Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Alice 10:26 am on December 2, 2011
    0 votes

    Sometimes it’s useful to discuss sensitive concerns privately. Other highly public bodies – like our city councils and other forms of government – have the in camera option where they go into private chambers, away from the prying eyes of the public and the media, to discuss . Maybe it would be useful to institute […]

    Continue reading in camera? Posted in: Blog Café
    • kstooshnov 10:35 am on December 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      [kaltura-widget entryid=”0_lz94rhx5″ size=”comments” /]

  • Alice 11:38 pm on November 27, 2011
    1 votes

    Tags: , , virtual simulations   

    Dress Rehearsal is a gesture-based sewing instruction application for Apple and Android mobile devices. In the Dress Rehearsal application, beginning sewists will develop and rehearse foundational sewing and dressmaking skills and techniques on a virtual sewing machine before ever setting needle to fabric. In this rich, simulated sewing studio, learners will use the tactile affordances […]

    Continue reading Dress Rehearsal: A Gesture-based Sewing Instruction Application Posted in: Week 13: Venture Forum
    • Julie S 9:20 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Allie,

      Good job of making the market clear in terms of size of market and type of user – tech savvy yet traditional. You continued to make the market super clear in your venture pitch. I started out quite skeptical of the concept but after reading your report it made a lot of sense. Good luck with this if you are really going to pursue it. Sounds exciting.

      – Julie

      • Allie 11:47 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks very much for your feedback, Julie! I’m particularly happy to read that my idea was compelling and clearly laid out enough to win over a skeptic! (I was also happy to receive your comment; i was quite apprehensive after seeing my post go up in a sea of very academically oriented learning tech ventures that people would look at it and say… sewing!? really!?)

    • David William Price 9:25 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Allie

      KUDOS! you are the only person in the ten pitches I watched who actually made an elevator pitch… meaning an in-person, face-to-face pitch in your own voice. As one of our shy members (your post about pseudonyms)

      I have to emphasize how amazing this is! I’ve actually helped create three pitches for real entrepreneurs and watched them pitch to real investors. I can’t tell you how important it is that investors see and hear the founder and determine whether they like the person, can work with the person, and trust the person.

      Thank-you for doing this! I will definitely review your venture pitch.

      • Allie 11:50 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        danke schoen! The EPs I reviewed early in term were all sweaty-palmed entrepreneurs in front of a camera, and so I didn’t think to do anything else! I appreciate your comments about the importance of affect in these EPs, and thanks for reviewing my VP!.

    • andrea 6:12 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Allie,
      Congrats on a strong elevator pitch and venture pitch. As Julie noted, you did a great job illustrating the size of the market both in people and dollars. I also liked your clear characterization of your potential buyer as “traditional yet tech-savvy.” Well done!

      • Allie 11:56 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks Andrea! It’s funny how we often think of traditional and tech-savvy as being somehow opposed; throughout the course, I kept reflecting about how totally integrated technology is within sewing and crafting communities; with nearly every emerging market we discussed, I found I could see the intersections with lifelong learning so much more clearly than with academic anthropology and art history (what I formally teach). I designed Dress Rehearsal to respond to my own key frustrations with learning to sew (I’m entirely self-taught, and learned through online resources over the last 1.5 years).
        Cheers, Allie

    • Angela Novoa 5:16 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Allie,

      Great job! Your elevator and venture pitch offer an innovative and attractive product. I am sure that there is a market gap for Dress Rehearsal. As it has been mentioned before, you provided a detailed venture pitch with strong information about the size of the market (speaking of population and money required). I missed information about the competency of the venture’s leaders and advisors (championship). Could you provide information about the members of this venture and how they have become experts on this field?

      Congrats on developing a strong and innovative concept.


      • Allie 12:08 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Angela,
        Thanks so much for your kind comments! I admit that when I wrote the VP, I didn’t go back to our 2.7 materials on “anatomy of a pitch;” I simply looked at the course requirements page. And am kicking myself a little! I don’t yet have a management team in place, although I think that my *needs* would be someone with good knowledge of web development, and someone with good knowledge about the market in learning applications, and someone with great knowledge of and connections within the overall sewing/crafting market. I’m pretty sure that through my network I have two of those three covered – I know a fantastic web developer, and a fashion designer who teaches garment design and construction at a few of the local fashion schools.
        As for my own expertise as venture leader, I’m an educator (doing this MET program, but also having developed and taught post-secondary courses for 8 years) and a sewist. I’m I only began to learn how to sew a year and a half ago, and am entirely self-taught, off of online resources. Turns out that’s how most crafters today learn (Torrey et all 2009). I came up with the idea for Dress Rehearsal when I was working through a technique I learned online – and for the first time wasn’t going back and forth from my computer to the sewing machine, awkwardly trying to piece the two pieces of fabrics together. It was finally a fluid process, and I thought – how about I design a learning program for sewing that’s portable and small enough to be held at the sewing table (i.e. mobile device), and that helps sewists learn by doing – not by reading or showing.
        best, Allie

        • Angela Novoa 10:58 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Hi Allie,

          Thanks for the information that you provided. I am really messy at sewing, but maybe, by having the experience of Dress Rehearsal, I could be able to learn (I am always enthusiastic about gaming and simulated environments for learning). I think that your idea is really innovative. I watch at my niece having such a good taste on combining colors. She plays with web 2.0 apps to make dresses but have never sewed. I think that she would learn a lot from your product.


    • David William Price 10:55 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Elevator pitch assessment

      Allie – Dress rehearsal

      First Impression: Shows the CEO speaking directly to us, reading is distracting, clever product name

      CEO Credibility: Seems confident in her concept and smiles at the end and appears to be an example of her own target market

      Management Team: No team is mentioned, but the CEO appears and seems to be her own subject-matter expert for the sewing and m-learning aspect, at least at a high level.

      Venture Concept: Gesture-based sewing learning using m-learning devices, including feedback and troubleshooting. Not sure how this would work. Is the sewing with a machine or by hand? Intriguing enough to read more.

      Opportunity Space: Young, female, traditional but tech savvy. Addressing $29 billion crafting industry and 12 million 18-34 US women using m-learning devices. Not clear how many young women are sewing… would be a good number to have. No indication of pricing or revenues.

      Market Readiness: No description of how this will be marketed or distributed, how to enter the market or how to grow presence.

      Competitive Edge: Claimed advantage is m-learning gesture-based advice and troubleshooting.

      Exit Strategy: No indication of their target market, its size, or how they will capture it. No indication of what investment is wanted or how it will be repaid.

      Overall Investment Status: CEO seems earnest about the concept and defines a broad market. Concept appears lower risk as it’s an m-learning app, however there is likely very little upside for an investor—how many will buy this app and how long will it take to repay me? I don’t know how much cash is asked. Would be interested to read more to see how the crafting market and m-learning market intersect in an m-learning sewing market.

      • Allie 12:45 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Many thanks for your detailed review of my EP, David. You offer many good points to consider, and if I am to revise my EP, I certainly will take them into account. It’s a new genre for me.
        – I was a little disappointed too that i was reading off script more than I would like. Especially because I pride myself on my lecturing/public speaking skills. Given my own time constraints – having well and truly knocked myself out over that Social Analytics presentation the week before – and my and my partner-producer’s difficulties working iMovie that weekend, it was the best I could do (I wanted to do some splicing, and demonstration, but it just wasn’t happening 🙁 ). I realize one could raise one’s finger and object “but in the real world!” My real world is that I had both assignments worth the same % back to back. Not saying that your point isn’t well taken.
        – interesting that you wonder if it would be hand or machine sewing. I’ll have to find a way to make it clearer that it would be machine sewing. hand sewing tends to be the province of couture (= really advanced).
        – it’s true – it’s difficult to gauge the number of sewists out there, especially in my demographic. IN the VP, I do mention the demographics and numbers of members and monthly unique hits for the two main english-language websites for 18-34 beginner sewists. Perhaps I could really do some sleuthing and find out the sales figures for beginner sewing books. i don’t know if that would be heavily guarded or relatively accessible. Have you any ideas?
        – pricing I mention in the VP (4.99, based on other educ virtual apps). It’s true that while I provided numbers of potential users (750,000 Burdastyle members, starting from 0 in 2007)), I didn’t project numbers for how many more members will register with Burdastyle over the next couple years, nor what % might want to buy Dress Rehearsal. I guess… I’m a little in the dark as to how many I could reasonably expect to use Dress Rehearsal. 5%? 10%? Do you have any idea how I might go about working that out?
        (Burdastyle is the massively popular sewing website for 18-34 year olds whose open source patterns would be taught on Dress Rehearsal.)
        – you ask for some things, that I think are totally reasonable, to include in the EP. Like most, I struggle with doing it in the most succinct possible way. If you have any suggestions for how I might very succinctly include any of these within my pitch, I’m all ears.

    • Deb Kim 3:54 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Allie,

      When I first saw “Sewing” in your title, I got really excited because I love making things too. Although I’m a huge fan of knitting, sewing is another area that I’d like to dig in. I’ve dreamt of making my own clothes but haven’t tried yet because it’s hard to teach myself without help either from a book (traditional way) or from technology (your venture fits perfectly!).
      I was a little curious at the beginning (before reading your venture pitch) how Dress Rehearsal was going to compete against other sewing apps or videos (e.g. YouTube) available online, but your clear venture pitch answered this question.
      Great work overall!


      • Allie 9:19 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Deb,
        I know! I learned from books/online resources – am *still* learning a lot! – and it’s really hard.
        But go sew! If I can do it, anyone can! Sewing one’s own clothes is awesome. And send me any sewing questions anytime – there are some awesome online resources that I’m more than happy to share!

    • David William Price 4:12 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Allie Dress Rehearsal – Venture Pitch assessment

      CEO Credibility: Founder does not provide description of herself, background, or qualifications.

      Management Team: Founder does not describe people involved or existing resources.

      Venture Concept: Gesture-based application on Android smartphones teaching women 18-44 how to sew using freely-available patterns. Gestures meant to guide learners through physical actions for handling fabric and sewing by hand and machine. App teaches basic skills missing from online instruction and helps use plentiful but poorly worded patterns

      Opportunity Space: Online sewing community over 500,000 members, average household income $70,000. Crafting growing, driven by beginning sewists. Majority self-taught relying on web, challenged to translate instruction into actions. Founder not describe target market share or revenue. Founder assumes “tech savviness” (needs definition) in sewists translates to purchasing smartphones.

      Market Readiness: Venture relies on existing technology (mobiles, gesture-interface software, apps) and existing content (sewing patterns, techniques). Touch-gesture input may require significant complex development and pilot-testing. “Vast majority” of users of sewing websites have sewing machine. Why they would practice with mobile rather than their machine? How well does learning on smartphone translate into intricate hand motions for handling fabrics and making stitches? Potential partnerships with pattern designers and websites mentioned but not described. Price of $4.99 high for mobile users and subject to 30% app market cut.

      Competitive Edge: Uses touch-gesture technology, potential significant development for application to sewing. Innovation may have high barrier to entry but unclear how well translates into transferrable sewing skills.

      Exit Strategy: Founder does not describe initial target market or how to grow, amount of investment, projected revenues, or timelines for return of investment.

      Overall Investment Status: Smartphone app relying on individual purchases. Highest selling apps tend to be games. Given app market fee, taxes, cost of goods, etc. how many need to be sold over how many years to recoup a $100k investment with a better return than the stock market? Not clear how founder will leverage partnerships to improve sales. Without demo or scientific backup to connect touch gestures to actual sewing learning, consider this investment high risk and would not pursue it.

    • Jay 8:19 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Allie,

      You have an interesting idea and I particularily like your idea on learning by doing as it touches on some of the educational theory I have been reading and the importance of not removing the learning from context. You describe the idea clearly in your elevator pitch and I found your venture pitch addressed key aspects such as the market and competition.

      One comment I have: While your target market is likely females, I would be careful in gendering your pitch as this might imply that men do not like to sew. I don’t doubt that there are more women occupy this market but I am just advocating for inclusion of men into such a pitch and caution gendering that may lead to exclusion. Just a thought on your great idea.


      • Allie 9:34 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Jay,
        Thanks for your review! I was also thinking a lot about how I targeted women specifically… especially since I’ve studied a lot of feminist theory in graduate school. And because a couple of the powerbloggers are really quite interested in the gendering associated with fashion and sewing – and the huge popularity of retro and vintage 50s patterns. And since one of my favourite sewing bloggers is a man (peter lappin, who writes “male pattern boldness”), and one of the topics that emerges every so often in the online sewingsphere is… do men sew? why do or don’t they?
        I was genuinely surprised to find out that women make up 95% of the market share (and that’s the lowest number I found; the other I found was 97%!); craft magazine’s ‘brother’ is Maker (of MakerFaire) magazine has similar numbers of male readers. If this weren’t a business oriented class and venture, I probably would have taken a somewhat more sensitive approach to gender, but given the assignment and audience, I took women to be the norm.
        Do you sew?

    • Jay 9:58 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for you response and glad to see your awareness and sensitivity to the matter. I think that even though it is a business context it is important to consider these issues to move past them, even in business. Thanks for presenting the numbers of male readers of a similar magazine.

      With regards to sewing, i do not sew myself mainly for lack of time to learn but hopefully in the future that changes. I would be interested in learning (mainly for practical purposes, not “sew” much as a hobby. It would be quite “handy” since I currently have a button that needs to be fastened to my winter coat!
      (Sorry for all the plays on words. Been a long day)



    • verenanz 11:12 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Allie! Absolutely love it…..Since I am in your target market…it doesn’t surprise me…(well done pointing that out). I couldn’t access your video (I’m in China) but I did read over your venture. I could “read” your enthusisam throughout the paper….and that’s what will sell this App!!!
      I think it’s a great idea…and if it happens- pls send me the link. $4.99 is a great price for such a great learning tool. Well done!

    • ashleyross 2:43 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Allie,

      I think you have a very interesting product. Reading through your VP you seem well researched and it was clear right away what this product was selling and how it would work. I also like the idea of tactile learning how to sew on a tablet or mobile device before moving over to the machine. I have to be honest, I love the idea and concept of sewing but unfortunately I was not provided with the sewing gene. I’m a little sewing inept even with a machine, so the idea of practicing before actually wasting fabric sounds wonderful to me. 🙂

      I have a few suggestions for improving your VP. Although you seem really knowledgeable regarding this field I would have liked to know a little more about your background and how you fit into Dress Rehearsal. Also, will you be personally designing the gesture-based interface of your product or how will it actually be developed? The only other addition I might suggest for a future VP is providing any challenges or weaknesses you’re working to overcome. Maybe it’s finding the right person to build the product? Regardless I think you have a great product and best of luck with it! Is this something that you are planning to develop?



    • mcquaid 5:39 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi, Allie. You’re in my top three! I liked your elevator pitch and how unique (yet lucrative) your market was. I was drawn to delve deeper (having a very crafty wife probably helped me visualize some things… especially potential revenue!). Here are some thoughts I had on your idea:

      Despite your 18-34 focus, I think there could be significant opportunity in the intermediate / high school market, too. You kept mentioning girls / women as your market, but what better way to increase boys’ interest in sewing (or knitting… more are doing it again now, after decades of not) than to put it on a mobile device. Maybe even make a serious game out of it – rewarding precision and correctness with points / trophies, etc. Home Economics might get a boost in enrolment and fun / attitude towards the course. That being said, I wonder how hard it would be to make your program look real and act realistically (animations / different fabrics, etc.).

      Another potential market that I think would be quite large is the cultural one. Imagine preserving craft-based traditions (thinking First Nations especially), so that youth could maintain their culture? I could easily see this also going into Parks Canada programming for classes / visitors.

      I thought your pricepoint was very reasonable. Simple games on something like a PS3 often market for $15 – $20, and may have no updates. If your program can be made as good as it sounds, I think you could easily up your price (your market’s pretty affluent, too, after all).

      I like the name, you made great points on scaffolding and practice, and I thought you put together a great variety of supportive research.

      I’m in!


  • Alice 12:53 pm on November 14, 2011
    0 votes


    I may not be the best person to discuss cellphone m-learning, as when it comes to cellphones, I like to keep it basic. No data, no ‘net access; it’s my rough-photo taking and texting machine. And I like it that way. My mobile learning takes place on other devices: my iPod Touch and my Macbook. […]

    Continue reading day 1 m-learning: what, where, when, how Posted in: Week 11: Mobiles
    • David William Price 4:33 pm on November 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for your post.

      I too have a simple feature phone, but I recognize that will likely change within a couple of years. I’m not really one to choose one device to do everything. Devices have different affordances.

      The key aspect to consider is the notion of planning. For many people, carrying a mobile is something they do out of habit. For that reason, it’s become a central part of their lives– they always have it anyway, so why shouldn’t they use it for everything they can in those moments when they are separated from their more substantial hardware?

      At this point, my feature phone is another bulky thing in my pocket. And if I want to take decent pictures, I put a camera in my pocket. And if I want to be able to check for restaurants or maps downtown, I take an iPad and hope to find WIFI access. Although I am still behind the curve in mobile, I recognize that I’m really just waiting for sensible data plans.

      It’s true that mobile can extend to all kinds of devices… iPods, Nintendo DS (which apparently McDonald’s used in Japan), and all kind of other gadgets. But increasingly, the cellphone is taking over. Consider how Nintendo has discovered that mobile phones are a threat to it’s portable gaming industry! If you’ve got your mobile… do you want to remember to carry other stuff?

    • schiong 8:22 pm on November 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      This was my first cellphone
      I had it for about 7 years.. until my son accidentally dropped it. I guess it wasn’t kid-proof 🙂

      Best Buy Phone Store at Richmond Center is offering $0 on Iphone 4 w/ 3 year plan.
      It was tempting. But, I decided not to get it. I have poor vision. I know I would never surf or read articles using a mobile phone. Therefore, having a data plan would just be wasting money.

      In my class, I noticed that most of my students have 2 mobile devices.
      Out of curiosity, I interviewed some of them.
      Student 1: “One is Blackberry to check my emails and the other is an iPhone for everything else”
      Student 2: “One is mine. The other one is temporary.”
      Student 3: “This one (showing me the phone) is for call. This one (an iPhone) is for research.”
      Student 4: “This one (a Blackberry) is my phone. This one (iPod touch) is for games.”

      I was intrigued by the student #2’s answer. So, I asked him to explain what he meant by “temporary”.

      Student 2: “Sir, you are in Canada.”
      Me: ” I think I know that.”
      Student 2: “You know … just go to Futureshop or BestBuy and pick any phone you like.”
      Me: “I can’t afford to do that with my income.”
      Student 2: “You are in Canada. Just pick a phone and return it after few days. ”
      Later on, he explained to me that he really likes mobile phones and could not decide which one to purchase.

      I can relate what David said about “carrying a mobile is something they do out of habit”.
      Several days ago, I challenged my students not to bring their phones in my class. I would give them bonus points if I don’t see them use their phones in my class.

      I was surprised … Nobody wanted the challenge.

      • ifeoma 8:59 pm on November 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi SChiong
        Interesting discussion with your students. They all carry mobiles albeit Iphone and “other” brand. I am curious as to why they seem to prefer the Iphone and its kin, could this be the “cool factor” or is their perception of any other smart phone different from their impression of the Iphone in terms of what it enables them to do? Is this really about what each phone can do? Have they tried any other smart phone for research or gaming? In other words, they do not see that for example the B’berry they have could also be used to do research and listen to music. I would be interested in knowing how student 3 uses Iphone for research, is it research for school work?
        If they had to do a school activity on their mobile devices would brand be an impediment or an inspiration? Building on the idea of student 2, if there were a rental for “cool” smart /feature phones for the purposes of learning, would it be something they would be interested in?

    • ifeoma 8:53 pm on November 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Allie,
      Thanks for your post. Like you I do not have a data plan on my cell phone but really for financial reasons. I would like a smart phone, infact, I want an iphone4S but still feel it is expensive. The idea of being “on top of things” at work and with my studies while I move around appeals to me a lot but I am limited by costs. I am curious though, if you had a data plan on an Iphone would that have made a difference in what you use for your mlearning? or perhaps one of the constraints of mobile phone- small screen size is a factor?

    • Allie 9:59 am on November 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I’m quite comfortable with the screen size and the iPhone/Android interface – I adore my iPod Touch, though I don’t use it much for m-learning (it just doesn’t really suit what I’m learning). *However* I’m planning on learning Javascript, the primary language for Android apps, so convinced am I as a result of this class that apps for e- and m-learning are *on* the *rise*. (I also plan on learning the language to be used on Kindle Fire apps, if it isn’t Javascript – so convinced am I that that inexpensive e-reader/app device is well and truly where it will be at in the education market. Apple’s never made a real go of it in education. Witness the e-mac.)

      It is, as y’all mention, the obscene data plans in canada that completely turn me off of smartphones. But it’s other things too. The planned obsolescence that is, imho, rampant in cellphone design really irks me. (For the record, my sewing machine – a portable/mobile as it were!* – is 60 years old, and i’m quite certain that it sews as beautifully now as it did the day it was made. If it sewed any more beautifully, it would have been fit for coco chanel’s studio!). The not-exactly-cheap nokia I bought 2.5 years ago is now throwing fits for no apparent reason (I’m hardly a “power user”), and I’m planning on troubleshooting and macgyvering that thing until completely conks out, if only out of spite.

      I’m also annoyed (really, it’s the best word) with the total fetishism (in the anthropological sense, though perhaps the more colloquial understanding of the word is apt too) of cellphones, as is *AMPLY* demonstrated by the students depicted in Stephen’s response. I was shopping for a smartphone with and for my bf about a year ago. As we were stood in Rogers, testing out a bunch of phones, the saleswoman looks at us and says quietly, with absolute sincerity, that at the end of the day, “you *have* to *love* your phone.”

      rant over!

      but also, i’m intrigued, but also a bit saddened, by how the *service* of telecommunications provision has so rapidly become trumped by the phone-as-commodity. I’m a higher-than-average tech user, but nevertheless, I’m never so interested in the “what does it look like!?” factor as the what does it *do*. And with something as expensive as cellphones – compared to their landline and… partyline!!… antecedents – I’m always thinking of the return on investment.

      *I’m not a quilter, but the particular machine I have (a singer featherweight for the other sewers in class) is *beloved* by quilters for its mobility – it’s lightweight and easy to take to quilting and sewing classes. I believe it was one of the first machines to be designed for mobile learning (in sewing)!

      • Allie 10:08 am on November 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        forgot to add… in a world where the income gap (within developed countries, never mind between developed and developing) is ever increasing, and we are witnessing the erosion of the middle class, it does bother me that a hitherto $25/month service (what I was paying for a landline until… 2.5 years ago*) has ballooned into $50+/month for what is, in many ways, a much more limited service (unless one has unlimited minutes). And all for (necessary?) mobility. I don’t fault telecomm companies for exploiting this; I just find the whole situation a bit sad.

        forgot also to add… I do forms of m-learning and m-educating, but not on a phone… rather, using my *beloved* mobile broadband stick. It’s replaced my home internet service provider – and at less than 2/3 the cost.

        *I switched for a bare-bones plan & cheap VOIP** over my wireless internet. It suited my needs then. Texting on the run was a plus.
        **voice over internet protocol. calling using my IP address rather than the cellphone companies’ network.

      • David William Price 11:44 am on November 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for your thoughtful follow-up!

        You mentioned that m-learning “just doesn’t really suit what I’m learning”. From my research for this week’s topic, I’ve started to think m-learning isn’t so much about “what” we learn as “how” we learn. It’s not about replacing other devices, but leveraging the affordances of mobile to assist us while we’re out exploring in the world. For myself, I think I should spend more time out in the field interacting with people and less time in my office. I wonder how I could leverage mobile as a performance support… and as a way to collect field data and collaborate… as an Ed Tech’er, I see plenty of examples of good and bad human performance technology… how could I use mobile to help me and my friends and colleagues consider and interpret those real-world experiences?

        You also mention “planned obsolescence”. My discussions with a multinational also highlighted the extremely fast pace of change both in hardware and software and the difficulty keeping up. The designer I spoke with basically said they have to choose a form of “lowest common denominator” and target that for their project. Instead of chasing the bleeding edge, we can make strategic decisions… and perhaps HTML5 and web apps will help reduce this kind of churn!

        • Allie 2:43 pm on November 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          I agree fully with our point about the ‘how’ we learn and I think that I was moving towards that in my 2nd paragraph in my original post when discussing my felt need to move – particularly when learning – and the creative juxtapositions that can take place can be unsettling, confirming, or eye-opening. As an eg., I live across the street from the BC supreme court… I imagine that using an m-learning object within the context of that space… or one of the places around here lawyers like to hang out at… could produce a far different educ exp than the same object in a law school).

          One of the affordances of m-learning that I find quite intriguing is that it untethers learners from a given learning environment or context; by the same token, the learning environment – now unpredictable – can (not will!) become more significant to the lesson than ever.

          As for planned obsolescence, I’m not surprised to learn (haha!) that the lowest-hanging fruit is core to many design decisions. That being said, I feel quite certain in the argument that for non-techies, Apple’s relative lack of PO in their designs — both cosmetically and technologically — has helped them win many fans/customers. (crikey… my folks are still using an almost-8 year old ibook!)

  • Alice 5:59 pm on November 13, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , , social networks   

    My feeling is that PBAs may be one of the more difficult of the emerging markets for which to develop ventures. I came to this conclusion in reflecting both on David V’s outlining of the crucial difference between products and services, and one of the optional readings which outlined how PBA is fundamentally about performance […]

    Continue reading My feeling is that PBAs may be one of th… Posted in: Week 10: Product-Based Assessments
  • Alice 2:37 pm on November 10, 2011
    0 votes

    As I’ve read people’s responses over the week, I’ve  been reflecting on how… natural… PBAs seem to me.Then I realized – in my youth, I trained in classical music for 13 years. I’m sure that *lots* of us took music lessons. Classical music education has historically and continues to be about learning repertoire (in addition […]

    Continue reading PBAs in/as music education and other non ‘academic’ learning Posted in: Week 10: Product-Based Assessments
    • verenanz 9:30 am on November 11, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Allie!
      Excellent examples. It is truly ironic how as educators we are searching for alternative methods of learning and assessment…as the traditional way, being used as the “only way” just doesn’t work. That’s why I included Sir Ken Robinson’s video as well at the end of our project…he is a true advocate of the arts in Education…but really I think he looks at the way the arts are assessed, just like you pointed out so well in your post.
      Thanks for your post!

    • Tamara Wong 10:28 am on November 13, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the great examples! It is funny that it makes so much sense to have a final product in some subject areas but in others it seems as if tests are the only option. PBAs make so much more sense because you are actually demonstrating that you can do what you are actually learning to do.

  • Alice 1:36 pm on November 10, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , learning objectives,   

    As a course designer (I’ve had the pleasure of writing every course I’ve taught), I’ve used PBA’s a lot – both before I knew that there was such a term/acronym, and before my involvement with MET. A quick sampling: In Aboriginal art history, my students produce photo essays of Aboriginal and Aboriginal-inspired art in Vancouver. […]

    Continue reading PBA’s, learning objectives, and academic anxiety Posted in: Week 10: Product-Based Assessments
    • Everton Walker 8:38 am on November 11, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      Great post! Do you see where your courses will one day omit exams in their totality? Is there a possibility that exams will one day be a thing of the past?


    • Doug Smith 9:32 am on November 11, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      That’s a very interesting observation Allie. Typically I think of high-stakes testing as being a part of anxiety, but I can see how a new or different way of assessment (and therefore learning) can cause anxiety. As you say though, the hope is that the end of the process ties back towards the learning process, and here again I think we are seeing the importance of reflection.

      My next question that comes to me is I wonder if there is an EVM (product or service) which can help educators or learners ease through this process of anxiety?


    • andrea 7:27 pm on November 11, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Allie, someone in another post mentioned that sometimes PBA-style assignments take us outside our comfort zone, and you’ve really reinforced what that looks like here. Once we’re in the habit of writing papers or exams for every course, for some people it’s unsettling when they’re asked to do something different. We know how much time it takes to study, or to research and write a paper. A project that involves something more authentic is intimidating both because it requires *real* skills and because it’s an *unknown*. Thanks for describing your experience on the teaching side of this so clearly!

  • Alice 3:19 pm on November 4, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , photographs   

    In a previous post, I was reflecting on what constitutes information production – noting that the author we were asked to read (Abel) seemed to really equate it to textual production. However, something struck me when I was commenting on an earlier post by Kristopher, in which he was discussing the potential use of iPads […]

    Continue reading More on information production (D3): pictures telling 1000s of words Posted in: Week 09: iPad Apps
    • David William Price 4:53 pm on November 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I agree that doing text on the iPad is a little weird and that its affordances more readily support visual communication. The camera on the iPad is pretty bad, but I think there’s a lot of value in using the touch interface to create diagrams, concept maps, etc. and share them with people and have them work on them as well.

  • Alice 3:45 pm on November 2, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: iPad tablet "information production"   

    Abel’s remark that one of the weaknesses of the ‘Pad – and by extension other tablets – is that it is weak on information production is particularly remarkable given that the defining feature of web 2.0 is user-produced content. If I were to fully believe his argument, then I’d be inclined to think that the […]

    Continue reading D3: on information production Posted in: Week 09: iPad Apps
    • jarvise 4:48 pm on November 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Allie,
      Great points. I found this article espousing the benefits of onscreen keyboards. I hadn’t heard of haptic before.

      I agree with you on the point about information production going far beyond text only.


    • Jay 9:52 am on November 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks Allie.

      I think there was still much skepticism surrounding the potentials of the iPad when Abel published this article in 2010. Since then, with the release of iPad 2 and a number of other tablet competitors entering the market people have begun to see the potential.

      I think you are right in that tablets (not just the iPad) and applications will change our notions of knowledge production. The importance to education then I think is that information/knowledge is not quickly produced and then lost, but transfered/shared and learners are reflecting upon these new processes and how to maximize learning potential through it. This will require help from all stakeholders; ciriculum planners to design new cirriculums that incorporate new methods and meanings; educators to learn and understand the best methods for their teaching situation as some may be more able to benefit than others, as well as guiding students in developing critical skills to use devices such as the iPad effectively within learning.

    • Kristopher 12:28 pm on November 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thank you Allie! Such an elegant way of taking on the concept of information production. If I were to build on this notion, I think that there might also be potential for authentic reflection (a fancy way of saying in the moment representations of the user’s thoughts) that hasn’t been filtered by the time we arrive at a keyboard. While there may be less content typed at one time, I believe that there is likely more content created overall.

      Setting technology aside, this also links back to our traditional conception of ‘literacy’. As educators, we complain about the state of our learners’ grammar and ability to form sentences; these students have moved past perfect sentences to a point of more organic communication. These mobile devices that connect us to the world are making it much more challenging for there to be ‘standard’ rules of language.

      Thanks for the thoughts!


  • Alice 8:36 pm on October 30, 2011
    0 votes

    My cloud bio is much like many others here – I draw on google apps sparingly and have been storing documents in my gmail account since 2005. I’ve used Dropbox in a collaborative project I was working on, and it was really helpful there. I generally use cloud storage as a backup for my primary […]

    Continue reading Zero PC – cloud computing specifically for education Posted in: Uncategorized
  • Alice 10:02 pm on October 23, 2011
    0 votes

    One of the things that was brought up this week – I think by Kyle – is how posts in this particular format get quickly buried. Indeed, thanks to a busy week topped off by food poisoning, my own post was buried before I had an opportunity to reply to people’s thoughtful comments – and […]

    Continue reading This one’s for the sewists (pushing up comments from my earlier post) Posted in: Blog Café, Week 07: Blogs
    • Deb Giesbrecht 7:39 am on October 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I really appreciate your openness and honesty in regards to these activities. I totally agree that blogging is not a useful activity for all students and I am uniquely aware of your concerns with the issue. I too find this way of delivering course material challenging – it is easy to get lost in all the information and even when sorted – I stil find it challenging. I find it interesting your dichotomy between your thoughts about blogging, anonymity and yet your actions/choices to participate. I have participated in clinical trials previously and anonynmity (particularly about health issues) is beyond vital. There are so many concerns when interacting with the Internet ( I am not trying to be one of those ‘old’ people that students have identified in their previous posts), but have seen first hand the damage that can be done when security, privacy and personal identification collide in public spaces.

    • Tamara Wong 6:30 pm on October 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the new post up here! I’m glad you did it because as you said it might have gotten lost down below. First I’d like to say thanks for posting your sewing blog! I’ve never actually been to it but I am positive I’ve seen one of your projects posted elsewhere – u-create perhaps? You are very talented!!
      Second, thanks for providing a unique perspective on a subject you are clearly well versed in! I like what you said about using a pseudonym because you are not alway 100% you can stand behind something. I feel the same way but hadn’t though of using a different name to explore my thoughts – I just didn’t write them. I think your way is a little more creative and probably yields more results in the problem solving department.
      I also understand your point about having a searchable name. I am not sure if I’d be so free to use my name if I hadn’t changed my name when I got married. I went from being the only one in the world with my name (a combo of different names from different languages) to being one in many many Tamara Wongs. I feel the relative anonymity of my more common name gives me a little more freedom when it comes to signing my name on something on the internet.


    • themusicwoman 8:51 pm on October 25, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Dear Allie,

      Wow. Your post really resonated with me on a couple of levels. I’m about a week behind on this course (apology to last week’s amazing group!) and about three weeks behind in life but am madly trying to catch up!
      Firstly, I agree with your sense of blogging as a here and now thing. As much as I used to believe that it could be a tool for those students who were not as extroverted as others, I find that it’s still the same more outgoing ones that post and others who may have more insight in their comments get “buried” in the onslaught if they are not quick on the draw at a certain time. You’ve made me think.
      Secondly, writing under another name is a great tool and I’ve used it in my English classes. The anonimity allows a sense of creativity without the stigma of “who” it is. However, that being said, I am using this in a grade 9 English class where hormones are the driving force 🙂 My students and I talk about the identity of the writer and if that makes a difference. I usually also talk about our presence on the internet which is something you also mentioned.
      So, thirdly, the whole privacy thing. And being searchable. I think Tamara mentioned something about going from being very distinguishable to one of many many Tamara Wongs. I went the other way with my name now being the second hit when searched in Google. (Now there’s a scary thought!) Your comments (and others) have just made me think more.

compose new post
next post/next comment
previous post/previous comment
show/hide comments
go to top
go to login
show/hide help

Spam prevention powered by Akismet