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  • ashleyross 9:49 am on October 1, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: entrepreneurs, Jim Marggraft, Livescribe   

    In 2008 Livescribe released its first smartpen, The Pulse, which records what you hear and connects it to what you write. You can playback your lectures by taping on a particular note in your notebook or on the uploaded version on your computer. The Eco, which was released in 2010, featured a new standard USB […]

    Continue reading Livescribe Smartpen Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • jenaca 11:10 am on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey Ashley,
      This is a really interesting device you chose. I have never seen this pen before and am definitely interested in learning more about it. I agree with you, I think the LiveScribe SmartPen is a great invention and is something I now want to buy!
      The founder of the company definitely is credible and has been in the business for a very long time!
      Thanks for the great post!

    • mcquaid 3:11 pm on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I noticed on their site that with the purchase of any smartpen, you get a free year of Evernote Premium. Interesting connection to our previous week!

      • ashleyross 9:05 am on October 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        You’re right, that is an interesting connection to our previous week. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Everton Walker 5:14 pm on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      This is very intriguing and different. I would really like to experience this pen. Do you think this venture has the potential to be really successful? Even though I like the idea I am not sure if I would invest in such a venture. Even though business is all about taking risk, I would chance this one. Could you please elaborate on the experience you are having with the smartpen.

      • ashleyross 9:25 am on October 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Yes, of course I can elaborate. I would invest in this venture; I think it has the potential to be really successful. As a hobby of mine I work with students who have learning difficulties, so I’m always on the lookout for technologies that will help them succeed in their education. This pen is great for anyone who has difficulty taking notes or wants to be able to go back and listen to specific parts of a lecture or meeting. For the students I work with, most have dysgraphia or a learning disability, which makes it really difficult for them to take notes. Using this pen they don’t even need to take any notes, they can write one word down or even draw something to make an important point they’d like to go back and listen too. The pen also has a ‘star’ feature on the notebook that they tap if something their writing is important.

        I also tested this pen out during my undergraduate degree, to see how it actually worked in a classroom setting. I had large lecture halls with 300+ students and small classes with less than 30 students. It picked up exactly what you hear in a classroom, usually I sat in the front to middle of the classroom and it worked great, the odd time if I came in late I would sit in the back and it still worked. Obviously the closer I sat the front the easier it was to hear the professor but that’s the same when you sit in any classroom/ lecture hall.

        Did I answer your question? Let me know if you have any other questions. 🙂

    • schiong 9:16 pm on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I am more familiar with LeapFrog product. It is an excellent learning supplement.
      I have heard of Livescribe last year from a colleague. We were discussing about the “evolution” of cheating during exams.

      • ashleyross 9:32 am on October 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Yes, the evolution of cheating during exams – is an interesting one. During an exam I would imagine you wouldn’t be able to use the pen even if you were just using the pen to write. Are you also referring to a student who records a class can memorize exactly what you say and regurgitate it back to you on an exam… would that be considered cheating?

    • bcourey 10:18 am on October 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I believe that this venture has great potential. We have purchased them as a pilot study for our students with special learning needs and they are proving to be very useful. Easy to set up and very easy to use…the founder is really on to something great here.

      • ashleyross 9:34 am on October 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        I think this product is great for students with special learning needs. You’re right, the product is very easy to set up and use.

    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 1:55 pm on October 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thank you for the information. This is a tool I look forward to explore very soon.


  • Jay 1:10 pm on September 30, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: EarthWalk, entrepreneurs, Green, , social responsibility, sustainable   

    EarthWalk is a learning technologies company that focuses on developing and delivering high-efficiency, cost-effective learning technologies to classrooms, government and businesses globally to enhance learning environments in a cost and energy efficient way.  The company was started by founder and acting CEO Evan T. McConnell who “saw a real need to improve computer and Internet […]

    Continue reading EarthWalk – Green Learning Technologies Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • David William Price 7:39 pm on September 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      When it comes to labs of computers, energy efficiency is a big deal – electricity costs not only to run the lab but also the air conditioning to deal with all the heat. But reviewing the website, I see your point.

      Interesting collection of cabinets for lab and tech equipment. Not a space I knew existed. Thanks for sharing it.

      So what are your personal reflections?

    • khenry 5:43 am on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jay,
      Thanks for the link. My arts college is relatively small. We have one main computer lab for the general campus and another, mostly reserved for the Visual Arts students. I have advocated for the use of a mobile lab but my IT department did not really bite on the suggestion. I believe that I will go back to them with this link.
      Of interest to me in your post, as in my research and a few others read, is the wealth of experience, whether in venture leadership and/or computer science and/or education, that these CEO and founders take to the table. How do you see or position yourself/your success/needs as an entrepreneur in this milieu?


    • mcquaid 2:59 pm on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi, Jay.
      I recently was given a set of ten laptops in a cart for my class. I’m curious to see how well they will work (once the computers actually arrive). The power-saving slant def. got me thinking… I was already starting to write some kind of test project proposal in my head… to get a cart of tablets or something for our school to use in place of the lab… see how much we could actually save or save & benefit… something to think about. Thanks!

  • Tamara Wong 7:31 am on September 30, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: entrepreneurs, ,   

    BrainPOP is the idea of Dr. Avraham Kadar a pediatrician and immunologist.  This venture began as a way for Dr. Kadar to explain difficult medical concepts to children and expanded to various parts of K-13 Curriculum including ESL. BrainPOP includes a variety of movies about a particular topic with interactive quizzes and activities to reinforce […]

    Continue reading BrainPOP: Interesting beginnings Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
    • Karen Jones 10:41 am on September 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Tamara,
      I was wondering if you had viewed some of the BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr videos, as there are a number that they offer for free viewing. They are most definitely targeted at K to 10 classes, and serve as useful introductions and reviews for a wide variety of topics, from science to English. We use three or four of them a week in our grade 9/10 classes, and find the pre-made quizzes cover curricular material in a fun, yet adequately challenging way. I must admit to having never used the other resources that are associated with each video, but as they are designed by teachers, I think they could be useful, perhaps at lower grades. Before BrainPOP, I found that othere “educational” videos, such as those made by Bill Nye, were too long to include in 50 minute classes, whereas 3 to 5 minute BrainPOPs are perfect!

      Oops, is this more than 2 bits worth? Sorry, I must admit to a passion for BrainPOP!

    • murray12 12:03 am on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Tamara,

      I was very excited to see that you chose BrainPOP as your venture. Over the last couple years I have used BrainPOP regularly in my classroom. Either as a primer for a new topic, or just at random to learn something new as a brain warm up. Since the site addresses such a range of topics, I was surprised to learn that its origins come from a medical background. I guess the site really expanded over time.

      Interesting research, Tamara!

    • khenry 6:04 am on October 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Tamara,

      One of the things resonating throughout this activity for me has been whether or not I can place or see myself as an entrepreneur with a successful venture. In my research, and in some of the others I have read, what stood out is the wealth of and years of experience in CEO/heads of department positions, and in education, research and development that the CEOs/founders bring to the table.

      What is heartening in this post is the natural development of a solution to an identified need that is then further developed into a venture. This is more in line with how I see myself and future venture efforts. However, I am cautioned by what seems to be the necessity of strong relationships, boards of advisors and networks to supplement lack of experience, in order for ventures to be successful and garner support, whether consumer and/or investors. The CEOs’ experience et al. really were important in my analysis of if I would buy/invest in the product therefore where does that leave me? What about you? Where do you see or position yourself/your success/needs as an entrepreneur in this milieu?

      BTW check your category. It seems you categorized this entry under Week 2: Edutech Marketplace rather than Week 4: Entrepreneur Bootcamp


    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 2:15 pm on October 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Tamara,

      BrainPOP is an excellent learning technology. I am impressed with where it is now in the market …. It is now used widely in U.S. schools and also offers subscriptions for families and homeschoolers, considering it was designed to explain medical concepts young patients using animation. I wonder if Dr. Avraham Kadar expected that this innovation would be so successful?


  • bcourey 5:52 pm on September 26, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: entrepreneurs, online learning   

    Grockit is the brainchild of two founders, Farbood Nivi and Michael Buffington in 2007. Farbood is a former Teacher of the Year for the Princeton Review and was the academic director at Kaplan. He names his “teachers” as Peter Senge, Peter Drucker, Steve Jobs, Ray Kurzweil, Stephen Covey and Seth Godin (to name just a […]

    Continue reading Grockit Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • Karen Jones 7:38 am on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Brenda,

      What are the tests that Grockit is targeting? Are they for higher learning: LSAT’s, MCAT’s etc. or the British system of O-levels? I also wonder what, if anything, links the venture capitalist donors (Atlas, Benchmark, Integral): is their focus on education or are they just looking for returns on their investment?

      Interesting company,

      • bcourey 3:49 pm on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Grockit is primarily in the higher learning market…they started with the LSATs, GMATs…and then branched out to a wider audience by adding Grade 7-12 online learning experiences – full courses, but no mention of what state curriculum they use.

        • Everton Walker 9:00 pm on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          I like the idea but there are some clarifications to be made. I think it’s more of an investment that is being propelled by an educational catalyst.

    • verenanz 11:52 am on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Brenda!
      Thanks for the summary….www.knewton.com might be their competitor? I’m a little confused if they just offer test prep and tutoring…or new approaches to learning with the “gaming” piece? I will check the website, but is it based on “tutoring” or is there new “online course” material?

      What the founders both seem to lack, and I don;t know about all their advisors….but the founders lack teaching experience – or at least it was not mentioned…. I don’t know about you…but I learned how to teach – when I actually went into the classroom (face to face and online). There is a lot to be said for learning by doing. They are definitely learning about a business…..

      I agree with Karen, it sounds more like a business looking for returns on their investment? Before I say too much…I need to check out their website…you have intrigued me….


      • bcourey 3:47 pm on September 27, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        actually the founder Farbood Nivi won a Teacher of the Year award, so I assume he was an educator of some expertise. I don’t see any teaching experience with his co-founder though, however, he may be the business expert of the pair?

  • David Vogt 5:22 am on September 26, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: entrepreneurs, , W4   

    Happy Monday, everyone – Your insights and interactions regarding the various pitches last week were on target.  Thanks.  I trust the exercise was useful in getting you to assume the mindset of an analyst and investor.  Being an “angel” investor myself, I can affirm that the activity becomes much more focused when it is your […]

    Continue reading Welcome to W4: a Bootcamp for Entrepreneurs Posted in: Announcements, Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
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