Elluminate Cubed

Elluminate As a BC offshore school in China, our institution needs to obtain information from the Ministry of Education regarding important updates and information. Currently, the month of September is a very busy time for our secondary school. There are new dates and processes to acquire and document for the upcoming school year. In order for BC offshore schools to obtain information, Elluminate is used to bring together different schools across the globe.

Face 1: Market Focus Elluminate targets a market that is both academic and business inclined.

It is not restricted to simply a high school or a post-secondary institution because the service and product itself is a very open-ended tool. The ability to get support regarding audio, chat and video is simply too hard to resist for any company who have different communication needs. Regardless of the situation, if there is an opportunity for communication Elluminate provides a method that is appropriate for the situation. It does not restrict the target group by context but it keeps the product flexible. As long as communication over distances are required, Elluminate offers a well-equipped online space to do so.

Face 2: Types of Offerings

Elluminate’s flexibility arises from the types of offers it gives to its consumers. Not only does it focus on a service but it also provides the infrastructure to deliver content. Rather than limiting the product to one type of offering, Elluminate is capable of others as well. Users can use the different abilities embedded in Elluminate and shape it according to their needs. Within my current context, the function of Elluminate is to deliver vital information from the Ministry to train local administration regarding the important elements of being an offshore school. All the strengths of Elluminate can provide a very powerful piece of infrastructure to transmit and present information. Not only can Elluminate be used for students but it can also be used to train fellow educators and provide for that communication need.

Face 3: Who is the Buyer?

Elluminate within my current situation would probably fall under the “Learning Bought for Learner”. The use of Elluminate was decided by the ministry representatives rather than the educators or the learners. The buyer is the Ministry of Education who decides if this is what we need to improve the educational quality of our program. Therefore, when it comes time to pitch Elluminate, the buyer is not as simple as it may look. The explanation of Elluminates’ needs to be customized in order to reach the people who would pay the money for this venture. The multipurpose function of this tool really generates genuine interest for investment especially in this field of education.

Face 4 – Global Markets

Asian markets with a quality internet connection

The Elluminate meetings are scheduled in advance with a direct link via email to access the site. As a backup to different quality internet connections across China, the Ministry has offered a powerpoint presentation to go along with the meeting. A version of the meeting with only the audio is also available to accommodate the varying connectivity options. As the Cube describes, the quality of internet connectivity varies from the interior of China to the exterior. This makes it very important for the ministry to provide its users with a range of delivery methods. With the growing number of offshore school appearing around the globe, the Asian market is just one of the many global markets interested in a different educational philosophy and system.

Face 5 – Development of the Market

Market Supports Import of Content and Infrastructure Category

There are no similar local options and the development of the market will truly influence Elluminate to thrive. As the need for more communication to happen for our offshore program, Elluminate has made it possible to faciliate and create a space for everyone to get together even across time zones and distance.

Face 6 – Learning Technology Works With a Well-Developed Learning System

Ellluminate is working well with a well-developed learning system. It is used not only with the learners but also with the training of administrators for offshore schools. The tool is flexible enough to be used to educate content but also to educate key players in the system. From Elluminate’s own website, there are many examples where Elluminate does not intrude on the current technologies being used but it works with different platforms. The tool itself is used to create new methods of distribution but it also enhances the existing systems and curriculum.

September 22, 2009   4 Comments

Second Life Cubed

Second Life (SL),  owned by Linden Lab, is an online 3D world created and maintained by its users (residents).  Click here for a short video. Although not originally intended to be, the Second Life platform is emerging as a learning technology.

Face 1 – Market Focus

The SL platform offers opportunities to all three market sectors on the cube. Higher education institutes like colleges and universities have raced to establish themselves on the SL grid to offer distance/blended course offerings and to create virtual learning spaces. The corporate world serves as another market because companies, both private and government, can establish a presence in SL and use the platform for training and development. To a lesser extent, the K-12 sector represents another market focus. Although the potential is there for profit from the K-12 markets, growth has been slower due to several restrictions and barriers.

Face 2 – Types of Offerings

As a learning technology, SL offers infrastructure as a mechanism for providing online learning opportunities. Although general membership and participation in SL is free, those wanting to create learning opportunities must purchase land and pay other service fees.  Content and subject matter is the responsibility of the users/clients. Varying levels of technical support only is offered by SL to its paying customers.

Face 3 – Who is the Buyer?

Typically, SL as a learning technology is purchased by corporations, school districts, and higher education institutes. According to the cube, I suppose it is either “learning bought for learner” or “learning bought centrally” depending on how the purchaser intends the technology will be used and whether the use of SL is imposed on learners and institutions. Interestingly, there is an opportunity for revenue from individual learners once immersed in the learning technology because SL has its own currency system and market that entices users to make purchases, sometimes costing real world funds.

Face 4 – Global Markets

The SL platform is best suited for regions with excellent Internet infrastructure. Regions where Internet and bandwidth is limited or restricted will experience far too many problems using SL as learning technology. In fact, broadband Internet and above average computer hardware are minimum recommendations for using SL. Regarding the issue of language, the SL platform is available in English, French, German, and Chinese. This could be viewed as a restriction, however, because SL is created and maintained by its users creative ways to translate the interface have been used including an in-world translator.

Face 5 – Development of the Market

I’m hoping this face of the cube allows for some blurring of the boundaries because I’m not exactly sure where SL as a learning technology fits in regarding development of the market. As previously stated, poor Internet infrastructure, potential language barriers and poverty creates unfavourable market conditions for selling SL as a learning technology in some regions. It simply is not a good fit in some countries. However, generally speaking, the global market freely imports  and exports learning technologies. Potential buyers are free to consider using SL. While SL does face a small number of competitors in the virtual world market, its popularity gives it a slight edge.

Face 6 – Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

SL is a learning technology that “works with a well developed learning system”. SL is likely going to be used to enhance teaching and learning by those who have chosen to explore the benefits of the engaging environment of 3D virtual worlds. In some cases, however, I could see that the use of SL as a learning technology could be imposed on a system as a cost and time saving means of delivering instruction and training. Corporations, for example, might make it mandatory for employees to enroll in professional development delivered in SL as opposed to the more traditional means of expensive face to face training sessions and conferences. In this case, drawing from the cube, the technology is “imposed and competes with existing learning systems”.

September 21, 2009   8 Comments