direction of education, and educational technology which led me to the MET program. The experience has been a many-splendored thing (like Cheryl, I am another struggling old-timer) — humbling, thought-provoking, enlightening, and very enjoyable.  I can’t believe that I’m nearing the end.  This term I am taking my 9th and 10th MET courses, and there is still so much to learn!

As others have observed, while educational technologies are not a silver bullet there are so many opportunities in which they can be applied well.  Through this course I want to gain some insights into how to best integrate my experience in business and systems analysis with the business of e-learning.  I am looking forward to working with and learning from all of you.

September 3, 2008   2 Comments

Gillian’s Intro

Hello, everyone. 

I am currently taking my 6th and 7th MET courses (522 and 531) this term.  I hope to finish MET next summer, if all goes according to plan (and we know what happens to plans sometimes!).

I work for a K-8 DL program in New Westminster, BC; however, we use very little technology in the program so I don’t have much in the way of a technology background. That means that both 522 and 531 are really going to push me out of my comfort zone.  However, I’m looking forward to this course, as the delivery and content are both new and highly interesting to me.

I have a 13 year old son (communication has been reduced to grunts) and an incredibly supportive husband.  When reading the various introductions, I noticed a lot of references to Kamloops; we love to go to Sun Peaks, and try to get in as much skiing time as possible every winter.

You can reach me at sonnannAtgmaildotcom


September 3, 2008   4 Comments

Old timer wanting to keep up

Hi folks,

I’ve been working in the field of ed. tech. for the breadth of my career. Worked in Educational TV, training, instructional design development etc. I’ve remained interested in the technology side because that is where so many of our collective heads are at vis a vis business, and education. Educational technology is not a panacea for everything but as this course will attest it has certainly brought a very diverse and interesting group of people together who may not have been able to do so in the past.

I graduated from my Master’s program from Concordia in the mid 80’s in Montreal where I had to walk to school up hill both ways!!

I love to keep current, but may need a hand up from some of you whipper snappers? Have I dated myself again?

Please contact me through my email at

P.S. Thought you might enjoy the visual irony!

September 3, 2008   2 Comments

Cori’s Intro

Hi Folks,

The short version of my ‘story’ – I’m an elementary school principal on leave from my position as a result of a family tragedy last year – my beloved husband passed away. This course will be my eighth as I resume the program and attempt to pick up where I left off.  I have five kids ranging in age from 9 to 26 and currently reside in beautiful Kamloops, BC.  My oldest son and oldest daughter both had babies 10 days apart this summer – becoming a grandma (twice!) is an incredible & moving experience. 

I’m looking forward to the course – life’s journey is what you make of it, I believe, and I’m hoping to do the best that I can to be open to all future possibilities.  I have a bit of an interest in business investment and potentially, through the knowledge I gain in this course, can figure out what I want to be when I grow up!

Best to all,



September 3, 2008   6 Comments

Introduction – Joe Dobson

Hi Everyone,

Seems like a great mix of folks in this course.  I teach ESL at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.  I’ve been here for the past several years – initially I was teaching Japanese, but last year changed departments.  Previously I lived in Sapporo, Japan for a number of years.  I’m originally from Vancouver, so I haven’t ended up all that far away thus far.

I’m new to the MET program and am looking forward to being on the other side of the fence again.  The use of technology in language teaching has grown exponentially over the years and I’m interested in tapping into its potential uses much further.  I’ve been using Moodle and Wimba primarily – but not in any overly creative way.  I’m currently taking 511 along with this course.

Looking forward to the course and getting to know you all better.  My email address is jdobson (at)


September 3, 2008   3 Comments

Alex’s Intro


My name is Alexandra Marsh. This is my fourth course in MET and I have been having a great time being a member of this learning community. Through MET courses, I have learned that education is an ever-changing and elusive field of study.

I am very much looking forward to working with you all.

I can be contacted at:

September 3, 2008   1 Comment

Fetya’s intro

Hello everyone!  It’s been really nice getting to know you all through your posts and pictures…what an intersting group of people! 🙂

My name is Fetya and I’m originally a Montrealer, now living in Seattle … two great cities!

I’ve just transfered my MET degree from Concordia University to UBC, yet I still have a load of courses to complete.  I’m very eager to get started and am particularly curious about this class.  My interest in ed tech stems primarily from my personal learning style and the advantages I’ve appreciated through learning “online”.  I believe that in due time, educational technology will make learning accessible for people who are otherwise not catered to in the traditional system… I’m excited to take part in making this change happen!!

I am also taking 511, 512 and 531.  Feel free to contact me at

Best of luck and ‘bon courage’!

September 3, 2008   3 Comments

Introductions, M1, Kampschuur


Today am celebrating the one week birthday of my daughter.  For the next eight months I am on parental leave and will also endeavour to complete the MET program with 521, 522, and 531 this term and two electives next term.  During this time I will also make an attempt at getting into some semblance of shape to participate in my third Ironman next August.

I am Faculty with Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and as a Chartered Accountant I teach for the professional accounting bodies and participate in the development of programs as a designer and content expert.

I reside in South Surrey and can be reached at [edited so no longer in proper format / spamming] marc[underscore] and here is a little clip of our triathlon adventures.

Am now tired from trying to figure out “proper form” for the e-mail and working around non-functional menu buttons in the editor.  Think this evening I can call it a tie – Marc 1, Technology 1.  Look forward to sharing this adventure with you and the applications of learning technologies that we will encounter in the course (including this blog).

Cheers, Marc

September 2, 2008   6 Comments

Intro – Bryan Funk

Hi.  My name is Bryan and I am taking my 3rd and 4th MET courses this fall.  I started last September at the same time I started my new position as rookie Vice Principal in a brand new K-9 school.  So new  that we didn’t have a gymnasium until December and we had 60 grade ones and 3 teachers in our music room for 4 weeks while we waited for classrooms to be finished.  I had previously taught Grade 9 Math and Science for 9 years and last years start-up experience will be one I’ll never forget.  This year I find myself teaching our Multimedia courses and I am really looking forward to using the things I have already learned in my course work.

I  thoroughly enjoyed my last two courses ( I wisely took only one in each term) and I am looking forward to working with everyone in this term.

You can email me at

September 2, 2008   3 Comments

Hello from Zilong

Hi all,

My name is Zilong Zhai, I born in Shanghai and now lives in Richmond, BC. I am the administrative coordinator of CTCMA (College of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists of BC), and take care of registration and exam development.

This is my last course in the MET program, but my first course within a weblog environment! From WebCT, BlackBoard Vista to Weblog, the MET program keeps developing, but is always for the only goal: To Improve the relationship between technology and learners. Compared to WebCT or BlackBoard Vista, I believe weblog can greatly facilitate the online discussion.

Though I am not an instructor or course designer, I always find a lot of chances to integrate learning theories and instructional technologies I learned in this program into my daily work, like mandatory safety courses, workshops or exam development. So I am eager to learn more in this attractive course. I look forward to working with you and wish you all the best.

Best regards,


The photo is My wife and I in Boracay, Philippines

September 2, 2008   4 Comments

Jim’s Intro


Hi all! I am a secondary school teacher specializing in the area of Technology Education, the practical forms of technology rather than the information/computer kinds that are all too often the assumption. Currently I teach grades 9 through 12 various mechanics type courses in Comox, B.C. which, for those who are unaware, is located on beautiful Vancouver Island.

The title of this course intrigues me. I have not personally had much involvement in business or e-learning (until this program), but I have always been fascinated by the stories of successful business people and with the growth in technology supported learning offering up so much opportunity, I think that this is a very exciting time to be capitalized upon.

I’m expecting to gain much more insight into this subject as we work through this course and I look forward to sharing this experience with you all.


kid stuff

kid stuff

September 2, 2008   5 Comments

Intro – Mary Burgess

Hi Everyone – I’m Mary Burgess, this is my 7th course in the MET program, I’m also doing another course this semester so that’ll make 8… I can see the lights of the oncoming train!!

I manage a unit of course developers at Royal Roads University – we are the Centre for Teaching and Educational Technologies. I’ve been an instructional designer for 8 years and was a network admin prior to that, so have a pretty geeky past. I took on the management gig after returning from mat leave this past April. I now have a 16 month old daughter – Fiona, who keeps my husband and I on the run!

I was born in Victoria and have lived on the island most of my life except for a brief stint in New Brunswick a few years back.

Really looking forward to the course, love the opportunity to do it in a blog!

Mary and Fiona

Mary and Fiona

September 2, 2008   1 Comment

Sarah’s Intro…

Hi All,


I am a Computer/Drafting/Home Ec. teacher in Vernon, BC.  (OK – I know it sounds like an odd blend, but I enjoy it!)  This is my third MET course and this course looks quite exciting and practical.  I originally did a Business Degree from SFU, so I am hoping that I can recall some of that long lost information and put it to good use here.


I am currently on Maternity leave as I have a 6-month old baby boy and a 2-year old girl.  Between diaper changes, I can be reached at sl_wood AT telus DOT net.



September 2, 2008   1 Comment

Hello from Mark McVittie

Hello colleagues!

My name is Mark McVittie, and I teach in Kamloops, BC.  I teach secondary Math, but also have a block of Leadership and a block of Distributed Learning Support this school year.  We have, this past weekend, moved back into Kamloops city, but our home is in Sorrento – about an hour East of Kamloops.  Unfortunately, the price of gas made the commute a little too expensive, but I have a couple extra hours in my day right now!

I am currently taking this course, as well as ETEC 511 – as my 4th and 5th courses in MET.  This is the first time I’ve tackled two courses at once, so we’ll see how that goes…

My wife and I have two beautiful children – Robbie is 8, and Catie is 4.  My wife is not only returning to the classroom (Library actually) full-time, but is also contemplating starting her own masters program in January.

Anyway, nice to try something new with the Weblog, as my previous courses have all been in Vista.   I use Moodle in my class, and am enjoying that, but am considering moving to Google Apps mostly because of the significant delay in administrivia – our VP does not wish to share that ability with me, so I’m constantly waiting for him, and his schedule is a little busy…  I have some webspace, so perhaps will attempt to figure out how to set up my own Moodle server or something.



Mark, Robbie and Catie in front of CP 2816 - Notch Hill, BC

Mark, Robbie and Catie in front of CP 2816 - Notch Hill, BC

September 2, 2008   5 Comments

Intro from Ken

Hi all,

My name is Ken Heales (it’s pronounced Hales, don’t ask me why, I’ve had to deal with mispronunciations all my life) and I live and teach in 100 Mile House in B.C.’s Cariboo region.  I currently teach Socials 10 and 11, Forestry 11 and 12, and First Nations tutorial (previously called IDSFN, if you really want to know what it stood for I can let you know). I love living in the Cariboo as there are lots of opportunities for fly fishing, hiking, and playing old timer’s hockey (badly).  I’m married to my wonderful wife, Lianne, and we have two great kids, Ian (11) and Heather (8).

This is my 7th course in the MET program and I think I can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel (just barely).  I’m doing the program one course at a time because I have a full course load to teach.  I tried two at once last year and quickly came to the realization that it was too much.  My hat’s off to those that can successfully manage several courses at once.

I’m heading into this course with no real background in business so I’m hoping that the learning curve will be steep.  I have a fair to middling grasp of technology and try to use it where I can in my teaching but I am limited to the technology available in our school.

I’m looking forward to working with you all in this course.



September 2, 2008   5 Comments

Introduction – Drew Murphy

Hello to everyone!

I’m a secondary school teacher with over 20 years experience (wow, that sounds old!!).  And I’ve been involved with technology in some shape or form for most of that time.  I really enjoy exploring ways to make technology work in classrooms.  I find that now more than ever is such an interesting time to be an educator and to imagine new ways of learning and interacting through technology.

Specifically, I’m a technology/business teacher at Chatelech Secondary in Sechelt, BC.  I teach and manage an in-school online program called Planning 10 and Portfolio. In this program I’ve been experimenting with online teaching methods and applying a variety of 2.0 tools.  I’ve also had the opportunity to participate in designing the online learning system we use at our school.  Tons of fun!

When I’m not playing with technology, I’m coaching my son’s soccer team (or he’s coaching me about the latest Halo 3 developments), renovating something in the house, or reading books on teaching and technology.  Both my wife and I are teachers and so the conversation is often about school and tech stuff.  Actually, she’s looking forward to discussing this course with me.  Should be interesting???

I can be reached at  I’m looking forward to meeting everyone online.

September 2, 2008   2 Comments

Intro PS

Wow, I was so excited to finish my first ever blog post that I forgot to add my email: I can be reached at

Whew! Laura

September 2, 2008   No Comments

Introduction – Laura Macleod

Hi all

I’m Laura Macleod. This is my first semester as a MET student and I’m looking forward to the program. I’m based in Toronto, where I work in educational publishing (textbooks for higher education, no comments about textbook prices please!). I’ve spent my whole career to date in educational publishing – right now I’m in charge of lists in history, English, and sociology, although I’ve also worked on assorted other social science and humanities subjects over the years.

My goal for the program – and certainly in this class – is to try and get a glimpse of where education is going. I don’t think books are going away anytime soon, but I do think the landscape we all work in is shifting and I think there’s some amazing opportunities to marry technology and education. I doubt I’ll be retired in time to miss all the coming excitment so I figured it was time to roll up my sleeves and see what it’s all about.

The picture below is me and my family in NYC last summer. It’s surprising hard to find a picture of yourself when you’ve got kids and dogs!


Looking forward to getting to know you all.


September 2, 2008   4 Comments

Introduction – Crystal Pullman

Hi everyone!

This term is my first as an MET student, and I’m enrolled in four courses this term and four courses in January. I graduated from my BA (Honours English, Honours Contemporary Studies, and a minor in Criminology) and my BEd in June and have enjoyed the few months I’ve had off this summer. I am from Ontario, and have just moved down to California with my partner who is now working for Google.

I’ve found that just logging into all of my courses today seems a bit overwhelming, so if anyone has any tips for the courses I’m enrolled in, I would appreciate it (511, 512, 522 of course, and 531).

So far California has been a nice place to live, but unfortunately I have found that I can’t work down here, which is why I decided that the MET through UBC seemed like a great opportunity.

I look forward to working with everyone! My email is

– Crystal

Note – The picture below is of one of my classes in Italy from April

                                        My grade 4 class in L'Aquila, Italy

September 2, 2008   2 Comments

Introduction – Jarrod Bell

Hi there, my name is Jarrod Bell. I work in School District 60: Peace River North as the Principal of Technology for the district. I’m just transitioning from my previous job as a physics and computers teacher as well as educational technology itinerant for the district. Here is a shot of me above the Peace River between Hudson’s Hope and Fort St John taken last October.

I’ve been fortunate to work with people like Gerry Paille and David Vandergugten on many projects including moodle, wireless writing project, wordpress, DL etc. I’m excited to see the course is in a WordPress blog as I’ve switched over all my district public sites to WordPress (really simple to do and free if you have a web server).

We’re providing our teachers with Moodle space and have even started selling curriculum courses built in moodle to other districts. This is a major reason I am interested in the ventures course as it appears to be something that will only get bigger with how the current BC legislation is reshaping distributed learning.

You can reach me at

Looking forward to working and learning with everyone!

September 2, 2008   4 Comments

Introduction- Katherine Lithgow

Hi all,

This is my second last course in the program. I’ve never taken any sort of business course before so am looking forward to this.

I’m currently working with the Centre for Teaching Excellence at the University of Waterloo where I work with instructors in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, In addition I coordinate the eportfolio activities here on campus.

I have 2 daughters- one heading off to her second year in university, and my youngest who has just finished her first day in Grade 12.

Looking forward to the term. I can be reached by email at klithgow/at/uwaterloodotca



September 2, 2008   1 Comment

Introduction – David Wees

Hi all,

Already made my first oops! and tried to do my introduction as a comment on someone else’s intro.  Hahaha.

Anyway, this course seems like it is going to be very exciting and a lot more practical than my previous two courses in the MET degree which were heavily entrenched in educational theory.

I’m a mathematics teacher, and have spent the last 6 years living and working abroad.  My first stay was in Brooklyn, NY where I taught inner city youth and learned all about classroom management.  I moved onto London, England where I taught in an international school.  I now work in Thailand in another international school called ‘Ruamrudee International School’.

My interests, outside of teaching mathematics, are in developing web applications and websites, bicycling to and from work (bit of a trick in London), and hanging out with my family.  I’m particularly interested in developing what are called modules for the Drupal web platform and playing around with fun Flash and JavaScript mini-applications.

My profile of work I’ve created so far is available to view at my blog.  It contains a collection of things I’ve played around with from a variety of different web programming languages and applications.

You can contact me at davidwees AT gmail DOT com.

Riding an Elephant in Chiang Mai

Riding an Elephant in Chiang Mai

September 2, 2008   4 Comments

Hello from Susan Wilson

Hello everyone!  My name is Susan Wilson and I am in my second year and hopefully final year in the ETEC program. 

I live and teach in Wawota Saskatchewan.  I am excited to have taken a leave from my administrative duties and a partial leave from my teaching responsibilities so that I can work through seven courses this year.  I love teaching without the administrative stress and I am happy to get back into classes.

This year I will be teaching three classes online; Physics 20, Physics 30 and Accounting 10.  I am also excited about teaching my oldest son in Grade 5.  We will be doing a little desktop publishing then hopefully pod and video casts.  Before touching the computers we are working on teamwork and collaboration skills though : )

In addition to my son in grade 5, I also have two daughters; one in grade 4 and the other in grade 1.  Since I only teach mornings, I have time to myself in the afternoons.  This is difficult to get used to but I’m sure that I will soon come to enjoy it!

You can reach me at .  My twitter name is swils and I use the same for my account if you are interested in sharing!

September 2, 2008   2 Comments

Melissa’s Introduction


My name is Melissa Anders. I am originally from Montreal, but moved to Vancouver a year and a half ago, following my partner who got accepted to Law School at UBC. This semester, I am taking my 8th and 9th courses in the MET program, this course as well as ETEC 531. I can’t believe I am so close to the end of the program already.

As an elementary school teacher, I have always been interested in the role technology can play in assisting in teaching young students to read. The majority of programs I have used when helping students with reading difficulties have all been in book format. I am interested in exploring what computer or internet based programs do or do not exist.

I look forward to working with you all and getting to know you better over the course of the semester.

September 2, 2008   2 Comments

Intro – Michael Peterson


I’m really excited to be starting this course.   I worked directly with the MET program in 2005/06, and had the pleasure to meet both our instructors at that time – I was very impressed.


I have a degree in Political Science, and about 10 years experience working mainly with entrepreneurial programs in the post-secondary sector.  The opportunity to do a business boot camp with these instructors was too good to pass up.


I visited Ottawa earlier this year and was very interested in the production of the Afghanistan exhibit at the National War Museum.  During this course, I hope to look at learning ventures attached to museums and cultural institutions. 


I can be reached at

September 2, 2008   3 Comments

Hello from David Vogt

Hi everyone!  David Vogt here.  I’m one of your co-instructors.  What I love about this course is how much I learn from all of you.

I’m looking forward to meeting and interacting with you all.  Please tell us a little about yourself in your introduction. There’s more about me further on in Module 1.

You can email me at: david DOT vogt AT  ubc DOT ca

This is photo is me upon hiking to Machu Picchu last October:

David @ Machu Picchu

August 29, 2008   1 Comment

Welcome to ETEC522, please introduce yourself!

Hi all. Welcome to ETEC 522.

This is a place for introductions and getting started.

I’m David Porter (davidp), a co-instructor for this course. You can reach me by email at –> dporter at


Please add your own introduction. Include any web sites or bio info that you like. Add a photo.  Give us your coordinates for any direct follow up by email.

Tell us your interest and/or experience with the theme of this course, and expectations you have for it. We’re really looking forward to navigating the venture terrain with you.

As a convention for posts in this module, please use these tags:  

introductions, M1, your last name.  

You’ll begin to see our tag cloud for this course grow and segment as we add posts and additional tags.


August 26, 2008   5 Comments