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  • Jim 2:25 pm on November 27, 2011
    5 votes

    In my venture proposal I present a new product called BreakOut Illustrator produced by my company, BreakOut Assistive Inc. I don’t really have a company (yet) but this is the product I would want to start with when I do. 😉 Here is my elevator pitch: My venture pitch is here: BreakOut Illustrator – Venture […]

    Continue reading BreakOut Illustrator – A3 Posted in: Week 13: Venture Forum
    • ashleyross 4:19 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Jim, I love your concept! I’ve chosen your venture as one of my 3 for a more detailed review. Anything that has to do with assisting the atypical learner in some way always captures my interest. 🙂 But for now, I wanted to say I think it’s great that you’ve provided an example of Breakout Illustrator in your elevator pitch. Looking forward to reading your venture pitch. 🙂

    • Angela Novoa 5:32 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jim,

      I really loved your venture. The Breakout Illustrator is an innovative concept that addressees the needs of a number of educators and students. Your focus on a particular need allow costumers to elucidate the reason someone will buy or use this product.

      Your Venture Pitch provides detailed information about the pain point, marketing, championship, competition, and the amount of money required for running the project. Although the Venture Pitch provided detailed information about how to obtain revenues, I would suggest to offer more clear information about how soon would an investor be recompensed.

      I would invest in the Breakout Illustrator as it offers an innovative solution for students with special needs or language learning students and their teachers.


      • Jim 4:38 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for your investment offer. I will email you my bank information… 🙂
        Thanks for your suggestions about how I could improve me venture pitch!

    • Doug Smith 7:22 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jim,

      Nice pitch, it was very clear as to what your venture is and who would use and benefit from it. I personally prefer the voice pitch over music, and I think this can help an investor help connecting with the venture. I would have liked to hear more about the market that you are creating or entering, even if it is a rough estimate in terms of size or scale.


      • Jim 4:41 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for the feedback, Doug. I tried to get into the market a little more in the venture pitch but I think it should be mentioned in the elevator pitch.

    • Julie S 10:30 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Nice work Jim,

      The elevator was very clear and I liked the voice narration over the images because it allowed me to see the concept of what you are trying to do with the product. I was also really impressed with the quality of the document for the venture pitch in terms of content and aesthetic appeal. It inspires confidence in the quality of your future product.

      • Jim 4:43 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks, Julie; your reaction is exactly the reaction I was looking for… But, I think I should have included some more business details. Anyway, thanks for your feedback!!

    • David William Price 10:52 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Elevator pitch assessment

      Jim – BreakOut Illustrator

      First Impression: no face, voiceover with screen recording

      CEO Credibility: The CEO does not appear as an image or video although there is a voiceover all the way through. I have the voiceover to judge CEO credibility. The voice has no passion and uses the passive mood of expression. I might take a negative inference based on the fact the CEO is unwilling to appear.

      Management Team: No team is mentioned, so I have no way to judge. I might take a negative inference based on the fact the CEO is unwilling to talk about the team

      Venture Concept: Apparently works with web pages, inserting images into text-heavy web pages from an image database with text-analysis algorithms to help students needing images.

      Opportunity Space: Apparently aimed at students with special needs in education but there’s no description of the intended market (who will buy), or what the market size is, or the revenue this venture can capture.

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

      Competitive Edge: The idea is apparently to have images automatically added to text-heavy web pages. The question is, why wouldn’t learners simply navigate to web pages with more images, or use Google image search? No indication of how many web pages are text-heavy but the web is designed to be very image friendly. The concept is interesting, however

      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: I don’t see the CEO or the team, I don’t know who the targeted market is. I don’t know how my investment will be repaid. I don’t know how this will be marketed. I consider this high risk but I’m curious enough to read the venture pitch.

      • Jim 5:04 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks, David for taking a look at my elevator pitch. I appreciate the detail with which you examined it. I was not surprised, when you applied the suggested EVA tool for the venture pitch on my elevator pitch, that you found it lacking. My strategy in the elevator pitch is to highlight the how it worked, the target users, and that there is no competition because it is brand new tool.

    • David William Price 4:14 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Jim Breakout Illustrator – Venture pitch assessment

      CEO Credibility: Founder describes self as a 20-year educator.

      Management Team: Mentions a business executive partner with 20 years experience and Joshi, a researcher but does not indicate whether Joshi will be recruited.

      Venture Concept: Adding images to text-heavy webpages automatically for special needs students. No indication of most costly problems for helping special needs students or why this solution addresses a compelling problem.

      Opportunity Space: Does not mention number of special needs students, current costs of handling their needs. Mentions legislated requirements for assisting special needs students “in most western nations” but does not explain requirements, existing compliance efforts, timelines for compliance, budgets for compliance, or costs of alternatives. Suggests district-level licensing for K-12 school boards. Does not suggest pricing, describe initial target markets, or revenues.

      Market Readiness: “This mode of assistance is extremely challenging to automate effectively”, “yet to transition to commercial applications”, “minimally assist students at best (confuse them at worst)”,”task…is formidable” – raises huge concerns about development time and costs. Potential partnerships with other learning assistive technology mentioned but not describe synergistic fits or strategies for growing sales. Given stated challenges, estimated time to market of 2 years seems unrealistic.

      Competitive Edge: “Basic algorithms have already been published” – research appears to already be discussed in public domain. How affect patentability to protect investment?

      Exit Strategy: Requests $1.2 million but does not project sales, projected pricing or revenues to recoup investment or deliver any return on investment. Market of “special needs” K-12 students appears way too small.

      Overall Investment Status: Product development is high risk, market not quantified, revenues not projected, return not described. Without some kind of legal requirement for this solution that prioritizes it and associated public money to pay for it, consider this high risk and would not pursue it.

      PS: A vision and mission are ideally derived from a strategic analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. They act as rules for evaluating opportunities. When you apply an opportunity to your vision/mission, you should get a YES or NO out of it.

      • Jim 8:11 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks again for your very detailed evaluation of my pitch!! This is valuable feedback that I can use to improve my pitch in the next revision.

    • Jay 7:42 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jim,

      I think you have a great idea and although I would imagine it would require a lot of research to develop such a technically complex idea and you have addressed as a challenge in your venture pitch. You clearly define what this product will do provide evidence of research in academia which adds backing to your pitch-proof that others are giving attention to the concept in recognized settings and fields.

      The market is defined and you illustrate how such a tool would benefit the end-users-special needs students (those struggling to make meanings from text) and language learners.
      I would have one questions with regards to market. You write the market is truly global. Does this also mean across languages or only in an English language context? I am not a technical expert so would ask if an algorithm could be applied universally to all languages or would it have to be re-developed for other languages?

      The market would then be for English language learners or students in English schools with potential for expansion into other languages in the future (if it is necessary to redevelop in order to apply in different language contexts).

      Through your well-developed list of strengths and weakness you show you are aware of the risks but also the possibilities of this idea and supported by these strengths.

      Overall I like your pitch and think the idea, upon development, has potential and I would pursue it.

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

        Thank you, Jay, I appreciate your comments and analysis very much! I think you make a very good point about the algorithm being applicable to other languages… I am not an expert either. Even if one can be developed for English, you might very well be correct that the algorithm cannot just be applied to another language…. Maybe to another language that has very similar structures as English (say a Germanic language?). Nevertheless, if an algorithm could be developed that worked well in English, I think that that success would provide the motivation for development in other languages and I would think that there would have to be a fairly broad overlap of parallel development that could result lower costs when development focused on other languages. Thanks again for your feedback!

    • andrea 9:13 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Jim,

      As we’ve all discovered it’s challenging to describe a product, how it works and who it supports in just one minute, but you did that very comfortably in your elevator pitch without overwhelming me. I like the concept for Break Out Illustrator, and in your elevator pitch it seems very straightforward.
      Your venture pitch was just as clear, and you addressed some of the challenges of the product development head-on. I appreciated your honesty about these issues, but as a potential investor I would want to see how you planned to deal with those issues. Your idea to include the appendix of regulations was an interesting idea and clever way to reinforce the ‘pain’ for which your product can help deliver a solution.

      Regarding market size, I think you’re suggesting that pretty much every school is a potential customer. I’d like to know what part of that market you’re aiming for, or where you would plan to begin marketing. My understanding from your statement “With powerful web-page language translation tools provided at little to no cost, the potential scope of BreakOut Illustrator’s customer base is truly global” is that translation tools could mean that your product would function with any language? This is exciting and also huge – would this require a different mode of development, and could it add to the development costs? I think that because you included numbers about the amount of funding you’d need (for which I applaud you, by the way – way to include numbers!), it would have balanced the pitch to show costs for customers, and put some dollars to the revenue models you mention.

      Those were a few of my questions, Jim, but overall I thought your pitches were informative, really well organized and clear. You’ve also opened my eyes to a new market.


      • Jim 1:33 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Andrea,
        Yes – if I had more time 🙂 I would have gone into more detail… but with web translation tools, I think a product like mine could be used in other languages. And yes, I did want to include more numbers but I was concerned even at the numbers I included. I really have no experience in business and I estimated what I thought would be salary, office lease, development, equipment, and other common business expenses… Thanks for taking the time to review my pitch!!

        • andrea 4:20 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Hi Jim – interesting when you said “I was concerned even at the numbers I included.” I avoided stating that I needed a specific amount of money entirely because I found this quite intimidating. Good for you for going out on a limb with it when you weren’t sure. Do you think this venture is something you’d like to pursue?

          • Jim 4:40 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

            One never knows! I think I love teaching too much to leave it… so very rewarding…

    • verenanz 12:13 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      HI Jim!
      I couldn’t see your elevator pitch (I’m in China) but I really like your venture pitch. I think you should add ESL students as another possible market- especially beginner learners. The idea of having an image next to text is very appealing! Your idea seems well researched, well written, clear and well presented. Why not add another market?


      • Jim 1:34 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks Verana! I appreciate your feedback of my pitch. I talked informally with a few SERTs and they confirmed that they would be quite interested in seeing such a product if it would help students in the way I said it would help….

    • ashleyross 2:55 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jim, sorry it’s taken longer then I hope to write this for you. Here it goes…

      Webpages are filtered through Breakout Illustrator to assist students who have difficulty making meaning from text heavy webpages by adding helpful and informative images and diagrams that are embedded directly into the text. Before even reading the whole venture pitch I could see the potential; I know there’s a demand for this product and if you can actually create it, I think it will be very successful. I can see many different types of students using this product: from students with learning disabilities who have dyslexia, students with ADD who can’t concentrate long enough to read a text heavy webpage, students with various degrees of autism, ESL students and even students who just prefer images throughout their text could benefit from this product.

      This product sounds promising but as an EVA I wonder will it really work? Making sure the “on-the-fly” insertion of images and diagrams works properly so that it doesn’t insert pictures that are irrelevant or that will confuse and discourage the reader more would be one of my biggest concerns. However, you are aware of this and like you say, just because it’s complex doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be developed. Besides, if you think of other assistive technologies like reading software that reads any text out loud “on-the-fly” or voice recognition software that converts sound into text, I’m pretty sure both of those products were initially complex to produce and they’re both really successful now. There is a lot of initial work that would need to go into this product before a student could use it, but it’s not impossible.
      Another question as an EVA I would have for you is although you and your business partner have lots of experience in the education and business field, who`s going to actually be coding and formulating the algorithms to make this product possible? Do you have someone in mind or are you in the process of finding someone?

      Overall I think you have a great product and one that has the potential to be very successful. I would definitely invest in this product. Also, one company that I believe could be a great partner for BreakOut Illustrator is Cambium Learning Group (http://www.cambiumlearningtechnologies.com/) who provides a wide range of research-based education solutions for the atypical learner.

      Great job Jim!



      • Jim 4:46 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        who`s going to actually be coding and formulating the algorithms to make this product possible? Do you have someone in mind or are you in the process of finding someone?

        Excellent question. And, as you saw, there is no mention of it in the venture pitch. I was aware that I would need expert people in this area. If I had thought about it more, I probably would have said that I would try to recruit Joshi, the researcher I mentioned who came close. But I know, from doing the research, that Joshi now works for a corporation so it might be difficult to get him. In any event, you are absolutely right… need to find expertise in this area. But, the University of Waterloo is not far from me (60 mins away) That’s a world class university known for computer science. Perhaps I could start there 😉 Thanks for the link to Cambium – my board uses many of the products from that group of companies. Thanks again for taking the time to look over my venture in so much detail.

        • ashleyross 9:00 am on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          I think if you were to go through with this venture contacting Joshi would be where I’d start, even if he does say no you’ve at least asked. 🙂 Contacting the University of Waterloo is also a good idea. If neither of those two options works out for you and you still want to create this product, I may have someone in mind for you. 🙂

          Best of luck!

    • mcquaid 7:14 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi, Jim. You’ve secretly been one of my top three… until now, when I could finally look at your full pitch!

      Brand-wise, I like your logo. I’m not crazy about the text shadowing effect, but the geometric design is cool. I also like how it featured watermark or TV channel-style throughout your video. Your project name could better match what it does (the BreakOut part doesn’t especially catch my interest), but it’s memorable. I thought the mock-up was great, but that the model web page looked a little “Geocities” to me.

      In some ways, I like that work has already been done in this area, and in some ways I am not. Despite how you point out how your product would not be hampered by the same issues that a similar, previous venture was, a past failure with something close to your product makes me nervous. That being said… you can also learn from their challenges and move forward with more knowledge.

      It’s a definite plus that your venture has no direct competition. When I read about ideas like this, I am always thinking about which of my students could use it. You’ve got me wondering about how your program could even work in reverse… where a student could put pictures in a sequence; the pics could have words / tags associated with them that students could pick from. Perhaps it could help them write sentences.

      I liked your business partner ideas – it’s always good to have fruitful avenues to pursue.
      I, like you was struck by the similarity of our ventures (an assistive program that does something very specific, based on some existing tech., etc.). We both claimed to have no competitors, but I started to think of your program as one. Even though our products do different things, we’d both be competing for the same school dollars.

      I think it’s going to be tough to get safe, relevant results from text, but it’s a useful idea!


      • Jim 9:55 am on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Stephen,
        Thanks for your insightful, honest review. The name “BreakOut Illustrator” occurred to me in the other MET course I was taking this term – ETEC 540. There is a section in one of the modules called “The Breakout of the Visual” which was all about the co-meanings of text and images as well as the tension between text that has visuals embedded within it and the fact that visuals are literally breaking out of the printed text. And this is partially where I got the idea for my venture. Why couldn’t there be a program that simulated the decisions a person makes as they go through text and search through images to illustrate the text. I have a computer programming background and in the days when I programmed professionally (late 80s) I thought almost anything could be represented in code and automated. I think both of our ideas, however, would be incredibly difficult to realize because, at some level, the programming would need to understand the meanings in the text that it was rephrasing or illustrating. This is why I brought up the AI issues… I wanted to be honest an open in my venture about the challenges of the idea. I think that that was a better decision than to appear naive about it. Either way, I don’t think I will get any investors the way it stands!!

        On another note, it is interesting how close our ideas are. I think there is merit in them both and, if I win the lottery, I will shuffle some cash your way so you can get started 🙂

        Thanks for your thoughts and for your collaboration in the course on the files in the cloud project. You and Ashley were great to work with!

  • Jim 5:49 pm on November 15, 2011
    0 votes

    Day 1 – What, when, where and how are you doing m-learning now? I use my smart phone mostly for communication: voice calls and email.  Occasionally, I will get info from the web, check Google maps, or use one of the apps like the qrcode scanner.  I have plenty of minutes and 6GB of data […]

    Continue reading Are you doing m-learning now? Posted in: Week 11: Mobiles
    • David William Price 11:29 pm on November 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Your use of your smartphone to access reviews is a great example of “performance support” or accessing information where you need it, when you need it.

      The promise of mobile is to break down a lot more information into small pieces for quick consumption when you need it. One multinational creates bite-sized refreshers for their professionals to watch on their Blackberries just before going into client meetings.

      That same company made a strategic decision not to try to conduct standard e-learning on their mobiles or to assess users who used content on their mobiles. Their focus is performance support… an area that may be worth a lot more thought. How can we re-conceptualize traditional classroom-based education into a roaming, performance-supported educational experience?

      Instead of learning about physics in a classroom, why not learn physics in the real world with performance support from a mobile as a guide… and also a source for collaboration and mentorship via text and voice and maybe even voice chat?

  • Jim 6:55 pm on November 9, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: Activity #1   

    When I reflect on my experiences in the MET program thus far, my best memories and most intense learning experiences were, more often than not, the result of a project based learning activity. For example, I am not sure anything will quite match the experience I had creating two ten minute documentaries for ETEC 531.  […]

    Continue reading MET Project based assessment experiences Posted in: Week 10: Product-Based Assessments
    • verenanz 10:07 pm on November 9, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      WOW – Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi is extraordinary! What a great video. It was a bit long (18 minutes), but the best parts come at the end!

      I really understand what you mean by flow, and I know personally when “time stands still” and you are in a zone…especially now that I have watched Mihaly’s TEDtalk, but there was one thing that stood out for me from his chat…in relation to PBA

      He claimed that you need 10 years of technical training in order to create new ideas and to begin to change something to make it better than before …

      I wonder if that is because the technical skills was “learned” alone and traditionally? I can see if you were a violinist or figure skater (two examples from his talk) BUT…what about technology and working together to learn about “something”. I wonder if instead of 10 years of specialist experience, if you had 10 years of collaborative experience – would you get the same kind of new ideas and change with new products?
      The “flow” Mihaly referred to was mostly an individual thing, but what about working as a group? Do you think working in a “Great Team” using PBA as a foundation, could create the type of “flow” Mihaly discussed? And if we could “teach” how to create this flow…or “facilitate” how to create this kind of flow in our businesses…what would the outcomes look like?

      Thank you for the great video!

      • Jim 4:37 am on November 10, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Verena,

        Yes, that claim of 10 years stuck out when I watched it, too… It seems like a fairly arbitrary statement and number but I suppose it is based in research. I think that point could be debated because I have seen children completely engaged in activities, in a flow sort of way, as well, who are younger than 10 🙂 I have seen young artists and young athletes who definitely exhibit flow. Finally, I found it interesting that the “10 year” idea was not listed in the criteria for flow that was presented near the end.

        I think teamwork is great but I think “flow” with a team would be something a little different. Flow is more of a personal feeling. I think if it were true flow, you would lose sense of your teammates as you are working. In group work, the social awareness must always be turned on for it to work. I think that the condition of “flow” as Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi expresses it, and the kind of social awareness needed for group work, are mutually exclusive. That doesn’t mean, though, that we can’t come up with a new concept… like: “group flow”

        • Allie 11:54 am on November 10, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          I’m not sure about the 10 years claim, but I have frequently heard 10,000 hours cited as the number of hours one needs to practice a field to become an expert (I’ve heard this from sources as divergent as a psychiatrist, a sewist, and malcolm gladwell).

          This website nicely calculates it into years. http://www.ryac.ca/blog/2010/01/10000-hours-how-long-is-that/

          Interestingly enough 10000 = 8hours/day x 5 days/week for 5 years. How often is 5 years experience cited as a qualification benchmark for middle level positions?

          As for flow, I think it is unrelated to level of expertise, but rather describes a level and feeling of engagement when participating in an activity.

    • verenanz 9:41 am on November 10, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      HI Jim!
      Group flow – very cool. I imagine that is what business leaders are looking for when creating a team to develop a new product? Or “group flow” is a possibly the definition for Silicone Valley work environments like “google?” How can we get “group flow” from the business world into the classroom?

      I agree that individual flow and group flow are different…..good point…but they are both awesome.
      Thanks again for the great video…I really like the chart at the end…

    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 3:11 pm on November 10, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      The assignments in ETEC 531 are true examples of PBA since the assignments allowed us to create authentic media that are critical in this digital age. I really enjoyed the assignments.


    • Tamara Wong 10:23 am on November 13, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I had similar experiences as you in regards to the PBA’s in MET. In particular, I lost all sense of what was around me when I was working my moodle for ETEC 564 and after that I decided that instructional design was where it’s at – but on the computer. This experience helped me realize what I enjoy doing and what I would like to pursue in for my career path. These PBAs gave me a better sense of what the subject entails than a test would. I feel they are very helpful in making us realize our dreams and goals.

  • Jim 9:55 am on November 5, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: Discussion 3   

    Q: Do you think that the ipad lacks ‘information production’ – the word processing capability that we are used to on PCs? Rob Abel’s article includes several interesting insights and information regarding the growing use of the iPad device in education.  It is unfortunate that despite IMF’s K-20 range Abel article only seems to be […]

    Continue reading Discussion #3 – iPad: Content authoring vs. media consumption Posted in: Week 09: iPad Apps
    • Jay 12:00 pm on November 5, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks Jim. The discussion around content creation vs consumption is an important one this week evidenced by the number of posts addressing this issue. I like the list you created and I think it furthers the thought that we must move away from the idea of content creation being limited to paper-pencil tasks and methods (only textual based).

      • Jim 1:46 pm on November 6, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks, Jay. I think that both the PC and the iPad will continue to be consumption and creation devices. But, there will be some differences based on the kind of device you are using. People use their smartphones all the time, too, to create content–email messages, tweets, status updates, and so on. This still qualifies as content creation… but it is just a different kind of content.

    • David William Price 8:54 am on November 6, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Good points.

      For me the issue is use cases. A mobile workforce needs mobile technology. A sedentary workforce uses mobile technology as a luxury. If we push education out into authentic experiences in the real world, mobile becomes an essential way of accessing, capturing, and manipulating information.

      I also like your list because I think people forget that “educational apps” don’t have to be direct teaching apps… educators need all kinds of tools to create educational experiences. To the extent a mobile device allows you to go out into the field and capture more authentic experiences for your students, that sounds like a huge plus to me.

      • Jim 1:43 pm on November 6, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        And I really think you make an excellent point with this description: “push education out into authentic experiences in the real world.” I think that’s absolutely right. The more we can embed technology within situated learning activities, the more we can have true integration of technology and really have a direct effect on learning.

        I think all technology makes humans more powerful in some way–it becomes an extension or enhancement of something they can do (or wish they could do) but technology takes the limits off what is possible. As you note, it is essential that this technology be mobile and that we have a wide variety of apps for a wide variety of situations.

    • Jim 1:39 pm on November 6, 2011 | Log in to Reply

  • Jim 7:26 pm on October 27, 2011
    0 votes

    Just wanted to thank Deb and Emily for getting the VoiceThread off and running for this week’s evaluative activity involving cloud computing solutions and some case studies.   The intent behind the VoiceThread is to collect a range of views and comments concerning these products and services.  Please also feel free to comment on other slides […]

    Continue reading Cloud Computing – VoiceThread Posted in: Uncategorized
  • Jim 6:17 pm on October 11, 2011
    0 votes

    I have never owned a device marketed solely as an e-reader device.  I have owned a lot of handheld devices, though.  One of my favourites was a Palm t|x. It currently sites somewhere in a box in my basement, its battery completely drained… dead.  But, it was great.  It was the first portable device I […]

    Continue reading e-reading and me Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
    • Karen Jones 6:25 pm on October 11, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jim,

      The convenience and portability of e-devices are what I cherish, as well. It is great to always have something to read/browse with you. Never a dull moment! I find that surfing the time away is like eating junk food – I’m often left with a feeling that I’ve wasted time, whereas reading a novel switches my brain to a different mode, one that is more relaxing. I know I’m old school…

    • Deb Kim 2:15 pm on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jim,

      Thank you for sharing your iPad experience. I’ve been using iPhone since 3 years ago and can’t live without it. I recently gave up buying a tabletPC from HP, becuase the shipping took way too long and I could manage my classes without it. Now I’m thinking of purchasing either iPad or eBook reader just for my personal use, so I wanted to hear from others their experience.
      Now that I know that you have iPad, I’m wondering if you use iPhone. The reason I’m asking is because I thought until recently that iPad wasn’t necessary for an iPhone user as the functions are very similar. So I’d like to hear your opinion. As an iPad user, how is it different from using an iPhone (if you happen to use iPhone as well)?


    • jarvise 2:50 pm on October 13, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Totally agree about the ipad2 being ubiquitous. My husband always has ours with him – obviously I need my own. He takes it to bed, to the tub, everywhere. Literally.

      I think all students will have tablets within a couple of years. The price is right, the convenience is there, and so is the functionality.


  • Jim 7:24 pm on September 28, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: Ben Papell, comment, conversation, , social, Steve Muth,   

    Meet Steve Muth and Ben Papell, co-founders of VoiceThread, LLC.  VoiceThread is located in Boca Raton, FL and filed as a limited liability company on January 1, 2006.  If you are interested, here is a 53 minute interview with both Steve and Ben from Mr. Media conducted in December, 2008.  The interview is excellent for […]

    Continue reading Steve Muth and Ben Papell :: Co-founders of VoiceThread, LLC Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • themusicwoman 8:59 pm on September 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      Nice outline and links to more information. I also appreciate the fact that finding out information on the founders can be difficult! Considering it is a fairly new venture, I’m not surprised. I am impressed with these entrepeneurs who can identify a need and then go ahead and create it. Or is it an innovation? Hmm.

    • David William Price 4:37 pm on September 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Interesting… a cheap Camtasia/screen recording s/w?

    • Karen Jones 11:45 am on September 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jim,

      Given all the exposure VoiceThread has been given in pro-d circles, I am surprised that there isn’t much biography info on the founders! I love this product and have used it in lots of ETEC assignments, but ironically, not in my class. This product seemed to go “commercial” really quickly, requiring $$ to expand the free basic subscription, although the educational site is a pretty good deal. What sets it apart from other recording s/w is the ability to record comments that appear linked to avatars, and to play them back asynchronously, thereby making it really useful for creating an online discussion community.

      Thanks for the info!

  • Jim 6:32 pm on September 22, 2011
    0 votes

    The edufire.com elevator pitch didn’t include a clear pain point but did purport to have “built the open market place for live video learning.” Sites like YouTube, Vimeo and Teachertube offer similar services but there is no built in method to control and monetize content views. Perhaps, this is what edufire.com is attempting. If so, […]

    Continue reading The edufire.com elevator pitch didn’t i… Posted in: Week 03: Analyst Bootcamp
    • Jim 6:36 pm on September 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Sorry if it seems short – I tried to keep it to about 100 words as the assignment indicated… which was not easy. I guess I might be able to express other ideas in my comments to others’ critiques.

    • mcquaid 4:28 am on September 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I thought it was 200. That being said, I think you got your point across even with the challenging extra level of succinctness. It’s kind of like these elevator pitches, or Gladwell’s book, Blink. We can often make our opinions instinctively on people, situations, and problems within the blink of an eye. I had my opinion of this chap the second he turned his head and said the first word.

    • Jim 2:20 pm on September 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      You are correct at 200 words. I must have been in some parallel universe when I did that… 😉 I’m going back to add a bit more then…

      I know what you mean about him turning his head. I immediately asked myself, “what was he just looking at and why is he almost laughing?” His delivery is quite smooth, which is not a problem for me, but that smile at the beginning colours the rest of it and casts a slight condescending shadow over the whole pitch…

    • andrea 10:35 am on September 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jim,
      You raise an interesting point when you said “the biggest obstacle will be competition from accredited tertiary institutions that offer bona fide experts and recognized accreditation upon course completion.” I’d be curious to know how they check the credentials of their teachers. I also wasn’t clear on what level of education they’re focused on (K-12, higher ed, continuing ed) and also whether or not the primary product is “extra” tutoring for students already studying the subject.
      Thanks for an interesting post!

    • khenry 7:27 pm on September 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jim,
      Great point on competition from accredited bodies. This is information I would definitely like to see addressed in a pitch.


    • schiong 10:51 am on September 25, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I think what they are offering is just the infrastructure and payment system…something like AppStore on internet.
      I visit their website and there was no “spark”.
      I speculate that the online educators would earn through “subscription/enrollment”.
      I noticed that there are several teachers offering the same courses/topics… and some have ratings.

    • Allie 9:08 pm on September 25, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Really great and well written review, and like you, I was also left wondering who the learners would be and what they would be learning? My *impression,* like yours, is that it’s about the lifelong learning trend. It would be a good place for, say, a sewing instructor to teach techniques to interested students.
      I like how you really show how they give a sense of who their competitors are – and concomitantly, what exactly it is that they are offering.

  • Jim 5:47 pm on September 15, 2011
    0 votes

    It is Useful? I chose to review Connie Malamed’s “Learning Technology Trends to Watch In 2011” list.   I found Connie’s list to be incredibly frustrating to read! It was not useful to me as an educator.  In most of the trend descriptions, there were always some good information, to be sure, about the status of […]

    Continue reading A frustrating read: Connie Malamed’s Trends Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
    • andrea 7:39 pm on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jim, I must admit I’m a bit curious to read it now because of your description! Do you think that the trends she suggested do have really meaningful applications (and she just failed to mention them)? Do you think they are the kind of things that will add value for learners and educators, or are they things that *look* good?

    • themusicwoman 9:31 pm on September 16, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hahahahaha! Your “People Magazine” comment is great although I kinda like the site for what it’s worth. For my overloaded brain at the end of a week of teaching, the article simply confirmed what I already knew but some of the comments and links to other stuff was interesting. However, I do agree that this is a “starter” article for those just becoming immersed in technology.

    • mcquaid 4:02 pm on September 17, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I think we were on the same wavelength on this one, Jim – we wanted more. At the same time, as I mentioned on someone else’s post, I DID appreciate the succinctness of her list – which is just what it was. A list. Perhaps all Malamed really wanted to do for her general audience (which may be what her readership is like… a general mix) was to list the ten things and not much more. I can’t really fault her for that… do think we’re all expecting too much of her article, as we were directed to be critical?
      I’m not saying I loved it… but at least I wasn’t as frustrated as you. Instead of getting frustrated, I mostly just wrote it off as a “meh”-caliber article. Basic.

    • Doug Smith 8:51 pm on September 17, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Rather than being a People Magazine, I saw it as simply being a short summary for people that are on the lower end of familiarity with technology in education. I would say that it was written accurately without any strong biases: the same cannot be said for many blogs. Finally, I noted that the list has a role to play, since much of this was used in our introduction to the Emerging Markets Poll on this blog. I wonder if Malamed wrote the summaries, or if they were copied from somewhere else?

    • Deb Kim 7:23 am on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jim,

      Very well said. I also thought that “something” was missing when I read the article, but couldn’t really pinpoint exactly what it was. I absolutely agree with you that “there was very little said about how teachers would actually use the technologies with students in their instructional designs”. It was also frustrating to me that I couldn’t really figure ways of incorporating these technology “trends” into my classroom.


  • Jim 5:38 pm on September 6, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: bio, ,   

    Hi All! This is my eighth course in the MET program and the first one that has been in blog format, not in Vista… so that is different and cool!  I will be finishing the MET program by April 2012 so I am looking forward to my last year and will miss working and learning […]

    Continue reading Hello from Ontario Posted in: Week 01: Introductions
    • themusicwoman 9:09 pm on September 6, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi, Jim! Wow. You bring a lot to this course. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed as I think I might be out of my league here 🙂 Your comment about your experiences with children resonated with me. I have a daughter going into grade 1 who constantly amazes me with the technology at hand and how easily she adapts to it. Of course, it’s now difficult to get my iPhone or iPad out of her hands.
      And I’ll look for you on twitter . . . not sure what I would do without my PLN!

    • wongte 9:13 am on September 7, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Jim, sounds like you are bringing a lot of experience with you! It’s so interesting to have so many people with so many different experiences that we can learn from.
      P.S. Such a bummer on that Google thing 😉

    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 11:44 am on September 7, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      Nice to meet you. Looking forward to working with you this term.


    • andrea 11:44 am on September 7, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jim,
      Kudos to you for your involvement in Wikipedia. I agree that it is quite a feat that editors and contributors like you around the world have accomplished. Open source and open access tools always help restore my faith in humanity 🙂

    • mcquaid 4:47 pm on September 7, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi, Jim.
      I told my class today about your wiki feats… they were wowed.
      I’m intrigued about what this course will reveal in terms of doing something with ideas, too. While I’ve never had something as big as your Street View idea stolen, I’ve thought of things before but just had NO idea about what to do with them. I hope this course can help provide the knowledge about what to do with great (or at least good) innovative ed. tech. ideas.

      • kstooshnov 1:11 pm on September 8, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Steve and Jim,

        There are going to be plenty of great, Google Earth-like ideas coming out of this course, and we’ll have plenty of support from classmates and instructors to find out what to do with them. It also doesn’t hurt that we are blogging about them, and will have a digital record of ed tech innovations from the moment of their inception. The semantic web will be all about tagging and tracing back information to its original source, allowing us to be creative entrepreneurs.

        All the best to you both,

    • bcourey 5:03 pm on September 7, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I too am a huge fan of Twitter and follow some amazing education and tech gurus..I have learned so much from that PLN! And a beer-blog? You have may attention!

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