David Vogt

Consider me a 522/523 poseur - I have no formal training in business, technology or education. I have a Ph.D. in astronomy and one of my first jobs was Director of the UBC Observatories. Along the way I've been a science museum director, dot.com CEO, research lab director, and founder of a high-tech incubator. One common thread is that every role was a venture - I created the position in each case. I'm happiest as an innovator and entrepreneur.

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  • David Vogt 1:16 pm on September 3, 2012
    24 votes

    Tags: , ,   

    Tablets and related devices have redefined publishing, including textbooks.  No longer is textbook content necessarily closed, static and non-interactive.  The growing expectation of both teachers and students is that Digital Textbooks must deliver a rich, engaging, responsive journey – a thrilling new kind of learning experience. Opportunity Statement Digital Textbooks offer a range of highly-creative and significantly disruptive […]

    Continue reading Digital Textbooks Posted in: Emerging Markets Poll
    • Peggy Lawson 8:09 pm on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      The days of purchasing classroom sets of expensive textbooks that are expected to last for 5-10 years are long past; information changes too rapidly, and ebooks in various forms are becoming well entrenched to make ebooks a realistic alternative to hard copies.

    • Doug Connery 8:25 pm on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      E-textbooks are at the point now where customization is cost effective and a reality. Publishers can create e-textbooks with chapters from different books and even from different publishers along with the supplemental e-activities that come with each chapter.

    • Mike Rae 2:08 am on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Customizing digital textbooks could be very useful to teachers to provide sources from multiple places in one accessible location. On a side note, I just got an email from The Environment and it asked me to proxy vote for this one on its behalf.

    • pcollins 4:23 pm on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      That’s great Mike!
      I really wanted to vote positive for this one for all sorts of reasons but I had used up my eight votes. Let’s put control in the development of relevant resources to the educators – not the publishers. I am still shocked at the audacity big publishing companies have to charge equivalent prices for their digital text copies. And the districts sign publisher specific agreements that curtail an educators ability to bring in the competitions product. It doesn’t compute in cash strapped districts.


    • Paula Poodwan 8:11 pm on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      The digital textbook is definitely a future of our learning and teaching. I am looking forward to seeing the Digital textbook that is fully equipped with multimedia and interactive functions like hypertext and hyperlink where students can click from one page to another. I’m sure students will be very engaged with the content more than reading the traditional textbook. My nephew who is in his first year at a College in Kelowna just spent $550 on his 4 used textbooks which he will eventually sell back later. I wonder if we will be able to sell or return with the digital ones.

    • rebecca42 12:01 am on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      For the past two years I have been using websites linked to my textbook to beef up my Science instruction and it would be very helpful to have the entire textbooks (with up-to-date information) containing hyperlinks to useful websites all in one spot.

    • coralk 5:28 pm on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I have worked in higher-ed publishing for about 9 years, and we have offered digital textbooks that whole time however the demand for them has grown exponentially in the past 1.5-2 yrs. This is almost completely due to the increase of mobile devices and tablets and particularly the release of the iPad. Etexts allow the option to provide lower cost options that provide greater interactivity and integration of learning objects right into the textbook to provide a better learning experience for students. And I have to also agree with Mike – the environmental impact of the move to digital delivery is massively positive. Not just due to textbook printing but also in their physical delivery which always makes me cringe at this time of year especially.

    • stammik 6:55 pm on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      While textbooks are not commonly used in my own classes, I had a chance to study this topic in depth for ETEC500 and I feel in particular that the content creation side of this technology has great venture potential.

    • adi 8:33 pm on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      My third Personal Opportunity Poll.
      There are many countries like Mexico where textbooks are the main learning tool; however, constant changes in who is in power result in never ending educational reforms and new editions of textbooks costing thousands. As Dog rightly points out, digital textbooks would be much easier to customize, not to mention the many interactive, visual and aural elements they could have.

    • cunnian 9:27 pm on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      This is a great idea, and fits well with BYOT. Digital textbooks can be interactive, constantly updated and customized to suit the needs of the purchaser. The environmental savings are considerable as well!

    • melissaayers 8:45 am on September 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I do believe this is very important in both todays and future educational contexts. Furthermore, I also believe in terms of software to support this there is lots of room for improvement on the current digital offerings. With the right combination of network infrastructure and software tools delivering up-to-date, relevant and multimedia content are all easily possible.

  • David Vogt 1:32 pm on September 3, 2012
    21 votes

    Tags: , , VIL   

    The Visual-Intensive Learning (VIL) marketplace recognizes the rapid trend away from text-intensive information environments to visually-dominated web experiences that is apparent on most web sites but is championed most specifically by sites such as YouTube and Pinterest, as well as immersive collaborative environments and games.  The concept of a “visual learner” is not new, but the streaming, […]

    Continue reading Visual-Intensive Learning Posted in: Emerging Markets Poll
    • avninder 10:05 am on September 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Visual-Intensive Learning is becoming more common as it is more user friendly, engaging and interesting than traditional text based learning.

    • grzesko 9:39 pm on September 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Visual-Intensive learning is becoming more noticeable as you can almost find a video on any topic and if done right they can be engaging while providing you with the information that you need.

    • jkotler 3:13 am on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Visual-intensive learning allows for more variety in learning styles as well as a higher level of engagement in regards to increased use of multimedia.

    • jhodi 4:33 pm on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Visual-Intensive learning can provide powerful and engaging learning opportunities while appealing to a wide array of learning styles.

    • Kent Jamieson 11:14 am on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Youtube, Khan Academy, just two examples of being able to stop, rewind, replay, and re-learn anything you want. Who’s ever said to their teacher, “hey, can you repeat exactly what you just said 3 or 4 times more please?”

    • jbrown5 2:49 pm on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I get a lot more excited to watch a demo, go through a “try me” scenario or play an interactive game than to read through text-intensive PowerPoint slides that have been uploaded as a “course” and I think my students would agree.

    • manny 9:07 am on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I think Visual Intensive Learning is a no-brainer. The definition of literacy traditionally encompassed text based materials but now encompasses multimodal forms of communication such as video production. A great constructivist example of allowing students to become producers of their own works.

    • visramn 12:07 am on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I think the key factor is that Visual Intensive Leaning is a means of encouraging engagement of students. This allows for students to be exposed to content in more than one format. These days you can find videos for anything and everything. Hence, why not use a resource that is already present and that gets a positive response from students.

    • Lisa Nevoral 7:32 pm on September 10, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Visual-Intensive Learning would be my 3rd personal choice. After being in courses with a lot of reading, I can appreciate the fact that some students or learners may learn better with a visually-dominated experience.

  • David Vogt 1:40 pm on September 3, 2012
    20 votes

    Tags: , ,   

    Education is breaking free of the confines of the LMS (Learning Management System).   Abundant online (mostly free!) tools and services allow both students and teachers to take advantage of broader resources and potentials within self-managed Open Learning Environments (OLEs).   The inherent flexibility and autonomy encourages learners and educators to ‘own’ the learning experience in authentic, […]

    Continue reading Open Learning Environments Posted in: Emerging Markets Poll
    • jkotler 3:08 am on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I think open learning environments are important because they gives both learners and educators greater access to valuable resources.

    • kstackhouse 6:03 pm on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I began using Edmodo two years ago (after trying Twiducate). I was cautioned though by our IT services team to check into where the information was being stored. Since then I make sure that we all use Avatar names and images (not our own) and all work and references use these names to avoid having student data on servers outside of Canada. Is this enough?

    • sonofpat 4:41 am on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      As we continue to lament the fact that education has not leveraged the current technology examples such as this shows that in some areas at least there is some evolution taking place. What is even more fascinating for me is the trend towards constructivism with empowering of students to determine their learning. I believe that we are living in the middle of a storm of change and when it is over education will never be the same again.

      • Kent Jamieson 10:52 am on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I don’t know if the ‘storm’ will ever be ‘over’. The swirling mix of new technologies and media are almost dizzying. I’m all for Open learning, simply for the fact of what it stands for. Breaking free of the older paradigms, creating a more empowered, connected, and accountable generation of learners.

    • jbrown5 2:53 pm on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      FREEDOM! Our work environment as part of the government is so restrictive and wait times to have any projects completed through the proper channels are so long that we are left wondering what open learning environment could suit our needs.

    • sophiabb 7:42 pm on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Open learning environment presents many possibilities for collaborative learning communities and opportunities that might be more meaningful, engaging and responsive to the teaching/learning experience. I am more excited about the possibilities than the challenges!

    • Eva Ziemsen 8:45 pm on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Open Learning Environments can open doors that would otherwise not be possible. Coming at the topic from the perspective of a media/film educator, I believe virtual worlds, such as Second Life, can provide students the opportunity to learn all aspects of film production, virtually and online. Without going into too much detail, a process called, “Machinima” essentially allows you to capture anything that happens in a virtual world. Therefore, if you can make films virtually and online, film production education could be revolutionized by being taught online.

    • visramn 11:51 pm on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Open learning can allow for all type of learners to learn in a manner that is best suited to them. Traditional means of learning have been very rigid and this has resulted in many students feeling disengaged from their learning. Open learning allows for students to be active participants in their learning. They are linked to their learning because they are in the drivers seat. open learning opens doors for all learners.

    • Shaun Pepper 5:11 am on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I think Open Learning Environments are an obvious learning environment moving forward. I think it is important to create classrooms that mirror the way students learn and interact outside of learning objectives and provincial learning outcomes. This is becoming apparent with TED Ed. and Khan Academy.

    • adi 7:58 pm on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      OLE’s provide options for countries with fewer educational resources. Instead of spending a fortune on an LMS, they can use ‘WordPress’ and an array of other OLE’s. Granted, there is the problem of privacy, but some solutions were mentioned above.

      • adi 8:24 pm on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        The above was the first of three of my Personal Opportunity Polls.

    • cunnian 9:12 pm on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      OLE’s allow almost anyone to engage in lifelong learning in almost any subject. The wealth of resources out there allow for multiple points of entry and can cater to a range of learning styles. As such, this is a very worthwhile endeavour!

    • longworth 10:43 am on September 10, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I believe Open Learning Environments are a wonderful way for educators to take advantage of what’s already out there and build on it. At this point in time I only see the benefits of learning more about different environments and how to use them in teaching / learning. Especially with budget always being on the forefront of concerns for both public and private educators one must start with what already has a foundation and build on that.

    • melissaayers 8:35 am on September 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      This is interesting topic, while on initial thought I was a bit against using a public blog for 522 for mainly reasons of privacy, control and ability to provide a safe and comfortable environment for students. However after just a couple of days of 522 I found myself challenging this initial opinion to see what benefits it may offer and it they outweigh what I saw as disadvantages.

  • David Vogt 1:37 pm on September 3, 2012
    20 votes

    Tags: , ,   

    A dream of educators forever, Personalized Learning is reaching a tipping point in terms of the technologies available for realistic implementations.  This marketplace opens to data-driven evaluation enabling learning experiences that cater to individual students learning styles and needs. Opportunity Statement While the venture prospects for Personalized Learning are awesome in the long term, short- and medium-term […]

    Continue reading Personalized Learning Posted in: Emerging Markets Poll
    • jkotler 3:11 am on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      While I understand the design challenges personalized learning may bring, I believe that adhering to different learning styles is important, especially in an online environment because it better allows the learner to move through the content at their own pace and to successfully gain the intended knowledge and/or skills.

    • Patrick Pichette 9:08 am on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I have mixed feelings about personalized learning. On the one hand, we are catering to students’ needs in order to better prepare them in the construction of their knowledge. On the other hand, we are encouraging one-dimensional learning as some students become dependent on a learning style and cease to develop some skills that would allow them to learn using different approaches. Is it best to develop finely tuned skills using one particular approach or is it better to have many lower-level skills that can be used to propel students further on their learning path? Or is there some magic mid-level point that maximizes knowledge construction while employing a variety of learning techniques?

    • sophiabb 7:52 pm on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Yes, there may be design challenges; however, I support personalized learning technologies for the opportunity they present to motivate, challenge, engage and empower learners with learning disabilities/challenges. I believe that they can also be designed to exploit the affordances of web/learn 2.0 technologies so that learners can engage with others, as needed.

    • jameschen 12:48 am on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I think this is an interesting venture in educational technology because students will be able to pinpoint the challenges in their learning and have personalized instruction to overcome such challenges. This would be an interesting topic for further investigation, and it ranks as number three on my personal opportunity poll.

    • bryan 10:19 am on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      This is extremely relevant to me as this is a very hot topic within all public schools in British Columbia right now.

      • visramn 11:59 pm on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        This is also something that is encourages by the Calgary Public Board.

    • rebecca42 12:13 am on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I agree for the same reasons Bryan, this is very much an “imminent” issue

    • Paula Poodwan 2:22 pm on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I will always be in favor of Personalized Learning as it gives the opportunity for all styles of learners to be able to achieve their best potential at their own pace . However it will need strong commitment on parental involvement, smaller class sizes, more one-on-one teacher and student interaction, and attention to differences in learning styles. It must be difficult to implement this type of learning in a public school with a large class size.

    • coralk 5:33 pm on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      The ability to analyze individual student performance data to present the most relevant activities and optimize learning represents the biggest and most exciting shift we will see in education in my opinion. This is number one on my personal opportunity poll.

  • David Vogt 1:22 pm on September 3, 2012
    20 votes

    Tags: , ,   

    While tablet and smart phone manufacturers are churning forward at a breakneck pace, making a fortune on humanity’s device-lust, the compelling back-story is what these devices can do – the proliferation of Apps.   And while addiction and burn-out on the distracting nature of most apps is already big news, there is also a rapid emergence […]

    Continue reading Apps Posted in: Emerging Markets Poll
    • avninder 10:11 am on September 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      A well designed app can provide easy to find up-to-date information on the go.

    • grzesko 9:42 pm on September 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Apps have a lot of potential but I believe they are still in the growth stage with future apps being less of a gimmick and providing more useful learning functions.

    • jhodi 4:27 pm on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Apps allow students anytime, anywhere learning experiences that can be engaging, yet extremely informative.

    • kstackhouse 7:38 am on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      This is an area with unlimited potential. Well designed Apps in education (games, reference, course material) have a huge market. Since they are at times hard to come by it would be interesting to try to develop one.

    • sonofpat 8:18 am on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Apps are a part of what I consider to be the most significant technology today that is mobile technology. Even as the field is evolving much can still be done in terms of everyday activities.Apps for basic communication such as chatting,e-mail, youtube and social networking are already mature enough to be used in the educational field. This means we do not need to wait for the next big educational app before we start to exploit the power of apps in our teaching. As a matter of fact no is the best time to jump into the apps world follow Jen’s example (https://blogs.ubc.ca/etec522sept12/2012/09/05/nice-to-meet-you/). Get a mobile device and make yourself comfortable…….

    • Eva Ziemsen 8:57 pm on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I am a big fan of apps and believe they have great potential in education, especially media education. I believe there is room for many more useful apps in the context of media education. I am constantly searching for apps that can fulfill niche needs in film production, for example. I am interested in what it takes to design and develop an app, as well as, how to pitch and market an app.

    • Jonathan 12:37 am on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I love apps. But I find it’s too difficult to find the good ones. Even when they are reviewed there needs to be something to help great apps rise to the top. If I was a developer that created a great app, getting traction for it would be difficult. The App Store is cluttered with a lot of useless apps. But with that being said, there is a lot of potential — and finding them needs to be easier for teachers.

    • Mike Rae 2:01 am on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Apps could allow learners to access knowledge when the moment strikes them; best time to learn anything is when you want to.

    • manny 9:14 am on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      The phenomenon of Apps has taken the mobile marketplace by storm. I believe earlier this year the 25 billionth App was downloaded. Unfortunately, it seems as this marketplace is so saturated that it is tough to find a good educational App. There should be a free trial period for a certain amount of time as of right now you must purchase the App to experiment with it. Great marketing from a venture standpoint.

    • jenbarker 11:39 pm on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Apps used to create, collaborate and communicate are great. But apps (and there are a ton of the out there) that are simply skill and drill have no place in today’s classroom. Many teachers are proud of using these apps in their classrooms and tote that they are 21st Century teachers. I would argue that they have simply taken the old, spruced it up and made it new. Using these types of apps does not even come close to what I define as 21st Century Learning.

  • David Vogt 1:20 pm on September 3, 2012
    17 votes

    Tags: , ,   

    Cloud Learning is about employing essentially limitless web-based storage and services (the “cloud”) to enhance the learning experience with unprecedented accessibility, continuity, extensibility and integration. Most analysts believe that humanity’s move from computers to the cloud will be more transformational than our recent move from paper to computers.

    Continue reading Cloud Learning Posted in: Emerging Markets Poll
    • avninder 10:14 am on September 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      From CDs to floppies to USBs, the cloud is the next big thing.

    • grzesko 9:36 pm on September 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Cloud learning provides a lot of benefits, as it allows greater control on the part of the company using it and in turn giving the user powerful features and flexibility that is accessible through any device.

    • Kent Jamieson 11:30 am on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I know in our school there is a lot of scepticism in terms of ‘where does the information go?’, or ‘who has access to a report card i write?’. Normally, i simply say…’who would want a random Grade 5’s report card anyway?. Cloud…good.

    • jenbarker 11:44 pm on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      If this type of cloud learning would be able to assist Canada educators wishing to use US based programs and platforms, I am all for it. Currently my school is having major challenges understanding what we can and cannot do based on FIOPPA. We are unable to use many outstanding resources because the information is housed in the USA.

    • adi 8:28 pm on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      My second Personal Opportunity Poll.
      Cloud learning as I mentioned in another post could be a great for educational settings where there are less resources. For example, in countries where kids don’t have lap tops, they can use Internet Cafés and continue their work or course in the cloud.

  • David Vogt 1:29 pm on September 3, 2012
    16 votes

    Tags: , ,   

    Tablets, game systems, smart phones and application like Siri all suggest a trend away from the inefficiencies of the keyboard for virtual interactions.  Touch, Gesture & Voice are some of the more “natural” ways learners will access and immerse themselves in learning experiences. Opportunity Statement Learning technologies venture opportunities in Touch, Gesture & Voice are bountiful in that the introduction […]

    Continue reading Touch, Gesture & Voice Posted in: Emerging Markets Poll
    • jhodi 4:13 pm on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      These learning technologies allow students to intuitively interact with their learning devices to facilitate learning. My personal use of a tablet to teach math has allowed me to incorporate technology into my classroom in a wide variety of ways and has allowed me to supply my students with fantastic opportunities online.

    • Doug Connery 8:18 pm on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I never learned to type properly so being a “two finger pecker” on the keyboard is slow and inefficient for me. Other methods such as touch, gesture and voice will help me and others to get the message across.

    • jbrown5 2:57 pm on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I just can’t see going back from the trend of iPads/iPhones/etc – I only see touch, gesture and voice becoming more and more integrated in learning as the technologies to create these learning tools become easier to use.

    • sophiabb 8:21 pm on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I love these technologies and my family does too. From my husband, a high teacher, who is a one finger typist who can now develop his lesson plans/activities quicker; to my daughter who is dyslexic and this lessens some of her anxiety re spelling; and my science nerd son, who is in his comfort zone.

    • jenbarker 11:30 pm on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      When I think of young children who are no longer learning how to type properly, I see these forms of technology as necessary. As well, many children with written output delays use Dragon Dictation to aid in assisting them to get their ideas down. Unfortunately, the most useful version (with the best voice recognition) of this product is very costly.

    • visramn 12:11 am on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      These types of resources open up many doors for students with special needs who may struggle with keyboards. It makes the process of using devices easier for some and can be visual based for those who struggle with vision, reading, etc. It is definitely a more interactive means of using a device.

    • adi 8:12 pm on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Touch, gesture and voice is also linked to the idea of learning through the senses and brain plasticity. It touches upon Dale’s cone of experience http://teacherworld.com/dalescone.gif

    • melissaayers 8:40 am on September 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I think like others have already stated these technologies really help further open up the world of learning for those with special needs or learning disabilities. They can aid learning by providing multiple options for all students on how they interact with content and each other, something that I think is only likely to enhance their learning experiences.

  • David Vogt 1:19 pm on September 3, 2012
    12 votes

    Tags: , ,   

    Game-Based Learning seeks to apply the technologies and engagement factors of the hyper-successful electronic games sector, and of games more generally, to create effective learning experiences.  This includes everything from the creation of original games with learning outcomes embedded in the gameplay (“serious games”) to the game-like animation (“gamification”) of more traditional learning approaches . Opportunity Statement […]

    Continue reading Game Based Learning Posted in: Emerging Markets Poll
    • Peggy Lawson 8:12 pm on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Not long ago most so-called educational games were better at selling software than at providing true learning experiences. No more. Well designed educational games can provide engaging and often very authenitic educational opportunities for students.

      • kstackhouse 7:40 am on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        This is one topic that could be tied in with the Apps topic. Rather than having an online game one could develop an App that could be updated or upgraded once the user reaches various levels.

    • sonofpat 10:45 am on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      From where I sit I am convinced that the approach of traditional video gaming was never suited for mainstream education ie large budget, large development teams with no experience or qualification in education and long complicated game play that is aimed at entertainment.
      What is needed are more simple yet enjoyable interactive experiences that challenges as it is played. Scoring, winning or loosing will play second fiddle too learning. Whats more is that you do even have to call these video games but the current students will prefer a simple interactive experience to reading a text book and yes they would mostly be authored by teachers.


    • Eva Ziemsen 8:51 pm on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I am interested in the virtual worlds that exist within games, for example, World of Warcraft is a game that has been used to create Machinima (films recorded in a game/virtual world). Games have existing landscapes and complex avatar physical capabilities, which can be recorded. If there was a way to enable educators to use existing games to teach Machinima, it could present very elaborate and interesting learning opportunities. The issue of copyright of games will come into play, and the focus would become negotiating educational agreements with game companies.

    • Mike Rae 1:55 am on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      In general, video games are something kids do for fun, so using them as a medium for education could potentially ‘trick’ kids into learning while enjoying themselves.

    • rebecca42 12:09 am on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      We are a culture with a big focus on entertainment, so I believe that this area is one that will expand and become more important in education.

    • visramn 12:41 am on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      The net generation of learners thrives on technology. It is a part of every aspect of their life. Gaming is huge in these individuals lives because they have been exposed to it in some shape or form from a very young age. They respond to digital material in a different way. Since they are drawn to and respond to digital tools such as games it makes sense to use these tools as a means of sharing and building on knowledge.

    • stammik 7:36 pm on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      As a secondary school teacher, I feel this form of motiviation could be very effective for engaging teenage learners, though like many of the technologies listed here, it will require computer based classrooms or BYOT to be implemented effectively,

    • Ranvir 3:39 pm on September 11, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      From an instructional design perspective, gamification provides lot of opportunities for motivating learners, engaging them to learn and have ‘fun’ simultaneously and collaborate with like minded peers to form learning communities. I strongly feel that if done right, this can become one of the hottest learning technologies in future!

    • stammik 12:43 pm on September 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      As a follow up to this topic, here is an interesting new venture, that is in now in beta testing, for teaching photography. I plan on checking it out for my own students.


  • David Vogt 1:18 pm on September 3, 2012
    12 votes

    Tags: , ,   

    A Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) is an emerging model for interactive online learning experiences designed to accommodate possibly unlimited numbers of learners who potentially arrive, attend, participate, and leave on their own terms.   MOOCs can take advantage of existing social media and gaming environments as platforms to host both formal and informal learning experiences. Opportunity Statement MOOCs are primarily […]

    Continue reading Massively Open Online Courses Posted in: Emerging Markets Poll
    • Doug Connery 8:21 pm on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Post secondary institutes spend too much money developing courses that already exist with other institutes and as MOOC’s. This is a way to reduce duplication and costs and be more efficient taxpayer dollars.

    • pcollins 4:18 pm on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      My concern would be how realistic is this? The people who have the ability to design the tools for such a venture are not necessarily the people who actually have the knowledge that needs to be learned. I read an article last semester that brought up this very point. There was no easy way to get the designers and the field experts to collaborate. It seems great in theory

    • Paula Poodwan 8:10 pm on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      MOOC is an excellent idea for eager students who want to learn and don’t care about receiving credits or diplomas. I like the idea that the students who enrolled at the institution and the “open” students who pay nothing and who will receive no credit can interact and of course that will add variety and different points of view to the class. However too much information (posts) and interaction can be overwhelming for everyone too , and not to mention the workload for the instructor.

    • coralk 5:30 pm on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I’m very interested to see how MOOCs will progress and what the future will be for these courses, especially now that some institutions are starting to offer credit for certain MOOCs as early as this fall (probably for a fee and some additional assignments so then does that still even qualify as a MOOC?)

    • Ranvir 3:45 pm on September 11, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      MOOC’s are an excellent way to learn from some of the industry’s sought after brains and interested individual across the globe. I am currently taking a MOOC course in Gamification at Coursera and really like the learning experience…

    • melissaayers 8:44 am on September 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I really like the idea of massively open online courses. Coming from working with underprivileged youths initially I thought this type of course is ideal especially as it can economise on the costs and can be delivered anywhere at anytime. However, now I realise in general in their current this type of course is not for people who do not already have a reasonable educational background and are very self motivated/organised. Furthermore, they need to also have access to the relevant hardware, software and network infrastructure to participate – something usually not available to the target audience whom I used to think this type of initiative would be most beneficial for. That said for the right audience I feel there is huge potential in this domain and the offering available in iTuneU, Khan Academy etc are just in their infancy.

      As Doug mentioned I also believe there is room to economise (and improve quality at the same time) on course creation and delivery via this type of initiative.

  • David Vogt 1:26 pm on September 3, 2012
    9 votes

    Tags: 21st Century Skills, ,   

    Recognition of the importance of 21st Century Skills continues to grow, particularly in the area of competencies across digitally-rich domains involving communications, collaboration, critical thinking,  and creativity.  Higher education and employers are seeking systematic ways to support and evaluate the acquisition of these skills. Opportunity Statement A set of 21st Century Skills venture opportunities exists for formal, informal and […]

    Continue reading 21st Century Skills Posted in: Emerging Markets Poll
    • kstackhouse 7:36 am on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      This is a topic where I think I could have great opportunity in my region. Our province has been pushing the ideals of 21st C but no real guidance on how to get there.

    • Peggy Lawson 5:41 pm on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I’m with you there Ken. Lots of talk about 21st Century learning, but how do we move our students, and our teachers, in that direction. While not my 1st choice (I may not have even had it in my Top 3), this is certainly one that interests me.

    • tomwhyte1 8:09 pm on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Of all of the choices given, I found this one the most essential yet, truly not technological. Yes, 21st century does have elements of technology integration, but at its core is the 4 C’s, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, and Critical Thinking. It is because of those, that I would chose this topic as my number one choice every time. For it is the transferable skills that are important, not a form of technology that may become dated shortly.


      • Jonathan 12:27 am on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Definitely needs some work in defining what it means. It is too vague at this point and allow for many variations, perhaps that is one of the benefits (allowing for multiple approaches). It’s important we give it a strong definition and what it means to deploy it in the field.

        • tomwhyte1 8:49 am on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          I am curious as to why this needs a specific/strong definition? The necessary skills are present, Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking. When one goes further into 21st century, there are other divisions, and groupings to create a basic structure to guide one. However, for myself a specific or strong definition creates limitations on what one thinks can be done, or what should be done. For myself, 21st century and a program known as Destination Imagination go hand-in-hand, which would be severely hampered by what you suggest.


          • Jonathan 10:57 am on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

            I’m definitely torn as to whether it needs a stronger definition or not. I should say that, the freedom to go about 4 Core C’s as we see fit is a beautiful part of our profession. It’s always that dilemma between being too specific or too general. Perhaps you are right and that the flexibility is more of what we need.

            Thanks for mentioning Destination Imagination. It’s neat to see programs like this.

            • tomwhyte1 8:03 pm on September 8, 2012

              I have done a Pilot Project with Pearson on Destination Imagination. I found it very constricting, and anti-intuitive considering the 4 C’s. I guess that is where my concern regarding any form of rigidity comes from.

    • bryan 10:17 am on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      This is an area that is of great interest to me, but from a career ed standpoint and the emphasis that the Ministry of Ed in BC is currently putting on it.

    • Peggy Lawson 6:41 pm on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      As much as anything, 21st century represents a pedagogical shift, from a lecture-driven, teacher-centered classroom to one in which students realize they are part of an interconnected, global community; where instruction is not limited to a single person hired by the school division to stand in front of the classroom but to nearly endless possibilities that require attendance to emerging and every-changing technologies.

      • tomwhyte1 8:04 pm on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        IMHO, such a shift should be encouraged at all times. For is it our job to lecture, or provide our students with the necessary skills they will need for the rest of their lives?


    • Lisa Nevoral 7:28 pm on September 10, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      My school district has really been pushing 21st Century Skills and for me this would be a good opportunity to see how I can support and evaluate the acquisition of these skills. This would be my 2nd personal choice.

  • David Vogt 1:35 pm on September 3, 2012
    2 votes

    Tags: BYOT, ,   

    In the corporate sector IT managers are trying to cope with the ‘impossible’ situation that workers are insisting on coming to work, and doing their work, with their own mobile and work devices and preferred software (Bring Your Own Device or Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT), creating (for the managers, they say) a tsunami of […]

    Continue reading BYOT Posted in: Emerging Markets Poll
    • Kent Jamieson 11:06 am on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Our school is going completely BYOD next year, with Grades 3-6 having iPads this year, as well as Grade 7 being fully BYOD. I’m all for it, as it further blurs the lines between school and ‘real’ life. Although logistically a nightmare for ICT, the fact remains that eventually nightmares end, we wake up and the sun inevitably rises. Who says it’s just the students that have to learn/adapt/evolve at a school anyway?

    • tomwhyte1 8:06 pm on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I went with this one being in my top three for the simple reason of economics. The pace at which technology moves forward is larger than the size of school districts total operating budget, let along the technology portion of it. Therefore, it makes sense (from a school organization sense) that some of this burden is downloaded onto the teaches and students. Yes, the issue of haves and have nots consistently comes into play, yet this argument can be made for many common items in a traditional classroom, pencils, pens, paper, etc… and the school is aware, and does their best (at least in my case) to provide these necessary resources for those students, therefore should technology be any different?


    • jameschen 12:50 am on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I think having the students bring their own technology into education is the next logical step in education because with the world economy moving on a slippery slope educators and decision makers need to make use of all available resources. I vote this as number two on personal opportunity poll.

    • manny 9:18 am on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Many districts/businesses are employing this initiative for simple economical reasons. However, before it can be successfully implemented, there are a lot of issues that need to be ironed out. In a classroom setting, it can become a logistical nightmare contending with so many types of different technologies. One could easily spend more time troubleshooting than actually teaching.

      • tomwhyte1 8:01 pm on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I can understand how it might become a logistical nightmare. However, in my school, which is slowly adopting a BYOT approach. We as educators are not responsible for the technology working, for it is not our property nor the districts. However, it is our responsibility to create activities that can be completed with or without technology.


        • teacherben 10:40 pm on September 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          I think that a BYOT program would dovetail nicely with a badge initiative. It is tricky to run a lesson on image editing when some kids are using Photoshop, some are using Pages or Keynote, some using Paint.NET and still others using some online tool. But if we design a coherent, student-centered, system based around, in this case, image editing concepts rather than specific skills, then it has a chance to take off. The goal then becomes to support the development of a ‘digital intuition’, where students are able to work their way through unfamiliar software on their own, using concepts that they have learned from other, similar programs.

          • tomwhyte1 7:14 pm on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

            Which I think would parley nicely into 21st century learning skills.

      • supatel 8:48 am on September 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I totally agree with the logistical and technical issues that exit in a BYOD setting. Not all students have or can afford the same software suites. For example, MS Office or Autocad is just too expensive. As educators, its important to adapt to the needs that arise and as a staff we all decided that it would be wise to have student complete all their work in Google Docs, or complete blueprints using Google Sketchup….essentially using free software and cloud technology where available.

        Initially it was sort of a night mare, but we decided as a staff that it was a good idea

    • Shaun Pepper 5:14 am on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I believe that students should be familiar and choose the technology that best suites them in their learning. These BYOT technologies are simply a tool and some people operate better with different tools. I know I like writing with pencil, but some like writing with pen. Should we force everyone to choose pen?

    • stammik 7:28 pm on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      As a number of my colleagues have stated, this is a necessary progression, as most schools including my own, simply can not meet students increasing demand and need for current technology.

    • adi 8:03 pm on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      BYOT would not work in a country like Mexico; it would only expose those who have less. There are still many countries where not all kids have a lap top, IPad, Blackberry or Iphone, and even less so access to the Internet on their mobile device.

    • cunnian 9:21 pm on September 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I like this idea where it is possible for it to happen. Funding and socio-economics aside, having students use technology regularly affords many possibilities but also moves them from seeing tech as an event (“We get to use the computers today!”) to being a tool (“We get to create a movie today!”).

    • longworth 10:44 am on September 10, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I like the idea but I don’t like the idea of so called public education being so costly to the individual families. So if there’s a BYOD policy in the schools there needs to be a tax incentive and some kind of system in place to support families that can’t afford to manage this. To me it is good in theory but I can see if furthering the divide between have and have nots and the pressure on the parents to provide the better devices (because we all know it’s easier when your device is faster, which means newer). I can’t imagine having to provide and maintain the newest technology for all three of my children.

    • supatel 10:47 am on September 10, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Our school board has installed WAPs in every school with hopes that students bring their own learning devices. As long as students can remember their email username and password, they can log into the LAWN (Learner Accessable Wireless Network), and use the internet as a resource for learning anywhere in the school. Students can use the various apps available on their mobile devices to connect with other learners, or simply use it to access course content housed online.

    • Lisa Nevoral 7:26 pm on September 10, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I would have to say that this is my number one personal choice. My district is going towards BYOT and I would like to see how it could be managed and used within schools.

    • melissaayers 8:39 am on September 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      This is an interesting topic, I have seen it in the corporate world but did not realise that it was starting to be addressed in educational institutions as well. While it’s definitely not a field I have too much knowledge (ICT) in I realise the huge potential for an opportunity (and challenge) for entrepreneur if they can embrace this and come up with innovative solutions and support.

  • David Vogt 4:19 pm on December 8, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: congratulations,   

    Everyone should have their final grades for all assignments in ETEC522 via email by now. Please let me know immediately if you haven’t got yours.  Questions welcome. It was a pleasure getting to know you all, and I’ll enjoy even more being kept up to date on all of your ventures going forward.  I realize […]

    Continue reading Everyone should have their final grades … Posted in: Announcements
  • David Vogt 2:29 pm on December 2, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: conclusion, ideas,   

    Welcome to December everyone, and the conclusion of our learning adventure. As per my earlier message, you have your A1 & A2 grades now, and should have the balance of your grades by the end of the week.  I’m thoroughly enjoying the grading process, as I do ETEC522 and MET overall, because all of you […]

    Continue reading Something ventured… Posted in: Announcements
  • David Vogt 1:33 pm on December 1, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , , , , , marking   

    Nice action on the Venture Forum! Just to let you know, I’ve done my second review of your A2 assignments and you should expect your grades on these later today. I’ve also done a first review of your A3 assignments, so you should expect these back to you, along with your A4 work, by the […]

    Continue reading Completion Schedule Posted in: Announcements
    • joeltremblay 12:32 pm on December 2, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi there David,
      I haven’t received anything via email? Is that where you’re sending the feedback/marks to or?

  • David Vogt 10:39 am on November 26, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: EVA, , pitches,   

    Hi everyone – Just to say THANK YOU that the Venture Forum is now live with all of your pitches, and you should feel that you`ve now accomplished the lion`s share of your work for the course, so BRAVO! Via separate email you each should have received your review assignment for this week – the […]

    Continue reading The Home Stretch!!! Posted in: Announcements
    • Doug Connery 10:17 pm on November 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks David for a “random list” of great pitches.The hardest part will be choosing three best to do detailed comments on.


    • Peggy Lawson 4:11 pm on November 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the reminder Doug. I do recall reading somewhere our procedure and tasks for reviewing the pitches, but a refresher would be helpful or pointing me in the right direction as to where I saw that information before.

    • tomwhyte1 4:31 pm on November 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Three? I was under the assumption, that the expectation was all?


    • Doug Connery 5:08 pm on November 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply


      Under 4 Launch there is a dcoument that states quick comments for 7 and in-depth for 3. I was refereing to choosing 3 for the in-depth review. Hope this did not cause too much confusion!


      • tomwhyte1 5:20 pm on November 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        See that now… opps… Oh well, I have done a detailed write-up on 9 of the 10… Yours and Peggy’s are part of that…

        At least I got a bit more practice… 🙂

        Thanks for showing me that.

        Have a great night.

      • Peggy Lawson 9:34 pm on November 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks Doug. I knew I had seen it somewhere. In hindsight it seems to be the obvious place for instructions for this venture project, but I’ve never fully been comfortable with the blog format as an LMS

  • David Vogt 2:10 pm on November 20, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , , posting   

    Hi everyone – from Jamaica! (No, not a holiday, unfortunately.  I’m here to help a group of MET graduates launch a new venture – a non-profit enterprise called EdTech Jamaica that intends to provide national leadership in every aspect of learning technologies implementation here.  A grand and worthwhile vision – hopefully it is an inspiration […]

    Continue reading Posting Your A3 Posted in: Announcements
    • teacherben 6:07 am on November 24, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Should we include a personal reflection in the ventures forum or should be email that to you?

  • David Vogt 9:34 am on November 6, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , ,   

    Pursuant to Peggy’s recent A3 post, and some other queries via email, I’m posting this general announcement to welcome any questions about Assignment 3 that might not be answered or sufficiently clear in the instructions and rubric in the course requirements. As per the course schedule, your A3 is due at the end of Week […]

    Continue reading A3 Advice Posted in: Announcements, General
    • joeltremblay 10:33 am on November 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thank you David,
      This explanation is MUCH appreciated.

    • Doug Connery 9:04 pm on November 19, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi David, thanks for the info.

      As the November 25 due date draws near, I have some questions.

      Will you create a Venture Forum Category for us to link our submissions to?

      Just to be clear, we create a new post here and upload our elevator pitch (video) and venture pitch (video or written) and embed them in the post. This is where Kaltura comes in, automatically I assume.

      Then we wait for you to assign each of us 10 ventures to review. We comment briefly on 7 and in more detail on our top 3 and then choose and justify one or more of the top three to fund. This needs to be done by the last day of classes on Friday November 30.

      Thanks David.

  • David Vogt 11:02 pm on October 21, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: ,   

    Good evening, my friends. I’ve now finished second review and evaluation of your A1 submissions, and all of you should now have received an email from me with my comments and your grade.  If you haven’t received this email, please let me know immediately.  I will also welcome any questions and concerns you might have. […]

    Continue reading A1 Results Posted in: Announcements
  • David Vogt 7:59 pm on October 10, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , competition, contest, mobile   

    Just in case it provides an inspiration or vehicle for your emergent A3 ideas (yes, I know, you haven’t completed A1 yet!!) I’m pleased to append details of a UBC-wide contest I launched today to propose new mobile apps for dramatically enhancing the UBC experience.  The contest closes January 15, 2013 – after ETEC522 completes […]

    Continue reading UBC Mobile App Design Contest Posted in: Announcements
  • David Vogt 10:24 pm on October 6, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , ,   

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I’ve had a couple of recurring questions about A1, so I’ll share answers more generally: – when your A1 is complete (it is due on the 14th) please email it directly to me, as a link, document, or whatever. I will acknowledge receipt. – it is possible to create a direct link […]

    Continue reading A1-A3 Questions Posted in: Announcements
    • joeltremblay 11:19 am on October 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      In your rubric for A1 you talk about the EVA process. I’m correct in assuming you’re talking about the Economic Value Added process correct? I want to clarify before I continue.

  • David Vogt 3:00 pm on September 23, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , bootcamp, Entrepreneurs, , W4   

    Great action in the Pitch Pool, everyone. Thanks! The main point, as described, was to start some active thinking and role-playing about ventures, both pitching them and reviewing them. While there is well-defined content and context for a great pitch, there’s enormous room for an entrepreneur’s art, talent and personality to have impact. I’m an […]

    Continue reading Here Comes Week 4 – The Entrepreneur’s Bootcamp Posted in: Announcements, Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
  • David Vogt 3:23 pm on September 16, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: Mingle,   

    A venture in global language learning;  

    Continue reading Mingle Posted in: Pitch Pool
    • Jonathan 7:53 pm on September 17, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No, I would not invest in this venture. It isn’t clear what is unique about Mingle or how it would change the world.

      After watching the CEO’s pitch, I am uncertain as to what the exact product that Mingle is selling. It appears to be a global language learning tool that allows students to learn online, but it fails to distinguish itself from other language products (ie. Rosetta Stone). It appears that the CEO is competent and mature and that there is some vision but it isn’t obvious in this short pitch.

      It is clear that Mingle is targeting the global market but they were unable to describe who their target market was. In addition, no innovative advantages were provided over traditional programs that may be offline in nature. There was no request for specific funding nor how much return an investor would.

      There is a vision in this product but it wasn’t clear to me as an EVA what it was.

    • adi 2:51 pm on September 18, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No, I would not invest in this venture. The CEO fails to convey the exact nature of
      what she is selling. Is it an e-commerce course or a language course? She does not describe the problem she is addressing, and as a result the solution is not clear. In addition, there’s no mention of how this product is different from what is out there, nor what the market size and share is, or how potential consumers will be reached. In short, her venture concept is not clear. As an EVA, I would not invest in it.

    • joeltremblay 2:53 pm on September 18, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I agree with Jonathan. She needs to make it clear exactly what makes her service better than the hundreds, if not thousands of translation services already in existence. After all Translation is one of the oldest skills in existence and her idea is novel, but she doesn’t take pains to differentiate herself from the crowd.

      They don’t describe the target market beyond the idea that all people could use help understanding different languages, and unfortunately as mentioned before, don’t explain how they intend their service to be different and more successful than other services. Because heavyweights like Google play in that arena, it might behoove her to attempt any differentiation.

    • joeltremblay 6:16 pm on September 18, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      NO, I would not invest in this venture

    • Mike Rae 12:01 am on September 19, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No, I would not invest in this venture.
      Joel, jon and adel, I agree with you as you have covered most of my criticisms. She even asks the question ‘what makes myngle different?’ and her answer was that it brings something traditional (education) to the masses. This seems like the first minute of a longer pitch rather than an elevator pitch. It also feels like it is about 10 years too late.

    • C. Ranson 4:16 pm on September 19, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No, I would not invest in this venture. I agree that it is unclear as to what the venture represents. The founder does mention that Mingle will represent global language learning and that her venture concept is the next step in commerce and targeting the global market, how? It is also unclear how Mingle will make a difference in the world as stated by the founder. Not sure how her venture differs from others and what makes it unique from others ventures and successful.

    • Ranvir 11:10 am on September 21, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No, I would not invest in this venture as it is not clear what Mingle is (product or service) and how and it blends languages and commerce to ‘make the difference’. She briefly mentions that Mingle would bring traditional education to the masses and allow students to study anytime, anywhere. Seems to align with the generic definition if eLearning and sound a bit vague. The pitch fails to clarify the problem area or market gap and advise how the product/ service will resolve that.

    • coralk 3:02 pm on September 21, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Although the presenter is passionate about what she is presenting, I was not moved to invest in her venture for the following reasons:
      • The pitch was overly-emotional and repetitive
      • The presenter didn’t explain the product – she just said that it would bring education to the whole world but she didn’t explain what it is or how it would do this
      • She did not outline the potential market for this product – is it for K-12, college, the general public? Would it sell to institutions (B2B) or to individual consumers (B2C)?

      It is a shame because I looked up the website after the pitch, and the company is very interesting. They have won several awards and they have many well known corporate clients. It is an interesting idea, and if you would like to know what they do (since the pitch didn’t really tell us), this is from their website:
      Myngle is a fully integrated and global language learning school, amongst the first players to deliver professional one-on-one language tutoring over the net, and now the global leader in its segment.
      Myngle is transforming traditional language education by offering hundreds of professional online teachers and courses in a wide variety of languages. Our fully integrated virtual classroom provides students with an interactive, efficient and convenient way of learning or improving a language.

    • jenbarker 12:32 pm on September 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No, I would not invest in this venture. Although I like how she is passionate about making a difference, the completeness of her argument just isn’t there. She does provide some information on how there is a market for her company, as well as how it is different than others but needs to explain further. She tries to describe how users around the world can take advantage of her product but I think due to her strong accent which makes it difficult to fully comprehend, it would have been beneficial for her to use a few key slides with some text. This would have helped to convey the explanation of what the product is. I also don’t know who she is marketing too. What is her target audience? I assume it is for adults but coud it also be for children?

      I think this product has some potential but based simply on the pitch I would vote no.

    • Patrick Pichette 12:57 pm on September 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No I would not invest in this venture based on this pitch alone. I would likely need additional information to better understand the business model being pursued. I honestly have no idea what she was even offering as a product during that pitch other than it was a communication related product that allows students to learn anywhere and at anytime. There does appear to be some potential so I may likely ask for additional information but the pitch was not very effective.

    • pcollins 4:05 pm on September 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Reflecting the sentiments of my classmates, I wouldn’t invest in Mingle. I could not easily distinguish what set it apart from all of the other online language learning tools (babble/speakfish/rosetta). Apart from that I found her pitch to be ultra scripted, and even though she appears to be a competent individual the idea that she was passionate about her product and it’s potential did not come through in her pitch.

    • kstackhouse 11:42 am on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No, I would not invest in this venture based on this pitch. There were a lot of questions left in my mind after viewing. As an EVA I was not sure of: What I would be asked to contribute, what the market competition looked like, I needed more information on the CEO and her team? There were just too many things not mentioned in gaining my trust and support.

    • bryan 2:18 pm on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No, I would not invest in this venture. The CEO of this company is extremely vague and nondescript with regards to what exactly mingle really does.

      The CEO is very unclear about how they will bring this language learning people? It appears as though she’s trying to sell the idea of learning languages over the Internet but she really doesn’t tell us how she can do that. The CEO offers very little in regards to specifics of how she will develop, market, and distribute the learning tool mingle. We know very little from her YouTube presentation about any sort of competitive edge or even a venture plan at all. The CEO doesn’t even specifically state what her market audiences. As an EVA, I would not consider investing at this time.

    • jameschen 5:27 pm on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No, I would not invest in this venture. The presentation is vague because no solid evidence is provided to allow an investor to have a basic understanding of what the venture has to offer. The presenter does not identify the market gap or problem. The only basis for starting this venture is the dream that the presenter has. The presentation does not explain what the product is other than something that will “bring traditional education to the mass online world.” The only reference to the differentiation of the venture is “I believe anybody can make a difference, and Mingle is my difference.”

  • David Vogt 3:23 pm on September 16, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , Real Simple Edu   

    A venture about apps for education:

    Continue reading Real Simple Edu Posted in: Pitch Pool
    • adi 3:04 pm on September 18, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No, I would not invest in this venture. According to David Shore
      Perfecting Your Pitch, a good pitch should indicate (1) what the problem is; (2) what the product does to solve it; (3) who it’s going to solve the problem for, and (4) why people will buy it. This pitch only addresses number 3, but all the rest is not clear. David Shore also advises against slides with too much text, or text that the actual person is reading, it distracts and makes it difficult to follow. For these reasons, this pitch was not at all clear, and I would not invest in it.

    • Peggy Lawson 5:12 am on September 19, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I agree adelpaso, but I felt the strongest point was 4 as he did briefly mention that they had some history of success and would thus make money for his buyers, although he did broadly indicate the potential customers. There was very little indication of what the product actually was or did – “educational app” is pretty broad! I would definitely not invest based on this pitch.

    • manny 11:18 pm on September 21, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No, I would not invest in this venture based on the information that was given and the lack of confidence through which it was delivered. Upon the introduction, it was very confusing as to what the product was. Am I investing in an educational app development company which designs different apps for use in schools, colleges and businesses or is it a single app that caters to all three. Furthermore, the educational app marketplace is very competitive, what innovative advantage does this company have over others that could maintain its sustainability. The presentation detracts from the message and a demo of the app would have been more suitable. The presenters tone lacks excitement and confidence which may parallel the product in question. Having a 150,000 paying customers is a great start but I don’t see the potential growth and sustainability along with an exit strategy. Based on this presentation, I would not be willing to part with my money. The product may have huge potential, but it wasn’t conveyed in this lackluster presentation.

      • jenbarker 10:52 am on September 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Manny, you make some great points. I relate this back to my experience as an educator. When we plan lessons we are told that great lessons include a hook at the beginning that instill excitement in our children and hook them in, ultimately engaging them. I found this pitch boring. When I think of all the outstanding apps in education, they excite me and this pitch could have capitalized on the enthusiasm that already exists in this market.

        • manny 7:38 pm on September 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          Hi Jen, I couldn’t agree with you more! I think that the elevator pitch itself needs to capture the audiences attention in the first couple of seconds or you have lost them completely. A hook is imperative in this scenario as you only have about a minute to pitch your venture. From an EVA/Investors standpoint, they may go through a dozen or so of these pitches a day and quite frankly, this one did not stand out at all and is easily forgettable.

      • kstackhouse 11:48 am on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I agree with you Manny. It is is difficult to imagine that the company would be hard pressed to cater to all three levels of education. Also, as you mention his presentation was not engaging enough to really grab on to the attention of an EVA. They would probably stop listening pretty quickly. Unfortunately that seems to be the way the business works. It is like a resume, you might have tons of experience but if you have not polished the resume HR people might not even look at it closely enough to find out.

    • jenniferschubertubc 4:01 am on September 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      It is unclear whether or not this is the CEO talking about his product. The speaker in this pitch is quite an underwhelming presenter. He speaks in an extremely even tone, without a bit of excitement or confidence evident. From this pitch, it is unclear if the CEO has amassed the team and resources needed for success.

      The world of the app is continually growing. Custom courses are evolving and being marketed to teach would be developers the skills to take their products from idea to production at a steady rate (at least from what I’ve seen in the US and in London). One thing I find disconcerting about this pitch is just how unspecific it is. It talks about the apps in a very general fashion, but they, nor their capabilities, features, etc., are ever shown. With new and improved apps being released every day, competition is on the rise; therefore I do not find the idea particularly original.

      As I mentioned in my review of the Smugmug pitch, I believe that the market size for this product would be a factor that would need constant re-evaluation. With the accessibility of smartphone apps in many different fields, including education, the market size will undoubtedly grow, but will this product be able to keep up with the competition? Also, current numbers as well as projections would need to be reviewed before a sound judgment about success in revenue could be gauged.

      I did not hear mention of anything specific to their product that would make it any different than what may already exist out on the market currently. The presenter only mentioned what sort of people buy the apps and the funding that they currently have.

      The presentation did include a slide on business success, showing that the project is Angel Funded, cash-flow positive, has 150,000+ paid customers, and has 3 revenue sources (owned and operated, co-branding, and licensing). I still see the overall pitch as being too vague to consider serious investment. Couple that with the monotone presentation, and, as they say on Shark Tank, “I am out.” I would NOT choose to invest in Real Simple Edu (based on this pitch).

    • Patrick Pichette 1:00 pm on September 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No I would not invest in this venture based on the pitch alone. Once again, I would require additional information in order to understand the product being offered. At this point, I feel the only real knowledge I have is that they offer apps that can be used on multiple devices. How this is leveraged to solve a particular problem is not really attacked so I can’t commit funds without additional details.

    • bryan 2:36 pm on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No, I would not invest in this venture. The CEO doesn’t even really introduce himself or offer any of his credentials, expertise, or experience they would make the confident in his competence running a venture that I would invest my personal money in. What competitive edge or niche market Is simple EDU trying to target? The CEO tells us he has 150,000 customers but doesn’t tell us if their one time customers or repeat patrons of his company. The CEO doesn’t offer any focused specifics on what the marketing plan is as a company or what their venture plan is. This market pitch fails to offer short-term, medium-term, or long-term projections or goals with regards to profit, cash flow, or market capitalization.

      What sort of return could and investor expect and how long is the predicted timeframe to acquire this return? At this point there are way too many questions than there are answers that I would not be prepared to invest. This pitch lacks a clear message or even a semblance of why someone would give them their hard-earned money.

    • jameschen 5:26 pm on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No, I would not invest in this venture. The pitch does not identify what the product actually is, what the market gap/problem the product addresses, and the solution it provides. No references about the team, competition, the ask and the return are made. The presenter, however, does provide some detail about the differentiation and marketing aspects of the venture but nothing solid enough to explain what the investor would be investing in.

  • David Vogt 3:22 pm on September 16, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: Dybuster,   

    A neural technologies approach to dyslexia:

    Continue reading Dybuster Posted in: Pitch Pool
    • Colin 7:51 pm on September 17, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Yes I would invest in Dybuster but only with further research into their claims, research and the software. Christian Vogeli gave a good presentation as he presented the problem with current treatments of dyslexia which are inefficiency and cost (pain point). His solution is a program that works with individuals to reduce their writing errors and can be integrated into school programs or for use at home. He validates his claim with statistics of how his program reduces writing errors by 33% compared to 5% with no training. These numbers seems consistent with what I would expect from such a program. The main reason I choose to invest is the marketing and specifically the target markets for this product. In addition to schools I believe parents looking out for the welfare of their children will be the main purchasers and the easiest market to attract and sell to. If they see an alternative to expensive therapy I believe they would definitely try this product. Christian speaks with confidence but I am not completely won over as he does not state his credentials or background in relation to his product. No ask or return were mentioned but I believe that would require further discussions. Overall I believe that Dybuster could be a viable product.

    • lullings 2:54 pm on September 18, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Is it a viable product? we have no idea what the product is. Is it web based, does it require hardware or is it just software. What are the contact times needed to achieve the 33% reduction in error?

      A good pitch but lacks the depth which I would need to be able to invest. He has 22,000 users and initial investments – what does he value the company at the moment. As in what price per 1% of the company is he offering and how much is he looking for.

      He is looking to expand internationally. Is there a plan for that, is he looking to the benelux countries to expand to or is he looking to greater markets like Asia and North America?

      He is confident – he has a good product – I have more questions than answers unfortunately.

      • tomwhyte1 12:43 pm on September 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I agree that there are questions that need to be answered. However, if we just view this as an elevator pitch, has he done enough to want us to ask these questions? Or to be interested enough in the answers that may or may not be given?

        For myself, the questions you have raised are important. I also wonder, how easily can the software be adapted to various languages and dialects? What markets are thy specifically focusing on for their expansion? What will this cost? And, for myself, I am interested in hearing more.


      • kstackhouse 11:53 am on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Great questions, Lullings. He does seem to know the content is more engaging than the first two presentations. Would we view this one differently otherwise.

        There is a plan and a history. He talks about revenues and growth which then leads to why he is talking to this audience. I think I would need to know about the questions you raised before investing…but I think there is enough information to invite him for a Venture Pitch to hear more and to be able to ask the questions necessary.

    • jkotler 1:43 am on September 19, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Yes I would invest in Dybuster because Christian Vogeli, the CEO and founder was quite compelling in presenting the venture concept. More specifically, he first clearly identified the paint point by explaining what dyslexia is and how it negatively affects their learning. Then he presented a direct viable solution to the problem with relevant supporting data, such as a 33% improvement rate in writing, and in doing so differentiated Dybuster from competitors by explaining how they are inefficient and expensive. In addition, Vogeli expressed other benefits like working independent of age and language as well asthe potential use for people with dementia, which allude to its marketability and further expansion.

      In considering the venture plan, there is confidence in its low cost, and that they have already secured patents, have a current success rate in Switzerland with 20,000 users and revenue reaching approximately 1 million Swiss francs. Therefore with this data in mind, the possibility for its expansion into a more international market seems favorable despite the lack of information in this pitch on how exactly they plan to move to such a market (which could always be requested).

      Finally, in regards to Vogeli’s credibility, while it would have been better to learn more about his credentials and his team, he appeared confident and very knowledgeable thereby convincing me he does possess the necessary capability.

      • tomwhyte1 12:48 pm on September 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I agree with your statements, however upon reading your analysis, I was reminded that there are different levels of dyslexia, therefore, is this software appropriate for them all. Secondly, specific types of dyslexia are actually beneficial, some rocket scientists have dyslexia.

        Therefore, on the surface, this product seems like a good idea. However, upon reflection, are we forcing the student to conform to the traditional practices of school, or should education explore ways to meet the student where they are at? Which of these might Dybusters do? For myself, the name makes me feel they are trying to remove dyslexia from the student…


    • tomwhyte1 12:11 pm on September 19, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Dybuster’s CEO and Founder, Christian Vogeli, through software created with an understanding of Neural Psychology and Computer Science, attempts to improve the reading and writing abilities of those individuals with Dyslexia. Even though, I can add nothing more to the success of this venture, other than a cash infusion, I would still invest in this venture, mainly for the simple fact that the CEO seems genuinely interested in improving the lives of those with Dyslexia. From a financial perspective, I would also invest in this venture, as the Dybuster software claims to provide a 33% improvement in an individuals ability to read and write, through a lost cost solution, where as other attempts to address this concern, are intensely individualistic and expensive, but ultimately ineffective. Furthermore, the market size for Dybusters is significant, as10% of the worlds population has Dyslexia, and this product can be used in schools, private therapists, at home, or for those involved in self-studies. Furthermore, Dybusters has positioned themselves to increase their market share, as the software will soon increase its focus to include Dyscalculia and Adult Dementia. A market share that is also protected by its current patent and future patents. My only real concern with Dybusters is as a potential investor, I am unaware of how this service is being marketed, or where to obtain this software, or how much would be required for an initial investment, and what my potential return on this investment would entail.

      • pcollins 5:22 pm on September 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Tom,
        Did you find that you questioned the validity of the results against other more traditional methods of treatment?

        • tomwhyte1 8:36 pm on September 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          I had to review that portion of the presentation again, and how I am interpreting the information, is that Dybusters use improves writing/reading by 33% when compared to “No Training” (for that is what the slide says). Therefore, I wonder what the results are for individual training, or other similar services.

          Nice catch.

    • Pat A Son 1:01 am on September 21, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      YES, I would invest in this venture
      First the CEO is definitely on top of his game he has done his homework and overcame his limited English skills to make compelling case for one to buy into his venture.
      After defining dyslexia and establishing the percentage of the population that suffers from it he goes on to show how the current approach to treating the disorder is expensive and ineffective. He then uses statistical data to show how his product is better. So it is clear that he has identified his pain point and produced an original and viable solution in the form of Dybuster.
      By pointing out that over 50 million people in English speaking Germany alone are dyslexic he has shown that there potentially a large market for Dybuster to leverage. By offering a cheaper but effective solution to the competition that can be used by schools, therapist and students can use on their own gives his product the competitive edge. This is further extended by the fact the product transcends age, language and can be used for treating two other disorders. The product seems to be mature enough for the market with the success it is enjoying now. The fact that returning customers increase their licence suggest that it has the potential for sustainable growth over time.

    • Patrick Pichette 1:10 pm on September 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      This venture appears to have some potential. I’m unsure if I would invest in this venture at first glance but my attention was definitely maintained throughout most of his pitch. The CEO provided a clear problem being solved, provided insight on the target market and potential user base, indicated some differentiation compared to current solutions being offered, and showed promise in maintaining the user base through a patent held and patent pending. If the numbers presented and the patents demonstrate a viable business model that can’t be copied easily, I would likely invest in this venture.

      • tomwhyte1 3:31 pm on September 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I have thought about the patents. In North America, it is good business practice to have patents registered in as many countries as possible, not just one. Therefore, I wonder, how global are these patents? If limited, the prospects of the company is equally, if not more, limited.


        • Patrick Pichette 8:24 am on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          I agree about the requirement for global patents. Especially when it comes to a solution where the target market is limited locally but large enough from a global perspective. If the patent is only held in his country, then the venture gains additional risk if he is unable to secure the same patents in other countries. I find this pitch one that promises a lot but may fail to deliver. It would require quite a bit of digging to verify the viability of the business on a global scale.

          • tomwhyte1 7:25 pm on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

            Furthermore, if global patents are an issue, significant capital will be constantly needed to fight potential patent issues in other countries, thereby reducing potential profit, and future viability of the country.

            Might it be better, if the patent exists, to license it out to major companies?


      • jameschen 6:23 pm on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I also wonder about the patent issue, because from the presentation there is only one patent pending in addition to the one that they company already has. But I think it is best practice to start little and expand with solid footing.

        • tomwhyte1 7:27 pm on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          I agree to start the company small, but not the number of patents. The more intellectual property one company holds, the better positioned they are in the market place, and better positioned they are to expand their company down the road.


          • jameschen 10:19 pm on September 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

            Sorry for the late response, tomwhyte1. Your point about patents is very valid, but in my opinion such patents would only be useful if the company intends to sell the patented product in those particular countries. I think patents also expire after a certain time period. But if one has plans and enough funds to do so then I don’t see why not 🙂

            • tomwhyte1 11:25 pm on September 29, 2012

              Yes, it is important to remember that patents do have an expiry date. However, if Dybuster’s is as great as the CEO says it is, and by having limited patents in one country, what stops another country from making a similar product, lets say in North America…


    • pcollins 5:16 pm on September 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      So many questions! And maybe that’s an integral part of how this pitch is being presented. They leave you wanting more – Specifically perhaps this works with certain personality types. It certainly worked for me. I felt the gentleman presenting did a very good job of identifying the market and the problem that is addressed by dybuster…. namely the cost effectiveness of a product that can be used at home and in school eliminating the cost of one on one therapist time. I did not find the details of the charts effective or appropriate representation of the products effectiveness. I noticed the absence of any mention of a competitor’s product. Perhaps they don’t exist. I would invest in this venture.

    • melissaayers 8:46 am on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      YES, I would invest in this venture.

      While on first run through of the pitch I based this yes on mainly gut feeling on the confidence of the speaker and his delivery etc I think after I have watched it a few more times I have more a more rational perspective.

      The speaker clearly defines the pain point or market need for this product as well as how it has already been tested and successful in one market. Also how it can be differentiated in terms of cost and availability to traditional therapies. He also identifies that some current customers return and increase their licensing quotas; this is a sign of a good product I believe that meets a real need.

      There seems to be the potential of a reasonable size market for this product internationally of his claims are true. Also in terms of business strategy they are also leveraging their knowledge and experience and developing similar products for other applications such as dementia.
      As Colin mentioned, I also feel (depending on the price point of the product which unfortunately was not mentioned in the pitch) that the customers could be the parents as well as schools and therapists. This gives a wider customer base than if it were just for schools/therapists.
      I found the pitch did leave me with many questions as well. A question others asked related to patent – is their patent just for Switzerland? Or the EU? Or worldwide? How easy would it be to copy/clone the product in other markets? Which market(s) are they going to attempt to enter next? Will they need to modify the product for different markets/culture/languages or can it be delivered as is?

      Additionally as the product is already released and being used it would have been nice to have a brief live demo of how it works to understand the product a bit better.

      In conclusion however despite al l my questions, from this pitch I would definitely be interested to find out more about this product and their business strategy and plan for expansion.

    • jameschen 6:17 pm on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Yes, I would invest in this venture if the business plan provides a viable investment strategy. The market gap/problem (inefficient system, high cost for customers to attain service due to lack of service providers) is met by the unique selling point of the product (“small costs, efficient, always available”). The solution of the product is backed by research study. The provision of information on the proof of concept for additional applications, patents, current investments, grants, revenues, and users increase the reliability of the company in terms of fulfillment.

    • visramn 7:44 pm on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Yes, I would invest in Dybuster. Christian Vogeli was very confident and did a good job of enthusiastically talking about the product. He had good background information that helped to explain the need for this type of product. He made it seem like the product was a necessity and was something that was needed in a society that lacked the capabilities to address the needs conveyed with the pre-existing avenues. This product would be advantageous because it caters to a need in society that has not been taken care of fully as of yet. It reaches out to a market that has not been tapped into with more technical innovative flexible means.
      The presenter showed factual and statistical information of success with the product. He also outlined how it is a cost efficient product that can be used across the world due to its flexibility. He went on to talk about future possibilities for the product as well as a list of potential areas for future marketing for the product. The product seems to be pretty easily accessible and versatile. It seems like a realistic venture that could be implemented fairly easily if the right resources are in place. The presenter had a clear vision and a specialized group who the product is catered to.
      The only issue that I thought was evident in this video was that the presenter did not really explain how the product is used or how it works. I would need some further information about the technicalities of this product to feel more comfortable in investing it.
      I think the presenter was confidence and that he made a strong argument by explaining the need of the product as a foundation to his argument. I felt this drew me in. I do not think this product would require me to add money but maybe I would be able to use my pre-existing knowledge and the knowledge of other educators who have dealt with students with dyslexia to help to understand and enhance this type of product further.

  • David Vogt 3:22 pm on September 16, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: Empowered Learning,   

    A better way to teach high school math:

    Continue reading Empowered Learning Posted in: Pitch Pool
    • Peggy Lawson 5:20 am on September 19, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I felt as if this venture has potential. While about 3x too long for a standard elevator pitch, the four key features of a good pitch (David Shore, BCIC New Ventures) were addressed – (1) the problem you are trying to solve (from several customer vantage points), (2) what are you doing to solve the problem, (3) who are you solving it for, and (4) value/money proposition. The salesman had some sizzle without being irritating. The slide deck helped tell the story without being text heavy or overly distracting.

      • jhodi 9:08 pm on September 19, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Peggy,

        I also thought that the pitch itself hit a lot of the key features of a good pitch. It was very informative about why this technology is useful, the features of the technology, and their asking price and potential for return. However, what this pitch lacked for me was a good description of why this specific technology is better than any other technology that is similar. I would have liked to know why they think this approach is better than that of others. As well, I just did not like the concept of the technology as it applied to math, but that is from the viewpoint of an educator.


    • jhodi 9:03 pm on September 19, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      NO, I would not invest in this venture.
      This pitch claims to address the consistent problems in education dealing with wasted time teachers spend on paperwork and the disconnect in communication between teachers and parents. The solution to this problem is ‘Empowered Learning’, which pretty much amounts to an online tool that students use to complete their math homework that marks and gives feedback to students immediately. By doing so, problems areas can be addressed and ‘various forms of help’ can be provided. The claimed goal is for students to achieve 100% on their homework each night. Parents can monitor these results from home and track their child’s progress. This also releases the teacher from the administrative tasks and allows them time to focus on individual students. The implementation of this technology into the classroom is in theory seamless- no curriculum changes or teacher training. They are looking for $250 000 to launch a pilot that they will receive feedback from to modify the product and then launch the product.
      Overall, at first glance, the pitch seems to have covered quite a few key bases. From an educator’s standpoint, I feel like their pain point is valid; there is some wasted time on paperwork and a disconnect between parents and teachers at times. However, where this pitch falls apart for me is in the solution. I chose to evaluate this pitch because it claimed to be relevant to high school mathematics, which is what I teach. To me, it is not good enough for students to know whether they got a question right or not, it is important for me that they can understand the process and if they get a question wrong, go back and reflect on why. This pitch was very unclear on the ‘various forms of help’ that it would provide to students should they get a question wrong. I have found that it is especially hard for students to show their math work entirely on a computer and therefore, I am skeptical about the ability of this program to give adequate feedback. Furthermore, it is important for parents to see results such as this, but it is also important for them to see classroom results, which leaves me wondering how this program interacts with progress in the classroom and showing parents at home. The next part where the pitch started to fall apart for me was the lack of comparison to other tools similar to this one, of which there are lots of similar tools. This pitch left me wondering why is this product so much better than the others? Lastly, the pitch failed to give a decisive timeline on return for me as an investor. The return is entirely contingent on how well the pilot performs. What if nobody likes the technology and there are very few sales? With everything else in mind, this is not a technology that I look at and think, ‘wow’, this is very interesting and useful with a wide range of applications. Therefore, I would not invest in this technology.

    • Ranvir 8:39 pm on September 21, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No, I would not invest in this venture as there are open source and commercial tools available today that can provide the functionality at fraction of the cost. Developing another application from ground up to provide functionality that is mostly available in many LMS systems doesn’t seem to make sense. It would make more sense to extend an existing application or leverage a business intelligence tool to extract analytics rather than spend $250,000 to design a new application. The pitch doesn’t clarify gaps that a competitor is unable to fulfill. Moreover, it is not clear how the application specifically helps students to learn Math better.
      The venture pitch is quite long and shows planned features of the application which is not necessary at the initial stage. The pitch mentions target market for math in US is $175 million based on which source? The marketing aspect of the product is missing. Finally, how and when will the venture get a break even or provide return to investor is not mentioned.

      • jameschen 6:52 pm on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I agree with your points on the problems found in this pitch. The numbers seem unrealistic because no sources are provided, and the lack of explaining exactly how this product differs from an updated version of Skinner’s teaching machine, for example, raises some red flags.

    • Suhayl Patel 10:15 am on September 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No I would not invest in this venture. Right off the bat, I am one who enjoys listening to new ideas, but only by people whom I am able to see. I usually tune out when it’s done through pictures, graphs, etc. In this pitch, the entire pitch was done like that and I wasn’t able to actually see the person for even a short period of time as he made his pitch.

      I rated all four categories rather low

      Ceo-Team: Althought he might have had a background in large/small scale software projects, there wasn’t much said about his team. And I don’t think this would be a venture that an be done solo.

      Veture Concept: I don’t believe this idea is new and original. A lot of (mathematics) textbook publishers (person, mcgraw hill) have online tools that do the same thing: grade, help, assess, keep track, etc of progress. Even Khan Academy has many of these features and it’s user-friendly and effective.

      Marketing: They don’t have the competitive edge to go against the likes of the large publishers or Khan Kcademy (which partners with MS)

      Venture Plan: Ther is nothing mentioned about the venture plan which makes me even more reluctant to invest in this.

    • Patrick Pichette 8:33 am on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No I would not invest in this venture. There are too many alternatives that compete directly with this type of offering and the pitch fails to address how they differentiate themselves from these other popular solutions. On that point alone, there is no chance that I would even contemplate getting additional information as that should have been addressed in his pitch to begin with (especially since it was 3 mins long).

    • sophiabb 5:13 pm on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      No, I would not invest in this venture. The pitched failed in endear credibility due to a failure to differentiate itself, no marketing strategy, insubstantial financials and lack of a leadership skills.
      The pitch highlighted Empowered Learning as a unique math teaching/learning web based software solution in the high school math market. Is it really unique? This market is proliferated with many competitors who offer same or similar “unique” solutions. The pitch failed to identify how Empowered Learning will really differentiate itself in this market; its unique selling proposition was no different from software that are currently on the market being offered, for example MathTutor and many publishing companies such as Pearson.
      The pitch indicated a fairly large US market of $175 million. With a very dotted competitor field, the pitch failed to deliver a marketing strategy of how it would penetrate and secure market space/share.
      The pitch identified an ask of $250,000 to pilot, build, measure and adjust. As an investor, I cannot help but wonder is this figure was just pulled from the air. The pitch failed to substantiate the financial need for the ask. It also failed to identify the return on investment.
      The team seemed to the CEO only. The CEO might be able to carry a heavy load to pilot, build, measure and adjust. For the company assure the possibility of a going concern, other leadership skills are needed, such as skills in marketing.

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