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  • andrea 6:50 pm on September 27, 2011
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    Fingerprint Play creates mobile learning applications for touch-screen devices for four- to seven-year-olds. They describe themselves as “the first mobile learning and play network for kids and their grown-ups” (Fingerprint). The “My Big Kid Life” applications allow kids to explore the skills associated with popular grown-up professions [fire fighter, veterinarian, and fairy princess (?)], while learning […]

    Continue reading Fingerprint Play Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • jenaca 5:52 am on September 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey Andrea,
      This looks like a very interesting device and I am definitely interested in learning more about it. I wonder what the market is currently like for this technology and if there is anything else similar to it?
      I agree with your reflections, this venture does seem very commercialized as it does have a team surrounded by the media world, however, all the power to them!!
      Great find,

    • jarvise 10:06 am on September 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Andrea,

      My kids love using their Tag Reading Pens (from Leapfrog), and love using the ipad when they can get their hands on it. I think there is a very large market for interface design that is geared at kids. Check out for an example of a product that is well-designed for kids. They have sparkles around the spots that are supposed to be clicked next, extra large arrows to move to the next page, and a large ‘x’ up in the top corner to close the window. After watching my 3 year old learn how to use the computer on this site, I was super impressed.

      I wonder what the marketing will look like for this product – I’m sure it will likely be slick with some of the people resources they have on their team. Often, good educational sites (often designed by teachers) are slow to catch on due to lack of marketing. I’m thinking that if this is an effective product, AND has an effective marketing team, it will be a real money-maker.


      • andrea 9:04 pm on September 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Emily, thanks for the info on Nice clear, colourful, and intuitive design. I can imagine how appealing that would be for little people.
        Fingerprint Play is launching in October, so it will be interesting to see the marketing. As you say, I’m sure it will be well done considering the team. It doesn’t matter how great your product is if you can’t sell it (as we’re seeing in this course).

    • bcourey 3:57 pm on September 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      She has certainly lined up an impressive team that makes the venture look very appealing…and reaching out to the kids’ market is very wise!

      • Doug Smith 3:41 am on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Yes, from a management structure point of view it looks like MacIntyre has put together a very strong team. It would be very interesting to see what kinds of numbers or data this group had at their disposal when designing their products. Surely they have identified a big hole in an emerging market!

  • andrea 7:58 pm on September 19, 2011
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    I reviewed a pitch from 2008 for the search engine Duck Duck Go. Aside from looking at the pitch, it was interesting to be able to see how the company/tool has fared since then. The pros The description of how it works is really clear – “it’s like Google,” but with “human-powered” results at the […]

    Continue reading Duck Duck Go pitch Posted in: Week 03: Analyst Bootcamp
    • jenaca 3:12 am on September 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey Andrea,
      I really like the way your formed your analysis and sectioned it off through pros and cons. After watching the pitch you chose, I too agree with how you decided to group it. It is so much like google and does seem like it will save people time and effort.
      Thanks for sharing this pitch!!

    • David William Price 12:20 pm on September 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      But how does he make money?

      And do hand-picked results mean we have to wait longer for valuable results?

      He claims hand-picked results are better than Google but why? I find the Google database is so large that I can often enter a natural language question and find forums and blogs where someone asked the very same question, and I get the answers they received.

      When it comes to publishing, I think there is value in gatekeeping (see my comment on weBook for instance) but for search results, I think gatekeeping holds us back. Consider how easy it is to do research with gated databases of journals vs. using Google… which is faster? Which allows more intuitive personal searches without learning a system to do it?

      • andrea 4:30 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hello David,
        I can definitely see how gatekeeping could hold us back. My understanding of Duck Duck Go was that just a few of the results at the very top are “hand-picked” and then the rest of the results are presented the same way Google does.

    • Angela Novoa 1:46 pm on September 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Andrea, I liked your analysis as it is concise and clear. Your idea about presenting CEO’s professional background and linkages to the product is necessary. It also is important knowing how revenues will be captured.

      • andrea 4:33 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Angela, I wondered if perhaps (like other search engines) there would be revenue from advertising, but he doesn’t explain that exactly. And if this pitch is also for end-users, suggesting there will be advertising is usually a turn-off.

    • Kristopher 8:50 pm on September 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi all,

      I agree with Andrea that the presenter was awkward in his delivery, but I would also add unprofessional– it is weird to have the cat cleaning itself in the background, clearly creating the sense that this company is not a major player.

      Also, he chose an unfortunate description with ‘google-plus’ as there is now an actual product called Google+ that is supposed to (I haven’t managed to get on as they have been back logged for months now) blow social media and search out of the water.

      I also had a similar sense to David– gatekeeping can be appreciated, but how do I know that I value the same things as the gatekeeper? What if what is relevant to the GK is not relevant to me?

      Thanks for the thoughts!


      • andrea 4:31 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Kristopher – I agree the cat thing was strange! Yes, his Google + description would have been okay when it was recorded in 2008, but wouldn’t work anymore.

    • Juliana 1:56 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Andrea,

      This has been mentioned previously, but not having any information of profits or how much money would be required for the venture is central for the pitch. And I agree with you that the awkwardness of the pitch and not knowing his creditentials don’t help. People need to feel that they can depend on the person to deliver what they are pitching.


  • andrea 9:17 pm on September 14, 2011
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    I reviewed the Horizon Report created by the New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. The Horizon report’s specified audience is “higher education” but their predictions could be applied to a range of scenarios. (For example, game-based learning is used in corporate learning, and learning analytics is used in projects like School of One for […]

    Continue reading What’s on the Horizon? Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
    • schiong 10:57 am on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi ,

      I find multimedia very useful in teaching concepts (computer, programming, math, science, etc).
      When I was in college long long time ago, I had difficult time memorizing and understanding the OSI layers. Then our instructor decided to let us watch a movie … It was a 3D animation explaining how the OSI layer works. hahaha .. Then, I was able to get it.

      • andrea 7:34 pm on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Stephen, I definitely see the value of multimedia for teaching as well. I guess that embedding videos directly into a text not only helps illustrate new concepts but also provides for a cohesive learner experience. My thinking in this question was around whether or not that’s really a *new* thing for ed tech, or just a slightly different format of what web and lots of online courses already did. However, writing a book and including multimedia resources would be different than creating a course… so perhaps I’ve answered my own question here 🙂

    • verenanz 12:14 pm on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Andrea…

      About e-books – They haven’t really appealed to me personally primarily because I have an Iphone and the text is so small….but also because when I tried to download the software, in order to have access to e-books through the public library…I could not distinguish between which software was needed for some, and other software for others…

      Right now…e-books are too complicated for me…

      Kids: Well my kids are in primary school.and they only like interactive, visually appealing e-books. Anything that looks like a book – is a book to them. E-book or not, they don’t distinguish.

      So…until the software becomes easier…until I have access to an Ipad and until the books are more visually interactive….I will look at alternatives.

      I agree that everything changes at such a rapid rate that I could be wrong….How exciting that would be!


      • kstooshnov 10:48 am on September 16, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Verena,

        I found an interesting post on eBooks’ potential from British author Nick Hornby, written a few years ago (before iPads were on the market, hence his comment about Apple’s disinterest and why eBooks remain uncool) that are similar to your, and many other’s, concerns over this technology.


        • andrea 10:46 pm on September 17, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Thanks for the link, Kyle. I found his assertion that “Book-lovers are always late adaptors, and generally suspicious of new technology” interesting.

    • Everton Walker 12:40 pm on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Multimedia is definitely the way to go in the modern classroom at all levels. I do rate the ebook concept highly as it allows one to move around with virtual libraries and databases of information. Everything is going at a fast pace in the modern world and persons need information on the go. The patience doesn’t exist anymore to sit in a library for hours to acquire information from texts. The major drawback is that only a chosen few really have access to this technology. Developing and underdeveloped countries are always playing catch up to developed countries and may finally catch up with the ebook frenzy in the distant future.

      • andrea 7:29 pm on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Everton, good point about being able to access virtual libraries and databases as part of the ebook experience. I can definitely see the value that provides.

    • bcourey 4:05 pm on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I am an e-book converter..all it took was a surcharge on my luggage weight when I travelled with so many books on my vacations. All I take now is my wee little Sony ereader with my ebooks loaded and I am a happy beach-bum! I am finding our students are really taking to some of their e-text books of our secondary departments is giving it a go and the students prefer their lighter book bags!

      • Doug Smith 9:13 pm on September 17, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Your experience parallels mine very closely. My main impetus for getting an ereader was for taking on trips. There is nothing like lugging around three large and bulky books and finishing them all before you get home again. I also bought a Sony reader, the PRS-300. I love the size and that I can carry it in many (not all) of my pockets.

        I believe that eBooks are outselling regular books in the publishing business. Like it or not, the ebook is transforming education right now. Even in its most generic manifestation, such as a direct copy of a textbook, the ebook offers advantages in areas such as storage, depreciation and mobility. Access to the devices required to use ebooks will be the limiting factor in their use.

    • khenry 2:38 pm on September 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I am relatively new to using e-books but am already a fan like from the ease of portability as many of you already cited.
      One of my desires, like Verenanz’s children is for a more interactive experience. This is an area I would like to see developed.

  • andrea 7:53 pm on September 6, 2011
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    Hello everyone, My name is Andrea and this is MET course #9 for me. I’ve been looking forward to this course, partly because I’m not a ‘pioneer’ but am interested to spend time learning how ventures come to be. We’re all consumers of different ventures, so it will be intriguing to understand what’s behind the […]

    Continue reading hello from Vancouver Posted in: Week 01: Introductions
    • Jim 2:55 pm on September 7, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Andrea,

      I really like your rationale for taking the course… it kind of reminded me of times when parents ask me why students are spending time creating media texts in school… Besides finding the creative experience to be fun and interesting, the students also learn about what is going on behind the curtain, all the decisions the author(s) makes about the text, meanings, audience, and so on. It helps immeasurably when students start to deconstruct media and critically evaluate it. I think this course will help all of us to do the same when it comes to educational products.

      Love the picture of the colourful Adirondack chairs!

      • andrea 8:09 pm on September 8, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Jim, and thanks! I couldn’t agree more about the value of deconstructing and evaluating to understand how and why things work, or don’t work. I hope that this course will help me to be a more savvy consumer, and perhaps even to inspire my own ventures 🙂

    • Allie 2:53 pm on September 8, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Andrea,
      It’s great to meet you! One of the things I’m really enjoying so far about this course is that a lot of us *aren’t* K-12 teachers (K-12 teachers – you all are wonderful too!). The work you’re doing as an instructional designer sounds so much like where I want to position myself, and so I’m really looking forward to hearing more about it!

      • andrea 8:06 pm on September 8, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Allie, It does seem like there’s a higher percentage of the non-K-12 crowd in this course. Sounds like you’ve had really diverse experiences educationally and professionally. Are you thinking you’d like to move more towards the design side? Are the courses you teach now face-to-face, blended, or online?

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