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  • Jonathan 2:36 pm on November 25, 2012
    0 votes

    Skoolbo is an interactive game that is targeted at K-7 students to improve their core literacy and mathematical skills.  Skoolbo has been built for student use with its easy to navigate menus and enjoyable plot. With the use of exciting mini games, Skoolbo is sure to be a hit in a classroom, at home or […]

    Continue reading Skoolbo is an interactive game that is t… Posted in: General, Venture Forum
    • Paula Poodwan 12:00 pm on November 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jonathan,

      Your elevator pitch video is still private and also I can’t open your longer version neither. Looking forward to view them 🙂

    • Peggy Lawson 4:25 pm on November 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Same here. I’m quite looking forward to learning about Skoolbo!

    • lullings 5:38 pm on November 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I was dying to hear more about the enjoyable plot of this venture Jonathan.
      I am having the same problems as Paula and Peggy.

      Skool booo to it not working as I enjoy a good interactive game!!!!

    • Jonathan 6:35 pm on November 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Oh no. My apologies. I will make sure it is opened up. I think I have been pretty confused with all of the settings. It should be up now. Sorry it took so long!

    • Peggy Lawson 7:53 pm on November 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Elevator pitch looks great Jonathan – you had me looking forward to the venture pitch, but I’m afraid the link to that isn’t working.

    • manny 4:40 pm on November 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jonathan,
      The idea of video gaming in education is an exciting phenomenon that I am sure will spark some interesting debates as its implementation progresses. I was unable to open your venture pitch but your elevator pitch was really well done and provided a great overview. My only concern is that you offer 20 free hours of game play to new members as a way to entice them into signing up. I thought that this may have been too much time and would turn an investor off as revenues would take a hit with that model.

      • Jonathan 1:21 am on December 1, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Manny —

        Upon further thought, I think I would have to agree with you. Skoolbo itself is already in existence and I have a feeling that their current model of providing the game for free is probably the way to go. I was looking for an active way to interest investors (but I may have done the opposite).

        If I were to revise the project, I may keep the game free and look to the value added projects (ie. digital books, teacher resources) for more revenue.

        Thanks for the feedback Manny.

        My apologies for not having the extended version working (I’ve been playing with the links endlessly..)

    • Suhayl Patel 6:44 pm on November 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jonathan,

      I really like your idea. I think the gamification of education is a great tool to leverage to increase engagement. I’ve only viewed your elevator pitch and am not able to access your venture pitch.

    • Patrick Pichette 8:26 pm on November 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jonathan,

      I also agree with many of the others in terms of the excitement generated by using games to teach. The concept is interesting but I wasn’t quite sure that giving 20 hours was quite right. I know quite a few games that I barely make to 20 so you’re pretty giving users all the usage they want out of it and then they may just opt to put it aside feeling as though they barely have anything left to gain out of it. I’d likely say that 5-10 hours is more than sufficient to determine the viability of a product and whether it deserves my hard earned dollars. Anything more is just a bonus in my end. As such, I likely would shy away from investing but would likely follow the venture to see where it leads.

      • Jonathan 1:27 am on December 1, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for your feedback Patrick.

        I was trying to figure out how I could increase revenue, but as I think about it more — developing the core product is really important. As I was mentioning to Manny, I think the way to go is to leave the game free. I hear what you say about 5-10 hours and shortening the game — but with the 20 hours I wanted to give enough opportunity for both teachers and students to try it out. Either way, upon some reflection, I feel that a hard cut off would be a turn off to educators and students. As I mentioned in a response to Manny — I think building upon the core product would be important to ensure that students continue to return.

        Thank you for your feedback!

    • Jonathan 1:15 am on December 1, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I’ve had a lot of difficulties posting up both my Youtube and my documents. I hope it works now, although I’m thinking that it is too late. Thank you all for trying to view my submission.

    • jhodi 8:37 am on December 1, 2012 | Log in to Reply


      I think that you have done a great job creating an elevator pitch that is simple and provides key points of interest for me to want to further explore your venture. I, like others, was a little surprised by the 20 hours of free gaming to start as I feel like that is a lot and students may lose interest after that or if a school uses it, 20 hours may be enough time to use it without actually paying for it. I would probably shorten it to 5 so that they can get a feeling for it, but not get to use it for the completion of a task.


      • Jonathan 6:46 pm on December 2, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        20 hours is quite generous amount. The creators of Skoolbo actually have allowed this game to go for free. To me it isn’t clear how they are funded currently, but I do believe the way to go with content now is to provide a solid experience and monetize on products afterwards.

        Build a product people can’t live without and then they will be happy to pay for it. Try before you buy, I feel is extremely important.

        Thanks for your feedback!

    • Peggy Lawson 9:01 am on December 1, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jonathan –

      Glad the tech issues were worked out with posting. I didn’t mind the wait and was happy to see your final product. I liked the quality and general content of the elevator pitch, but with so much competition in the educational gaming market today I didn’t really get enough in the brief pitch to sell me I’m afraid. I caught the pain point, but felt the solution could have been expanded upon. I’d like to know more, right up front, about what you mean by intricate story lines – some quick examples perhaps, that are intended to keep the students engaged. So I would have some concerns regarding how you would stand apart from the competition. As a potential EVA, I would be interested in seeing what you’ve got for me once you’ve got some samples to show me.

      • Jonathan 6:44 pm on December 2, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Peggy !

        It’s interesting that you say you didn’t get a good sense of what the product was about. I remember right at the beginning of the course we were tasked with watching a lot of pitches and thinking the exact same thing.

        As we headed into doing our own project, I remembered trying to balance out how much about the game I should talk about and how much about the general direction of the venture. It feels like a fine balance because we were definitely suppose to keep it towards the investors. But one could argue that the investors need to have a good idea of what is going on in the product. I have quite a few ideas about how to redo the pitch and I think it would have to include some gameplay. I may be crossing over into copyright issues though if I do this as it is a real product.

        Thanks for your feedback, Peggy!

  • Jonathan 9:43 pm on September 24, 2012
    0 votes

    Learning A-Z Several teachers at our school have been using Learning A-Z products for reading recovery purposes.  I’ve known about it for some time but this year, I’ve decided to take the program on and give it to the majority of my primary students.  As a result, I couldn’t think of a better product/service to […]

    Continue reading Learning A-Z Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
  • Jonathan 9:15 pm on September 10, 2012
    0 votes

    ZDNet’s Top 10 Education Tech predictions for 2011 provides a brief look at some possible trends in the upcoming years.  I believe this article provides more “food for thought” as opposed to a solid launching platform for venturers or organizations to base their purchasing decisions off of.  The list compiled by Adam Garry, Dell’s manager […]

    Continue reading Value in Ed Tech Predictions? Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
    • Mike Rae 8:56 pm on September 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Good synopsis Jonathan…when I read this of yours: ‘Most educators if not all I’m sure would agree they would love each one of these points, but the main question becomes, “how”?’, it reminded me that I was thinking the same thing while reading, but must have forgot to put it in my notes, as I left it out of my post. I thought that reading about a lot of these things might go as far as to frustrate educators, as now they see what is out there (or what is going to be out there), but they don’t have the ability to necessarily make it happen. Those decisions of instituting some of these trends are not at the ground level. I suspect a lot of teachers (I did), might feel more upset about their respective schools for not making more of the discussed initiatives.

    • Jonathan 8:41 pm on September 13, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Mike –
      I just caught up with your post and couldn’t agree more on a lot of the comments you made, especially the one about the Dell’s involvement in the article and plugging their own product.

      What comes to mind with regards to teachers not being the buyers or the the students for that matter is that we aren’t given much of a say. Quick story. I wanted to install Scratch (open source MIT – introduce simple programming in the form of Lego like blocks) onto our Mac Labs. I was encountered with a barrage of issues. Admin had to inquire with tech services. I was denied without a reason. On another day, I ran into the Tech Specialist that goes to schools to incorporate technology into classrooms, and she was more frustrated than me. She notes that on her own computer, she has to approve applications before they are installed on her computer. Her job is to assist teachers and blend curriculum with tech. She explained the process to me as somewhat of an application process for different computer apps (Macs and less so for iPads). Applications are submitted to a panel to review in the summer time. Some time (once a year) the panel meets to discuss viable apps. Once decisions are made they are final for the year.

      What baffles me is that.. here at my school I want to incorporate 21st Century Learning and I am denied the opportunity. How frustrating is this? The tech specialist’s job is to incorporate tech, and she isn’t being allowed to do her job properly for fear that we may install buggy software. I’ve since found a way around this, but it’s frustrating and discouraging.

      Okay maybe not that short 🙂

    • teacherben 11:42 pm on September 13, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jonathan,

      This doesn’t help with the bigger picture, but if you have a few USB sticks around, you can install Scratch to those. I just tried it and it works. You run the installer and drag the file to the USB instead of the Applications folder. Bit cheeky, but you do what you gotta do sometimes…

    • Jonathan 1:14 pm on September 15, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Ben —

      I love the creative solutions that we have to come up with to get around the “red tape” (is this what it is?) Great solution, I went backwards and burned them onto a bunch of CDs. I like the USB idea though, so that the students can bring them home and save work on them, but at the time ADMIN wanted to keep costs a bit lower. I think it’s more possible now though.

      The fact that we have to go to these lengths to do implement this vision of “21st Learning” is baffling and discouraging to other teachers that want to get into the technology game. Doing this stuff “should be easier” not harder. We shouldn’t be sneaking around like bandits just to provide our students with a positive learning experience.

      Side note: I just received an iPad from my admin to test implementation into the classroom. I spent last night going perusing the “Approved Apps” that the district had given a check to. I felt like creating a folder called “Useless” and dumping many of them in there 🙂 I’m probably still huffing and puffing fumes from my denial of Scratch and an approval of an app on the iPad called “ChoiceMaker”. Bless the developers that created it but the app simply flickers a “YES” “NO” sign at you after you press the “Go” button. I should be clear this app isn’t completely useless but pedagogically speaking — this is more of a sound app than Scratch? Really? 🙂

      Okay I’ll stop being such a grouch. I thought it was just amusing 🙂

    • Ranvir 6:05 pm on September 15, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I believe Dawson’s predictions are coming true to a large extent in terms of plummeting costs of text books and tablet devices. E-textbooks are gaining popularity with major publishers providing ePub version of textbooks available that can be viewed in popular eReader software. Also, cost of ebooks is generally less than conventional books. Moreover, many publishers are allowing students to rent books at a discounted price for a certain duration rather than buy every book they need. Finally, more reasonably priced tablets are available today such as Google Nexus and Kindle Fire that are under $200 price tag and enable an average student to have them in their backpack.

  • Jonathan 8:47 pm on September 5, 2012
    0 votes

    Hello all — I’m going to give a good sigh of relief (like Ken). Got the first full day of teaching out of the way, now I can settle down to a little quiet with MET. My name is Jonathan Tang and I’m currently teaching a Grade 2/3 classroom in Richmond, BC. This is my […]

    Continue reading Hello from Richmond! Posted in: General
    • grzesko 8:57 pm on September 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I agree with you Jonathan on how hectic it can be teaching and studying. I too use my class for tech experiments which haven’t always been successful. My latest is creating a virtual world for them to perform tasks in, I will have to see how that one turns out. What were some of your “experiments”?

      • Jonathan 9:07 pm on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Wikis have been my greatest experiments to date. The success has varied and I’m currently trying to use it as a language development tool in primary classes. I’ve had some success but I’ll give it another shot this year. I’m also dabbling with Mindcraft. I’ve sen a lot of stuff online and have spoken with quite a few people in MET that have used it, but I’m still wrapping my head around the game. I’m not sure I totally enjoy the game (which is a shame) but I do appreciate the creative aspect of the game.

        What about your tech experiments?

    • jenbarker 9:34 pm on September 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jonathan! I also teach in Richmond. Which school are you at? What other MET classes have you taken? I am breathing sigh of relief knowing that i have a real person I can connect with should I have difficulties in MET. Did you know that the District will begin loaning iPad2’s this year. My school is scheduled to get them next month. I only work on Fridays but am excited to use them with my primary class to document their mathematical understandings.

      • Jonathan 9:12 pm on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Jen! A friend in the district? That is great news! I’m over at Whiteside. Yourself?
        I’ve taken three to date (500, 511, 512). Let me know if you need course material from those classes (although I believe a lot of the reading material was online). I didn’t know that the district was loaning out iPad 2’s this year, I’ll have to get my school into it. Our school has recently acquired two of the iPads and I’ll be curious to use them with the students. I’ve had one (personal) in my classroom for a few years and have found opportunities to use them.

        You’ll have to keep me updated on what you think about it for student use!

    • kstackhouse 8:30 am on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Welcome to the course Jonathan. My students have also had to deal with my attempts at using technology to enhance OUR learning (theirs and mine). That was part of the reason why I selected the MET over other Master’s programs. It just seemed to fit my needs. 🙂 Best of luck this term.


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