Posts from — September 2009

Links-Open in New Window?

Hi All,

Would anyone else prefer links from the blog to open in a new window? I prefer this personally rather than navigating back and forth between the blog and the link.



September 27, 2009   3 Comments

Alberta Distance Learning Centre Cubed

Market Focus – K-12
Type of Offering -Content- K- 12 Distance learning courses in both French and English. The courses are offered in print, online- synchronous and asynchronous or blended formats.
Who is the buyer – This product has a fairly wide market as it can be purchased by individual students, their parents, schools and school divisions who offer couses through outreach type programs.
Markets – This product is marketed world-wide to students who wished to take K-12 courses based on the Alberta curriculum.
Development of the Market -Because this program is offered in a variety of formats- print and on-line it is appropriate for many markets. A blended program is probably the most effective program so those areas which have no or poor assess to internet would be the least likely market.
Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning
-“There is already a well-developed learning system in the sector (e.g. instructor-led courses, teachers in schools, etc.) and learning technology has been fitted into the mix (e.g. to handle home schooling, to extend the reach of universities to rural communities, to handle upgrading of credentials for employees, etc.)”

September 27, 2009   1 Comment

One Laptop Per Child

One laptop per child posts the following as its mission statement:

Mission Statement: To create educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning.

Personally I view OLPC as great starting point for e-learning as it provides the basic tool required to access the wired world.  I once helped ship books to Africa as part of a community service club.  It was time consuming heavy and costly.  The amount of knowledge that we sent was worth less then the cost of the books.  If one could access that information times 100 for only 100$ I think it would be well worth the cost.  Here is OLPC cubed, granted it doesn’t work that well.

Market Focus:

OLPC is focused on bringing learning to the poorest countries through the form of a laptop and the software and hardware that it contains.  The aim is the K-12 market, with the residuel efect of educating those that care for the children.

Type of Offering:

OLPC offers content and services.  The laptop is both hardware and software equipped and training and costume materials can be included.

Who is the Buyer:

So far the buyers have been at the national level including countries such as Nigeria and now Rawanda.  The Laptops have been bought on scale to the 100,000 range.

Global Market

The globe is the market, but specifically countries with high rates of poverty and low education.

Development of Market:

Market does not support Learning technologies.  The solution will be funded at national or international level.  The company tried a buy one give one laptop program.

Learning Technology Competing with other forms of Learning:

OLPC is advocating education.  I don not feel as if it views it self as in competition with other forms of education.

September 27, 2009   9 Comments


BainPOP Cubed

BrainPOP describes itself as a creator of animated curriculum-based content which helps to support students and educators through engaging materials.  BrainPOP offers lesson plans, video tutorials, quizs, games for most topics and curriculum componenets.

Here is sample video to get started…

YouTube Preview Image

Face 1: Market Focus

The market focus is the K-12 public school system.  BrainPOP offers curriculum connections from k-12 in Spanish and English.

Face 2: Types of Offerings

BrainPOP is a content developer that create the curriculum based activities that can be access once a subscription our licensing fee is paid.

Face 3: Who is the Buyer?

BrainPOP has done an excellent job in regard to addressing the various levels of purchasing.  By offering a variety of purchasing agreement BrainPOP access the level of learning bought for learner and learning bought centrally.  Here is a list of the option: school wide, district wide, media lab, classroom, home school, family, or a virtual subscription.

Face 4 – Global Markets

The United States of America and wired Anglophone countries are the primary global markets.  Although the content is offered in Spanish this is more for the Spanish speakers within the United States.  As for the content it is primarily American centric in that the social studies and history aspects are in coordination with American curriculum organizers.  The other aspects are more generally applicable and to offer a wide variety of topics to be explored.

Face 5 – Development of the Market

From my understanding of BrainPOP it would be situated within a market that supports export oriented learning and substitutions of imports.  The American curriculum would make it better suited than perhaps a British or Canadian company offering the same products, but could be used in both of those countries as well.

Face 6 – Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

BrainPOP works well with a well-developed learning system.  In fact, BrainPOP is used as a way to reinforce the already exciting system and not replace it.

BrainPOP is a great resource I recommend trying a free trial….

I have many email addresses because of this feature…..


September 27, 2009   3 Comments

TEDTalks Worth Viewing

September 27, 2009   2 Comments

Investigating an Alternative Marketplace

For this activity, investigate the alternative marketplace offered by international development opportunities through the links provided and others that you find. Join the online discussion in the Module 3: Global Learning Technologies Marketplace where we will examine the kinds of business opportunities that may exist in a development market where divergent thinking may needed to validate “the cube,” or develop a new market analysis paradigm.

RE: Alternative Learning & Skills Development Project (ALSD)

(From the African Development Bank Group)


ALSD is intended for out-of-school youth.


ALSD is a project aimed at developing human resource by providing access to alternative learning, to skills, and to employment opportunities.  Here, ALSD is to (a) provide assistance to out-of-school youth attain basic and secular education and (b) improve self-employment further.


Learning bought nationally – open to regions – local guide offers via the African Development Bank Group


A region with no, restricted, or poor quality Internet service


Market does not seem to support E-learning/learning technologies


Not yet applicable


As an educational venture analyst (EVA), there may be a business opportunity present in this project, for there is no infrastructure (i.e. LMS, CMS, virtual classrooms), no market development around E-learning, and no E-learning system.

September 26, 2009   1 Comment

Blackboard Cubed

Cube analysis of Blackboard

I haven’t really used E-learning tools other than Blackboard, so I’m digging in to analyze this online platform in regard to its use in our University System in Baja California, Mexico.
I’d just like to contextualize before I begin the analysis: CETYS University is a system consisting of three campuses in Mexicali (main campus), Tijuana and Ensenada. The three campuses are in completely different economical and student population situations. Several years ago, the president along with academic advisors, decided to buy Blackboard for system-wide use.

Face 1: Market Focus

Higher education. As I mentioned, Blackboard was bought by the system to use within University level, although it has also been adopted by high school teachers and students of the same system.

 Face 2: Types of Offerings

Infrastructure. CETYS University initially bought Blackboard to deliver and manage content, considering the possibility to expand on distance education later on.

Face 3: Who is the Buyer?

Blackboard was bought FOR the learner and it was bought centrally. As I mentioned, the three campuses didn’t really make the decision (or teacher for that matter) to buy the software and students are somewhat obligated to use Blackboard for their courses.

Face 4 – Global Markets

We are located in a somewhat complex situation. Although we would technically be situated within the European countries requiring translation, our University System is located in the border with the US, most of your students are fluent English speakers. Our internet and connection services are somewhat poor due to budget restrictions-this last characteristic limits our accessibility to Blackboard, especially in Ensenada’s campus.

 Face 5 – Development of the Market

Market supports export oriented learning technologies and substitution of imports. We currently import much of our infrastructures, but are working towards the development of content and systems that will eventually replace Blackboard within our System.

Face 6 – Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

Learning Technology Works With a Well-Developed Learning System. In CETYS’ case, we had a well-defined and developed system before adapting Blackboard onto our System. We have used the platform to extend the reach of our programs and elaborate hybrid courses for students and teachers.

September 26, 2009   3 Comments

Moodle Cubed

I use it every day and still find it fascinating.

Moodle is an open source Learning Management System (LMS) that provides a framework for elearning course delivery.  The LMS is a shell through which “customers” offer course content.  Moodle provides a wide range of tools to facilitate online interaction between students and offers the administration functionality required to enroll, grade, and monitor student and teacher users.

Face 1 – Market Type

Moodle is being used in the K-12 sector and corporate training but has found its biggest niche at the post-secondary level in fully online courses and blended classrooms.

Face 2 – Offering

Moodle offers two services.  The first , branded as (the product) is a completely free and open source software platform.  The second, (the service) is a company that offers hosting, support, and customization through country-based Moodle partners that pay royalties to Moodle (which are then used to support development of the product).

Face 3 – The Buyer

Moodle the product is usually acquired at an institutional level (school, school board, university, corporation).  Due to the free nature of the product the decision to utilize Moodle does not always come through the usual channels and often takes a grassroots approach as instructors and technicians pilot the platform.

Moodle the service is purchased by organizations who wish customization of the product, in-house training, and feature development.

Face 4 – Global Markets

As an open source project, Moodle has the benefit of a large client based contributing back to the product.  As such, the Moodle interface has been translated into 81 different language interfaces (Moodle, n.d.).  Since content is developed by the customer, the product is viable in any wired market.

Moodle partners offering a wide array of paid support services operate out of 33 different countries offering a wide range of language support and local suppliers (Dougiamas, 2007).

Face 5 – Development of the Market

Within the scope of the wired marketplace, learning management systems are well-supported and in growing demand as institutions look to offer online or blended learning environments.  Additionally, acceptance of open-source software is gaining acceptance for use at the enterprise level with successful products like Linux, Apache, Firefox, and OpenOffice being recognized as equivalent or superior to their commercial counterparts.

Face 6 – Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

While the impetus for competition varies globally with jurisdiction, there seems to be a trend in wired markets for elearning technologies to augment or replace traditional classroom settings (Howell, Williams & Lindsay, 2003).  Whether this is market driven where students are demanding the flexibility to study at their convenience and maintain work schedule; or government/corporate policy to reduce cost in infrastructure spending on brick and mortar learning spaces.

Dougiamas, M. (2007). Moodle: A Case Study in Sustainability. Retrieved Sept 24, 2009 from

Howell, S., Williams, P., & Lindsay, N. (2003). Thirty-two Trends Affecting Distance Education: An Informed Foundation for     Strategic Planning. Retrieved September 28, 2009 from

Moodle (n.d.). Moodle UTF-8 Language Packs.  Retrieved September 24, 2009 from

September 26, 2009   7 Comments

Teen Second Life Cubed

The younger, safer, sibling of Second Life, Teen Second Life (TSL) offers educators in secondary education an opportunity to instruct in an immersive environment without putting their students at risk of harm from predators. Access to TSL is for teens and rigorously screened adults only. Movement of adults in the world is very restricted, but teens can move about freely. TSL is owned and operated by Linden Labs, the same company that owns Second Life.

Face 1: Market Focus

Teen Second Life is designed for teens 13-17 so obviously they are focused on secondary education. Because of the tight restrictions higher education institutions and corporations must go to the main Second Life grid.

Face 2: Types of Offerings

Linden Labs is offering the infrastructure in which educators and students can create content. Instructors and students can create virtual educational spaces where all the data is saved on Linden Lab’s servers, but which they can access from their own computers.

Face 3: Who is the Buyer?

There are two levels of buyer in TSL. First, they are trying to attract institutions like school to buy land and create a presence in TSL. Second, individual instructors who are early adopters of the technology may purchase land themselves. This may occur when schools are not willing to invest and the individual teacher wants to prove the concept to a principal or a superintendant. Teens can create accounts for free, so they are not buyers.

Face 4 – Global Markets

Because all the documentation and marketing for TSL is in English, the primary market would be wired Anglophone countries, with some customers coming from European countries with language skills. It would be possible for instructors from Asia and other well wired areas who had English skills to set up a virtual environment for students who would then communicate in other languages. This would mean that TSL could expand into any market that had good, high speed internet and a population with higher end computers.

Face 5 – Development of the Market

TSL targets markets with well developed internet access and a population which has access to higher end computers with good graphics capabilities. They also need to attract instructors who are willing to go outside of their classrooms and create educational experiences in a virtual world. Within that relatively narrow niche, they compete well in the market because they have all the technology and software developed for Second Life. Other educational immersive environments have less developed infrastructures, or are based on earlier versions of Second Life released as open-source projects. Linden Labs has the economically successful Second Life to drive development and improvement of both Second Life and TSL while the smaller and open source projects have fewer resources.

Face 6 – Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

Teaching in immersive environments like TSL is currently an adjunct to teaching face to face in a classroom. The 3D building environment competes with some aspects of traditional teaching, like lab demonstrations and lectures, and provides the opportunity for students from geographically separated locations to interact and work together. In the future immersive environments may displace some aspects of traditional teaching, but with the current level of technology and the constraints of having to have a higher end computer; TSL is still very much on the fringe of teaching and learning.

September 26, 2009   3 Comments

Adobe Captivate Cubed

I use Adobe Captivate at work, and it is an easy tool to use to capture application and web simulations. I couldn’t find too much information in my Internet search, so I have had to rely on my own experience through this analysis.

Face 1. Market

The way this software is developed makes it an easy tool to develop training material. The ability to capture screenshots and video sceen movement permits the training developer to capture step-by-step demonstrations. As well, it is easy to create activities that guide users through steps. For use of text instruction, this application is limited. Powerpoint has more options. However, there is no reason Captivate cannot be used in other markets. In Calgary, I know that Alberta Health Services and Shaw Communications both use Captivate in their training of staff. Captivate has received the CODiE Award for Best Corporate Learning Solution, a Business Software Satisfaction Award, and a Technology & Learning Award of Excellence.

Face 2. Offering

Captivate offers infrastructure. The software provides the tools for creating interactive content, simulations, and quizzes without the need for multimedia experience. Check out these websites for more information: and

Face 3. The buyer

Captivate is purchased for training. Although, this software can be purchased in K-12 or higher education situations, the type of learning is typically skill related and suites the training environment the most.

Face 4. Global markets

Captivates largest markets are the wired Anglophone countries and the Asian countries with quality Internet. However, the software’s trial version comes in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japenese, Korean, and Spanish. Abode products are available internationally and Adobe is a world leader in software development.

Face 5. Development of the market

I am not sure how to answer this one; however, I imagine , since this market is business driven, that it supports export oriented learning technologies and substitution of imports. In efforts to be more cost efficient, most businesses will import alternate training where applicable. As well, Captivate publishes in AICC and SCORM compliant files, allowing for export of content to various LMS. In my work, we are using Captivate to create training for patient care applications. The content being created has been exported to neighbouring health service teams using similar applications.

Face 6 . Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

Captivate is a very useful tool, but not the only tool available for creating interactive eLearning and simulation. With the advances in Web 2.0 tools, there are a number of alternate ways of communicating similar skills-related training. For example, Elluminate allows for demonstrations and slides; Lectora creates highly interactive modules using easily created variables and actions, and it has the capablility of containing video, animation, and graphics. WebEx demonstrations can be recorded and saved. The market is saturated with options, which is probably why Captivate is on version 4 and continuing to fight to be a market leader. Captivate tends to compete in the market as an Abode product and not as an individual product. Captivate can be purchased with Photoshop Elements, Premiere Pro, Flash, Illustrator, and various other products used in eLearning and corporate settings.

I use Captivate at work and I have found that there have been really amazing changes in this program from version 1 until now (ver.4). It is obvious that this product continues to improve in order to maintain a steady presence in the market place. Captivate is only a piece of Alberta Health Services training tools. We also use Corel Paintshop, Lectora, Flash, and MS Frontpage. I believe that Captivate serves a purpose and is a useful tool, but it could not satisfy all of our training needs.

Anyone else have experience with this software?

September 26, 2009   3 Comments