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  • rebeccaharrison 12:23 am on November 26, 2012
    2 votes

    Hi all, Here is my first attempt at creating my own online hypothetical venture. It was quite the process, but it was well worth the journey. Basically my venture, Mentoring Me, is an online mentorship program that follows the structure of an online dating site. Please have a look and tell me what you think. […]

    Continue reading Mentoring Me Posted in: Venture Forum
    • jenbarker 10:55 am on November 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Rebecca,
      I really like your Venture idea. I think you have clearly addressed the pain point and solution. The fact that you present mentees with a real life mentor and do this through a “dating” like format gives you differentiation, or a cutting edge. I felt your marketing ideas were solid. As someone who has been directly involved in setting up mentoring at the district level, I know it can be very costly. When our district releases many beginning teachers for a morning mentoring session, the amount that they pay out to TOC’s to cover is high. I think your idea could save districts a lot of money. On a side note, how might you choose your mentors? Would there be an application process? How would you guarantee quality mentors? Would they be paid or volunteers? Overall, I think both your pitches met the necessary facets required. Great work, Jen

      • rebeccaharrison 9:13 am on November 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Good questions. I’m not so sure about choice of mentors, but was thinking that those who are active participants (based on data), may be provided with a day in lieu, or some other form of recognition.

    • joeltremblay 4:37 pm on November 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Rebecca,
      Being a teacher in B.C. and being able to relate directly to your project idea I was quite taken with it. The concept and elevator are logical and comprehensive. I wonder how marketable it would be to either the government or different districts?

    • Jonathan 9:27 pm on November 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Big thumbs up for the idea Rebecca,

      Felt like you were speaking to real needs of a new teacher. I’ve always liked the idea of a mentorship program and have felt the need for a service like this. I know that my district offers it on a one year basis to new teachers but it takes many years of mentorship, practice and training for a teacher to be able. To add to Jen’s points about finding qualified and quality mentors how would this company retain a subscription service of a user?

      I’m imagining that a match has been made for the user ($50 charged in the first year). Once that connection has been made there is no more use for the site? Does the site get discarded?

      Love the idea though.. a lot!

      Great work,

    • Doug Connery 10:33 pm on November 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great concept Rebecca. This venture provides opportunities for teachers from K-post secondary to have mentors inside or outside their school or institute. I also see the market beyond education for anyone in any sector needing a mentor.


    • tomwhyte1 10:52 am on November 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      To facilitate and objectively review the venture pitch you have put forward, I will be utilizing the guidelines provided within our course, Section 2.7 – Deconstructing a Pitch.

      CEO & Team:

      The CEO of Mentoring Me, recognizes their limited experience as a classroom teacher, which in most cases might be a determinant to any venture, actually is a strength. For their experiences as a new teacher, requiring effective mentoring in many aspects of teaching shows the potential for such a service in the field of education. Furthermore, the team is strengthened by the partnership, with an individual who has a Computer Science background, a necessary element to design, and deploy the required infrastructure to make this venture successful. One key member of the team, which was mentioned by the CEO as currently absent, is the involvement of a marketing specialist, which would be able to effectively position this venture for success.

      Venture Concept:

      Education long ago, discovered the importance of mentoring, not only for new teachers but for the more experienced ones as well, for the sharing of ideas and energy strengthens everyone throughout the process. What Mentoring Me does different, is takes this relationship online, through a dating service like platform, to provide meaningful mentorship opportunities, regardless of time or space. On the surface, this approach does appear to be feasible, and demonstrates an answer to a potential issue. However, further research would need to be conducted, to demonstrate that this platform would enhance current mentorship programs.


      Even though the market size for this service is not provided, and right now, are only focusing on new/younger teachers, it is clear that this service can be used by all teachers to enhance their skills and understanding of various topics, thereby creating an effective professional development resource, based upon small groups, and common interests. Furthermore, this venture recognizes that teachers in remote locations, or within small buildings have limited opportunities to receive mentoring, and that this service would alleviate this concerns. At this time, Mentoring Me is an innovative approach on mentoring, as it has taken a dating style format and applied it to matching people for mentor relationships. As well, they hope to enhance this service through communication tools, reduced costs, and training videos. Unfortunately, this service could be easily duplicated, especially by existing dating sites, wishing to expand their into new untapped markets. Therefore, it may be essential to create partnerships with an already existing venture, to ensure continued success.

      Venture Plan:

      Mentoring Me, has developed a specific plan of rolling out their services, which include periods of reassessment to ensure their approach is meeting the goals they have set forward, clearly demonstrating a strong vision for their product.

      At this time though, I am concerned that districts or even individual teachers would “buy” into this service, as many educational institutions have developed their own mentorship programs, which focus on what the district feels is essential. However, by potentially partnering up with an existing dating service (to gain access to their back end software, to create effective matches), and refocus this service to all teachers for potential PLC’s, I feel there is an opportunity here.

      • rebeccaharrison 9:15 am on November 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Great points Tom and some stuff to consider. A partnership might be a great way to ensure viability and sustainability.

        • tomwhyte1 10:25 am on November 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          Furthermore, I have been discussing around my school the possibilities of this venture, it has received positive comments from each.

          I think yours was an innovative approach at a relevant issue, using already established technology in a new way.

          Thanks for sharing your great idea.

    • visramn 3:55 pm on November 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply


      I think you did a great job of conveying the need of this product. You covered all components of what is needed in a successful market plan and addressed any concerns a potential investor may have. You were confident and clear when you spoke and your enthusiasm made your message stronger.
      I think this is a great idea and after watching your pitches I would definitely invest in this product.
      I really liked how you started off by pointing out that you are new teacher who struggled because this shows that you based this product on a need that you yourself have felt. I felt this made your argument more compelling.
      Great job. Thank you so much for sharing.


    • jameschen 6:34 pm on November 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Rebecca,

      Your elevator pitch has a good flow, and I think your pain point would need more emphasis on the hook to really grab my attention as an investor. A provision of tangible figures for the ask and return here would also increase credibility. I really like the idea of an online mentoring program compared to what the districts currently have for beginning teachers.

      Here is my analysis on your venture pitch using the guidelines found in section 2.7 of our course blog – Deconstructing a pitch:

      Mentoring Me: The Content
      Pain Point: I am unsure if the problem portrayed in the pitch is a problem big enough to yield profitable returns, because my assumption is that these uncertainties would eventually be clarified as the new teacher gets to know more of the fellow staff members and becomes integrated into the existing community at the school where she teaches. Nevertheless, from the perspective of a TOC high anxiety levels are hard to avoid and would therefore create a need for such online mentoring programs.
      Solution: The solution you presented will improve with more concrete examples. How will the teachers be paired with more experienced teachers? Exactly what will the mentoring program help new teachers overcome? Addressing these questions would paint a better picture of your product for the investors.
      You do provide information about how the solution will be implemented later on in the pitch at the part about teacher training under Marketing as well as the beginning part of Differentiation. Moving those parts here would be more fitting.
      Differentiation: In the video, your differentiation explains what is proprietary about your product. Your pitch would improve if it explains how the product differs from the competition. What does your product offer that current mentorship programs do not? To answer this, you would need to explain what is currently available, what your product offers that is unavailable under the current programs, and why customers would choose to pay for your service over the free ones offered by school districts.
      Marketing: At the beginning of your venture pitch, you paint a very clear picture about how your product will be marketed. The provision of price tags for the service also adds to this. Later on in the video under Differentiation when you elaborate about marketing, a technical side note here is that the fading in feature of the volume at 4:28 made the topic “Marketing” hard to hear. This caused me to be unsure of what your following explanation is about, because you have combined the marketing aspect of your pitch into differentiation. As an EVA, I would suggest separating these parts so that investors can be clear about how your product is different from its online competitors and the marketing strategy you’ll be using.
      Championship: Credentials of the venture’s leader is established, but a provision of positions that are necessary to bring the product into the market is not found.

      Competition: This section is combined with Marketing under Differentiation in the pitch.

      The Ask: Your ask of $100,000 is realistic, and you also provide information on how your investors can help improve the venture as well as the risks that are involved.

      The Return: The return is 2-3 years. Additional information on your exit strategy would add to the credibility of your pitch.
      In all, I think your venture pitch was well presented. You put in a lot of thought on how you would market the product which helps make the venture pitch into a viable investment.

    • pcollins 10:01 pm on November 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great idea piggy backing on the success of the online dating websites! I’m chuckling at how savvy that was. That’s a fantastic proposal! Your presentation was very natural – it didn’t appear overly rehearsed at all. And your personal belief in this idea came through in your vocalizations. I appreciate that your venture contains a balance of gains for everybody involved learning and mentoring… the older teachers with new ideas/ a refresher in research and the youngsters with well established/seasoned professionals. I was instantly attracted to choose your venture for a more detailed analysis because I can relate so well to the pain point. But I am involved in education and in our district’s mentoring programs. I couldn’t help but wonder if other’s outside of our professional body really see the problems? Your venture was well researched but specific numbers would have gone a long way to support some of your details. I loved how you used a pre-existing concept, with massive technical parallels to your venture. And bringing in the usage of pro-d funds to pay for the 60 dollar yearly fee is reasonable. I’m not sure what you think, but maybe there should be a cost differential to attract more mentors. It was also great that you identified the professionals that you would target – those in isolation. And it struck me, that even in large schools a lot of new educators still work in isolation because of the workload they have to shoulder. The market analysis was well done and I would undoubtedly support this venture.

      Job well done Rebecca.

    • Scott 1:07 pm on November 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Rebecca, in my opinion, this is a solid venture idea and pair of pitches – you had me at ‘dating website’!

      Beyond the wealth of suggestions already written here, I might simply add that you should consider expanding on the dating concept of the venture just a bit more in your elevator pitch. With 60sec. of available time, why not spend another 15sec adding in a sentence or two from your venture pitch, to really sell this very original and key feature of your service.



    • melissaayers 3:58 pm on November 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Rebecca,

      Great elevator pitch. You identify a real pain point and a real solution as well as manage to identify how it differentiates itself from other current offerings. Overall it makes me what to find out more and go listen to your venture pitch.

      The venture pitch is also very well though out and researched. You seem an enthusiastic founder and team member who clearly believes in the service/product. A great start for any venture. You use a successful business model already proven in one context in a new and different context as the base of the venture concept. This is interesting and I believe adds to the likelihood of its success and uptake – users can quickly and easily understand what you are trying to do (as can potential investors).

      Seeing the responses from others already to your venture proposals this is potentially a highly marketable product at a fair and affordable price. There is a clear market plan and road map and the investment required and expected returns are also clearly stated and seem reasonable.

      Overall great work and this is definitely something I would consider investigating further to invest in as an EVA.


    • Pat A Son 4:09 am on December 1, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Rebecca,

      Great venture. You were very thorough and convincing.


    • sophiabb 11:32 am on December 1, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Rebecca,

      Love the idea of piggy backing on the dating site concept. Your pitches clearly outlined the pain points, solution and the ask and return. I believe that this is a worthwhile and viable concept. Well done.


  • rebeccaharrison 11:18 pm on November 21, 2012
    0 votes

    I fell short on this one, but only due to my reservations about this site. I’ve played some video games like this before and seen some not so pleasant things happen to people I know and, almost like a gambler avoiding Vegas (or Gamblor’s effects if you’re up on your Simpsons), I am unwilling to […]

    Continue reading Rebecca’s Avatar Posted in: General, Week 12:
    • manny 11:27 pm on November 21, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Rebecca,
      Your reservations about this kind of software are absolutely warranted. I have just begun playing around with some of its features and realized the addictive component built into it. Traditional video games have levels and an ending but this kind of game play (i.e. world of warcraft) only get more complex and addictive as you play. However, if it is designed correctly, I can see a lot of advantages in utilizing certain features for education.

      • rebeccaharrison 11:45 pm on November 21, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Agreed. I can see that there is massive potential there. “With great power comes great responsibility,” though, and I don’t know if I could encourage the use of this kind of virtual world in my own classroom, although I imagine in some cases it would be a good fit.

    • Eva Ziemsen 12:01 am on November 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Rebecca,
      I do know of addictions to video games, which are very valid. However, did you have a chance to see the videos we posted? I think they speak to what Manny has pointed out – the very structured and innovative use of Second Life. I think it is important to consider the context we are presenting SL – within a highly structured assignment or curriculum. We are not suggesting that our cohort allow their students to randomly hang out in SL. We are asking them to consider entering a virtual classroom or guided tour of certain areas. This is an important distiction.

      For example, in my experience, creating a Machinima video was a highly structured and educational activity. I only logged in to meet my classmates, scout locations and conduct our video.

      I hope that the videos may inspire you to consider using SL in the ways that many other educators have done. What did you think of the SL educational applications?

      • rebeccaharrison 9:37 pm on November 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Eva,

        Even though there are some fabulous ways to integrate it, and some very valid educational opportunities, I’m more concerned with the bigger moral implications. I don’t like where SL is going, it feels too much like “The Game” the Star Trek: Next Generation episode. Maybe it’s an irrational stand, which is very well could be, as at 28 years old I’m a seasoned gamer who has spent hours, days, weeks, months, and maybe even years playing games (though I do fall short of diaper-wearing to stay playing, I’ve pulled all-nighters and forgotten to eat). I guess I need to examine why I have such an emotional response to it, but thank you for sharing it as a good example of what can be done!

    • Patrick Pichette 7:50 pm on November 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I agree with Rebecca on this one. Second Life has the potential to be Pandora’s Box. Great rewards with potential negative impacts. Prior to having my two daughters, I would often spend time playing video games of various nature but none were as time consuming as massive multiplayer online games. Although Second Life isn’t as much of a game as an online world, I still feel that it could be very addictive in nature and would never present it to my classrooms. For those who don’t remember, I teach a technology program that focuses on programming and technical support. The perfect type of student that could fall into a downward spiral of gaming addiction. I fully support gaming as an activity and still think it’s a valid educational tool but worry about certain types of escapism games such as Second Life.

  • rebeccaharrison 11:56 pm on October 21, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: ,   

    Hello and welcome to Week 8 of ETEC 522, where our topic will be Personalized Learning Tools. We hope that you enjoy the information and activities provided. We have tried to address different learning styles throughout the blog, so that you are able to choose which way you can best acquire information and show your […]

    Continue reading Hello and Welcome to Week 8 Posted in: Week 08:
    • kstackhouse 7:37 am on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great job on your intro video. The questions you posed have been on my mind for some time now. I look forward to seeing what types of answers or solutions you feel Personalized Learning will provide.

    • ETEC522grp8 8:31 am on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks! We hope our answers and solutions help you with some of your questions.

    • tomwhyte1 9:03 am on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great opening video, it reminded me of Sir Ken Robinson’s video on a similar topic, this is the link:

      • jameschen 12:44 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for linking the video. It provides us with a great illustration of Sir Ken Robinson’s take on the need for our education system to facilitate learning environments that support divergent thinking. I do wonder whether or not the move towards a personalized learning education system would bring about change to the current approach to standardized testing? – James

    • jenbarker 9:37 am on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Outstanding opening video with some really powerful and relevant questions. I look forward to learning more about personalized learning this week. As someone who likes the ideas in the BC Ed Plan I am excited to hear more about real examples that could be implemented in BC to give the Plan some “legs”.

      • avninder 12:36 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Does anyone know which schools are being referenced in the BC Education Plan video?

        • jameschen 1:06 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          Good question. I searched the Principal’s name and found the institution that he’s in, but I am not sure if it’d be appropriate for me to post the school’s name here because of privacy concerns. – James

    • avninder 12:59 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great job! When taking the Emerging Markets Poll at the beginning of this course, I did not rate personalized learning positively. Your site has changed my mind. There is definitely a lot of potential in this market.

    • Jenny Brown 2:54 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great introduction and quality video! I recently heard about a school group in Sweden that is really focusing on personalized learning – getting rid of traditional classrooms and grouping students not by age but abilities and interests. Here is a link for more information:

      • ETEC522grp8 9:45 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for the link. I can see how the philosophy behind Vittra schools reflect Sir Ken Robinson’s views on divergent thinking (see tomwhyte1’s video link above), and sets a good example for public schools in North America to follow. – James

    • ETEC522grp8 3:45 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great links guys! On a side note, I was recently at a Pro-D on Saturna Island where they use an interesting approach to Personalized Learning as their program is an Ecological Education experience. They are very careful about their uses of technology and only use it to support their classroom and outdoor experiences. A bit of a different approach, as it does not have technology at the center, but very valid nonetheless.

    • Ranvir 3:46 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Agreed! Powerful questions challenging the status quo. In the week I look forward to some practical and budget-friendly ways in which we can provide personalized learning to our students.

      Although I am not a pessimist, I am yet to find an educational institution where pedagogy drives the business as usually its the other way round (for fair reasons). For instance, in a recent LMS upgrade that I was part of, among other functional requirements, PLE was ranked high by faculty and students, however we ended up implementing a standard LMS not much different than the status quo as it made more business sense (you know what I mean?)

      Unlike private institutions such as Knewton, K-12 schools have limited budgets. Unless a technology is reasonably priced (if not free) and can be easily integrated with the existing systems, there will be limited uptake. With the popularity of social media, many new LMS have emerged in the market that have integration with FB, Twitter and other similar sites. Sadly, they all lack “meaningful adaptive capabilities” that will give the learner all the controls of his/her learning. I recently completed a Gamification course on Coursera and thoroughly enjoyed it. Games are all about Personalized Learning where the game is on the hot seat, in control of the game and learns based on his/her actions and corresponding feedback…

      Perhaps a good starting point would be to get a good understanding of what personalized learning is? Maybe get some cues from Games…Finally, is it just the ability to change the layout, colour scheme, perhaps content on learner page on the LMS/ website or is it little broad … perhaps a different approach to teaching and learning?

      • ETEC522grp8 10:13 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        You made some very valid points, Ranvir. And I see what you mean about the challenges that exist in the implementation of PLEs being mostly related to limited budgets. With the way the economy has been going, educators might have to wait a while for hardware/software prices to drop before real personalization can begin to take shape in the education system.

        Gamification, now that’s something worth thinking about! Have a look at Jane McGonigal’s TED Talk on how gaming can make a better world at

        – James

      • Pat A Son 11:32 pm on October 25, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Ranvir I do not think that money is as much of a limiting factor where the implementation of modern technology at school is concerned. To make a case for this point the open source movement has provide many free software alternatives to expensive commercial software yet most schools do not capitalize on these. Even with heavy investment in commercial a lot of these schools have still not been able to get minimum benefits from them.
        I think the problem is a collective mental one in that we are living in a ‘renaissance’ period as far as thinking in education is concerned and the world is virtually bursting at the seams as far as ideas and technologies for this field. The old guards at the top are just overwhelmed as to how to cope with all these new concepts. So at the end of the day they just go for what they feel comfortable with which means the old ways of doing things. With the passing of time as our students who are more comfortable with the technology occupy decision making positions in education we will see the implementation of more of these ideas

    • Peggy Lawson 8:38 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great into Week 8 – awesome video. I agree with so much of what you included. Ever since the (correct, I feel) push toward differentiated instruction I’ve come more & more to see the apparant fallacy of expecting every student in a grade to master the same set of outcomes in the same restricted time period. How does that promote differentiation and individualized learning?? I’m looking forward to some great information this week. I’m already off to learn more about Newton for my meeting tomorrow with our division Coordinators & Superintendents!


      • ETEC522grp8 10:19 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        If you could share with us some of the feedback you received regarding Knewton from your meeting tomorrow that would be very much appreciated, Peggy!
        – James

    • Doug Connery 9:11 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great video introduction and questions to ponder while going through the module. I have been through your first module on Personalized Learning and my perception that this type of learning is labour intensive for the instructor has been challenged.


    • Shaun Pepper 10:56 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great Video. I am looking forward to this topic. In my experience learning centred environments and projects have always facilitated the greatest amount of engagements from students.

      • ETEC522grp8 9:36 pm on October 24, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I agree, the challenge is finding relevant and useful ways of finding and maintaining engagement with all different types of learners.

    • jkotler 8:38 am on October 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great video! I really enjoyed watching it and appreciated that the questions were so relevant and thought provoking. Some of it started to make me thing of past discussions I’ve had about the pros and cons of Montessori schools.

    • joeltremblay 9:01 am on October 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great opening vid! You posed a lot of interesting and poignant questions about the existing status quo infastructure that we all operate in. I’m interested to see what options you’ve proposed to us?

    • pcollins 9:17 am on October 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I can’t wait to engage with this topic group 8. Thank you for the inspirational introduction. As I was thinking about your questions from the video I kept orbiting back to the same answer……

    • frank 12:13 pm on October 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Personalized Learning Tools team.

      I am confused about this week’s structure. Can you please what you expect and if there are missing pieces (2-4?), when they might be up?


      • ETEC522grp8 1:05 pm on October 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hello Frank
        Did our page launch for you? The link is above – hyperlinked where it says ‘Homepage’ but if that isn’t working for you, here is the link:

        Here are all of the activities, we ask that you complete 3-4 of them:

        Activity One – Create your own program (link and instructions on project weblog)
        Activities Two, Three and Four are polls located on the project weblog
        Activity Five and Seven are discussions (post on course weblog)
        Activity Six is a SWOT Analysis (post in course weblog)

        Hope this helps and please let us know if you have any more questions.

        • frank 2:02 pm on October 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          Thanks Coral. No, I hadn’t seen your homepage, and going through it now. Really Excellent Stuff!

    • Eva Ziemsen 1:04 pm on October 24, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for a great intro video. I agree that these questions are very relevant. I’m including a video that I made (although please don’t think this is the usual quality of my videos, as I had no microphone available). However, it was filmed during a 3-day intensive course this summer: Recurring Questions of Technology
      A Brief History of Consciousness and Learning

      In it, you will find that BC Educators speak about some of this week’s topic. Feel free to scroll through to find those parts. It’s a bit long (and, as I said, quality is not great).

      Looking forward to the activities. I already did a poll.

    • manny 6:43 pm on October 24, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great opening video! As was mentioned earlier, it brings up the same questions that educational philosopher Ken Robinson poses in his talks. I think most educators would agree with the points that were brought up, the thoughts that came into my head upon watching it was why not? However, as was stated earlier in the course in a quote by Neil Postman, education as an institution exhibits the most resistance to change. Even when change is accepted, it progresses at a snails pace. I look forward to playing around with these ideas this week and look forward to participating in your activities.

      • ETEC522grp8 3:23 pm on October 25, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I think it is already happening at the grassroots level in classrooms all over the world. The challenge is taking personalized learning mainstream. Educators that are seeing first hand personalized learning increasing achievement and outcomes will need to be the advocates of change in education.

    • teacherben 5:34 pm on October 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      It seems to me that most of the questions you posed in the video come down to economic issues. Obviously, it’s no coincidence that the modern education system closely resembles the Lean Manufacturing systems of Eli Whitney and Henry Ford. But manufacturing hasn’t changed a whole lot since then either. I recently visited the Hong Kong Electronics Expo and spoke with manufacturers from all over Asia and learned a bit about their factories. They do things the way they do to minimize costs, maximize production and reduce defects. The fact that few of our students work on farms anymore would indicate that the system is sorely out of date but economics will always be the determining factor behind what initiatives happen and which ones don’t. On the ground, it feels like common sense that the student ought to be at the center. But at the top, it will always be numbers. Programs like Khan Academy and The Rosetta Stone may present some great potential to reshape the landscape a bit and tailor programs to individual students but this only happens when it can equally be justified by numbers. And these numbers will still come from highest test scores for the least money.

    • ETEC522grp8 10:53 pm on October 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      That is a valid observation, Ben. At times it does feel like the people up above liken teaching to an assembly line. The most kids who can read well with the least amount of dollars spent. Even that view of “defects” or, as they are often labelled (on the graphs they show at the end of the year), “outliers” is very present. Another determining factor is public opinion, and if enough people recognize that the system we have is out of date (and in itself can be quite costly), is personalized learning the next step?

      • teacherben 5:00 am on October 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        It would appear that personalized learning is indeed the next step, but primarily because it is cost-effective. It looks good on paper because the computer can do some of what the teacher used to do.

        Check out this great scene from the most recent Star Trek movie that depicts automated personalized learning on Vulcan. You can imagine that this is where we are headed–Khan Academy on steroids:

        • teacherben 5:20 am on October 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          I was just looking at government spending over the last decade and you can see a clear trend. Not only do education and health care make up more than half of provincial spending, but with an aging population, health care has increased significantly year after year. The money has to come from somewhere. While education funding has increased as well (almost a billion a year over the past 3 years) the language of the document is not unlike cost/benefit analysis you see in any other industry. Here’s a publication from the Ontario govt:

          Here’s a pie graph showing government expenditures:

          Here, you can see that health care went up from 29.4 billion in 2003-4 to 42.6 in 2010.

          Given the fact that purchasing usually happens a couple steps over the teachers’ heads (at least when i last worked in public education) the people that need to be convinced of the efficacy of your new product are the penny pinchers at the board level. I would be interested to hear how much influence everyone here has on spending in their schools.

  • rebeccaharrison 10:42 am on October 21, 2012
    0 votes

    I found both of these programs to be the most effective for me from the ones I tried,  and I used both of them last week in a school setting. Zoobooks is pretty easy to imagine using in the classroom, and I made up a fun introduction to our work on adjectives, which the kids […]

    Continue reading Zooburst and Aurasma Posted in: Week 07:
    • manny 5:59 pm on October 21, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Rebecca,
      I wanted to share an application of Aurasma that I think would work great for upcoming parent teacher interviews for those of us in the education field. A fellow colleague of mine would have student work posted around his classroom with a QR code attached to the bottom corner. On parent teacher night, parents would be allowed to circle the classroom and by clicking on the QR code, they would be linked to a video narrated by their child showing how they made their project. This method emphasized the process and not the product and was received with a positive reaction from most parents.
      Now that we have AR apps such as Aurasma, there is no reason that the application mentioned above couldn’t occur. Parents spend a lot of time waiting for the teacher and this could allow them to circle the class and see what happens in the classroom. It also empowers the students to take ownership of their work as they know that it will be viewed by their parents and fellow class members. Not only interesting stuff but truly innovative and cutting edge…

    • Eva Ziemsen 6:19 pm on October 21, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Manny,
      I think your idea of having the QR code attached to the student’s work on parent teacher night is a great example of using AR in a very meaningful way. It would lead me to think that all works of art could have this kind of narrative attached to it, for example, in a gallery, it would be great to hear the artist speaking about the work. This is very inspiring. Thank you,

    • ETEC522grp8 7:37 am on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply


      I love that idea. The only problem is that at our school, many parents wouldn’t have cell phones, let alone smart phones. We struggle often with things like this, as they are great ideas but just increase the have/have not divide that we already see at our school. We are having a serious issue right now with the BYOD policy for these reasons. It makes technology use in our school a little more complicated.

  • rebeccaharrison 9:54 pm on October 8, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: cloud technology   

    From the research that I have been doing in this, and other, classes, combined with the information that has been presented by the BC government this year, I can actually see the potential for a massive shift in learning in the next 5 years. I imagine that cloud computing will be a big part of this […]

    Continue reading Week 6: Last Activity Posted in: General, Week 06:
    • jkotler 3:30 am on October 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Rebecca,

      I think you make a great point about how it is often hard to make long-term projections in the future of technology because of the rapid pace at which things now develop and change. With that said though, I too think the biggest change for cloud computing and learning would be in regards to its widespread use and that we would see it become commonly used in most school districts.

    • Colin 9:20 pm on October 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I agree I think we will see a big shift in the amount of cloud computing applications that are used in the classroom. As for the technology that they will be using it is hard to predict. One prediction is that we will be using Virtual Worlds that are integrated with a LMS system. It would allow for students to learn while they look and interact within the virtual world. It also will allow for collaboration and can be done online without a need for a building. As this would allow for cost savings I can definitely see this as a possibility. That said these are all guesses and depends on so many variables that we just can’t predict.

    • pcollins 2:03 pm on October 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      This idea is so fitting for the research I have just completed for my project. Even though many people (educators, administration, parents) see the need for an overhaul in the education system and everyone is floating around predictions about how this might manifest itself….. it is such a huge shift in paradigm that it may take something really, really big to provide the impetus for this change to occur. And yes, the cost savings is undeniable – once it’s up and running. However, the start up costs and the funds for development and research still have to come from somewhere first…. and where does it come from? Private sector? Dismantling classrooms? Teacher layoffs?


  • rebeccaharrison 10:13 pm on September 25, 2012
    0 votes

      The co-founder and CEO of “bump” is David Lieb.   Bump is an app for android phones, iPads, iPhones, and iPods. It works between each of these devices to share information including contacts, pictures and your own social network pages. To share information you “bump” devices physically. The information you would like to share […]

    Continue reading   The co-founder and CEO of “bump” … Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • Jonathan 10:54 pm on September 25, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Rebecca,

      Great post on the CEO of Bump. I remember using this app on my iPhone when it first came out and being really excited at the novelty of the idea (high novelty factor! ;). Idea is simple and really caught on. I wonder how well it is doing now, perhaps still popular?

      No need to be intimidated by all of these great ideas. I like what you said about “finding a gap in the market and seek to fill it”. I think sometimes we get the whole idea that we need to find a super innovative idea. Sometimes, fixing an existing problem is more than amble. As did David with his Bump idea. How do we exchange contacts easily? 🙂


    • Mike Rae 11:46 pm on September 25, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hey Rebecca,

      Nice post about bump. Just curious of where you found this “bump has a strong group of investors whose knowledge and experience are applicable to this venture” . For my CEO/Founder of ALL in Learning, I was looking to find out who investors were and came up empty. Finding investors like that who have stake in the company and can add value to it, not just with their pocketbook, but with their experience and knowledge, seems like one of the keys to a successful venture.

    • rebecca42 11:28 am on September 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks Jonathon,

      Bump is still incredibly popular and they have expanded creating an app called flock where you can share pictures in folders based on who is present when the picture was taken. Everyone who was present has access to the picture folders. Very interesting stuff, and “cleans up” the process of photo sharing.

      Mike: On the website for bump they actually list the investors and their backgrounds on the “team” page. I found that really interesting and useful for understanding how the company functions.

      • Jonathan 9:22 pm on September 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Ahh! Sounds like the new thing that the Samsung Galaxy is trying to amp up in their commercials. I just downloaded Flock and gave it a try. Really neat. I always found it interesting how designers have developed the apps to do unique things.

        I wonder if it’s something that a lot of people use? Clearly he has tapped into a market that is growing with users. Do you know how he profits? Ad based?

    • jkotler 2:18 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Rebecca,

      I was really interested in your post on bump, particularly because this was the first I had hear about it. I am curious to know more about how it works and users response in how well it works or doesn’t. Do you use it yourself?

      I also really like David Lieb’s comment you added about how a great way to start a new venture is from an existing problem or gap found in the market. This is actually quite reassuring for me because I am currently working on developing a new venture that stemmed exactly from a gap I had found within the ed. tech market in Canada (something which has been quite successful here in Israel).

    • kstackhouse 9:20 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great point with created a solution to a problem. It is like our earlier reading that discussed the “pain” in the market and how it would be solved. It also reminds me of when students talk about what they should write a story or speech about. I always tell them that problems always make interesting topics. I am interested in this app and will be sure to check it out.

  • rebeccaharrison 12:17 am on September 15, 2012
    0 votes


    I looked at the New Media Consortium 2012 Horizon Report. Initially I spent some time trying to figure out a bit about the NMC. At times the internet feels a bit like the wild west, and I like to know before I read who is in charge of putting out what I’m reading, as that, […]

    Continue reading New Media Consortium 2012 Horizon Report Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
  • rebeccaharrison 9:25 pm on September 6, 2012
    0 votes


    Hello all, This is one of my first MET courses and I’m excited to get started. My name is Rebecca and I am writing to you from the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia! I’ve been teaching for about 4 years, 2 of which have been here in Powell River, 1 in Australia and the rest on Pender […]

    Continue reading Hello from Powell River Posted in: Week 01: Introductions
    • jenbarker 9:55 pm on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Rebecca,
      I am glad to see there is another “newbee” to MET in this class. Are you taking any other courses this term? I am also taking ETEC 511, which I haven’t had time to delve into yet. Thank goodness the weekend is fast approaching when I will have more time! I hope you have a had a great first week back at school and are enjoying all of your new roles. Best, Jen

      • rebecca42 10:12 pm on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hey Jen,
        Yes, I am taking 511, 512 and 521. I, too, am looking forward to having more time to devote to the readings now that my bulletin boards are all sorted at the school 😉 Regards, Rebecca

        • sonofpat 6:10 am on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          Hi Rebecca

          Welcome to MET and good luck to you with your courses, You seem so well rounded that I have no doubt that you will have fun as you succeed at your MET endeavors.

          See you around.

    • jbrown5 2:39 pm on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      We spent a week and a bit on the Sunshine Coast last summer and absolutely loved it, especially Powell River and then our time exploring the waters/marine life in Desolation Sound.

    • joeltremblay 11:54 am on September 10, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi there Rebecca,
      My uncle and aunt actually teach in Powell River so I’m curious as to how many schools there are up there as if there are as many as I think, it’s possible you might know them? Don and Anne Nelson? Anyways, take care and good luck with the course.

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