Jing Cube

Jing Video Tour

Face 1: Market Focus

This tool can be used in almost every aspects of business development and education (online or face2face). In essence, Jing is for anyone who would benefit from recording and sharing screen captures.

Face 2: Types of Offerings

Jing is a screen capture tool developed by TechSmith (Camtasia & SnagIt), which allows for simultaneous sharing. Content can be shared via Flickr, FTP, or Screencast.com, another project initiated by TechSmith. This original version, which allows for a maximum recording time of 5 minutes, is intended to lead to a subsequent subscription to premium versions that TechSmith intends to introduce soon.

Face 3: Who is the Buyer?

Possible buyers for the premium versions of Jing could be anyone aiming to train / support others in any computer related technology, as well as anyone wanting to create learning objects exceeding 5 minutes in length. (Note that the tool is free at the moment for projects not exceeding 5 minutes in length.)

Face 4: Global Markets

According to TechSmith’s website, support is offered in English, French, Dutch, Chinese and Japanese. However, because the nature of the tool is to capture voice as well as image, we can conclude that it could be used by just about anyone in the world, having access to a strong enough internet connection.

Face 5: Development of the Market

Given that this tool requires nothing more that a reliable internet connection and that it offers visual support for learning (use of iconography makes it easy to figure out how to use the tool, without having to read anything), it is likely that TechSmith will be able to develop markets across the globe.

Face 6 – Competition

As far as I can see, Jing is not competing with the other leading screen capture tools (Camtasia & SnagIt) being that they have been created by the same group (TechSmith) and that it can be viewed as a lite version of both in many ways. Another point to consider is that although software like Adobe Captivate might seem to be in direct copetition with Jing, Jing still stands at the forefront because of it’s user readiness and friendliness. It is a point-and-click type of tool that requires no training. As the user gets more familiar with the tool, and perhaps finds more uses for it, s/he can then upgrade to the premium versions. Making the basic tool available at no cost is a great marketing strategy to infiltrate both markets and cyberspace.

September 22, 2008   7 Comments

Speaking of free…

Speaking of free…

Here’s a new venture that hosts up to 1TB of media “free.”

Oosah

Maybe someone would like to subject it to a cube analysis, or even a combined cube-pitch analysis if you haven’t posted one as yet.

d.

September 19, 2008   1 Comment

Elluminate

Elluminate (http://www.elluminate.com/index.jsp) promotes itself as an elearning or web conferencing solution for real-time online learning. The company is headquartered both in Calgary and Fort Lauderdale. The website mentions that Elluminate is “the winner of several prestigious awards, the company is also one of Deloitte’s 50 Fastest Growing Technology Companies and is positioned in the Visionaries Quadrant of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Conferencing, 2007.”

Through LearnNowBC (http://www.learnnowbc.ca/educators/OnlineToolsResources/), BC teachers have free access to Elluminate online meeting rooms and training. I have only had one brief training session, so I’m not really familiar with Elluminate, but here goes!

Face 1: Market Focus
According to its website, Elluminate seems to be targeting all three areas of the market: k-12, higher education, and training needs.

Face 2: Types of Offerings
Elluminate offers infrastructure in the form of a virtual classroom/meeting place. Elluminate Professional Services targets services: Elluminate training; custom implementation through content conversion, etc; integration support (integrating with learning management systems, for example); event hosting; technical support.

Face 3: Who is the Buyer?
The learning is bought for the learner, rather than the learner buying it for him/herself. In most cases, it seems that the learning is bought centrally (the corporation or, in BC’s case, the provincial authority). For BC teachers, training is available through Elluminate, but it is up to the local school to implement local changes in order to create an optimal learning experience for the students.

Face 4: Global Markets
The Elluminate website states that Elluminate is used in 185 different countries. It appears that Elluminate could be used with all of the markets except for “Other Regions with Restricted or Poor Quality Internet Service.” Although Elluminate claims to work with speeds as low as 28.8 kbps, it certainly won’t work if there is no connectivity. Markets with different languages could use the virtual meeting rooms. I am not sure about the ability of Elluminate to work with other alphabet sets (I can’t imagine that the text area would support this), but there would still be some value in the application sharing and the virtual meeting rooms.

Face 5: Development of the Market
Elluminate would work well on the right-hand side of this face – in markets that import or export of content and infrastructure. Elluminate might also work in a market that only supports custom work or indigenous suppliers. Because Elluminate can provide just the virtual meeting place, the content can be developed locally.

Face 6: Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning
This technology seems to fit best where there is already a well-developed learning system. It could also provide a substitute for other forms of learning by displacing face-to-face learning.

September 18, 2008   6 Comments

Web 2.0 Tools: Rolling the Dice With the Cube

Face #3 – Who is the buyer?……When its free!!

For a change of pace, I thought I might focus on one aspect of the cube and raise some issues around the current economic meltdown and implications for  web 2.0 learning technologies.  In particular, I thought I’d focus on face #3 “Who is the buyer?”.  For many of the web 2.0 tools the buyer isn’t anyone.  There are no “buyers” only users. The services are offered free.  There are countless examples of such tools offering  presentation, video, slideshow, music, etc…. The thinking behind many of these ventures is to create a vast user base and then monetize this user base by offering paid premium services or by leveraging the potential of this user base to obtain a buy out by a larger company.  This model has been a driving force behind much of the innovation and creativity we’ve seen over the last few years.  However, in some ways this parallels the attitudes in the greater economy that have led to the current economic meltdown.  Web startups are borrowing time and money today with little or no ongoing revenue security going forward.

The End of Web 2.0 as We Know It?

With no real revenue model these ventures are hollow and highly exposed to external economic variables.  When the economy dips, the likelihood of converting non paying users nurtured on “free”  to premium paying users falls and the likelihood of obtaining a buyout by a larger, but now more cautious company also falls.  The short term “free” model now  becomes a long term charity service.  If I’m the owner of a web 2.0 startup operating on this model, do I stick around and support this venture and devote my time to non-paying users?  What happens when the first prominent web 2.0 tool pulls the plug and leaves users standing at the login page.  Will we loose faith in the reliability of small web startups to maintain our data and thus do we eliminate the “free” business model as a viable web model?

The Golden Age Of Web 2.0

Perhaps we are not only seeing the end of an economic boom, but the end of the web 2.0 boom of online tools where the business model of “free” will be seen as a golden era of creativity and innovation.

Any comments?

September 17, 2008   8 Comments

Moodle and the cube

I chose to look at moodle for my analysis since I work with it often.

Face #1 Market Focus

Moodle’s market focus is to provide people that need learning management software in all three of K-12, Higher Ed, and Training, with a free, open source solution. I’ve seen it utilized in the MET, university of Waterloo counseling, K-12, and as a training LMS/CMS in various situations where a group needed something but couldn’t afford a paid solution such as blackboard or d2l.

Face #2  Types of Offerings

Moodle as an organization offers the software as well as community driven, created, and monitored support. Moodle does license other for profit groups for paid training, hosting, and certification. (http://knowmoodle.ca). Moodle does organized conferences (moodlemoots) but users by and far create and share content freely through groups such as http://www.olearn.org/dev/ (BC Curriculum)

Face #3 Who is the Buyer

The purchasing buyer of a moodle national/regional license provider is for profit educational group. The rest of us happily purchase moodle software for free. Mostly the people involved are teachers, technologists, school authorities that are looking for a free solution to an LMS/CMS

Face #4 Global Markets

Moodle has multi language support that has been created through social networks. I’ve added the french component for some of my immersion teachers that come to my district with sometime low english technology vocabular. I’m thinking about adding the german and russian for some of our ESL students as well. This social contribution has made moodle accessible across the globe. Moodle runs on the free Apache server as well so the software infrastructure is free as well.

Face #5 Development of Market

Looking at the four categories of the development face I would say that moodle plays nicely in all the markets saving the one that does not have the physical infrastructure. I would enjoy playing with one of the xo laptops from the OLPC and see if it could host an apache server (which I believe it will) to load a moodle instance on it and serve to other xo’s in the wireless range.

Face #6 Competing with other forms of Learning

Moodle in my school district has been used to replace some f2f reporting for graduation requirements. While there is a teacher available there is no scheduled brick and mortar classroom time for this required four credit course. Moodle is also competing with commercial offerings such as blackboard/webct, and desire 2 learn (d2l). Moodle has facilitated the creation and sale of learning objects to other school districts. It enables us to compete in the DL market for students in a newly legislated, increasingly competitive market for distributed learners.

Moodle has been used in hybrid learning environments where there is a f2f and computer component. It can also be used in f2f and distributed or purely distributed environments. It plays well with others.

September 17, 2008   3 Comments

“Articulate” superimposed on “the cube!”

I’ve chosen Articulate as my e-learning product. This software suite is intended for users to deliver “rapid e-learning to any community of choice” and comprises a set of authoring tools, a flash-based presentation tool imported from Powerpoint, (WOW!) a quiz making tool to assess and conduct surveys, a means to create interactivity and an LMS.

 The essence of this product is to hand over the reins of development and delivery to the user. In the words of one of their sales support rep, “we provide the hammer and nails, you make the house!”

 1. Market Focus:

Articulate is found in all three vertical markets, K- 12; Higher Ed, Corporate and Government. Given that their focus is to provide the tools all markets are of interest to them. A key element of their success lies in the infrastructure in place to support the tools for each market.

 For example: there is a highly successful blog, created by Tom Kuhlmann who has done a fabulous job of pushing creative instructional design tips out to the marketplace. He has over 10,000 subscribers making it the most read blog in the e-learning industry.

 http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/

 

 2. Types of Offerings:

As Articulate is out of the content/customized content game entirely; they only provide the tools, support, and LMS infrastructure to the user.

 3. Who is the Buyer:

The majority of buyers are found in the corporate setting, with academic institutions and government representing the other key client base. Purchasing is largely made centrally by larger corporate headquarters, and with IT departments at University and government levels. Larger non-profit societies such as the Canadian Cancer Society and The UN are also clients of Articulate.

http://www.articulate.com/company/clients.php

 4. Global Markets

The market focus for Articulate is represented broadly with the exception of areas where there is poor quality internet service. They are represented in 115 countries, including North/South America, Europe and Asia and in more than 12,000 organizations. Now that is serious market penetration! They are also represented in military and maritime organizations.

 5. Development of the Market

This facet of the cube looks to developing the market in a quadrant of possibilities. Articulate is not in markets which have poor internet infrastructure or marginal languages, but flourish in markets which support custom work. They thrive in markets where content can be developed at any level, from the individual through to the corporation and government. It knows no real boundaries other than those with marginal technological infrastructure.

 6. Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

 Again, given that Articulate is a tool which can be manipulated to serve many masters, it can fit within other forms of learning, albeit not always optimally. The real question is how to engage the learning communities to see the value that this learning technology brings to the table and make allowances for its shortcomings by adding instructor led involvement.

 

 Certainly Articulate can work within a well developed learning system. Articulate Online has recently been added to their suite of software tools to track e-learning activity, as their LMS equivalent.

 

 As well, it could serve as the other form of learning technology for a region, however it may not be optimal if this is the only modality for learning.

 

 Articulate is by far one of the most flexible learning technology components, and while it may compete with an existing learning system, it can easily be geared up or down depending on the political circumstance.

 

September 17, 2008   3 Comments

eXe Through the CUBE

eXe (http://exelearning.org) is an open source e-learning XHTML Editor I came across through the Commonwealth of Learning link on the International Development side of the mind map. The tool is developed in New Zealand and supported by CORE Education.

As an aside, this tool looked quite interesting so I downloaded the software and gave it a quick tryout.  I wish I’d found it sooner, as I think it might have been useful in some of my other courses such as the lesson development projects in ETEC 531, and ETEC 510.  Perhaps others may find it useful this way as well.

Face 1:   Market Focus
The market focus for eXe is probably largely higher-education, but I can also see it being used in the K-12 or corporate markets in cases where CMS’s are also being used.

Face 2:  Types of Offerings
eXe provides infrastructure.  It is a software package that allows teachers and academics to develop content, and publish in a variety of formats including SCORM, HTML, and iPod Notes. It also provides infrastructure that students could use directly to develop eportolios.

Face 3:  Who is the Buyer?
Since eXe is Open Source there is no buyer per se.  It doesn’t really require a local guide.  It is a single user software application and can be downloaded and installed for free by both teachers and students. It is available for Windows, Mac OS/X, and Linux machines.

eXe is basically a fill-in the blanks tool that doesn’t require much technical expertise or understanding. As such, I could see the tool helping Learning Technology department staff in post-secs work with teachers to facilitate course content development.

Face 4: Global Markets
Interface translations for eXe have been developed (remember it is Open-Source) to meet user requirements for a diverse range of languages. The eXe website lists 33 language translations including Norwegian, German, Japanese, Maori, Zulu, and Twi.  The markets would include portions of all the global markets on this face of the CUBE. The key barriers for the eXe market would be language (is there an available translation for the market, or is there someone willing to customize one), and network access (eXe could be used in a LAN situation, or an Internet situation depending on the market need).

Face 5: Development of the Market
There appears to be some local (Canadian) interest in eXe.  The eXe website publishes a frappr map (http://www.frappr.com/exe), but it isn’t clear whether all the pins indicate developed markets.

Darcy Norman has done a screencast, and a static eportfolio demo of his test with eXe, that also includes some discussion of his take on aspects of the market for eXe.

I am still working on my understanding of this face of the CUBE.  Wondering if someone might give me some insights on this?  Or perhaps I’ve misunderstood the whole exercise!?

Face 6: Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning
Content developed with eXe can be exported in a range of formats that can then be imported into most content management systems (CMS), including Moodle, WebCT, and other Open Source CMS systems. eXe would integrate well with most other learning systems that might already be in place.  It could work within a well developed learning system, it could substitute for other forms of learning, and because it is easy to use, it could also provide a bridge when working with other learning technologies has been imposed.

September 16, 2008   4 Comments

Using CUBE to evaluate Scholaris

Scholaris  is a Portal based learning gateway that the school district that I am an Administrator in has been rolling out over the past year.  I was one of the “champions” that was chosen to helped pilot scholaris as a solution to our lack of an e-learning platform.

Face 1 – Market Focus

The market focus for Scholaris is the K-12 public schools.  There are 3 products each targeting a different customer in that market.

2.  Types of Offerings

Scholaris offers infrastructure – provides a connected learning environment to allow collaboration between teaching staff and administrators, teachers and students, teachers and parents, students and parents.  The Through the internal portal District staff have access to the district servers from anywhere that they have internet access.  They can manage lessons, meetings, collaboration with colleagues and all components of their teaching.  Parents and students are granted permissions to access parts of the school portal. “In a single program the whole school community will have highly secure access to everything they need. ” (http://scholarislg.com/index.php)

 3.  Who is the Buyer?

In the case of our school district the learning is bought centrally -local guide offers to the learner.   After having the program piloted by several administrators and teachers within the district the purchasing decision was made centrally  and was imposed upon the entire district with the caveat that support would be provided at each phase of the rollout process. 

4.  Global Markets

Wired anglophone countries, Malaysia and Singapore.

5.  Development of the Market

The market supports the Import of Content and infrastructure?  I’m a little unclear how to go about dissecting this part of the analysis of Scholaris.  I would say that the market freely imports content and infrastructure to some extent. Local businesses tend to concentrate on services work. Any school district could replace previously imported products for various reasons including content or price but there are not many or any local companies producing similar products for export.

6 – Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

The e-learning in this case works with and supports a well developed learning system.  After using Scholaris for the last 2 years I don’t believe that  Scholaris has developed to substitute or replace existing public education systems.  In their own words,

“Scholaris International is a software development company focused on building innovative solutions to improve teaching and learning across the global education market. Scholaris International’s flagship product “Scholaris Learning Gateway” provides an enriched and stimulating student centric learning environment, transforming education for the 21st century.  Scholaris allows;

  • Students have their own rich and engaging digital learning environment which is accessible anywhere anytime, where they can share, communicate, collaborate and complete assignments and activities.
  • Teachers are provided with a unified interface of applications, tools and student centric data allowing them to tailor an actionable curriculum for the student’s individual needs. Teachers are also able to communicate, collaborate and share content, curriculum, lessons and learning objects thereby fostering the use of best practise.
  • Parents have simple and seamless access to information, such as their child’s academic performance, attendance, workload, events and news enabling a richer engagement with their child’s learning and their school community.

Administrators are able to interpret and make informed decisions from a central view of information thus improving leadership and strategic direction.” (http://scholarislg.com/content/view/18/28/)

September 15, 2008   2 Comments

Using the CUBE to evaluate KEEP Toolkit

Warning:  This post is going to be (too?) long.

The product I’ll explore is KEEP Toolkit, an eportfolio tool developed through the Knowledge Media Lab (KML) at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Face 1: Market Focus

Their market is K-12 and Higher Education

“Carnegie is an institution whose thinking and actions are organized around teaching and those who teach, from preschool to graduate school (http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/about/index.asp).

Face 2: Types of Offerings

KEEP Toolkit would fall under the category of infrastructure.

Their web page describes the product as follows:

The KEEP Toolkit is a set of web-based tools that help teachers, students and institutions quickly create compact and engaging knowledge representations on the Web. With the KEEP Toolkit you can:

· select and organize teaching and learning materials.

· prompt analysis and reflection by using templates.

· transform materials and reflections into visually appealing and intellectually engaging representations.

· share ideas for peer-review, assessment, and collective knowledge building.

· simplify the technical tasks and facilitate knowledge exchange and dissemination. (http://www.cfkeep.org/static/index.html)

Face 3: Who is the Buyer?

Rather than buyers, there are users. A university for example is able to install the software free of charge at its own institution and make it accessible to students and faculty from this installation.

Alternatively, anyone can create an eportfolio account that is hosted on Carnegie’s server.

Keep Toolkit stands for The Knowledge Exchange Exhibition and Presentation (KEEP) Toolkit and

is a set of open-source tools developed at the KML [and] is intended to provide an economical and accessible solution to this challenge. The KEEP Toolkit is available to educators and students at all levels as a free service from our website. We have also made the Toolkit available as an open source software application so that institutions, departments, and educational organizations can also implement and administer the Toolkit locally and integrate it into their local systems as needed. (http://www.cfkeep.org/static/about/about.html)

Recently, Keep Toolkit has been placed on the Sourceforge site, and a community to continue developing and sharing developments is being formed. http://sourceforge.net/projects/keeptoolkit/

Interestingly, two Carnegie initiatives will now focus on Higher Education and its need to prepare students for Political Engagement, as well examining how liberal education can give Business Majors a boost.

Face 4 – Global Markets

With this particular product, I would say that most of the users are from Wired Anglophone Countries.

Face 5 – Development of the Market

Market Supports Export Oriented Learning Technologies and Substitution of Imports

The market freely imports content and infrastructure. Local companies also produce similar products for export, as well as providing local services. In some cases, local products replace previously-imported products, either due to better localization of content, or because of a price advantage.

I’m not sure that I am clear on this aspect- my interpretation would be that Keep Toolkit is in a market that freely imports content and infrastructure. Where I work, ( University of Waterloo),  technology is supported centrally. However, because of the nature of higher education, individual instructors may have preferences for one tool over another. Students may decide to use another tool to create their eportfolio, or an instructor may decide to choose another tool. As we try to encourage and help students foster their ability to integrate their learning, it becomes a challenge to support a tool that will be all things to all users. At the same time, reliance on a number of different tools that aim to accomplish the same thing may make it more difficult for students to integrate their learning.

UW has recently chosen to comply with the Undergraduate Degree Level Expectations (UDLE’s) http://ocav.uwaterloo.ca/background/. This may make it more attractive to have an eportfolio system that supports administrative purposes of gathering data rather than a system that is more learner-centred.

At the same time, we want to support integration and life long learning. A system that integrates easily with the centrally supported LMS is very attractive. At the same, the ability for a student to have access to the eportfolio after graduation may not be possible using commercial software.

Face 6 – Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

“Fostering students abilities to integrate learning- across courses, over time, and between campus and community life- is one of the most important goals and challenges of higher education” (http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/files/elibrary/integrativelearning/what-is-ILP.htm).

Depending upon how it is used, the eportfolio can be very learner centred. Students make connections that are meaningful to them. Although artifacts may come from individual courses, this is not necessarily the case. The eportfolio is a tool that helps students integrate their learning, helps them reflect on what they are learning, and how they are learning, and helps them plan for future actions based upon lessons learned in the past.

In my experience, in some instances, students have been able to choose the tool which best suits their purposes. In other instances, students have been required to use the tool that is centrally supported.

The IMS Global Learning Consortium describes different types and uses of eportfolios (IMS Global Learning Consortium, 2005). The tool that a certain institution chooses to support, or require its students to use will depend upon the way the eportfolio is being used, and what type of information the institution wants to glean from students’ eportfolios. Similarly, the tool that a student chooses to use to create an eportfolio may depend upon the main purpose. Does the student wish to use the eportfolio to showcase strengths to a prospective employer, or does she want to use the eportfolio to help track her development over time, set goals and plan for the future.

The Cube model may not be the best for evaluating initiatives that are open source and encourage a more collaborative and open form of development where all community members adapt tools for their own use, and share this freely with the rest of the community.

I had problems trying to analyse KEEP Toolkit using Faces 5-6. Perhaps there is another model that would work better.

References
IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc. (June 2005. IMS ePortfolio Best Practice and Implementation Guide. Retrieved September 15, 2008, from http://www.imsglobal.org/ep/epv1p0/imsep_bestv1p0.html#1663759.

September 15, 2008   2 Comments

Texas Instruments

Trying to get a head start this week.

The e-learning product I have chosen to explore is the Texas Instruments TI graphing calculator.

FACE 1

In Canada, graphing calculators are required or recommended for most provincial high school exams, therefore, the market focus would be K-12 and probably spill over into Higher Education as well.

FACE 2

I would say that the Texas Instruments offers services to their clients. Their website has links for applications and downloads which can be added to the calculators. There are also lesson plans, classroom activities, test preparations for both educators and students.

FACE 3

The buyer differs in each individual case. There is the option for the learner to buy a calculator for themselves; however, a parent most likely will buy the calculator for their child to use in the classroom. Additionally, some schools may purchase a large number of calculators for their students so they will all be using the same instruments. Texas Instruments now offers educator calculators that are only sold to educators and administrators in a school bus yellow color. This enables the distinction and monitoring of school property.

FACE 4

Texas Instruments offer their product and services to many global markets including wired Anglophone countries, European countries with language skills, European countries requiring translation, and Asian countries with quality internet.

FACE 5

Because Texas Instruments has so many markets, I would say that the majority of them would fall under the category of “Market supports export oriented learning technologies and substitution of imports.” There are other graphing calculators and other companies that offer similar products.

FACE 6

Texas Instruments graphing calculators will not replace traditional mathematics instruction. Therefore, it is a technology that works well with an existing, well-developed learning system.

September 15, 2008   3 Comments

Inspired Notetaking

Here’s a thought for a handy tool for the Cube… make a cube with the six faces listed to help with your analysis, if I had more time on my hands I would make a properly dimensioned on in a jpg or pdf to share… the prototype was done by hand. Would anyone invest in my venture?
too much time on my hands?

too much time on my hands?

September 14, 2008   3 Comments