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  • David William Price 1:33 pm on December 3, 2011
    0 votes

    I was excited about taking this course because it combined education with business in a public forum. I enjoyed the assignments and the opportunity to synthesize education and business. Some ideas occurred to me: PROF INPUT 1. I was interested to read some of the prof’s own venture efforts and hoped to learn more from […]

    Continue reading AS4 Class suggestions Posted in: Uncategorized
  • jenaca 1:12 am on December 1, 2011
    0 votes

    I found assignment #3 to be very interesting and overwhelming at the same time.  Like most of you, I spent hours trying to perfect my elevator pitch as well as my venture pitch- working out the glitches and essentially trying to gain your “investment”. I am very proud of what I created and I know […]

    Continue reading Assignment #3-Comments Posted in: Uncategorized
    • mcquaid 4:09 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi, Jenaca.
      I don’t think you’re really off the mark. You’re just being honest in giving your view of how the course is made at this point – I’m sure David V. will take it as constructive criticism, too!
      I don’t think anyone needs to vote anything down, either… it’s not a constructive evaluation (although I found it interesting to see how David WP’s last post started garnering negative votes, then the post’s category was taken away so that no votes were shown… obviously he must have touched on some people’s nerves if they felt like voting his post down). We have all put a lot of work into both parts of our pitches, and, as much as I wait with some anxiety, I want to see what everyone says of my pitch, good or bad. I hope reviewers do for me like I have (I think) done for others – try to respectfully give the good points and to-work-on points, while keeping (hopefully) an overall positive tone. The thoughts of ten of our peers are pretty invaluable – I’m glad to get them, “good” or “bad”. I’m hoping to finish my three big posts tonight, and then applying votes to them as well as others whose elevator pitches I fancied but didn’t have to review. I won’t be clicking any “down” arrows as I go.



    • verenanz 5:15 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Good for you Jeneca! I totally agree with you…we are here to learn and make mistakes…If we had already made a milion dollars off of our product, we’d have the marketing money to put into making a “different” marketing product. Instead- we have put in our own sweat, blood and tears (it was a rough week) and I appreciate your comments.

      I am in China and I am dying to see the video pitches next week! I can’t access any of them from here! I am so impressed with the quality and efforts of the work I have seen (through written pitches) but it isn’t the same without the videos…..You don’t know what you are missing..until it is gone.
      Thank you for this note Jenaca.

    • Everton Walker 6:52 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi All,

      I totally agree too! Obviously, we are not experts yet and therefore our efforts should be treated accordingly. Putting others down doesn’t help the situation after such hard work.


    • jarvise 7:59 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jenaca and all,

      I definitely hear what you are saying here. I had a really hard time voting down a few of my assigned pitches, but felt that I had to within the confines of the assignment, and felt really bad afterwards. I understand the rationale behind doing it (in the real world, those putting forward pitches would have to face rejection) but you make some good points regarding this being a learning forum and a learning community. It seems as though we can place our critiques and positive comments in the comments sections, while not having to vote down a pitch. It would still be evident which pitches are garnering the most positive support by only using the up voting options. Its difficult in learning communities to impose negative feedback on our peers; part of what fosters a good environment for learning is the feeling that you are supported (though not unquestionably) and safe taking risks.

      Interestingly, at the start of the course I had asked about the pulsepress feature not being made available for individual posts (outside of the initial forum) and David had expressed that it was not on there so that people would not feel hurt by having their posts voted down. This makes sense, since the bulk of the course would have functioned to support community. Perhaps enabling it for this forum moves the focus from one of formative assessment to one of summative assessment.

      There are definitely pros and cons to having it enabled for this forum. I can see both sides, and I’m not sure what I would do if I were designing the course.

      Isn’t ambivalence the best?


      • David William Price 11:43 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        I really didn’t want to vote on anything but I interpreted it as a requirement of the assignment. As previously mentioned, my encouragement of people to do face-based elevator pitches, a comment and nothing more, was voted down prior to my removing it’s week 13 tag. I removed the tag because I didn’t see how voting comments down made any sense.

        • David William Price 11:46 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Actually, I’d add that I didn’t vote on anything until I saw people negatively voting on my pitch…. and my comment. So I thought I’d initially misinterpreted the voting requirement and went back through it again.

    • Allie 8:50 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jenaca,
      I’m really glad that you posted this, as I was feeling a little troubled all yesterday. I’m grateful for your leadership on this – and Deb G’s too. I had been considering suggesting that perhaps this component of the course should be private posts, only viewable to members of the class. However, I wanted to sleep on it.

      Something that is concerning me is that some students’ professional identities are attached to their work in ETEC 522. This could be very beneficial in some ways – but I think that when people’s work is being slammed, then this could negatively impact them in their careers. This is especially the case for those of us who are early career or changing careers.

      More positively, if you go to the blog dashboard, and click on all posts, you can see the positive and negative votes for everyone’s posts. I was really heartened to see that while people are voting positively, very few people are voting proposals down. Crowdsourcing at work!

      • David William Price 11:45 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        How do you feel anything is being “slammed”? I applied Vogt’s pitch criteria that we were given in week 2 and I simply encouraged people to do face-based pitches because they would be expected in the business world. I guess no one watches Dragon’s Den.

    • Angela Novoa 10:38 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jenaca,

      As some have mentioned in this discussion forum, I agree. I think that suggesting not to have the option of voting negatively is appropriate. One of the things that challenges us (and in my case at the same time motivates me) is that we are asked to accomplish goals in a professional manner. This does not imply that the product will be perfect, but it does imply that we must do our best to succeed. And from my experience in MET, I think that we do our best. So, I think that voting negatively on the work of others could be negative not only on the students’ perception of the effort spent on the assignment but also on what Allie mentions: as our professional identities can appear on the Web linked to ETEC 522’s postings. This could negatively impact in someone’s career.

      In addition, I would suggest that this activity (as an activity of peer evaluation) could be held before submitting the assignment. It would be very constructive to receive feedback from peers before submitting the pitch. In some courses (ETEC 532 and ETEC 531) I remember we did a similar activity before the due date.


      • David William Price 11:51 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        I wasn’t surprised or upset that people voted negatively on my pitch (the negative votes on my comment about face-to-face pitches was totally different – a comment isn’t designed for voting, it’s just a point of view).

        As Vogt said, most pitches fail and people evaluate pitches for many different reasons. I didn’t see Vogt’s criteria applied to my pitch explicitly, but I accepted that regardless of the comments people made, MOST people did not like my pitch based on the voting. That means I did not connect with them. That makes me go read the comments and think about how I could change that.

        I have no concerns that people voting my pitch down will affect my career. I think it is far more likely that if any judgments will be made, it will be based on how we respond to critiques.

        • Angela Novoa 10:41 am on December 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Hi David,

          I get what you mean. Maybe we did not understand the purpose of voting from the beginning.


    • Julie S 10:41 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jenaca,

      I think you have made a good point here about constructive criticism. I am working on my participation portfolio right now and looked at the category called “constructive response”. This is what it says:

      Constructive Response – Actively follows discussion threads to provide constructive responses that celebrate, elaborate and encourage the contributions of participants

      I think that there is nothing wrong with the voting up or down but the feedback to our peers should be done in the spirit of celebration, elaboration, and encouragement. This is not an MBA program. This is an Educational Technology program where we are experimenting with technologies as we learn about new ventures and how to present our new ventures for funding. I know there is a difference in what I focussed on in this project than I would have if it would have been purely a venture program.

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

      Hi Jenaca,

      I just wanted to chime in here. As Emily mentioned above, I don’t like voting people down either. I would rather give positive votes for the ones I was for and withhold my vote for the others. I think that would still work.


  • David William Price 11:03 am on November 30, 2011
    -2 votes

    I watched each of my assigned elevator pitches four or five times. My business experience is limited, but I have done real elevator pitches and worked on real venture pitches that were presented to investors. What I learned from that experience was you have to present yourself as a credible person: you are expected to […]

    Continue reading Elevators… don’t have PowerPoint Posted in: Uncategorized
    • mcquaid 12:26 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Just to play the EVAA role, here (Educational Venture Analyst Antagonist)… with today’s technology, it would actually be possible to project a presentation on the inside of an elevator. If I was in an elevator with someone, and they could show me their ideas in that way, I would be seriously impressed.

      I agree with your purist ideas of the pitch… (length, personal touch, etc.), but I think that the pitches can advance a bit with the times as well. Heck… many years ago, what may they have been called… hydraulic lift pitches? Funicular Pitches? Archimedes’ lifting device pitch? “So… Hiero… I have this idea about figuring out if your crown is pure gold or not, but I’ll need to use the crown. Here, hop on my lift with me. I’ll tell you about it…”

      • David William Price 12:42 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Again, it’s not about the technology, it’s about the personal credibility. It’s about demonstrating your confidence, passion, and grasp of the issues by speaking directly face-to-face with someone. It’s about selling yourself, not the idea. Ideas really are dime a dozen. The investor’s interest is whether they should invest in you, initially with time, later with resources and contact.

      • David William Price 12:48 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Perhaps to help put things in perspective… Winklevoss vs Zuckerberg?

    • bcourey 2:40 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      My concern with most of the face-to-face videos I see on YouTube that are pitching their products are so amateurish that they defeat the purpose in my opinion..hollow acoustics, bad shadowing, bad lighting, bad angles….unless a person is willing to spend the bucks and get one done professionally with proper lighting, sound system and a great backdrop, I believe I am making a better impression with a powerpoint.

      • Deb Kim 4:16 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        I agree with you, Brenda. Rather than presenting myself under bad shadowing and bad lighting, I’d make it more professional with a powerpoint. For my elevator pitch, although I only used my voice (not myself infront of the camera), I still spent a tremendous amount of time and effort. Many of the elevator pitch that I watched didn’t have the F2F videos, I still liked them a lot. For example, Doug’s elevator pitch only had his voice, but it still looked very professional.


      • David William Price 6:26 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        I think you’re really misunderstanding this post. I am not suggesting that as a business entrepreneur you video yourself doing a pitch then send people links to that video.

        A real elevator pitch is something you do in person when you bump into someone. While you may want to produce an attractive ad to sell your idea, that’s not even an option in that circumstance. I am encouraging people to focus on the experience of creating that pitch and delivering it. This assignment was both an opportunity to share your pitch through video, and to comment about the role of pitches for entrepreneurs.

        An investor relies on you to actually make the business work. The good impression you want to create comes from you speaking in person with warmth and passion.

        Stephen makes the point about con men. Well, what do con men do? They develop your trust based on talking to you. That’s step one. The next step is then to provide necessary information for due diligence, so you can establish what they claim is true.

    • Deb Giesbrecht 5:37 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      yikes – I take back all my positive comments. Technology is about how you use it and if it can benefit your case by all means.

      • David William Price 6:29 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        “I take back all my positive comments”

        Grad seminars are about sharing diverse perspectives and challenging your own comfort zone. I’d encourage you to consider the post in the spirit it was intended… encouraging people to go out and sell themselves in person, face-to-face, and establish their personal credibility.

        • Deb Giesbrecht 7:41 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Missed the spirit of encouragement. I am all for constructive criticism – constructive being the key word. Constructive criticism will be incorporated into each of our marks with comments on how to improve when David sends out our final evaluations. I think educators have a propensity to be critical – as that is the nature of their role – some how in the guise of trying to improve character or behavior. Nurses on the other hand tend to nurture – believing we can attract more bees with honey versus vinegar.

          This course was well beyond my comfort zone as it was – I am not from a business background and likely would not have ventured into this material had I known how much it strayed from traditional course work in this program – so I applaud everyone who actually finished the assignment – powerpoint or not. I am truly amazed at the creativity and diversity (and tech savvy ) ideas that came across and applaud the diversity of presentations. Truly a reflection of a resilient and creative group.

          I do not use elevator pitches in my personal, professional or academic life – and am still able to eek out a truly successful career and personal life and have based a long successful working history on personal credibility built on honesty and fairness. I did not have to sell anything – I have no plans on changing my habits.

    • schiong 6:14 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi David,

      I think you make a very good point about selling oneself.
      I will remember that if I need to pitch in the future.


    • Allie 10:44 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi David,
      I wanted to say thanks for the time and effort you put into critiquing my E- and VP; you were really rigorous, and I’ll be taking your comments into account in further revisions should I pursue my idea. I have to say, when you wrote that your evaluations may be ‘cold,’ I immediately thought: uh-huh. And I came away from your critiques relatively unscathed.

      I know that you’re intending your contributions to be ultimately encouraging and constructive, but I’m not sure they’re playing out that way. In truth, to my eyes/ears, they sound a little less ‘hey, let’s develop this nugget of awesomeness,’ and more ‘you(r work) SUCKS.’ I completely get that you’re playing the role of a prospective investor, and that that world isn’t sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. However, even in that *virtual* scenario, your – and all of our – *actual* roles as educators and colleagues never go away. I think this is especially the case when we’re doing all of this in public. People’s professional identities are on the line. True confession: I’m glad that the name that I use professionally isn’t attached to a publicly accessible, itemized list of my (work’s) deficiencies. Especially since I’m on the job market.

      I guess, what I want to say is that while I appreciate that you bring a very rigorous approach to your critiques, I think – no, make that I know – that one can be both tough and rigorous, and kind. I know this because I learned from the best – in my previous life, I was pursuing a research career before deciding to pursue education; my doctoral adviser is tough, bloody demanding, and *hella supportive* at the same time**. She pushed me further than I thought I could go, and I always knew she had my back. I’ve been an adjunct prof for three years at UBC, and I continually draw on her example in working with my own students. Not that I’m always successful, but, you know, work in progress.

      I also think that as educators/education students – with feedback and evaluation forming a huge part of what we do professionally – the onus is on us to develop and role model effective feedback/eval techniques and mechanisms that genuinely facilitate growth. It’s our social role, and perhaps our competitive advantage too.

      Like… everyone else?… writing an E- and VP is completely new to me. This was my very first go, and I think I did pretty well especially given that I’m more conversant in Marxist critique than in venture capitalism (another true confession: kinda glad that isn’t publicly associated with my professional identity given job market ;). The only similar experience I have is writing grant and fellowship proposals – equally tough market and crowd, and equally dependent on making a solid, well researched case. Just like this class, in graduate school, we wrote and workshopped proposals that we submitted to national and international competitions. I have a pretty good record, but I’m glad that first attempt of mine from my first year of my Master’s isn’t floating out there on the internet.


      **I have to say, her critiques – which could be blistering – were always contained within closed, confidential environments. She simply wouldn’t put us on her panels at conferences or write us reference letters unless she thought we were ready (after all, her name is on the line too), but when she had us out there publicly, she went to bat for us. I say this to underscore the private/public nature of all this.

  • mcquaid 9:01 pm on November 27, 2011
    6 votes

    Tags: , , , ,   

    Watch the rePhrase Elevator Pitch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM5vMmMDWek Read the rePhrase Venture Pitch. Leave some constructive feedback. Thanks!            

    Continue reading rePhrase – A3 Posted in: Uncategorized, Week 13: Venture Forum
    • Jim 5:28 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Stephen!

      Very cool elevator pitch and I was struck by the similarity between your product and my product in terms of the underlying rationale. Both of our products assist students who have difficulty making meaning from text. Yours rephrases to a different reading level. Mine automatically adds relevant images.

      Anyway, constructive criticism: Your video could be six seconds longer 🙂 That gives you time to do a 6-second mock-up of what the rephrasing application might look like. That is about the only thing I thought was missing. I thought the part where you spoke was well written, concise, and communicated all you needed to communicate in a very short time. And, VERY cool logo. Makes my logo look like a hack job!

      (BTW – Your venture proposal will be one of the three I will be reviewing in more detail tomorrow. Right now, I am looking at all 10 and making an initial post re: the elevator pitch.)

      • mcquaid 6:42 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Jim, you can probably appreciate how long it took me to make that logo! From start to finish, it was in the “hours” category. I looked for a site that made free logos & had free / stock images. Since a finished logo had to be paid for, I ended up copying my designed logo, complete with grid lines into a photo-editing program, and erasing the grid lines / colouring in pixels by hand! I like what I ended up with, but would also like it to be a bit sharper.

        You’re absolutely right about those lost six seconds… that’s 10% more time I could have used! The final take of me you saw, though, was self-shot-take number 27. I was happy with what I ended up with by then!

    • bcourey 5:22 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Stephen,

      I was really impressed with the logo as well for your venture. You are definitely addressing a problem teachers face – finding reading materials that are leveled to the ability of the reader. As a former literacy coach for our schools, I feel your pain. As schools and students purchase more and more e-books, I can see this becoming very useful – but in the meantime, scanning and uploading paper books will be a very time consuming tasks for teachers and parents and I am wondering if they would be willing to do that. Also, you might consider offering some literacy strategies for teachers to help them help students progress in their reading abilities – otherwise they could stay “stuck” at a particular level with little incentive or assistance in improvement. You have a great idea though and you show a lot of insight in your self-reflection!


      • mcquaid 6:44 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Brenda. Being “stuck” is a worry of mine, too. I think rePhrase, if it ever really worked, would be but one tool in an LA / resource teacher’s tool box. Starting out, I think it would just work best on newer texts that schools already have in electronic form. If desired enough, scanned copies would also work (and would hopefully be less glitchy than Kurzweil when it comes to fonts, indents, and the like). Thanks for the comments!

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

      Hi Stephen,
      Your confidence really shines though – giving me confidence in rePhrase – and the name perfectly encapsulates what rePhrase does. I admit that for something as compelling as literacy, I do find your delivery a little… dispassionate? It feels very get-the-job-done-right, but I’m maybe wanting a bit more heart. I think i’ll be giving your VP a good close read, but from the EP, I’m thinking that in an American context the costs of students failing reading levels goes beyond just the costs of their having to re-take a year. Under No Child Left Behind, schools can lose funding if the target % of students don’t pass their levels. I should say, they *are* losing funding, they are being threatened with closure, they are having programs cut, and entire schools have been closed due to underperformance. Unsurprisingly, the schools suffering the effects of NCLB are in poorer areas. This question may be answered in your VP, but i’m wondering about access to this service… In an American context, my understanding is that schools are funded through property taxes, and so that the schools that will best be able to afford rePhrase are richer school districts; will the poorer districts be able to get this service that they need?

      • mcquaid 6:46 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Allie. I get the “dispassionate” thing. Maybe a little too Jedi, I was. I think I was trying to project confidence and capability / trustworthiness (so I’m glad that came through), but (as in real life, too), I could probably have used a bit more “oomph” as well.
        To address the “who can use it” comments, I wonder if it could be worked into rePhrase’s pricing /availability plan that schools ID’d as needier / poorer would qualify for discounts or even free licenses…

        Thanks for the thoughts!

    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 7:00 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I am intrigued with your venture. As I went through you venture pitch I can see where it would be useful in my school since it could help students with reading problems. I like the fact that it actually make words simpler so that students can understand because many times students do not understand what they read and therefore may get “turned off” from reading. Although the idea encourages reading, I would add more options for rephrasing in an attempt to cater to the different multiple intelligences of learners. For example, probably I would include sounds and animation to hold readers attention to. Great concept!

      • mcquaid 6:49 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Keisha… maybe sounds and animations could be downloadable add-ons for the app, creating another source of revenue. Good thinking!

        You’re also right about the “turned off reading” point. I have students of mine in mind when I think of this program. I want them to feel capable, be able to read what everyone else in the class is reading, join in the conversation, and grow in their skills.

    • Juliana 9:29 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Stephen,

      You have an interesting idea here. I especially liked how you brought in all of the other educational research into your proposal. I think many times the reason why a venture falls flat is because they forget the basics.

      It also looks like you have done extensive market research on how this program can eventually grow. The fact that you took the time to do that would definitely sway an investor. I have not taught in the K-12 environment, but I can see where your product could be useful. I think I have always taken for granted my level of reading and comprehension and never really thought about the students who are struggling. As a result, I think your venture could provide a little bit of help to students who struggle.

      As with many of these ventures, it could be hard to gauge what people are willing to shell out their hard earned cash for. I do wonder if people would be willing to renew their license on a yearly basis, but that could be just my personal bias. I don’t like software or apps that do ask me to shell out money like that, but I think I am in the minority.


      • mcquaid 6:52 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Juliana.
        My reasoning for the yearly license was for a few reasons, I think:

        – a program like Kurzweil is quite expensive (four figures around here). I wanted to price myself WAY below that, and make my product look quite enticing.
        – some classes / schools will need this program more or less over the years as students come and go. This would allow them to get it when they need it and not renew when they don’t.
        – the affordable yearly license would ensure I have a continuing source of revenue instead of a one-time purchase.
        – the program may get tweaked from year to year, so a new download / license would be as up-to-date as possible

        Thanks for the thoughts!

    • jenaca 3:10 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Stephen,
      I was really impressed with your pitch and the idea you created! You are definitely targeting a current problem that many schools are faced with today- Implementing and finding reading materials that are leveled accordingly to the meet the needs of students. I also think the name rephrase is perfect for your venture.
      Although I think you have a great idea and pitch here, I am a little unsure about the idea of having the teachers scan and upload the paper books. Maybe this is something you could add to your pitch?
      Otherwise, I think you have a great idea!!

      • mcquaid 4:25 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        The scanning is something that crossed my mind about my idea as a drawback, as well – I figured I wouldn’t be the only person to think of it (as I see a couple have now). I think, where I saw the progression (whether I said it in my venture pitch exactly or not) was for the use with e-books first (no scanning needed), the use of scanned texts for those who really want them (it’s what we do with Kurzweil), and then… I imagined it as ultimately being something that would work best on a mobile. The user would use their mobile’s camera to see / capture text, and rePhrase would rephrase it for them. Google Goggles can translate… why can’t rePhrase reword?
        Hopefully that alleviates your concerns, my dear investor. 😉

    • jenaca 6:49 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      My concerns are alleviated!! 🙂
      I will be

      The Venture:
      rePhrase is the world’s first ever automatic text leveler and enabler of adaptive text. What rePhrase does is take text from a chosen reading level and adapt it (without changing meaning as much as possible) to make it readable for almost any reader. Taking existing school texts and eliminating the need for many differentiated materials makes things easier on teachers, students, and school budgets.

      Additional Information On How it Works:
      • rePhrase determines the reading level of a body of electronic text that someone wants to read
      • Next the reader will alter the difficulty with a sliding scale at the top of the interface
      • Once a new reading level has been established, the program will use the abilities of a thesaurus and grammar check to change the words of a text without changing its overall meaning or hurting its sentence flow
      • As students grow in ability, they can adapt or change the difficulty of the text to suit themselves

      My Thoughts:
      rePhrase is a well thought and developed idea. The elevator pitch includes the essential information to help me further my decision of investing deeper into this idea. The pitch included statistics, facts, was very precise about the idea and showed confidence. rePhrase definitely has a place in the educational market and have the potential to help schools improve their current reading scores. I believe for the future, this service could create their own reading line, which would enhance the status of this product and essentially create more revenue.
      Great Pitch!

      • mcquaid 6:54 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks, Jenaca. I’m glad you’ve been convinced! 😉
        I also like your reading line idea… what a great source of dynamic products and constant revenue!

    • Jim 6:39 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi again Stephen,
      I wanted to delve deeper into your Venture Pitch and provide some feedback in the form of a brief EVA analysis. As a potential investor, I am looking in your venture pitch for a variety of information:

      Entrepreneur confidence:
      You exude confidence and calmness in your on camera appearance. Did that confidence continue into your longer Venture Pitch? I think it did continue because I saw arguments made for this product that are reasonable and interesting. You educational background is an asset but I would want to know who you have heading up the business aspects of the company.

      Good product that will be in demand:
      I think rePhrase is a great idea but the road to develop an app that can accurately and quickly rephrase text AND retain the original meaning will be a challenge. I think a successful app in this case would almost need to border on a kind of artificial intelligence (AI) that hasn’t quite been developed. Synonymous word replacement is straightforward but meaning variability, meaning context, word use variability, word connotation variability, and so on might change the meaning of rephrased text so drastically that the original message would be lost. (See honest about challenges below)

      How big is the potential client base:
      I like your market description and you are absolutely right about its potential. You mentioned several ways that the user base could be increased such as bundling with new tablets or other devices. That is a very good idea if a deal could indeed could be struck!

      Can the product compete successfully on the market:
      You rightfully mention that there is no competition although if I was going to invest in your venture, I might look at some of the AI work being done. There are algorithmic summarizers that do an excellent job with text and the more sophisticated ones might apply some AI algorithms that go beyond mathematical models most often used.

      Are you honest about challenges:
      Your pros and cons section speaks well of this. I think you are enthusiastic and excited but also in tune enough with reality to know the limitations. Obviously, if you were to go further, you would need to look into other patents and any other products that even comes close to your idea, including summarizers. You would also need to look at feasibility. Can an app really rephrase text in the way you describe? That is, an app that can written now (not ten years from now…).

      Investment risk?
      I think there is risk in the investment of this venture because, while the idea is very clear and the demand would be great and the problems solved would be significant, the road to the development of a successful product is not clear by any standard. I think your product, in order to be successful, would depend on yet to be developed AI components because your algorithms would have to somehow get a handle on the meaning of the text. Replacing synonymous simple words for more complex words will not work. My own knowledge of the AI research and history of AI failures over the last 60 years does not make me feel very confident.

      P.S. The point I make in the Investment Risk section above is one I would aim at my own Venture, too. BreakOut Illustrator has no clear path to development because I am not sure the technology exists yet to actually do what I want the programming to do.

      • mcquaid 7:01 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Jim.
        I’d like to know more about who would (like to) be in on this venture as well, to steer it into fruition. Anyone? Bueller?
        You’re absolutely right about the technological challenges. One of the strengths of my product is also one of its biggest challenges – its novelty / ground-breaking nature. These technological / AI challenges will definitely be a large hurdle. It’s a risk… but I really do wonder if it would be worth it. If someone (or group) out there thought it was possible (I think it must be, at least partially so, as I envision it), I’d gladly partner up to see it realized. Maybe I should talk to two of my Godparents’ sons… they recently had success on Dragons’ Den with their Honibe products.
        Thanks for your honest comments, Jim. It’s been great working with you and chatting with you throughout this course!

    • schiong 8:57 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I like your rePhrase product.
      As I was going through your Venture Pitch, I was also thinking … “How can this be implemented? ”

      Few things came to my mind … database, theory of automata, and AI.
      I think the application / program is doable. I am tempted to write the code. But, that’s not my role today 🙂

      Now, what I am not certain is how much memory would the program require because it needs to look at how the words are put together … and look for a viable rePhrase without loosing its original meaning. But, this is minor.


      • mcquaid 7:03 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Steve.
        I like your can-do / can-be-done attitude! Maybe you should contact me later with your programming hat on instead of your EVA one!
        It’s uplifting to hear that, maybe, the hurdles are surmountable.


    • verenanz 11:20 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I really love your idea. I am in China right now selling online ESL courses to students…and I can obvioulsy see the potential in your product…but I couldn’t “see” your video – I apologize.

      Your marketing and licensing agreement system seems to follow http://www.busuu.com. I would look to them for some ideas…
      Something that I felt that you were missing was how you would sell your product. Marketing overseas is cultually different than western countries – as I am sure you are well aware. Getting local schools to even “consider” different ideas – is extremely difficult. How will you get to that “billion”dollar market?

      That said, I think that you have a great idea and I really hope that it comes to fuition- because we would be interested in working with you….www.GlobalEd.ca


      • mcquaid 7:06 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Verena. I have looked at busuu before – earlier in this course, I think. Perhaps I should delve deeper into the site for some ideas. Thanks for the direction and positive comments. If something ever comes of this, I’ll look you up!

    • carmen 10:54 am on December 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Great idea venture indeed, Stephen, and there’s definitely a need for this product. I know that for high schools in Vancouver, there are ESL social and ESL science classes, in which students simply can’t join the regular class because of their limited English comprehension skills. It is not easy to find reading materials with simpler language, and yet, teaches concept at the same level of difficulty that suits these students’ needs. The result is that sometimes students who move into the regular science class might find it difficult to adapt when other students of the same grade have learned the foundations in the previous grades. An app like rePhrase will help these teachers provide reading materials that is closer to the regular class (ex. Science 10) and better prepare these ESL students when they join the regular classes.

      One concern I have is how the program might deal with long sentences with complicated sentence structures. I often work with students who understand all the words, but couldn’t decode the meaning of the sentence when the words are put together.

      Another concern is about learning how to read… sometimes translation programs give us something that’s understandable, but not quite grammatically correct. It might take a while to perfect rePhrase.

      Since I don’t have the technical knowledge, I’m not quite sure if these problems can be solved with existing technology. However, I am convinced that this is a great idea and has a lot of potential!

      • mcquaid 8:00 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Carmen.
        Thanks for your encouraging remarks!
        I too, aside from my low-level readers, thought of immigrant students as a great target market – students at grade level mentally, but behind the pack in English. Allowing them to more easily access the content in classes they attend would be a great help to them.

        Long, complex sentences, phrasing (just think of the punctuation issues and possible shifts in meaning), and overall grammar are definitely big concerns of mine, too. I have no idea how to technically attack them… just how I’d like them to work!

        Thanks again for your e-props!

    • themusicwoman 9:20 pm on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Wow, Stephen. What a great concept. i especially like the logo. 🙂
      Agree with many of the sentiments already expressed but I have to say I really appreciate your research into this project. As well, I think I spent a lot of time going over your list of pros and cons at the end of your document. Kudos to you for putting it out there. Again. Wow. I appreciate the fact that it is a new product so much of your information is difficult to acquire.

      • mcquaid 8:02 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Michelle. Thanks for the compliment on the logo – I truly thought having a good one would lend some credibility to my venture. I remember looking at the Evernote pitch and thinking what the logo did for it – it makes it seem more real and memorable.
        Thanks for the rest of the comments, too… hopefully David reads them all before grading me! 😉

  • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 8:23 pm on November 27, 2011
    1 votes

    Hello All, My elevator pitch can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nob5EQ3mXbE  and the venture pitch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWp6KX7OWtk Cheers, Keisha

    Continue reading A3 Posted in: Uncategorized, Week 13: Venture Forum
    • Julie S 3:36 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Keisha,

      I’m just starting my reviews and your venture captured my interest. It looks like you are proposing a solution that is similar to something we have in the business world called ‘busines intelligence’. I think that you’ve explained your concept very well and have demonstrated the credentials of your team are what is needed to be successful. The pricing model looks reasonable for starting up but I’m wondering if you thought about future upgrades or enhancement potential? I’m also wondering if there is any possibility of partnering with any of the vendors that you identified as competitors e.g. the LMS vendors?

      Also, from a risk perspective, I’m wondering if there are any concerns that you need to consider with respect to privacy regulations with respect to any of the data that you will be integrating?

      Overall I found your pitch thorough and convincing.

      – Julie

    • Kristopher 3:46 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Keisha,

      Thanks for the pitch! It is very clear what your intended market and venture will achieve. I appreciated your voiceover in that it helped to make a connection with the pitch-er, but perhaps more visual on the screen to match the quality of the narrative could help engage the viewer.



    • Jim 6:58 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Keisha!
      I had a look at your pitches and I must admit that your proposal would solve many problems that exist in schools. I think your elevator pitch is clear and I only had to watch it once to know your idea. My only concern would be from school systems who might say “we already use a SMS and an LMS. Switching to your system would take even more time and effort than we correctly do trying to make our systems talk to each other.” Also, I am aware of plugs that are offered by SMS and LMS companies so that SMS and LMS can talk to each other. This provides the greatest flexibility for school systems because they can choose the SMS they like the best and the LMS they like the best. How would your product be flexible?

      • Jim 7:00 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Sorry – meant to say “plug-ins” not plugs 🙂

        [For some reason, the ‘edit’ button on comments is not available on this blog. So I can’t go back and change it myself…]

    • Everton Walker 8:34 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      Loving the concept! This seems like serious money and such a system would work well with our system. The pitch is clear and to the point and workable. This LMS would be a good investment as it is only a matter of time before education systems globally are revolutionized through learning technologies and online learning. Making one’s name early in the market is always crucial and I hope you will follow up on this initiative.


    • ashleyross 4:17 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Keisha,

      Your elevator pitch was very clear, you explained your product well and you placed yourself in a position where you appeared very confident and knowledgeable about the market. From a perspective of an EVA that doesn’t know much about all the features of different LMS & SMS products, I would have liked to have seen at least one example of what these “best features are” that you are referring to in the elevator pitch. Overall Great job. 🙂

    • Allie 5:48 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Keisha,

      I think that your EP is very intriguing and engaging, and I’m keen to learn more. It seems like a really original idea! Like Ashley, I’m wondering if you could maybe provide the tiniest bit more detail about what the ‘best features’ are (and I say tiniest bit of detail because I felt that your EP had a really good level of information). I’m also wondering what the gap is between SMS and LMS that you speak of early on (true confession: have never used an SMS), and whether you could suggest what the benefits would be for end users?
      best, Allie

    • Julie S 3:26 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Keisha,

      I’ve chosen your presentation to do a detailed review.

      I think you really have something strong here and the credentials of your team give me the confidence that your company would be able to succeed. However, I would want to see some issues addressed before I would invest.

      I think the pitch to replace two systems with one new and improved system is a hard sell. The preferred, cheaper method, in my experience is to have interfaces built between the systems and/or to build a data warehouse that pulls data from the source and develops unified views of information, typically accessible through a web browser.

      This is not to say your new system isn’t a good idea but I wouldn’t see companies that have already invested in two systems as being in the market for a third even if it is much better; at least not without a very convincing argument.

      However, it sounds like you have a market of 70% of schools who have not invested in an SMS. I don’t recall seeing an associated statistic for the LMS. So I think there may be a market you just need to focus in to the right one.

      Note on presentation format: I think there is a generally accepted rule out there against reading PowerPoint slides to your audience. You could add some compelling images and make your points much stronger. The benefits section is a good example. I needed more convincing about the value to the customer. Maybe you could make a mock-up of an illustration of a unified view of information that the student, teacher or administrator would value.

      Good luck with your venture!


    • Jim 1:27 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi again Keisha,
      I wanted to delve deeper into your Venture Pitch and provide some feedback in the form of a brief EVA analysis. As a potential investor, I am looking in your venture pitch for a variety of information:

      Entrepreneur confidence?
      I was very much impressed with the clarity of both your voice and the organization of your ideas in your video venture pitch. I was beginning to wonder if there was any information about the CEO or other management team people but you did include that near the end of your venture pitch video. It gives me more confidence to know that you are a teacher and a software developer, and that you have experience. I would also like to be made aware of the people in the management team who have business backgrounds and who could lead the financial and business administration aspects of a growing company.

      Is it a good product that will be in demand?
      You spent a fair amount of time in your venture pitch describing exactly what your product is, the problems it solves, the features, and the advantages to teachers and students and administrators. However, I do have some difficulty envisioning how this database/Admin/LMS hybrid would have Facebook like look and feel. I can see the LMS system doing that okay, but not really the admin part of it. Perhaps an area that you could improve would be to elaborate on your Facebook-like affordances that differentiate your product from the many other similar products in the market.

      How big is the potential client base?
      In terms of your potential market, I think you are wise to initially target institutions that currently manage this information manually. Your potential client base is vast given that your system could be translated into many languages. However, I would assume that most educational organizations already use digital student and learning management systems. In order for these organizations to even consider switching away from their current product, you will need to demonstrate that your product is a vast improvement, cheaper, easier to maintain, and has no cost or effort to switch over to. That is a fairly tall order. If you can do it, then I think you might have a successful product.

      Can the product compete successfully on the market?
      It looks like you have examined a variety of other products on the market and one in particular intrigues me: that is the Sycamore product. I had a look at the Sycamore product on their web site and you are right it does sound very similar. In fact, on November 1, 2011, Sycamore announced that they were adding an LMS to their SMS (http://www.prlog.org/11712976-sycamore-education-adds-learning-management-system-to-their-comprehensive-online-school-administration.html). You do mention that your product will have a facebook look and feel but I am still wondering if that would work with the school administration aspect. Also, there are already Facebook type social learning networks available for free to teachers and schools such as Edmodo. I also did a little search online and I found some other similar products that you might want to look at such as eduswift (http://www.eduswift.com/), Caloris Planitia Technologies E-School Management System (http://www.calorisplanitia.com/e-school-management-system.aspx), SharePoint LMS (http://www.sharepointlms.com/), and there were a number of others… I hope that you understand that the point I am making is that your product would need to be paradigm shifting in order to grab clients and potential customers away from these other products that already seem to be effectively in use in many institutions.

      Are you honest about challenges?
      I was glad to see you openly discuss the challenges to your product near the end of your Venture Pitch video. I agree with all of the challenges you mention but I think that competition is a huge factor in your pitch as well as institutions that already are using software to manage these data. Your product would have to offer a significant difference in cost, ease of use, scalability, support, and capacity that would motivate educational institutions to change from what they are currently using.

      Investment risk?
      Until I can get a better sense of how this product is radically different from the many other products that do the same or similar functions in the market, I would characterize this as an investment risk and the venture in need of further refinement. I do see potential in your idea but I think perhaps a greater focus on specific markets or organizations might help with competition and marketing; or focus on creating a product that is fundamentally different and infinitely more usable or friendly that is currently in the market.

    • Doug Smith 7:31 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      The elevator pitch for School Manager grabbed my attention and struck me as a product that could be poised to offer a new venture into an existing market. After viewing the venture pitch, I now have a better understanding and appreciation of the venture, along with some concerns.

      School Manager, as a product, appears to be very comprehensive and I believe it is worthwhile to merge the realms of a LMS and a SIS. From an administrative perspective this would seem to make sense. However, I’m a bit concerned about the level of adoption that teachers will take. It is vitally important that teachers and students embrace this product. There is some comfort in knowing that the developers recognize the need for familiarity with the end users.

      I would have liked to hear more about the initial market where the product will first be sold. I am unfamiliar with the Caribbean in terms of education and sales, and this makes it difficult for me to appropriately gauge the potential for success. Furthermore, while I have confidence in the developers of School Manager, I am wary of the branding that may occur from a made in the Caribbean product. Consumer prejudice, while not supported or rationalized, is nevertheless a reality that I have to consider.

      I believe that with some appropriate marketing and branding, School Manager has the potential for success. The financials are very modest, making this a somewhat low-risk, low-reward venture. Combined with my lack of knowledge of the Caribbean market, I cannot approve investment into your venture at this time. I wish you success, and hope that we can speak again when you are looking to expand into Canada or the USA.

  • jarvise 9:17 am on November 27, 2011
    2 votes

    Tags: , PPP learning, tutoring   

    Hi everyone, My venture focuses on improving communication for learning between parents and teachers to foster an atmosphere that is positive, practical and personal (PPP). Lots of money to be made in private tutoring; lots to be made in the DIY market. Combining them only makes sense. Enjoy! PPP Learning Elevator Pitch To see the […]

    Continue reading A3 PPP Learning Posted in: Uncategorized, Week 13: Venture Forum
    • Kristopher 12:10 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Emily,

      Excellent idea! There is a huge market that can be cracked into in large chunks (at a minimum entire classrooms instead of individuals). I very much like the idea. While I had some challenges with quality of video (pretty sure it is my system), I was curious about your decision to use Prezi. I am a huge fan of Prezi, but opted out of it because I didn’t want the viewer to have to click through. I quite liked your balance of a self-playing video, with additional information available through the prezi format.


      • jarvise 11:35 am on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for the feedback. I wasn’t going to use prezi, and had made it in powerpoint, but then realized that you can’t (or I can’t) export powerpoint with animation. What’s up with that? Anyway, I had to re-think how to do it, and prezi seemed like a good idea. I wanted to have the video playing throughout with images and words coming through at the right times (but still able to see video). I never found a satisfactory tool to do it. Crazy.

    • Jim 6:35 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Emily,
      I really like your idea of a kind of managed, value-added tutoring service… once that provides that tutoring itself but also the coordination of that service. Having been a tutor myself during the off hours of the first ten years of my teaching career, I was curious to know how this would look in your elevator pitch. I think one way you could strengthen your elevator pitch would be to highlight clearly by concisely why your service is unique. That might involve explaining the three Ps – positive, practical and personal… how does your service accomplished this better than traditional tutoring services? Why, as a prospective parent, would I be willing to pay a little more for your value-added tutoring service than a run-of-the-mill tutor?

      • jarvise 11:37 am on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Jim,

        Thanks for the feedback. I found it very difficult to select what to highlight in the elevator pitch. I wanted to give a quick idea of why this is needed, what it is, where the market is, and how it could make money. A lot to fit in. I spent a lot of time cutting back on product description, thinking that the goal was to draw in an investor to take a look at the venture pitch, where the product would more fully be described.


    • Everton Walker 8:54 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I like your line of thinking as you didn’t take on the obvious. To include those critical stakeholders and improve communication is paramount in today’s learning environment. However, I just wanted to know more about the mode of delivery and any added value the service will have. We are in a competitive environment so I know you will be innovative in what you have planned to capture a share of the market and maintain it.


    • Juliana 9:11 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Emily,

      Your venture really opened my eyes. I knew that there was a tutoring market, but I would have never thought of cracking it in the way that you suggested. I also liked how you laid out the ask, the marketing and the return. I think these are all important parts of the pitch and they can help to sway an investor. I also liked how in your venture you decided to personalize things not only for the student, but also the parent.

      I like in your presentaiton how you made everything look like a chalkboard, but I thought the panning was a little distracting. Also in your elevator pitch I thought you spoke a little fast. Although I can understand why…you only have a minute and you need to get everything in. I will admit how you were able to say everything that you wanted to say in one continuous take. When I was doing my narrations, I was stumbling over my words constantly (along with hacking and coughing), so it took me a while to put everything together.


      • jarvise 11:42 am on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Juliana,

        Thanks for the feedback. Narrating the video was very difficult. I have many, many takes. It got easier as time went on and I got more comfortable in front of the camera. I’m very shy, so I had to pretend that I was an actor playing the part of an empassioned entrepreneur. If I approached it as myself, I was too uncomfortable. I think my acting was OK. Funny, eh? I also realized after a number of takes that you can crop your video from either end, so I didn’t have to sit posed waiting to push the start button. I just acted normal, pushed start, then got myself composed while taping. This assignment took a ridiculous amount of time. Thanks for the positive response!


        • Juliana 5:54 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Hi Emily,

          I can totally understand how you felt about the narration. It can be especially difficult if you are a shy person. Kudos to you for doing a good job! I never got the sense you were shy at all. In fact you exuded a confident presence.

          I do remember reading somewhere that if you are going to present or give a talk somewhere, what you need to do is get into the mindset that you are a host and your audience are a bunch of people coming to your house for a dinner party or get-together. By putting yourself in the mind frame of the host, you take on the role of being a caretaker of your audience and it is supposed to alleviate any pressure or nerves you feel and allow you to give a better speech that allows you to connect to the audience.

          I thought that was an interesting way to do a presentation. I think I will try it the next time I have to speak in front of a group of people. I couldn’t do this for this project because I felt so sick I just wanted to get through it without hacking up a lung 😉


    • schiong 11:49 am on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Emily,

      I am familiar with the concept of tutoring. My partners and I franchised Enopi (similar to Kumon). This is why I was curious about your project.

      I reviewed both the elevator and venture pitch. I want to make sure I don’t miss any good stuff.
      There were few questions in my head while reviewing the pitches …
      a) How do you intend to implement this?
      b) What would make your product different from a tech savvy tutor who might use blogs, Moodle, or any other open source platforms?
      c) I believe most ideas are unique only for a moment. Once the idea goes public, others would imitate. So, what would be your next step once you get the funding? how do you keep the business alive?

      Overall, I love the presentation and the concept.


      • jarvise 9:09 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Stephen,

        thanks for the comments. I think that what sets this business apart from other tutoring services is that there is no tutor, per se. The idea is basically that we are providing support to parents to do the work with the kids themselves. One of the key ideas I came across in research is that parents who seek tutoring continue to spend more time on homework with their kids than others (generally). So by providing focus to the time they are already spending, they can save money and time.

        As far as implementation, the plan is a completely online business, so basically once a parent hires the company, we would go about initiating contact with the teacher, etc. One weakness I have thought on extensively is what to do when a teacher is unresponsive. One possible way around this is to have a parent send in a copy of the most recent report card, since this should be itemized by outcome anyway. Part of getting teachers on board is to warm them up in an initial contact describing our service as an extension of their efforts to help their students, and to position them as the ‘experts’ – we are just providing some extra work based on their recommendations. I know I would have welcomed this as a teacher; but there are definitely those out there who would be threatened by it.


    • Allie 6:09 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Emily,
      I think this is a really intriguing concept, and nicely presented too. I had no idea that tutors were so prevalent – why do 20% of parents who want tutors not get them? Is it a $ thing? Just from your EP I was thinking three things. I think that the video is maybe a little too jampacked. Maybe the opener about parents wanting to spend time with kids and changing modes of assessment could be taken out to save time? I wasn’t sure how they fit into the overall concept. I was also wondering what the tech would look like and how it would work. if schools would be subscribing to this service, I’m wondering about the relationship between schools and tutors; is it a positive one? I’m just thinking, if institutionally subscribe to a private tutoring service to facilitate communication with parents, does that turn (public) schooling into more of a public private partnership (the other ppp…), with tutors having a greater role in pedagogical concerns? The question I have as an EVA is about whether the broader community would be warm to that. In BC, there’s a lot of concern about moving public services to P3s – especially when it comes to essential services.

      • jarvise 9:14 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Allie,
        Thanks for the comments. The idea is not for school subscriptions (I don’t think it would fly, since essentially we are extending into what would traditionally be considered teacher’s duties; unfortunately, the reality is that teachers don’t have enough time to create personalized extra work for every student based on what that student and their parents prefer…). The idea was to have parents subscribing to the service. I don’t think that most traditional schools would be open to paying for this. The idea was to target parents, who have already shown a willingness to pay extra for education.

        The whole ‘parents want more time with their kids, and don’t understand the school system’ part was to position the product as something that is marketing to parents based on these needs. The second (alienation from the school system) has been an impetus behind seeking tutuoring. The first, though, is basically what differentiates our service; through having the parents working directly with their kids on the material, they are getting more time engaged with their kids, and are not spending additional time taking them to external tutoring services.

        … I thought of the ppp connection too… 😉


    • Tamara Wong 6:56 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Great concept! I’m not very familiar with working with children but from my limited experiences with this market, your idea seems valuable. Your pitch was very well researched and persuasive. I had no idea that the tutoring market was so large! I also liked your use of the prezi as your elevator pitch. It enhanced your you tube clip well. Your venture pitch was great and the use of the chalkboard theme is clever. While I was watching your pitch I kept thinking of questions and as soon as I thought of one it was answered. It was just -in- time information for me! The only question I was left with was how do you plan on getting the teachers on board?
      I liked the way you approached the making of your venture pitch. I too struggled with making mine. I didn’t think of trying to act, it is a great solution. You sound confident – like you know what you are doing and I didn’t get any feeling that you were a shy person! The only problems I had where your talking was a little fast and with a cold in my head I had some difficulties keeping up.

      • jarvise 9:19 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Tamara,

        Getting teachers on board has been an ongoing concern of mine as well while thinking this one through. I think that by initiating contact with a message that basically posits them as the ‘experts’ who are overworked, we send the message that they are a valued part of the process, and that basically we are just looking for a few seconds to click off which outcomes need more work. We will then support their efforts in the classroom through supplemental targeted exercises out of the classroom.

        I was thinking that for those who are resistant, there is always the route of asking a parent to send in the last report card, which would have itemized outcomes on it anyway. In addition, students standardized assessments (and any other assessments) should be available to parents from the school if they ask. This is another possibility. It would, however, add time to the process.


    • Kristopher 10:05 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Emerging Venture Analysis: PPP

      In order to analyze the potential of the PPP venture, we will consider both the internal and external positives and potential negatives.

      The PPP venture is a clear product which is flexible to the needs of the varied relationships and types of students; it brings together already existing relationships that are typically segregated due to time constraints. It facilitates the conversion of good intention of the parents and teacher to action. This venture has clear goals for the future which enhance the pitch substantially. In addition to these strengths, it also maintains the learning experience throughout the summer.

      This venture relies on the existing players (parents, teachers, and tutors) taking on additional tasks in order for it to be successful. This inherent reliance on others may increase engagement of those players, but it is still additional task, meaning that the success of the service itself lies in the uptake of the users—a large variable.

      This venture fills in a need that exists in all parent/teacher relationship. As parents wish to become more engaged in their child’s education, it is important that that channel be facilitated; an obvious application of modern learning technologies. As well, as tutoring grows (5% per year in the United States), there is a huge market that is currently untapped. By making that engagement process between teachers/tutors/parents easier, this venture is able to tap into that market.

      This venture relies additionally on the growth of private tutoring; according to the pitch, there are many other private tutors appearing with strong client based (Kumon, Sylvain, etc.). The tutors already have established processes, so will be in direct competition.

      Based on the changing nature of parent engagement and increasing connectivity, I would recommend this venture for investment.

  • David Berljawsky 5:43 am on November 27, 2011
    0 votes

    Thank you for participating in our activity this week. We hope that you now have a stronger understanding of social analytics and how they are used in education. Of course, since our project was about social analytics, we have been tracking our website over the past week (Nov-21st – 27th), and thanks to Google Analytics, […]

    Continue reading Week 12 Analytics Roundup – You’ve been tracked! Posted in: Uncategorized, Week 12: Social Analytics
    • bcourey 8:50 am on November 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      This is phenomenal!!! I am going to investigate doing this for our board website as we are in the process of changing it dramatically – we will need this type of analytics to review what is viewed most and least. Thanks so much Week 12 team!!

    • jarvise 9:12 am on November 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Awesome wrap-up! This was a challenging topic, and you have done some great work with it.


    • Julie S 8:18 pm on November 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Wow… amazing and kind of scary the level of information that you can access.

    • Tamara Wong 7:35 am on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Great Presentation! The amount of information you can get is pretty cool!! I’m going to talk to our programer and see what he can do about implementing these in our schools website!! Thanks for the great info.

    • mcquaid 12:03 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I think it’s funny how I can pinpoint myself on this… I was personally responsible for 10.58% of your presentation’s visits! 😀

    • Deb Kim 4:24 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Wow, this is amazing!
      I’m surprised that Internet Explorer is the browser that was used the least. It’s quite exciting to see these results.
      Thanks, Week 12 team, for your great effort and work!


    • David Jackson 7:24 am on November 5, 2013 | Log in to Reply

      Nice job with clear benefits obvious for the budding entrepreneur who is trying to get a handle on the effectiveness of his/her online marketing efforts.

  • kstooshnov 11:54 am on November 24, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , , smartboard   

    Hi all, Just a quick note from the Blueridge Elementary computer lab, while the students have their free time (and a much needed chance for me to catch up with this week’s discussion).  I just demonstrated to the students how Evernote can instantly upload from a mobile device onto their school’s desktop, also connected to […]

    Continue reading My first Mobile-to-SMARTBoard upload Posted in: Uncategorized
    • Allie 12:31 pm on November 25, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      sweet! i’ve been enjoying using evernote too, mainly as a cloud-based space to deposit thoughts, links and notes.

      and since it’s social analytics week how do you think Evernote might use social analytics to enhance its service?

  • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 6:46 am on November 24, 2011
    0 votes

      With respect to education, learning analytic s is quite appropriate and useful.  It helps to keep track of students computer mediated interactions.  For example, a learning management system like MOODLE or Blackboard could use these methods to capture a significant amount of data such as time spent on a resource or task, frequency of […]

    Continue reading A2 Posted in: Uncategorized
    • khenry 9:37 am on November 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Keisha,
      Thank you for your comments. Within the MET program I have seen the use of both informal and formal tracking systems; the latter using learning analytics within Moodle and Blackboard LMSs.

      From your comments I envision your support, creation and/or utilisation of a tool that can monitor student performance and participation and flag at risk students. Interventions can then be designed, introduced and evaluated. A similar system was discussed in the Horizon report, http://wp.nmc.org/horizon2011/sections/learning-analytics/, on Purdue University’s signals system http://www.itap.purdue.edu/learning/tools/signals/ , which may be of interest to you.

      Do you currently use a system that achieves this? Can you apply such learning analytic systems, as described above, easily in your current educational practices (if not already doing so)? What are some of your opportunities, challenges and or limitations to the use of such tools? What alternative strategies or tools do you employ?

      You have highlighted some valuable aspects that may enrich conversations for activities 3 and 4 this week.


    • khenry 10:39 am on November 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Keisha,
      Thank you for your comments. Within the MET program I have seen the use of both informal and formal tracking systems; the latter using learning analytics within Moodle and Blackboard LMSs.

      From your comments I envision your support, creation and/or utilisation of a tool that can monitor student performance and participation and flag at risk students. Interventions can then be designed introduced and evaluated. A similar system was discussed in the Horizon report, http://wp.nmc.org/horizon2011/sections/learning-analytics/, on Purdue University’s signals system http://www.itap.purdue.edu/learning/tools/signals/ , which may be of interest to you.

      Do you currently use a system that achieves this? Can you apply such learning analytic systems, as described above, easily in your current educational practices (if not already doing so)? What are some of your opportunities, challenges and or limitations to the use of such tools? What alternative strategies or tools do you employ?

      You have highlighted some valuable aspects that may enrich conversations for activities 3 and 4 this week.


    • Angela Novoa 12:30 pm on November 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Keisha, I think that for the purposes of providing feedback about course structure, design, content and students’ level of participation, abilities, interests and needs is very useful. Your example about time spent on a resource or a task is very important to assess if the design of an activity needs improvement or not.


    • Everton Walker 4:29 pm on November 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      This can be very useful as a tracking system. I do have it on my wordpress blog but never really knew of the name. With this, I am able to see the date, time, type of computer, IP address, location, browser, time of last click and login time of the users. As a result, I am able to track the frequent users and those who are not visiting the site. With this data, I can encourage the delinquent ones to get on board and let them know that I am watching in the background.


    • hall 12:48 am on November 25, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Keisha,

      I agree with you that “a learning management system like MOODLE or Blackboard could use these methods to capture a significant amount of data”. The collected data could be used to award students grade for their participation on online class activities. Also it could be used to analyze the students’ activities in online courses which could substantiate the evaluation of courses.

  • Doug Smith 12:00 pm on November 18, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , meaningful,   

    I find Koole’s framework to almost be a bit naive in its scope.  I would argue that the framework applies equally to all computers, mobile or not.  I understand that mobile is always there, but the pervasiveness of computers is ever-present.  For example, I don’t need my own mobile device to have the immediacy: I […]

    Continue reading Day 2 – my m-learning devices Posted in: Uncategorized, Week 11: Mobiles
    • David William Price 12:23 pm on November 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Great comment.

      1. The Koole framework can be applied to other computing devices, but I don’t see how that negates its value for mobiles. Have you ever read “The Design of Everyday Things” by Norman? As simple as frameworks may be, it seems that designers don’t use them when they design. It’s fun to read reviews of mobiles and tablets coming out and see how they have amazing features, but they aren’t that usable.

      2. Authenticity and collaboration are potentials for m-learning that don’t seem to be leveraged right now. It seems that imagination is required to break out of expectations that learning requires drill and kill, masses of reading, or classroom use. It seems the affordances of mobile really get lost for some reason, perhaps because it’s far easier to try to do what we’ve done before, even if the context has changed.

      3. This is interesting: “However, the issue that grabs me is that I think the smartphone is not necessarily contextual, and I think it can lead to very shallow (ie not meaningful) outcomes.” Please elaborate. I;’m thinking of augmented reality being highly contextual… and GPS… and even the motion sensors in mobiles… can you explain?

      4. “I could say a lot about this, but suffice it to say that the wrong analysis is easily made when we rely on people that have conflicting interests, or simply a lack of knowledge in learning theories.”

      This is painfully true. Even in my domain, you can call yourself an instructional designer without having any formal training whatsoever. Designers I’ve interviewed range from former English teachers with no training, to people with certifications from a week-long course, no Masters and Ph.ds specialized in instructional design. Even within our own department, people who have gadget fetishes tend not to discuss the con-side of technology use. In the Clark (methods) vs Kozma (media) debate, I am firmly with Clark.

      The issue is really how do the affordances of mobile enable more interesting methods! Not how does the new media improve engagement with the same old tired and often ineffective methods. The problem is developing good apps is extremely costly. I would like to see mobiles leveraged as a way of using the real world to teach and exemplify concepts. If you want to teach science, don’t rely on the tiny screen of a mobile to replace a textbook, a lecture, or an experiment. Instead, use the mobile to guide a learner through conducting experiments and observations and collecting data to put their learning into practice.

      What do you think?

      • Doug Smith 3:39 pm on November 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        re: 3
        I think your examples are contextual, but I’m not sure that his how m-learning often makes use of device functions, if barely at all. Most mobiles are predominately media/web utilized, this is clear. Now, that certainly doesn’t negate the framework or the potential, but at some point we do have acknowledge the reality (I’m not suggesting that you are not!). I’m certainly no expert on this, but the vast majority of m-learning uses I hear about through my PLN (anecdotal) come down to very menial tasks. There may be context, but the meaningful learning seems forgotten, or perhaps never thought of in the first place. I’m talking about tasks that probably would never be considered if it was pen and paper, all of a sudden gain traction because it can be done on a device.

        In addition to the above, I do believe there are separate contextual problems. This comes down to byte-sized information given out and consumed in small chunks at a time. It’s a type of reductionism where context can easily be lost. I’m sort of thinking that context is often created through synthesis, and synthesis is lost in bit-by-bit consumption of knowledge. I’m sort of thinking of these ideas while typing, so I maybe off-base. I imagine there is some truth to what I’m saying though.

        As both you and I allude to, the real issue is how to leverage the m-device for m-learning. Clearly this is through communication capabilities, as this is where our current m-devices excel. I also like your idea as a scientific data collector – I can see this taking off as wireless technologies expand and the usb port fades away into obscurity.


        • David William Price 9:11 pm on November 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          I have to agree that the affordances of mobile are not used in m-learning people are talking about… but it was the same in early e-learning and there are still many people doing “page turners” instead of more interesting things like this simple but effective concept:


          The byte-sized learning proposed for mobiles is about refreshing and coaching within authentic contexts for stuff already learned more thoroughly elsewhere. A mobile might guide you through heuristics to push your learning through application and evaluation and creation.

          I don’t really see mobiles as a replacement for laptops and classrooms. I don’t share the excitement of gadget freaks about having every new gadget replace everything (I suspect that kind of logic is used to justify the expense for early adopters!). Instead I see mobiles as part of a set of tools, a particular tool that allows for leveraging different learning theories. As you mentioned before, you have to know the learning theories in order to understand which tools are best for which approaches!

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