Moroccan potential and elearning

The open nature of this weeks discussion led me through many various searches until I found a site that included elements I was looking for: relatively recent, elearning, business and developing environment.

This article seems almost like a public relations piece but it contains a number of conditions, according the cube analysis model, indicating that the country of Morocco is a viable and sound market for the development of electronically supported learning.

Market Focus – Private and Public institutions providing e learning for students and employees. I think that areas of vocational training and higher education would provide the major focus area with public schools being targeted at a later time.

Types of Offerings – The majority of use would most likely come in the form of services or  “flexible training opportunities to individuals, businesses, and government bodies”.

Who is the buyer? – Increased government sponsorship for elearning projects and the establishment by the finance ministry of a distance learning service indicates a solid ‘lighthouse’ customer. As well, the president of Ibn Zohr University is an advocate for the establishment of a Virtual Moroccan Campus.

 Global Markets– I would infer that the infrastructure required to support the development of elearning is not in place as of yet, but Morocco seems to be stable enough and indications from the growing use of information technology favor the continued development of communication technologies including Internet.

Development of the Market– I suspect that at this time Morocco is a market that supports the import of content & infrastructure, although national policies and the need for local content would favor indigenous suppliers if they could meet the needs of the market. It would be interesting to explore why there is such a high cost for the development of training platforms and modules. Is it because these elements have to be imported from other countries or is it due to problems with local companies that have been formed?

Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning – In this aspect of the cube learning technologies are competing with existing systems. It has been deemed necessary to support the implementation of elearning with personal tutors and it should be recognized that implementations of elearning would complement conventional training already in place.

Anyone been to Morocco lately? What do you think?

September 28, 2009   1 Comment

Google Documents Cubed

In approaching Activity 2, I wanted to evaluate an open source technology.  While Google has developed several open source applications, I chose to focus on Google Docs.

Face 1: Market Focus

Google Docs is being used in a variety of settings from K-12 to higher education institutions as well as in business venues.

Face 2: Types of Offerings

Google Documents encompasses a variety of offerings from word processing to presentations.

Face 3: Who is the Buyer?

Because Google Documents is open source technology, there is no “buyer” per say, but rather a customer. The decision to use Google Docs can be made by individuals or by institutions. In the educational arena, many utilize Google Docs for its collaborative features.

Face 4 – Global Markets

Google Docs is uniquely positioned in the global marketplace. Due to the popularity of Google’s free web browser and electronic mail service, customers can easily access Google documents. For those who are unfamiliar with how to use Google documents, tutorials are readily available such as this one from CommonCraft.

Face 5 – Development of the Market

A growing demand for open source applications ensures the continuing development of the market for application such as Google Docs. Other open source roducts such as OpenOffice  provide competition in the market. As a company, Google is committed to ongoing development and open access to an both products and an infrastructure which allow for ease of access (portability). For more information see

Face 6 – Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

I am not entirely sure how to address this aspect. While Google Docs is not solely a learning technology, the growing demand from various sectors for open source productivity applications stimulates competition. Within the educational realm, the need for dependable, collaborative applications ensures that Google Docs and other developing open source productivity applications will be well received.

September 28, 2009   10 Comments

Intel® Teach program

I approached Activity #2 (alternative marketplace offered by international development opportunities) as a cube analysis again…hopefully I interpreted that correctly.

I chose to focus on a companies’ long term investment into a project that will bring them returns later in the future…

Technology giants such as Cisco Systems, Intel, and Microsoft are setting their sights beyond the United States and are investing heavily in global education reform initiatives.  These efforts are benefitting developing nations such as India, Jordan, and Kenya.

Intel is working with governments and educators to help integrate technology into teaching and learning, investing $100 million a year.

See an introductory video here:
FACE 1:  Market Focus

According to Intel, the goal of  the Intel® Teach program is to help 13 million teachers in more than 40 countries develop new skills to incorporate technology into their curriculum by 2011.

Intel introduces the ®Teach program in communities that are chosen based on the strength of their commitment to the program.
A three-year evaluation of the Intel® Teach Program finds that a large majority of teachers increased the use of technology in the classroom after taking an Intel Teach course.

FACE 2:  Types of Offerings

The Intel® Teach Program helps teachers to be more effective educators.  They provide professional development which focuses on how to integrate technology into their lessons.  This program promotes problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills among the students. “With more than 6 million teachers trained in over 50 countries, Intel® Teach is the largest, most successful program of its kind”.
The company works with an initial group of teachers to help them learn 21st-century teaching methods, and these teachers then train other educators in these methods.

The program consists of 24-40 hours of face-to-face, interactive instruction delivered through up to 11 curricular modules through the use of online tools.

The goal is for teachers to leave the course with a standards-based unit plan, support materials, and implementation strategies to improve and assess students’ higher-order thinking with the use of free online tools.

FACE 3:  Who is the Buyer

Intel Foundation

Founded in 1989, the Intel Foundation is a philanthropic organization focused on programs that advance education and improve communities worldwide.

As mentioned in my introductory paragraph, Intel is working with governments and educators to help integrate technology into teaching and learning, investing $100 million a year.

By providing funding for national and localized grants, the foundation helps fuel innovation in classrooms. The goals of the Intel Foundation are to increase interest in math and science education, and to help develop a future workforce that represents the diversity around the world.  In this way they can produce their next generation of employees and customers!

FACE 4:  Global Markets

Intel Corp., a company with four decades of educational reform initiatives—including the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, the Learn Program, and the Model School program—has incorporated its Teach program throughout many parts of India.
The focus of Intel and the other major technology giants such as Cisco Systems, and Microsoft, is on developing nations with poor technology resources.

FACE 5:  Development of the Market

The current market that Intel is targeting (developing nations such as India, Jordan, and Kenya) does not support learning technologies.
For reasons of poverty, marginal languages, and poor or restricted Internet infrastructure or geographic isolation, the target market cannot support learning technology ventures of any type that will be viable businesses.
Funding is provided by grants.  The Intel Foundation provides the money (up to $100 million) in national and localized grants.

FACE 6:  Learning Technology competing with other forms of learning

This learning technology substitutes for other types of learning  – enhancing the traditional teacher delivery model that is currently the most cost effective in these developing, yet poor economy countries.
By policy decision, learning technology is displacing other forms of learning. The existing learning solutions are not working (e.g. rural public schools in less developed nations – they do not have the funds to incorporate technology on their own).  As learning technology is not the “best” solution in all cases, gaps in learning performance may persist.  However Intel is not just providing the technology, but is supporting the training of the educators that will implement the technology into their classrooms.

September 28, 2009   3 Comments

Like Bev, I am not exactly clear on how to present this alternative model. Having viewed many pitches in Mod 2 unlike the Dragon’s Den approach, is a site that connects enrepreneurs in the developing world with personal lenders in the microcredit manner.  Many of the entrepreneurs are from Tier 4 (and Tier 3?) of the pyramid. A new analytical model that appeared relevant from Prahalad and Harts article was the vetting of business proposals.  The Grameen Banks acceptance of community based evaluation of loan applications by 5 non family is sound. It saves Grameen the expensive legal, logistical HR hassles and promotes the lender in the community while serving a very real need. In Tier 4, the Cube face related to Market Focus may need to include “community ed” that does not entail traditional K-12 etc. For these typically rural communities, the educational focus could be public health or agricultural information . “Who is the Buyer” -in addtion to NGOs and Governenets, this may include microcredit lenders who see value in education as well as the individual. Tier 4 would fall on the “Market Does Not Support Elearning”  face but perhaps this could be further subdivided.  The OLPC  program takes advantage of cell phone communication networks providing  connectivity in previously isolated areas. Perhaps “Wireless” “With out Wireless” may be reasonable?


September 28, 2009   4 Comments

Wharton Africa Business Forum

This is an annual forum I came across, field trip anyone?

It has some interesting topics and is very pro-Africa as a place to invest.  Thoughts?


September 28, 2009   2 Comments