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  • schiong 12:45 am on November 27, 2011
    -2 votes

      The Elevator Pitch [kaltura-widget uiconfid=”534″ entryid=”0_m6e65h0j” width=”400″ height=”330″ addpermission=”” editpermission=”” /]   The Venture Pitch [kaltura-widget uiconfid=”534″ entryid=”0_72hmy2pf” width=”400″ height=”330″ addpermission=”” editpermission=”” /]   References Beare, K. How many people learn English globally? Retrieved November, 2011, from:   McNamee, G. (2010). “Tweet,” “Teachable Moment,” “Too Big to Fail”: Latest Words and Phrases to […]

    Continue reading Porto v1.1 (Assignment #3) Posted in: Week 13: Venture Forum
    • Kristopher 3:52 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      This looks like an interesting little product. I appreciated in your pitch that you noted the potential market and the niche that you are approaching (e.g., novelty learning devices). Perhaps to enhance this elevator pitch, I might diversify the media (sound, video clips) to compliment the pitch.



      • schiong 12:36 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thank you for the advice. I was a little hesitant in using sounds and video for the elevator pitch because of the timing and the 1 minute constraint.

    • Everton Walker 9:44 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I like porto. You have also touched an important concept as vocabulary and English Language learning is currently very popular as persons seek to learn new languages. I would like to know if it will work with all kinds of vocabularies an if the gifted will benefit from such a venture. I like the text to speech feature and this venture would do well where English is being studied as a second language. I am also you mentioned studying the market and using Amazon to sell products. Had a little problem with the audio but your venture was well thought out and executed.


      • schiong 12:48 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Yes, I believe even the gifted would benefit. 🙂
        Porto would have an internal storage using the same technology as flash drives.
        The current capacity would go as high as 64GB … capacity is big enough store several vocabularies. In the venture pitch, I mentioned about a site where they could update their OS and download new vocabularies.

        Sorry, I about the sound. I only use what was available (free microphone, earphone, open source software).
        The sounds(narration from text to speech) came out of the earphone. I placed the earphone near the microphone so it would record it and then save it as a sound file.

        I hope the sound of the airplanes was not evident.
        For some reason, my area is sometimes use as a flight path.


    • Tamara Wong 7:12 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      You have a great idea! I am currently an ESL teacher and improving vocabulary is the number one thing my students ask for. It is an important part of their learning. You are filling a currently lacking market for sure. I like your porto guy, he’s cute and would be fun to carry around. I like how you used an electronic sounding voice for your pitch, I first figured it was for an example of what the porto might sound like.
      I also like your elevator pitch – your use of the elevator is clever!
      I have some questions though, I didn’t get exactly how the porto worked (maybe a combo of my head cold and my husband playing angry birds in the background) but how do you plan on distinguishing yourself from a speaking dictionary on a smart phone? It also sounds like you have already created some portos, is there a place I can send my students to check them out if that is the case?

      • schiong 5:45 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply


        How does it work?
        a) Load it with vocabulary. You can download from a web site
        b) Press the play button.

        What makes it different?
        a) It is a novelty item. If I implemented it in Smartphones, then I will be one of the many apps.
        b) Projector – this means 1 or more people can actually learn the word together. They do not need to “squeeze” themselves just to view a video or image from the Smartphone.
        If a movie can be played in the Smartphone, why do some people prefer to watch certain movies in the cinema?
        c) The next step is to convert the projector to hologram.
        d) If it was implemented in iOS, then I would only reach out to the learners with iPhones.
        If it was implemented in all platforms, that would require different programming versions.
        Take Angry Birds for example. It started with iPhone (if I am not mistaken). It took time before they had Android and PS3 version. To program in Android platform means another set of hardware or at least an Android device to test it on. It takes too much time, effort, and expense.


    • Doug Smith 2:20 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Stephen,

      The product looks interesting and definitely viable. The pitch touches on the market and I get the feeling that this pitch is made for investors – which is a good thing. I think the pitch could use something to liven it up though, I like the idea that a pitch should bring a smile to someone, either externally or internally (as a sort of a-ha moment).


    • David William Price 10:48 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Elevator pitch assessment

      S.Chiong – Porto

      First Impression: no face or voice or audio, only slides,

      CEO Credibility: The CEO does not appear at all – no voice, no image or appearance. I have nothing to judge CEO credibility on. I might take a negative inference based on the fact the CEO is unwilling to appear and be heard.

      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 a handheld gadget that teaches English vocab by speaking a word and projecting an image with the word used in a sentence. Apparently based on pedagogy but doesn’t explain what or how. Apparently a prototype exists for demos. Seems unlikely for individual use given requirement for projection. Perhaps for teacher use with students? Unclear who would use this or how.

      Opportunity Space: Refers to 1 billion people learning English worldwide but doesn’t specify who this gadget would be targeted at or why they would purchase it or how they would use it during the learning to either replace or add to other forms of learning. No costs or projected revenues provided.

      Market Readiness: Doesn’t specify the projected market segment or how to sell into that market segment.

      Competitive Edge: Innovation appears to be the combination of portability, audio pronunciation and projection of an image with the word used in context. Not sure who this is aimed at or why someone would acquire a specialized gadget to do this vs. using other methods.

      Exit Strategy: No indication of their target market, its size, or how they will capture it.
      Overall Investment Status: I don’t see the CEO or the team, I don’t know who the targeted market is or how they are intended to use the product. I’m concerned about the use of a specialized gadget when there are more ubiquitous gadgets available (mobiles, PCs, teachers with magazine clippings). I don’t know the manufacturing or distribution costs or intended pricing. I don’t know how this will be marketed. I consider this high risk however I’ve worked with Stephen and my personal contact with him and my interest in playing with the gadget would lead me to seek more information.

    • Julie S 10:58 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Stephan,

      I wasn’t sure about the market but after reading Tamara’s post it sounds like it is there.

      Your venture pitch starts with the management team on the first slide. Nice the combination of skills across the trio inspires confidence. The automated voice is an interesting approach and important because that is at the essence part of what you are selling.

      I like the concept of just in time learning but I think I’m with Tamara on I need to understand more about the market differentiator over the technologies that are currently out there.

    • Jay 1:21 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Stephan,

      Like others have pointed out this market (language learners) is vast and expanding. I think showing that you have moved from one a first proto type model to a second prototype is valuable in showing investors the progression of the product and increasing performance moving yet to another, third prototype.

      One recommendation for future potential would be to consider expansion into other language learning martkets other than English. Since this is a hardware device would there be possibilities in installing other software to support different languages? This would open the market to ALL language learners instead of limiting it to just English language learners but as a former EFL teacher I like the idea.

      • schiong 5:52 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply


        That’s the nice thing about software. It can be updated to include different languages.


    • David William Price 4:48 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Schiong Porto

      CEO Credibility: Founder describes self as 15-year educator and developer. Founder uses a text-to-speech narration instead of using his own voice. No one wants to talk about this in their own voice?

      Management Team: Team includes ESL teacher and electronics engineer.

      Venture Concept: Does not describe the product (relies on elevator pitch?). Although prototypes exist there is no data on pilot testing, attitudes or learning outcomes for students or teachers? Mentions downloading words daily from a website which would require planning and use of a computer. Starts talking about holograms and artificial intelligence and conversing with Porto as upgrades but does not describe costs or timelines.

      Opportunity Space: Targeting ESL learners, business, professionals, tourists. Describes 1-billion person market but does not segment this according to who of that 1 billion would buy an “educational novelty item” for $75CAN. Does not project target market, growth, revenues or timelines beyond cash-flow positive.

      Market Readiness: Prototype exists but no data on reactions of learners and teachers. Describes potential partners of schools, bookstores, tutorial centres and (Bookstores appear to be going out of business). How do these partnerships work to create market share and increase sales? Describes SRP $75 with production cost $25.

      Competitive Edge: Does not describe the competition or a competitive advantage.

      Exit Strategy: Prototypes developed for $30,000. Requests “at least $1 million” which implies greater needs. Offers 40% share for $1 million, which values the company at $2.5 million. Projects positive cash flow Q3 2013. Does not project unit sales, recoupment of investment, or return on investment.

      Overall Investment Status: The market, revenues, and return on investment are not projected. The novelty aspect raises concerns of short shelf life and not being taken seriously. Asking for a lot of money with no projected sales or returns. Very puzzled that no data given on pilot testing or reactions or learning outcomes. Consider this high risk and would not pursue.

      PS: Very confusing for audio reading to be different from text on the screen. Video of the talking dog confusing and distracting. I don’t understand how the listed learning theories connect to the product. Long black screens disorienting.

      • schiong 5:59 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply


        Thank you for your insights.
        The $1M is for future innovations/enhancements.

        Again, thank you for your insights.


      • schiong 12:08 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi David,

        just a quick one …
        a) In the presentation, I tried to point out that the $30,000 was the initial investment and
        it was used to create the prototypes. I also showed the progress of the prototypes.
        I was hoping this would show commitment from the group, passionate about the product, resourceful, and has the technical know how.
        Personally, I would find it more risky if it was only the CEO and the ideas (because it is very theoretical and unsure if it is implementable/doable in a given time frame).
        b) Sorry about the 1 billion. It was referring to the number of English language learners. It does not include businessmen, tourists, etc… I imagine that Facebook initially targeted students and young adults. Now, you have grandparents, schools, etc…
        c) No CEO face?
        I guess I was uncomfortable with presenting the prototype at this stage and I do not want to show that.
        I always fund my small businesses (in real life). I believe that my product should be out in the market and earning before I invited investors.
        I know investors take risks. But, I like to minimize it.
        d) Yes, bookstore might be going down or out of business. But, the cost of partnering with them is really minimal. We just need another venue to introduce the product.

        Thank you again for the insights.

    • ashleyross 2:57 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Steve, I really enjoyed your elevator pitch. I liked the simplicity of just text on a black screen, it made it easy to read as there was no distractions from anything else, also what I think really made it acceptable to just use text was the use of the elevator image and sound at the very beginning and end of the EP. For some reason that simple intro kept me captivated throughout the whole pitch. 🙂

    • David Berljawsky 8:02 am on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Steve,

      I though that your pitches were well done. I would be interested in looking at the product before making an investment though. I find it tough to sell tangiable items without being given the oppurtunity to, well, play with them first. Interesting concept though, and I think that you did a great job with the type of media you used to convey the idea. It seemed well researched and though it.


  • schiong 7:10 pm on November 18, 2011
    0 votes

    Thank you for doing the survey. Here are the results :      

    Continue reading The Survey said …. Posted in: Week 11: Mobiles
    • mcquaid 11:39 am on November 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I find it quite surprising that only around 22% of mobile users use it for voice calls. It’s the sole thing I use mine for (other than its alarm feature on possible stormy mornings / nights).

  • schiong 12:34 pm on November 3, 2011
    0 votes

    Is the Ipad a Game Changer in Education? Is this really a good investment?   In my case, I would probably start with who are my audience and what courses am I teaching? I am sure it is a game changer for other educators. As they often say, “You need an apps for that.” Is […]

    Continue reading D3 – Game Changer ? Posted in: Week 09: iPad Apps
    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 3:40 am on November 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      Very good questions to determine if the iPad is worth the investment. I particularly like your first question where you ask about what the iPad has to offer over other devices/computers. For example, when you consider a laptop, it can do almost the same thing and more of what the iPad has to offer. So is it worth really worth it?


    • Jay 8:18 am on November 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Your first question is crucial to determining whether or not investment will reap benefits. One of the “selling points” of the iPad, or other tablets, is the mobility they offer. Yes a laptop is mobile, but not nearly as portable and easy to just pull out and use. Institutions definitely need to assess their particular situation and decide if a device is actually worth the price tag before they decide to invest. What could it bring into the classroom/office/learning process that isn’t there now and could we do this in a less expensive way. The point of technology is that we become more efficient and better at what we do, including cost-effective. If the device is not going to do this than regardless of the intuitive interface, touch-screen, sleekness and mobility it’s not worth the price tag especially in already tight-budget circumstances.

  • schiong 12:04 pm on November 3, 2011
    0 votes

    Is there a market for this technology within education?   I believe iPad would have a place in education. But, it needs support. The educators need to be creative in how to use iPad in their class. Without proper guidance and strategy, the learners might end-up taking class pictures and uploading them to Facebook. Secondly, […]

    Continue reading D2 – Ipad Posted in: Week 09: iPad Apps
    • Kristopher 12:45 pm on November 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi SMC,

      The presenting group discussed ‘the true cost of ownership’ and it was a really great way of conceptualizing how there are many other considerations beyond simply purchasing the tools.

      You raise a good point that is echoed by others in their posts: iPads are not a blanket solution that will meet everyone’s needs. I think one of the clever things that Apple has done, is to require another computer for updating and some other tasks, which means that the user is going to be fooled into thinking the pad is a stand alone.



    • Deb Giesbrecht 6:08 pm on November 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I so wish that my physics classes taught through angry birds! I think people would have showed up to class more.!

      You raise a very good point – programming technology and what it does and does not support. Apple provides many good educational apps -although I am unsure of how it fits into educator’s lesson plans.There has not been a lot of comments on that this week. It would be great to see people create more lesson plans and have an open source platform where you could not only share these ideas but assist in collaboration projects. This would prevent educators from re-inventing the wheel and promote usage and collaboration amongst colleagues.

      By the way – a better app for demonstrating gravity, balance and skill is definitely ‘glass tower’!

  • schiong 7:04 pm on October 24, 2011
    0 votes

    What are the benefits to converting a business or school district to cloud computing? This is a difficult question. The question assumes that I am convinced that clouding computing is a solution that I would recommend for all my clients or at least that is my humble interpretation. All technologies have its strengths and weaknesses. […]

    Continue reading Is cloud computing for all ? Posted in: Week 08: Files in the Cloud
    • Deb Kim 11:59 am on October 25, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      “Is cloud computing really safe?”
      That’s a very good question that you asked, but I don’t have a solid answer to the question.
      I’ve read several posts so far and all of them are concerned about security and privacy. Before I read your post, I thought it’d be safe enough if a person could make his/her work private when he/she selects a saving option (Most cloud apps do have that feature). However, it become a problem if someone hacks the account. That’s probably why the clouds recommend their members to have “strong” password. For some clouds, they do not let people to become their members unless they have a password with a combination of letters (Capital and small), numebrs, and symbols. Is it safe enough? I don’t know. But I can tell that it has become “safer” than maybe 5, 10 years ago. The cloud computing companies will have to come up with ideas and ways to improve the privacy-and-secutiry-related issues.


    • ashleyross 6:08 pm on October 25, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Your concerns about security in the cloud are actually similar to those that I had myself when I initially started using cloud-based applications and storage years ago. It is actually still among the first questions that people ask when someone mentions cloud computing, and in most instances it is mostly due to the fact that there is a lot of misinformation available on the internet. 🙂

      I believe that there’s always going to be a risk about someone else accessing your files, whether they are stored in the cloud or on your personal computer. It could be from hackers, malware, or by simply just losing your laptop or mobile device. While major incidents are commonly covered by the media, I think for those people who are smart about their account security the possibility of someone gaining access to their files is rare. To put it more simply, let’s look at the misconception about data security (cloud versus localized storage) to that of people feeling that car travel is safer than air travel. In reality, according to the National Safety Council, the odds of dying in a car accident are 1 in 85 (lifetime) versus 1 in 5,862 (lifetime) for dying in a plane accident. It isn’t to say that the cloud is 100% safe, but if you take precautions your data is at least as safe as storing everything on your personal computer. The exception of course is that you’re never going to leave your cloud at the coffee shop. 🙂

      Security really starts and ends with the end user. If you have 8-12 character passwords that include a blend of capital letters, numbers and special characters (e.g. !BkTu8$5), the likelihood of your account being accessed would be exponentially lower in comparison to using your children’s names or birthdays.

      Security is always improving though, especially for the major cloud computing providers. For instance, Google now has an extra step of security where whenever you log into your account you have to verify it is you by presenting your verification code that is sent to your mobile phone (

    • Deb Giesbrecht 12:50 pm on October 26, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      You make some really good points in your outline. What truly is the cost of cloud computing to the end users versus the corporation. I do not think that anything is ever 100% secure – even with tight passwords. Is it easier to hack into someone’s personal computer versus cloud computing? And what information do I really need to store or share? (I think we store way too much information as evidenced by my Inbox at work).

      I do not think there are any easy answers to any of the above, just valid information that needs to be balanced with informative choices.

  • schiong 9:09 pm on October 17, 2011
    0 votes

      I am fascinated with blogging. Unfortunately, I am a person of few words. I am not sure if I have what it takes to be a great blogger. I use blogging for pleasure. I create online tutorials (mostly images and codes).  But, I use Moodle (LMS) in all of my classes. Why? a) comfort […]

    Continue reading Silent Blogger ? Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • Everton Walker 1:13 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I too love Moodle and all its features. You mentioned wordpress and blogger. What do you usually do with these platforms? Do you use for example wordpress as a CMS? or it’s just for topical discussions?


    • Juliana 4:51 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for you post! I was curious how your students react to blogging after the HTML coding. What do they say?

      You mentioned that your students often like to use Blogger. Can you offer any insights as to why this may be?

      Looking forward to your response!


    • bcourey 7:41 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      In my opinion, I still believe that a lot can be said with fewer words – especially if your blog includes graphics, videos, audio clips…some blogs that I have reviewed are mini-novels for some who maybe wish they were published authors? More effective to me to say what is needed more concisely – Is there another tool rather than blogging that you would prefer?

    • ifeoma 8:29 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Schiong,
      You may be a person of a few words, but it does look like Moodle has given you a voice 😉
      Moodle does have some good features and I found it easy to use not to mention it is open source. If you can program, you can customise it to suit your exact needs without having to spend thousands of $$. I think there is also a network of tech support .
      Wordpress is popular and reputable and of course yours truly has been inducted to the “WordPress hall of edu” thanks to ETEC 🙂 I think each blog has it’s niche and so I am not sure I can honestly compare all without exploring each at the same level.
      I am however curious as to the re action of your students after their frustrations lead them to blogging discovery. How has blogging impacted their learning in your opinion?

      • schiong 12:50 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply


        Sorry, I was not able to reply to this post earlier because it was only yesterday (Nov. 29) that my students submitted their blogs.
        Based on what they submitted, I would say that they are excellent when they really like the topic of their post.
        Most of the students talked about food. They presented/provided wonderful pictures and great information.

    • Deb Kim 9:04 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thank you for sharing your Moodle experience.
      I use both Moodle and WordPress for my classes. The reason I like Moodle is just the same as what you pointed out in your post.
      I like it because I can receive and see emails, generate quizzes/tests, and keep track of students’ work and marks. Also, students can upload assignments and do sample quizzes/tests. However, I prefer WordPress when uploading handouts and posting information, such as info and rubric for projects, lessons, and activities, on classes.


  • schiong 12:00 pm on October 11, 2011
    0 votes

      I take the public transit going to work. I try my best to be productive by reading some articles, marking papers, or anything that would keep me busy. I am using an IPad. Advantages I do not have to print the articles I would like to read I do not have to carry too […]

    Continue reading Just a thought Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
    • Allie 1:09 pm on October 11, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      interesting reflections on using the iPad; I like how you draw attention to whether there is measurable benefits in learning and performance.
      I have neither a tablet nor a e-reader; I am thinking of getting a Kindle, however, and for me the draw of the Kindle is that it isn’t reflective, as you say – my biggest concern with iPad/Macbook for electronic reading is eyestrain, which I think the dedicated e-readers address.
      From my limited experience in publishing, my understanding is that a lot of books now being published are being done in hard copy and e-versions. Granted – my experience is with academic publishing, not textbook publishing.

      • schiong 4:10 pm on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply


        You could be right about the e-versions. In our college, we still sell the traditional textbooks. Out of 34 students per class, only 5% actually purchase the book. Other students? They would borrow their classmate’s book and secretly photocopy the pages they need.

    • kstooshnov 6:42 pm on October 11, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thank you for kicking off this week’s discussion, Stephen and Allie, and it is interesting to see the Kindle leading in the WordPress poll. I personally thought the iPad would be the front-runner, but it is clear that something designed to do many things will fall behind devices created for the single purpose of reading – although many of the read-only handhelds are adding on Web and other social networking features.

      When I had to buy numerous textbooks for my BEd (and even ETEC 500 in the MEd) most of these very expensive items had a pull-out card which allowed me to login to the publishers’ webpage to make use of the e-versions, but I never got around to checking them out. Has anyone found these on-line resources helpful in their studies? Could this be one area of eBook development, one-time only login to electronic editions once you purchase a textbook? As Stephen suggests, it would be telling to see how effective these resources could be if there was more of difference made with students’ grades. Excellent point!

    • Doug Smith 8:24 pm on October 11, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Last spring I purchased a Blackberry Playbook, and one of the main reasons was so I could have mobile access to MET course readings and discussion forums. I was using public transit quite a lot at the time, and it really helped my get ahead of the readings by spending an hour or more on the bus or skytrain, reading papers. The sharp screen and small size made the Playbook great for my purposes. With the right pants or jacket, I could tuck the tablet away in my pocket – it is very convenient.

      • kstooshnov 9:33 am on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Interesting to hear about the BB PlayBook in the wake of BBM outages this week. With increased competition from Apple’s latest gizmo Siri (your iPhone talks back!), plus the legion of Androids tablets makes me wonder what other features the PlayBook has to offer. I look forward to seeing how their story progresses in weeks 10 and 11 of this course.

    • Deb Kim 8:36 pm on October 11, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Interesting observation on using iPad and your students’ academic performance. I haven’t used iPad yet so I can’t agree or diagree with the list of advantages and disadvantages you’ve listed. However, I can agree with you that it’s a hassle to scroll up, down, right, or left if a screen is too small.
      As a matter of fact, I use my iPhone most of the time when I leave comments in this course. Before when the course I took used Vista, I used to sit in front of my laptop to read and respond to my coursemates’ posts because I wasn’t used to read from the screen. I liked it better when I read “paper” articles rather than “electronic”. However, as WordPress offers an OS application on an iPhone, I started reading people’s posts and comments using my iPhone whenever I had time.
      During the first few weeks throughout this course, I was a little stressed out and frustrated that I wasn’t familiar with participating in the discussion as the ETEC522 blog was completely different from Vista. But since I installed the course blog on my iPhone, I’ve been participating more and have been getting used to it.
      It hurt my eyes at first because fonts and the screen are way too tiny for me to become adjusted. However, since I became adjusted to the iPhone, I haven’t had a difficulty typing and publishing posts and comments.


      • schiong 4:00 pm on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Iphone? That would be a great challenge for me. I think what made the Mobile devices relevant are the apps. I often hear people say, “There’s an App for that. “

    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 6:18 am on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Great post Stephen! I like the way you critically examined the worth of the ebook. To make it more interesting, you own and use one which allowed you to povide factual information. I also particularly liked the features of ebooks you propose for the future. sounds like an interesting venture. Thanks for your thought.


  • schiong 2:49 pm on October 8, 2011
    0 votes

    My first game console was an Atari. There were 2 games that I often play: Pac-Man and Tank (not sure the exact title). At that time, a game was just another form of entertainment for me. It had no educational significance. My Atari became lonely when Family computer came out. Let me see if I […]

    Continue reading Simple Mind Posted in: Week 05: Game-Based Learning
    • khenry 6:52 pm on October 8, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Schiong,
      With reference to Ice Climber and educational content, I too did not relate the educational aspects of my gaming experience until much later. Makes me wonder if they really impacted on cognition or was it a composite of activities? I do believe though that content and tasks/tools required/used within games if cleverly designed can create cognitive development and information processing skills and higher order thinking skills Blooms Taxanomy (

    • kstooshnov 9:16 pm on October 8, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      …are easily amused, that seems to be the message of your experience with video games and learning. It is analogous to catching the last five minutes of a police procedural on TV to find out ‘whodunit’ without watching from the beginning of the episode to understand why ‘it’ was done.

      Such games provide visceral thrills that many assume have nothing to do with learning, yet the metacognition that goes on whenever a digital native picks up a control pad is awe-inspiring. They learn most often by doing, rather than being told (taught) what to do, whether they are fitting together tetrominoes, escaping from ghosts or busting blocks of ice. In most cases, the game only needs to increase the speed to make gameplay more challenging, and perhaps this is why gamers are able to pick up on the ever-changing nature of technology, while non-gamers repeatedly need to get out the instruction manual when programming their PVR.

  • schiong 9:25 pm on September 26, 2011
    0 votes

      Site: The Khan Academy is a non-profit organization. Its goal is to provide world-class education to anyone anywhere for free. There are  2,680 micro lectures (as of September 2011) via video tutorials stored on YouTube teaching mathematics, history, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, economics and computer science. How did it all begin?           […]

    Continue reading Quality Education for Free ? Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • jenaca 11:20 pm on September 26, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey, I really like the way you have outlined your post and the way you included to much detailed information. This does sound like a great organization! Giving students the opportunity to get quality education for free via the internet is amazing!
      I agree with your closing thoughts on what you would like to learn from the academy. I too am interested in learning more about how to develop the proper software for the organization, other competitors in this field and their pitfalls they encounter.
      Great post!

    • verenanz 7:54 am on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I love Khan academy…..If a student had a question though…..I wonder who they would ask for clarification? I have never used the videos – they are great. but seemed to be very US focused, math/business/science focused….I was looking for language support…Maybe someone who has used these resources could tell me what happens “after the video” if there is confusion? I love that they are free…..

      • David William Price 5:24 pm on September 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        One idea behind Khan Academy is students watch the videos at home and then come to school to do their homework with teacher supervision. The teachers focus their energies on helping students apply their new information vs standing at the front and speaking.

    • andrea 11:47 am on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      What a cool venture! The team is amazing, as you said. (I’m adding Khan Academy to my “I want to work there someday” list.) The videos are educational and entertaining, and I learned something from the few I watched. It’s also easy to see how this venture could expand. The concept itself is inspiring.

    • bcourey 3:55 pm on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I am a big fan of the Khan Academy too and I know teachers in our schools that view the math videos in their classrooms to reinforce some of the concepts. It is amazing to see how much content they have amassed over time. Impressive. I don’t see follow-up that goes with the videos, but I would expect that a teacher would want to personalize that part of a lesson so that it fits better into whatever state/province the audience is based.

    • Everton Walker 8:38 pm on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      This is very interesting. With the state of the global economy, it is good that persons are willing to sacrifice their time for the better good. However, I am wondering if there is an hidden agenda or shortly they will begin to ask for donations. As it relates to teachers, is there evidence of certification? And are these courses accredited by the local bodies? Despite the uncertainties, as long as persons are learning skills and concepts free of cost from all over the world, it is a great venture in my estimation.

    • jarvise 10:14 am on September 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Great post – another math teacher I work with uses this all the time. We teach a lot of combined classes at our school, and we are always looking for free, blended learning options to help manage more than one class at a time.

      The real question is, however, why did he do 3 Bachelors degrees? Unusual, but he obviously has an extremely strong background for teaching purposes (imagine his number of ‘teachables’ for all those teachers out there…)


    • David William Price 5:26 pm on September 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I think Khan Academy is a great example of reasonable effective low-fideliity learning. It’s not fancy but it’s cheap, widely-available, and it works. He makes mistakes in lessons, addresses them in following lessons, and comes across as a pretty humble guy. Personally I’d do a lot more scripting but his style is his style and it has a charm.

    • Doug Smith 3:31 am on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      One thing that jumps out at me from Khan’s biography is his lack of education in teaching. This is a significant shortcoming, as I believe that the bulk of Khan Academy’s videos came directly from Khan himself.

      In terms of motivation, Khan started the project as a result of tutoring he was given his extended family. He was producing videos for nephews and nieces and decided to distribute his videos after seeing how many requests he was getting for them. The motivation behind Khan Academy is very noble and altruistic.

      Slightly off-topic, I should note that I am not nearly as big of fan as Khan Academy as others. I note that there are several problems with it, some of which relate to the program itself and some that relate to its portrayal. As mentioned above, Khan has no background in education and this shows in the style of learning in Khan Academy. It is transmission teaching, “sage on the stage”. Frankly, for all I know Khan could be copying notes directly from a textbook when he does his videos. This leads to my second criticism, which is that in terms of content and pedagogy, Khan Academy is no different from simply reading a textbook, other than apparently people prefer to watch a video as opposed to read. Thirdly, topics are covered quickly and superficially. For example, math topics are done in a 10 minute lesson and reduced to a procedural solution rather than a conceptual understanding. As far as I can tell, in terms of Blooms Taxonomy, Khan Academy is operating at the Knowledge level. I certainly hope for more in education.

      The criticisms above would not be too bad if Khan Academy was accepted for what it is. The big problem comes in when media and famous personalities such as Bill Gates speak out and claim that Khan Academy is revolutionizing education and is some type of savior. I believe this to be very dangerous because the public is buying it.

    • mcquaid 6:15 am on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I agree with your “sage on the stage” comments, Doug, and that it should be just taken for what it is. Taken as it is, I think it’s a helpful resources that allows teachers and students to decide how they want to use the content. I’m curious, though… will they give out any kind of certificates / achievement recognition? How will someone prove they’ve learned anything?

      I’m a little concerned about Khan wanting to be the world’s FIRST free, world-class, online university. There are other reuptable online schools out there, too, which one may argue is better or more “trustworthy” – the UN’s “University of the People”, for example.

  • schiong 7:40 pm on September 21, 2011
    0 votes

      eduFire Elevator Pitch –  He started with what I would consider as “wishful thinking”. He got my attention at that time. In my mind, I was thinking… “Yeah, that would be nice.” or “I’ve never thought of that. It’s just common sense. How come I’ve never thought of that idea?”  The general idea […]

    Continue reading My take on eduFire Posted in: Week 03: Analyst Bootcamp
    • jenaca 11:37 am on September 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey, I think you have done a great job critiquing this pitch! You’ve included wonderful details about eduFIre and definitely got my attention. After watching this pitch, I too was thinking the same things as you and was left with several questions about this company.
      I would have liked to see more information about the market their currently in and more details on education itself. I was a little distracted by his smile, I thought at any second he was going to burst out laughing!

    • schiong 11:55 am on September 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks. Your last statement made me laugh. The presenter reminds me of a comedian … who is about to give the punch line… while trying to resist laughing.

    • Everton Walker 6:16 pm on September 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I definitely like the concept even though some important information is actually missing. Then again, how much can really be presented in a minute? However, as a teacher, I like the idea of exposing students to the best tutors around the world and the flexibility teachers will have. This is a venture that can be developed especially in an era where online learning is fast becoming an emerging force in global education.


    • Jim 6:41 pm on September 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Good critique. I also had many questions after seeing it; for example, who exactly are they seeing as their target market? You can just say people who want to learn and expert teachers who love to teach. That is too fluffy but I suppose that is why it is an elevator pitch. I was not sold on the idea at all… to many other similar type of sites that already make saving and sharing videos easy. True, sites like YouTube lets everyone see a video, and YouTube monetizes their videos as a result of views and favourited counts combined with ads…

    • mcquaid 4:49 am on September 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      The more I look at our critiques, the more I appreciate the pitches for what they manage to cram in. Not even counting what was already in the video, the seven things in your wish list would each only get between eight and nine seconds of air time in a minute. You’d have to be an auctioneer to nail one of these things fully / completely!

    • verenanz 1:36 pm on September 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      The pieces that edufire did miss….like who the key players are….are pretty important though. I agree that you can’t get everything into a pitch…but it’s choosing the key points that leave the “viewer” with a sense of “I want to know more” rather than ” I have too many questions..” is the key for a pitch.

      Great critique!

    • khenry 7:38 pm on September 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Schiong,
      Great questions! I also had concerns when viewing this pitch. I agree with Everton and McQuaid in the difficuty of presenting so much information in such a short time. But, like yourself and Verena these were some of the critical information necessary for a successful pitch.


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