MindLeaders Cubed

MindLeaders http://www.mindleaders.com

 My workplace has brought MindLeaders into our organization and is piloting its use with our IT department, so my exposure to this is limited to the past 2 months. MindLeaders is a company that has over 25 years experience designing elearning programs. The courses cover topics from software skills to leadership, from workplace and food safety to programming and network administration.

 Market Focus

-Commerical, Government and Educational Sector

 Types of Offering

– MindLeaders offers services, content and infrastructure.

– offers over 3000 e-learning courses (software skills, business skills, compliance training, technical training)

– learning platform – central learning management system

– reference library containing over 13000 electronic copies of books

– online mentors accessible 24/7 to respond to learners questions

– tech labs allows learners to practice IT skills in a safe live environment

 Who is the Buyer?

-Learning is bought centrally by corporations, government or educational sector for employees or students

 Global Markets

-The company is based in Ohio with a global market. In 2007 they merged with ThirdForce a company in Ireland and England. The website indicates they have over 1000 clients in more than 30 countries. I would assume that their global audience would be found only within those countries with solid internet infrastructure. The courses are in English so the learners would need a command of the English language.

Development of the Market

-MindLeaders offers partner opportunities to resell the elearning courses and the learning management platform. As in the case of my workplace, one reason we went with MindLeaders is the economic reason, to send IT staff to off site in class courses is expensive and often involves several consecutive days out of the office. With MindLeaders they can access the courses for a fraction of the price and take as many courses during a year as they like, not to mention read the books in the reference e-library. In this situation, MindLeaders substitutes other forms of learning due to cost. However, MindLeaders also can be seen as working with a well developed learning system to extend the reach and upgrade credentials of employees in such areas as business skills and technical training.  

October 10, 2009   No 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

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 Moodle.org (the product) is a completely free and open source software platform.  The second, Moodle.com (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 http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/fall63/howell63.html.

Moodle (n.d.). Moodle UTF-8 Language Packs.  Retrieved September 24, 2009 from http://download.moodle.org/lang16/.

September 26, 2009   7 Comments

Elluminate Cubed

Here is my attempt at “Elluminate Cubed”. I have used Elluminate many times over the past couple of years and it grows on me each time I use it.



Elluminate provides web, video, and audio solutions for online learning and according to Elluminate.com they serve “more than 600 million annual web-collaboration minutes to over 7 million teachers and students located in 170 different countries”.


Elluminate has several offerings that are explained in detail through the links below including:

Elluminate Learning Suite™. – a full package of products

Elluminate Live!® features voice over the Internet, interactive functionality, upports multiple platforms and low-bandwidth connectivity.

Elluminate Next>™ bundle combines Elluminate Plan! and Elluminate Publish!

Elluminate vSpaces™ single-room configurations of Elluminate Live!

Elluminate Bridges a tool that provides integration with learning and content management systems.

Elluminate VCS™ is an affordable  multipoint video collaboration product for desktop users.

LearnCentral™ is a social learning network for education, sponsored by Elluminate.


School Districts or governing educational groups, individual educators and business.

If you are a BC educator you can have free access provided by Learnnowbc. A single meeting can be booked  or you can reserve a long-term meeting room for up to one year. Click here for more information: http://www.learnnowbc.ca/lnbcresources/elluminate/


As the internet expands and computer access improved within education there is potential for classrooms to meet and connect globally. This meeting platform allows for easy interactivity that incorporates, audio, video, text and more.


There are several reviews and articles about Elluminate:


The company is located in Calgary, Alberta and Pleasanton, California and claims to Ellumiate claims, to be the choice of “ Apple Computer, California State University, Florida Virtual School, Georgetown University, K12 Inc., London Knowledge Lab, Los Angeles Unified School District, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Novell, Queen’s University, Royal Veterinary College, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, and many more.”

According to their website they are the one of “Deloitte’s 50 Fastest Growing Technology Companies and is positioned in the Visionaries Quadrant of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Conferencing, 2009”.


The Elluminate services are very useful and have great potential in the market. A set back (or competition) is the every growing development of free Web 2.0, & 3.0 tools. Many of these tools provide similar functions including online chat, whiteboard, and texting capabilities. As second struggle that the company will encounter is convincing educators to change their practice to incorporate virtual meeting spaces over face to face. Ellumiate has many market challenges and must keep current with the many emerging new technologies in order to survive.

Here is a short video found on Youtube introducing Elluminate:

YouTube Preview Image

September 26, 2009   5 Comments

Cubing K12

I am not very familiar with any learning software but i have studied K12 a little. I will cube them. http://www.k12.com/

Face 1. Market

They are as their name suggests focused on the K12 educational market

Face 2. Offering

They offer mainly content. They have all the courses for students to do online learning K thru 12

Face 3. The buyer

K12 mainly sells to state governments in the US who then offfer it to their citizens as an option to state schooling. K12 is also getting a few students whose parents are buying the training for them, mainly american expats in countries with no american school offering.

Face 4. Global markets

K12’s largest market is in the US. They are now going overseas to families seeking an american education, i.e. countries with quality internet without translation but all over the world, asian countries, latin countries, middle eastern countries. So a large market in the U.S. and a much more pulverized market elsewhere.

Face 5. Development of the market

If we look at the specific market they are going after it is a market that supports import of content and infrastructure. These are foreigners who want an american education or americans abroad who are looking for an american education. If they decide to grow their market then it would have to be analized country by country.

Face 6. Learning technology competes with existing forms of learning. Both in the US as well as oversees the family decides if this is the best option for their children versus the state education in schools or the local offerings oversees.

September 26, 2009   2 Comments

CambridgeSoft Introduces ChemDraw Basic E-Learning Course

YouTube Preview Image

face one – MARKET FOCUS

A little about CambridgeSoft.com  and its ChemDraw program:

CambridgeSoft is the leading supplier of Internet browser and webserver based life science desktop software, enterprise solutions, chemical databases and consulting services to the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries.

CambridgeSoft offers a complete line of desktop software for chemists including ChemDraw, the industry standard for chemical structure drawing and analysis.

Cambridge Soft introduced, on August 17, 2009, an e-Learning course for new users of ChemDraw software.  The software program is described below.

The * ChemDraw Ultra 12.0 Suite
by CambridgeSoft
Media: Download for Macintosh

Cost is $2330 USD (offered at academic pricing of $890)



The e-Learning course that I am focusing on is a complimentary product to the purchasers of the ChemDraw software program.

CambridgeSoft offers prepackaged courseware and online training to support that courseware.

It provides online instructions (delivered in modules) as well as an assessment of certification at the end of the course.  You are given access for one full year to ChemDraw Basic e-Learning Course @ $250 USD per individual license (offered at scistore.cambridgesoft.com @ $150).

ChemDraw Basic E-Learning Course

Media: Online


face three –WHO IS THE BUYER?

Interested clients include Students, Educators, and Government Employees in the Chemistry / Biology fields.  This particular online course caters to new users of the ChemDraw packaged courseware.  They also offer bulk uploads  – for many students from one organization seeking access to the course.

This could be used by all the teachers in the science department of one school, or perhaps it would be a district initiative to get the program for use at all the schools in all Science programs.  Not only could it be used as an instructional enhancement, but could allow students to work on chemical models in 3-dimensional space.  The e-learning program would instruct the teachers and students alike, on how to use the tools in the ChemDraw software.  In industry, such as the Ministry of the Environment, analysts would use the software for their lab write-ups in their analyses of samples.  The e-learning software would appeal to Ministry labs inplementing the ChemDraw program for the first time, in order to train all scientists on staff as to the effective use of the software application.

face four – GLOBAL MARKETS

CambrigeSoft has offices in the US, Europe (including Germany and France) and Asia Pacific.

They offer support in English, German, French and Japanese.

So CambridgeSoft is catering to Wired Anglophone Countries, European countries that speak English, as well as a few European countries that require translation.  They also market to Asian Countries with quality Internet access, specifically in this case Japan.  This would also appeal to special situation such as military or marine use for scientists in those fields.


The e-Learning that CambridgeSoft is offering is an export oriented Learning Technology.  It is designed to support the global customers of its prepackaged courseware.  This is a well established company with a lengthy line of software products that are being used internationally.

face six – Learning Technology competing with other forms of learning?

This Learning Technology works with a well developed system.  This company sets the bar for other learning technologies of this category.  The development of this e-Learning media download shows expanded support for its customer to use their prepackaged software for effectively.  It will draw more customers into the purchase of its software products, if they know that they will be supported by tutorial programs.  This learning technology is more effective than instructor-led training since the customer will seek help for the particular application that they are employing, and will want to refer back to the instructional software many times, and any order that makes sense to them.

September 25, 2009   2 Comments


NGRAIN is an electronic training development company which specializes in 3D simulation technologies.  More specifically, NGRAIN has focused on equipment training programs, virtual task training and maintenance support systems using interactive equipment simulations.

Many of their products and services take the form of interactive, explodeable 3D representations of complex machinery and equipment such as aircraft engines, military weapons or off-shore oil rigs.  Their goals are to accelerate training, increase first-time performance, minimize downtime, streamline operations and optimize worker performance in general.

Face 1 – Market Type

To date NGRAIN has focused on the training needs of government, military and corporate training needs.  NGRAIN’s customers include all branches of the United States and Canadian militaries, as well as leading manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin, Standard Aero, Northrop Grumman, and CAE.

Face 2 – Type of Offering

NGRAIN’s focus is to provide consulting, designing and development services to their clients.  They create 3D training solutions by consulting with the client and designing models, applications and courses that are deliverable over average computer systems as opposed to custom or expensive workstations.

Although the creation of custom models and application is where they began, NGRAIN has also developed a number of “off-the-shelf” solutions that can be implemented with simple technical and training data provided by the customer.

Face 3 – Who is the buyer?

NGRAIN’s business model is based on a corporation or government entity purchasing the content for the learner.

Face 4 – Global Market

NGRAIN has focused on two global markets: wired Anglophone countries and special (military/maritime) situations.  They have had no major issues reaching these markets and have made significant progress in the North American Market both in the private and public sector.

Face 5 – Market Development

I would say that the market NGRAIN caters to is highly developed.  Large Western corporations, military and government agencies are among some of the earliest adopters of educational technology used for training.  This market is not only well established but has fairly deep pockets and the justification for accurate, high-quality training such as 3D simulations and interactive scenarios.  The potential costs of downtime in these markets are often very large and extend beyond the financial to include the safety and well-being of those trained.

Face 6 – Learning Technology Integration

NGRAIN focuses on content development but has made strides in meshing their content with established learning systems.  Many of their materials are designed to fit within established learning management systems or be delivered along with traditional training methods.

This company does not wish to replace traditional training methods such as hands-on time with equipment, traditional class-based learning or on-the-job training but provide a new, supplemental view of equipment and tasks which is unavailable any other way.

September 24, 2009   4 Comments

PBworks cubed

PBworks, formally called PBwiki, is a collaboration service that has taken advantage of the growth in popularity of wikis. Their website claims: “PBworks is the world’s largest provider of hosted business and educational workspaces. We host over 800,000 workspaces, serve millions of users per month, and 96% of PBworks business users would recommend PBworks to a friend.”

Face 1 – Market Focus

I actually had a little difficulty with this. What is their market focus? Public schools, higher education, or corporate training needs? Their service seems blended. Although, their website does indicate that their major markets would be higher education and corporate consumers. PBworks has separate services, such as “Project Edition” and “Campus Edition”, which seems to support this multi-market ambition.

Face 2 – Types of Offering

PBworks is mainly a service providing a product and infrastructure for managing course and students content; although, wikis can be used for numerous other things, including asynchronous communication.

Face 3 – Who is the buyer?

I see two options here, being:

  • “Learning bought for Learner” – perhaps, for example, it is mainly for higher education courses where the instructors wish to include wikis in the course; and
  • “Learning Bought Centrally” – perhaps, for example, a university or schools district has adopted the idea of wikis and wishes to provide this type of learning environment for the entire institution.

This seems evident in the various packages that they provide.

Face 4 – Global Markets

PBworks is mainly focused on “Wired Anglophone Countries, although there is a small market in other areas.

Face 5 – Development of the market

PBwork saw a niche in the market. MediaWiki and Wikispaces would be the two other major competitors; however, PBworks, perhaps seeing the growth of wikis in education and corporate use, simplified the enduser’s experience with wikis. The international market freely imports content and infrastructure, although I’m not aware of many (if any) local companies that produce wiki packages.

Face 6 – Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

PBworks would fit under the category: “Learning Technology Substitutes for Others Forms of Learning”. For one thing, their product and service may have to compete with the various LMSs, other Social Media platforms, such as NING, blogging platforms and other services, such as Google Docs. But that’s just “eLearning”. PBworks would have to compete with face-to-face appracs to collaborative approaches to learning.

September 23, 2009   6 Comments

Timez Attack Cubed

Times Attack Screen Capture
Times Attack Screen Capture

CUBE Analysis for Timez Attack


Timez Attack (http://www.bigbrainz.com/index.php) is an educational or “meaningful” game designed to help children learn their times tables. It has an engaging and intuitive interface and players learn without realizing they are doing so.

Face 1 – Market Focus

            This product is really aimed at the K-12 sector and more specifically the K-7 portion of that sector. Having said that, it could easily be used in a remedial program in a high school setting.

Face 2 – Type of Offering

            This is definitely a content type of offering. It is a pre-packaged “meaningful game” that can be used as either a stand alone or a school district wide application.

Face 3 – The Buyer

            This product really has several different types of buyers. An individual could buy a stand-alone copy for home use (as I did when my son was having a hard time learning his times table!). A district could purchase the software for installation on all its computers or a school could purchase it for the same application. It also might be possible for a clearing house such as EBSCO to buy this software and then be able to offer volume discounts to educational buyers that are members of its consortium.

Face 4 – Global Market

            While there are a variety of buyers for this product I feel there are numerous markets for it, also. The first potential market is “wired Anglophone countries”. The product is American and all the language is American English. However, because there is a limited amount of actual language and the game is quite intuitive (even my 5 year old daughter was able to figure out what to do) I can see European and Asian countries as being other potential markets. Because it is a game with a need for a fairly good monitor and game card, it is somewhat limited to developed countries. Having said that, the home page advertises that their product is used in 200 countries. The product is available in English and Spanish at this point and I would imagine that, given a large enough demand, it could be translated to other languages fairly easily.

Face 5 – Development of the Market

            Educational or meaningful gaming is on the rise and students who have high quality graphic games at home are not easily impressed with poorly designed games. I would think that the market supports a game like this only in relatively developed and wealthy countries and communities. While the game itself is not too expensive, you need a good computer to play it. This particular game was developed by an educator, giving him some “cred” in the market. His product is fun to play and unique and as such is, in my opinion, well positioned in the North American market place at the very least.

Face 6 – Educational Integration

            Timez Attack is a game that would works well in a school setting, as extra reinforcement and practice for students who are learning the concepts taught. It would also work well in a home school setting. I do not think you would want to use it to replace the teacher, nor do I think the designer would desire such an outcome.

Although we were not asked if we would invest in this company, I am certainly a satisfied customer and would invest if I had the opportunity!

September 22, 2009   6 Comments