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

Mod10: Informal Learning Environments

Welcome Star Wars fans, and everyone else who has learned just about everything and anything from their Uncle’s knee or their favorite pal, we’ve got  a lot of cool ideas for you …

November 9, 2008   2 Comments

SGE Survey Results

A big thank you to everyone who participated in our Serious Game Environments survey. Please find the results below:


Report: Response Summary Report

Survey: Serious Game Environments

Compiled: 11/09/2008

1. Have you ever utilized online games/simulations for a class you have taught?





Percent %









Choices Selected:



Total Responses:



Report from

2. Do you see yourself incorporating online games/simulations in class in the future?





Percent %




the jury’s out








Choices Selected:



Total Responses:



Report from

3. As teachers, we are often told our profession needs to compete with what our students are into…e.g. gaming…so we can engage them. The word “edutainer” is often coined to describe the implementation of “entertainment” into education. Do you feel the notion of being an edutainer diminishes the teaching profession? Please rate.





Percent %


















Choices Selected:



Total Responses:






Report from

Powered by SurveyGizmo

November 9, 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

Lance Armstrong Speaks at Web 2.0

38 minutes.  He discusses Twitter, Yahoo! founder Jerry Yang, (a for-profit web venture), (non-profit Lance Armstrong Foundation), and of course cycling 🙂

November 7, 2008   1 Comment

News Article – Perfect Pitch Scores Deal for BC Firm

From the Globe and Mail.  The Snapshot provides an interesting summary of decision factors including stats.

November 4, 2008   6 Comments

Thank You!

I would like to personally thank everyone who participated in the module 8 presentation.  The module worked well because of your efforts and participation.  The cocktail party was fun, even for the “designated” moderator!  It was nice to “see” that many people at the same time, even if in different places.  Thanks, all of you!

November 3, 2008   1 Comment

Module 9: Serious Game Environments

Hi Everyone,

We’re looking forward to sharing our work with you all.

Our site on Serious Games is up an running and hope to see you there soon. See:

We’ve provided a suggested schedule for the week on the start page. Please make sure you share your thoughts on our discussion pages (Google Groups) as you explore the world of online gaming and simulations in the educational context.


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

November 3, 2008   5 Comments

Module 7: A View From the Media

Here is a link to a recent article from the Education section of the The Georgia Straight (October 30 – November 6, 2008).

The article by Karen Pinchin is titled, Wireless access tests students’ focus in class.

It seems a perfect follow-up to the discussions we all had during Module 7 activities a week or so ago. I think you’ll like this short article because it raises many of the issues we discussed and adds some concrete examples cited by the various instructors and students interviewed for the article.

The article appears as a blog entry online, and as a newspaper article in this week’s Straight. You can add your own comment to the Straight’s blog, just as you can here.


November 2, 2008   6 Comments

Module 8 Invitation to Participants in ETEC 522

You are invited to a cocktail party!  This is an entirely optional event for the curious.

Time: Sunday, November 2, 2008    8-8:30 pm PST

Place:  Elluminate virtual room

Dress:  Informal – come as you are!  Microphones are nice but not necessary; speakers would be very useful

Refreshments:  BYOD&F (Bring Your Own Drink & Food)

RSVP:  sonnann AT gmail DOT com to get a participant link (Note:  please respond well before the party so that there is time for me to send you the link and for you to try it out – Thanks, Gillian)

Warning:  This is an informal get-together with an inexperienced hostess (I don’t get out much!) that could be plagued by entry problems (overly aggressive bouncer) – very representative of synchronous communication!  Please attend with a sense of adventure in overcoming obstacles.

November 1, 2008   11 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

Mod 8 – Forum Syndication

Good news…

Now you can access a syndication feed for our discussion forum.  Click the ‘feed’ icon in the top right of the forum.

Once again, please be sure to add your name to any posts you make.

October 28, 2008   1 Comment

Mod 8: Collaboration Technologies

Welcome to this week’s topic:  Collaboration Technologies.  Because Halloween is approaching, we’re hoping you will enter the “spirit” of things and join us in some lighthearted collaborative activities.

You’ll find us here:

Dwayne, Gillian, Jim, and Sarah

October 27, 2008   3 Comments

Module 7 Wrap Up

A big thanks to everyone in ETEC522! You all have made our project very exciting with all of the discussion. We’re glad we could bring you interesting information and a forum where you could discuss what was provided on the website.

Overall,we had 9 Forums (7 for discussion, and 2 for information. There were 29 different topics, 24 of which were team driven. These topics generated 247 posts. The 5 learner driven topics generated 33 posts.

The most active forum was Initiatives in North America (4 topics, 79 posts). The least active was 1:1 programs, with 1 topic and 14 posts.

For the rest of the website, there were a total of 978 page views, 443 unique sessions, and 298 unique visitors.

Again, thanks to everyone for a great week! Let us know if you have any additional questions for us in regards to the Module 7.

Thanks, and Cheers!

Module 7 Team

October 26, 2008   3 Comments

Module 7 Discussion

Hi everyone. I spent all day Monday reading and answering posts… I kept track on paper of my contributions… Now I can’t find most of my posts… it would appear that some are under user: ncaston, there are none under user: nancy, and I know that at some point, it would not let me post and I posted under user: n.castonguay… It seems to me also that I checked a box that activates the ‘get email for responses to your posts’ or something like that… and it may be that i have received none, but if i did, i have no way of knowing…

David & David, i think that it makes it very difficult for someone taking many courses to keep up with discussions if they are all in different places… All 4 of my MET courses consist of groups presenting units, all using different forums, wikis… you name it… lately, i am trying to follow discussions in 8 locations… 4 of which change venues weekly… This means I now have about 16 membership accounts that I have created to keep up… There are yet more to come… Given that our marks are based on participation, this makes me uneasy because I really never know whether or not instructors actually know all the work that is being done…

October 23, 2008   14 Comments

Module 7 Team Announcment: Mac Vs. Windows?

Attention Mac Users! I thought we should inform you, you’re losing the Module 7 battle! So far about 75% of the visitors to our website are using Windows! and 60-75% of all the visitors to our website are using Mozilla Firefox, followed by Internet Explorer!

Today there have been 47 Visitors from Canada, 3 from the US (Fetya, myself, and another), and 1 from India (Deepika!)

We encourage everyone to visit our website, and to participate in discussions! Feel free to post your own topics so that we can discuss them! We love hearing from you! So far we’ve had 11 people register on our forum, and we’d love to see that increase! 

* Note – you do not have to register to use our forum, but we do encourage it.

October 22, 2008   No Comments

Module 6 – Open Source

First, our group want to extend a sincere thank you to the cohort of your participation and contribution to the module.  We received positive feedback from you but we just provided the framework so a well done to the cohort.

Second, if you would like to explore Moodle from the teacher’s side please send an email to me (Marc_MET@shaw. ca) with your sign on to the site and I will change your role to teacher (can see the features available to manage forums, monitor participation…).

Third, the chat transcript is available on the site – simply navigate to the chat activity, open the activity and click on “View past chat sessions” (top right) the “See this session” (bottom right).

Best regards, Group 6

October 20, 2008   1 Comment

Module 7 Team

Hi All! 

The Module 7 team has designed their own website for this presentation. You can access it through If you need to contact the Module 7 team (outside of the discussion forum on our website) you can do so by emailing us at our group email address.

Please be sure to read through the instructions on the website! We look forward to seeing all of you in our discussions!

October 20, 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

Music Listening Survey

So far there are only 3 responses to the survey, so the results are not very meaningful.  I will keep an eye on it and post information if it materilaizes.

October 13, 2008   1 Comment

Mobile Phones Survey Results

1. Have you ever used a Mobile Technology in your teaching?
33.3% 3
66.7% 6
answered question 9
skipped question
2. After reading some of the ideas provided, would you try one of the activities using mobile phones?
44.4% 4
55.6% 5
answered question 9
skipped question
3. Do you think that mobile phone use in the classroom adds to the educational experience of children?
33.3% 3
66.7% 6
view commentComments 6
answered question 9
skipped question
4. Do you think that mobile phone use in schools adds to the safety and security of students?
33.3% 3
66.7% 6
view commentComments 4
answered question 9
skipped question
5. Does your school have a policy on Mobile Phones?
71.4% 5
28.6% 2
view commentWhat is your opinion of the policy if there is one? 5
answered question 7
skipped question

October 13, 2008   1 Comment

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

Module 5 last days

Hi All, last couple of days for Module 5.

We’ve seen an increase in the discussions in the last couple of days. Please share your thoughts in our Google discussion group if you have not been able to (you’ll need a Google account to contribute) @

We have a couple surveys in the pages that we would love some more responses to. Please take a few moments to fill them out so we can have a better perspective of the mobile ecology represented by our classmates.

It has been great reading your thoughts, we look forward to some more over the weekend!


Team #5

October 11, 2008   1 Comment

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

Mobile Technologies Discussion

Here is a quote from the mobile technologies discussion.

Selwyn explained it best when he said, “Ultimately schools need to
embrace a fluid, networked structure rather than the linear,
hierarchical structure of old.”

Log into the site at or log into the google group directly at and tell us your vision of what that fluid networked structure might look like.

October 7, 2008   1 Comment

Assignment 1 Jitters…

I have a few questions (fears!) regarding assignment 1.

1. In our course schedule it is stated that this is due at the end of week 6, so this means Oct. 12th right?

2. If I choose to analyse an existing business venture, can I use De Coster & Butler’s paper as a guideline?

I have NO experience with business, venture analysis… just keeping up with the acronyms is a mental gymnastics for me… so please bare along with me…

3. If I choose a a venture analysis, how can I find relevant data? For example, I was interested in the Jing Project… but how can I tell who these people really are… what their business plan is… what level of completion they are at? how can I base my essay on facts rather than speculate?

I mean, I can relate this venture to many of the topics and models we have discussed thus far. More particularly, to the assessment methodology proposed in De Coster & Butler… the Cube also proposes a multifaceted approach of its own… I just want to make sure that I am on the right track here… and that I am not barking at the wrong tree!

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.



October 6, 2008   5 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

Mobile Technologies is now Open

You will need a google account to contribute to discussions.

Happy viewing!

October 5, 2008   5 Comments

costco, the long tail, and exposure thory

After reading Elberse’s article and trying to make sense of both the ‘long tail’ model and the ‘theory of exposure’, I wondered if companies like Costco are actually using a hybrid approach to marketing…

Costco is known to never carry more than X number of products in store. If an item doesn’t sell, you won’t see it back on the shelf anytime soon, in fact, it probably won’t be there the next day when you decide you actually want to buy it.

On the other hand, Costco online offers many products that might be referred to as ‘niche’ products… these products often can’t be found in stores…

My question is: is Costco applying an exposure approach in-stores, and a long tail approach online then?

Makes sense to me, bulk sell as much as you can where the overhead is high, but still catch the whimsical buyer where the overhead is low…

October 5, 2008   2 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

Quotes from Module 4 – Social Technologies

October 4, 2008   1 Comment

Social networking and the public good

Web projects like have demonstrated that great ideas like Grameen Bank can also find a life on the Internet through socially networked projects that benefit humans in other parts of the planet.

Now Google has caught this wave with its project called 10tothe100th.

What do you think of these projects, and are there others of this genre that you know about in the social networking space?


Post your reply here –> on Freewebs, in the Mod4 team space

October 3, 2008   No Comments

TED talk on Pitching

Interesting advice –  TED talk by David Rose on pitching to VC’s


October 2, 2008   2 Comments

Module 4 is Underway !!

Hi everyone.

Just a note and nudge, if it isn’t obvious, that the Module 4 Team has launched their learning experience and is looking for your active participation.   You can go their great set-up at:

Thanks very much,


October 1, 2008   No Comments

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

Applying the Cube to Desire2Learn

Desire2Learn is the Learning Management System adopted by The Alberta Distance Learning Centre (my employer). A venture analysis of its market niche, based on the Cube, follows.

Market Focus

Desire2Learn’s primary market is Higher Education but it does have markets in the K-12 and Training sectors.

Types of Offerings

Desire2Learn’s onus is providing infrastructure to learning/training organizations. Its primary infrastructure tool is its Learning Management System (LMS) which includes the ability to manage content and communicate via various technologies.

They also provide services and content. Services include hosting, training services, and support to facilitate the implementation of the LMS.

Who is the Buyer?

In the K-12 sector, learning is bought centrally at the district level, typically a coordinator or superintendent in charge of learning technologies for a district. Marketing strategies may be to include the district coordinator and lead technology teachers from each school in the district in a showcase of the product with the onus in providing equal learning opportunities for all students in the district. Another strategy may be to build a “provincial” school delivering K-12 services to all Albertans, thus generating greater CEU funding.

In the Higher Ed setting, decisions on which LMS to adopt are typically made by the Computer Services Department, so they can support it campus-wide, coupled with techno-savvy instructors from the various programs of study that will be using the LMS. Moneys to purchase the LMS can come out of various budgets including computing services and/or a combination of departments that will be using the LMS. Higher Ed recovers the invested dollars on a cost-recovery basis so e-learning is typically more expensive for students than regular on-campus instruction.

The Training sector is very similar to High Ed in most ways except one, learning is bought for the learner. Companies typically do not charge their employees fees for training, since the training is specific to the company’s needs.

Global Markets

Desire2Learn’s market is currently within the boundaries of North America so it would be classified, based on the Cube, as wired Anglophone countries which mean excellent Internet infrastructure and English as the first language.

Development of the Market

The Learning Management System market is very competitive with other tools like WebCT  and Moodle. Both WebCT and Moodle have similar tool sets as Desire2Learn. What distinguishes these LMS’s is the fact that Moodle is freeware. However, it is not supported but there are learning venture businesses out there specializing in providing support and other services provided by Desire2Learn and WebCT.

The Desire2Learn platform supports import of content from other vendors, provided they produce a SCORM-compliant IMS package based on the current standards. Desire2Learn also provides content development for a fee.

Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

Desire2Learn’s market niche is working with existing well-developed learning systems synonymous with the K-12, High Ed and Training. These sectors will have existing learning systems but are using a LMS to extend their reach to service student learning needs wherever they may be living.


In conclusion, Desire2Learn is in a very competitive Learning Management Systems market, whose buyers are typically removed from actually using the tool on a daily basis. Costs to provide the learning systems are typically recovered from the student (High Ed) or by provincial (CEU) funding.

A market approach could be to sell the perspective buyers on its ability to reach out to all students within their local area (if attending a bricks ‘n mortar school is not appropriate) and/or to extend their reach to other students in the province (K-12) or other provinces (High Ed).

It seems the Training sector hasn’t been fully appreciated so there’s a market approach to explore.

September 29, 2008   2 Comments

Module 4 – The Emerging Market of Social Technologies

Hello Everyone.  We’d like to welcome you to the Module 4 discussion on the emerging market of social technologies.  Social Technologies, often referred to as  Web 2.0 technologies, have had a significant impact on the evolution of the web and elearning venture possibilities .  This discussion site is meant as an introduction to Web 2.0 terms and concepts, the services and tools currently being offered and the myriad of issues relating to the Web 2.0 venture landscape.  We hope you find the articles and discussions relevant and thought provoking.

Module 4 members are Deepika Sharma, Ellen Wu, Drew Murphy

About the Discussion Site

1.  Four Market Segments
The discussion site breaks the social technology market into four Web 2.0 market segments: Blogs/Wikis, Social Networking, Media Tools, and Productivity Tools.  Browse through market segment webpage.  Read the information, visit some of the example sites and read the related articles.

2.  Polls
Each page has a series of polls that ask basic questions about you and your understanding of these web 2.0 market segments.  Fill out the polls at your leisure and view the results.

3.  Surveys
Each page has survey questions that seek to gather you basic opinions and experiences on various topics related to the web 2.0 market segments.  Fill out the surveys at your leisure and fee free to comment on the information offered by others.

4. In-Depth Discussions
The In-Depth Discussions page contains several forums that raise issues around the various web 2.0 market segments. Browse through the forums and leave detailed comments and opinions to the posted topics.  Note: Please register for the forums so you can upload your avatar and receive email updates of forum activity throughout the week.

Click here to go to the Module 4 discussion site….

September 28, 2008   9 Comments

Aplia – Cube Analysis is an educational technology company that was founded by a Stanford professor of economics in 2000. Its basic aim is to provide a content management system that assigns and monitors homework in a variety of business subjects (accounting, economics, finance). The premise is that if students practice more frequently, they will master the course material more readily – obvious, but this system gives instructors the tools to measure and evaluate student practice.


Face 1: Market Focus

Aplia is focused on the higher education market, specifically on a handful of core introductory courses in business and economics.


Face 2: Types of Offerings

Aplia is a content management system that comes with pre-populated content specific to the course the instructor is teaching. It is therefore a hybrid between a content and an infrastructure provider.


Face 3: Who is the Buyer?

As is typical in higher education, the buyer is the course instructor. An instructor adopts a textbook and decides to purchase access to Aplia with it. Students therefore are required to buy an access code to the program, which is bundled with their text. There is the usual disconnect that you find in higher education – the person who makes the purchasing decision is not the ultimate consumer, either in terms of content or in terms of laying out the money. Aplia requires a higher degree of instructor-student interaction, however, than a typical textbook. Instructors monitor student participation and student results, and it is necessary for students to participate in these before going on to more difficult material that requires higher cognitive skills.


Face 4: Global markets

The core market is found in wired Anglophone countries, but it has the potential to expand beyond that to European countries with language skills.


Face 5: Development of the market

The market space this product plays in is the most highly developed: content is freely imported and exported, and local producers are striving to compete with large US-based companies.


Face 6: Learning Technology and other forms of Learning

Aplia is explicitly designed to fit within the already established system of university education. The problem that it tries to solve is how to maintain student engagement with course material, while not overwhelming the professor with grading. By automating some of the ‘lower-value’ grading and requiring participation, it forces students to be better prepared, ultimately allowing them to get more out of the course. Key to the Aplia experience is that the product cannot be sold as a ‘recommended’ portion of the course – it must be required. If you don’t buy into the basic philosophical premise (students must work hard to get good grades) they won’t sell you the technology.

September 27, 2008   8 Comments

ANGEL Learning

ANGEL Learning is a company based in Indianapolis that was founded in July 2000. They have two particular pieces of software that they market, a learning management system (ANGEL Learning Management System), and an e-portfolio tool (ANGEL ePortfolio) that they develop and market. ANGEL originally began as a research tool for Indiana University in 1996 and has since evolved into a whole learning management system.

Face #1: Market Focus. Who is ANGEL’s target market?

ANGEL’s learning management system was originally developed for Higher Learning, but since then has grown and developed and is now a system designed for all learners. A quote from the website says, “Honed by use, our products serve millions of students and instructors from K to corporate.” ( As such they serve the three options available for Face #1 – Public Schools, Higher Learning, and Training needs.

One customer is the University of Waterloo.

Face #2: Types of Offerings

ANGEL main offering is the infrastructure for a learning management system. Included in this they also will manage the infrastructure for their clients to provide them with exactly what they need, and offer hosting in case a company / school needs to ‘outsource it’. ANGEL also offers documentation and online help with their system.

ANGEL also provides courses online (self led or instructor led) or onsite to teach their clients how to use their product effectively (specifically designed for “instructors, instructional designers, course developers, system administrators, developers and others who use ANGEL”).

ANGEL’s offering seem to be most specifically geared towards Infrastructure, but they also offer various Services to ensure that their system works for each client (“tailorable user interface [and] flexible backend database integration).

Face #3: Who is the Buyer?

ANGEL fits most of the categories available on this face as well. I believe that the most prominent buyer would be Higher Education facilities, such as the University of Waterloo in Ontario (one of their clients). The learning management system was originally intended for use in higher education and so it seems to follow that this is their biggest stake. In this manner ANGEL’s buyer would be Learning Bought for Learner.

Learning Bought Centrally – Local Guide Offers to Learner. As ANGEL is also targeting the k-12 and corporate market, this would also be an important category.

ANGEL’s learning management system is not intended for individual buyers (Learner buys Personally), and although they sell their product globally (“profitable firm with global reach”) they are more targeted towards corporations and companies than countries, so while some countries might buy the product, I don’t believe that Learning Bought Nationally – Open to Regions – Local Guide Offers to Learner is an intended buyer.

Face #4: Global Markets

ANGEL serves Wired Anglophone Countries, European Countries with Language Skills, and European Countries Requiring Translation (i.e. their software is used in the Colegio de Estudios Superiores de Administracion in Columbia). I am unsure of exactly what the numbers are, or whether ANGEL serves any more of the categories in this face as their website doesn’t clearly provide this information. I have emailed the company and will post an update in a comment if/when I receive a reply.

Face #5: Development of the Market:

I would have to say ANGEL is: Market Supports Export Oriented Learning Technologies and Substitution of Imports. As ANGEL’s market is very large, it would be impossible to suggest that there are not competitors within it, such as WebCT by Blackboard, or Desire2learn. However ANGEL seems to be very confident with its ability to attract customers and to maintain good relations with those customers so that it will not be replaced with those competitors.

Face #6: Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

I believe the goal is Learning Technology Works with a Well-Developed Learning System. What I mean is that the goal of the company I believe would be to integrate it into existing learning systems, such as university campuses. This way the students would have online access to notes etc., and various courses would be completely online, but students would also have the option of taking classes in the physical classroom. (This integration was achieved at my university, Wilfrid Laurier, with WebCT fairly well).

The ANGEL software I don’t believe is imposed, I believe that professors at universities (and instructors at corporations, teachers at k-12 schools) have the ability to incorporate it into classes or use it on its own for distance education (such as at Waterloo University), but there may still be tensions between those that are used to a physical environment trying to teach in a completely online environment. ANGEL does however provide services, including ‘webinar’s’ to try to minimize this discomfort.

September 26, 2008   2 Comments

The article by Prahalad and Hart

I found the article by Prahalad and Hart to be very interesting. In my Social Studies 11 class we study world living standards and one of the videos that I often show my students is Gwynne Dyer’s, “The Bomb Under the World” . In it he actually looks at the efforts of Hindustan Lever to tap into the huge market made up of the poor, rural population. The whole idea of small profit margins combined with sheer volume of consumption made for an interesting argument. Dyer also made the point that in the developing world, people are becoming more aware of the consumer items the developed world has easy access to. With this increased awareness comes a greater desire to share in that consumer wealth. The video is a little out of date (1994) but much of what he says rings true. It is interesting to note that during the filming of this video terrorists bombed the Bombay stock exchange and Dyer made the comment that it wouldn’t be long before the focus of terrorism shifted to the developed world.



September 26, 2008   5 Comments

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

The Automatic Professor Machine

A humorous comment on educational technology complete with press release, interview transcript and related products.

As an aside, if I tag (categorize) my post as “uncategorized”, is it?

September 25, 2008   4 Comments

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