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  • teacherben 6:06 am on November 24, 2012
    0 votes

    Pretty brief, but if, like me, you know next to nothing, it’s a start: http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/10/an-entrepreneurs-guide-to-patents-the-basics/

    Continue reading An Entrepreneur’s guide to patents: the basics Posted in: Blog Café
  • teacherben 5:49 am on November 24, 2012
    2 votes

    For my A3 project, I created a not-for-profit professional organization called ‘Edutech/HK’ to support collaboration and sharing between technology educators in Hong Kong.  The elevator pitch is a video embedded into the larger venture presentation that I created using Prezi.  I hope you enjoy it: http://prezi.com/ctydqmqhlmvw/edutechhk/ As always, any suggestions or feedback are appreciated.  If you […]

    Continue reading Edutech/HK Posted in: Venture Forum
    • jenniferschubertubc 8:55 am on November 24, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ben! I tried to take a look at your prezi, but when I click on the link above, it returns with a window stating “Something seems to be broken here, and tells us IO_ERROR. prezi.com/support might help.” (I know that last time I tried to access your prezi (A1), I seemed to be the only one getting an error message then, so maybe it’s just me or the prezi servers again, but I thought I’d let you know just in case.)

      I look forward to viewing your presentation! -Jen

      • jenniferschubertubc 8:55 am on November 24, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Nevermind… it seems to be working now. *sigh* 🙂

        • jenniferschubertubc 9:46 am on November 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          I agree that fundamental trade skills are being pushed into the background of education in this digital age. I have also had many parents and caregivers express the same complaint when praising our engineering programs for children. “Who will be the carpenters, plumbers, and electricians of tomorrow?” It may sound like a silly question until you really start thinking about it. We will always need hands on skillful workers and engineers in order to successfully live within our created “creature comforts.” Students best learn those type of skills through hands on experience.

          One thing that really stuck out to me in the pitch was the active database of willing professionals. We can learn so much from those who have gone before us. Having professionals with experience at the ready to offer workshops, talks, or conferences is an extremely valuable tool.

          I also enjoyed learning of the professional affiliations of the group. It always paints such a broader picture than just learning where someone has gotten their degree from or where they have worked.

          Excellent pitch.

    • C. Ranson 9:43 am on November 24, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ben, Great venture and pitch, thanks for sharing!

    • jenbarker 11:15 am on November 24, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Ben ~ Great job. I am curious how long is your elevator pitch? You were able to pack a ton of information in. I had a difficult time keeping mine to under a minute. Also, I think you are missing a word under the section where you talk about where you drew your inspirations from. Currently it reads “We drawing our”. Is this a real or fictional idea? It appears like it a great venture. Best, Jen

      • teacherben 12:57 am on November 25, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for the correction, Jen. It’s fixed now:)

        The is not entirely fictional. The website is fake, sort of. I built it but it isn’t online.. The people are real. Alan Yuen is a friend and is the tech coordinator at another school and we have, in fact, been planning to put together a series of workshops aimed at more ‘expert’ tech educators. William Liang is a prof at Hong Kong Polytechnic and is a friend. We do some stuff together through the lcoal Hackerspace. He runs workshops from time to time about Arduinos and other electronics stuff. Some of the video clips from the various workshops are from workshops that we did organize or participate in. Some of you may have caught a clip of Sugata Mitra in there. This is from a conference in Hong Kong last year where he was the final keynote. I had nothing to do with organizing that conference though. I just attended. There is also a shot of a Canadian guy named Carl Callenwaert that ran a workshop for us about 3D game development with Unity and integrating it into your classroom. Very cool.

        I am currently looking for a new job for next year and if I end up in Hong Kong, I think we will probably go ahead and try to organize something like this. It has been a bit of a frustration, the lack of any teaching and sharing opportunities for the people doing more advanced stuff. The conferences that exist already seem to exist for the sole purpose of getting bigger and bigger. So they tend to attract a lot of people who are just getting started with integrating technology in their programs. Edtech leaders tend to use these as a leadership opportunity and a chance to pad their CV’s. Aside from that, there is little for us to learn at these events. It’s all blogging 101 and getting started with games in the classroom. That’s great, but there is clearly a missed opportunity for those people who are designing and creating their own virtual worlds to share what they are doing with people who can understand what they are talking about. And the focus always seems to be on communication tools. Twitter in the classroom and so on. Sharing sharing sharing. Just because my kids can talk to kids at a school on the other side of the world doesn’t always mean that we have a good reason to do so. Sharing their ignorance about something may not get them any further along and just obscures the point of the unit. I want to see kids making stuff. But the educational technology community, at least over here, seems to have been appropriated/commandeered by humanities people who don’t seem to see the point of learning anything technical and who want their technology to ‘just work’ every time–people who will never bother to open the hood of their car to see what that knocking sound is and have no real curiosity about how things work. But for me, that’s the joy of technology and why I see integration as possibly a dangerous course.

        Sorry, I started ranting a bit there, but in a room full of ‘elite’ educational technologists, I often find that not a single one could set up a server or create a macro for a spreadsheet. There are a lot of missed opportunities when we stop being interested in looking under the hood once in a while.

        • Jonathan 5:01 pm on November 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          These are valid points that you bring up 😉 I don’t mind the venting at all. It makes me think that conferences like Educon (http://educon24.org) are valuable. I’m also thinking of the conferences that centre themselves around discussions as opposed to presentations. This is where the neat ideas get started because people are involved in great discussions.

          Fortunately they are out there — unfortunately they get lost in the type of conferences that you speak of here. These do serve a purpose to some extent because many teachers don’t know how to use these tools, but there should be more like you said.

        • Jonathan 5:04 pm on November 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          I’ll throw in my response to your proposal as well here!

          First I wanted to say — Yeah way to give me a reason to head back to Hong Kong. I’ve always thought it would be interesting to teach there, learn a bit more about my culture (since I grew up in Canada) and reconnect with my roots! Let me know if something interesting pops up!.

          Really great proposal and interesting. You have my thumbs up all the way. I wasn’t able to get the video working right away. I ended up taking myself out of the Prezi, scrolling around and manually clicking on it to work. It might (probably) is on my end, but I thought i’d throw it in there just in case.

          Your short video was well presented and the longer Prezi had plenty of information to make me feel confident as an investor.

          Great work!

          • teacherben 8:07 pm on November 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

            Thanks for the feedback. My job is about to be posted by the way, if you are interested in getting overseas.

    • tomwhyte1 10:31 am on November 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thank you for providing such an interesting, and relevant venture. I agree that it is essential for the world of education to more effectively share what we know, and how we do it, so educators around the world can benefit from pockets of expertise and experiences. Furthermore, like you, I believe it is essential to incorporate and build off of real world practices and applications, for I fear as a society we have simply become consumers not producers.

      Furthermore, I found the inclusion of the database of experts willing to offer the various services a strong part of this venture, for it shows the dedication the professionals and the venture has for improving the current look of education.

      Lastly, I appreciated seeing the strength and skills the team brings to the plate to help this venture succeed.

      Thanks for sharing.


    • jenbarker 12:49 pm on November 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ben,
      People like you amaze me. I am still in the beginning stages of learning about educational technology but I can see how it would be frustrating to feel that there is no arena for you and your colleagues to further your skills. Therefore I feel that your Venture does indeed provide a solution for a pain point. I agree that your venture is different than others out there and your pitch confirmed this. I liked that you have chosen a specific market to start in (“Hong Kong”) but could see this growing and expanding to other markets. You provide adequate information to demonstrate that you as CEO and your team could champion this venture. My only suggestion would be to provide more clarity about what those who may volunteer to ask your venture would get in return. I know it wouldn’t be money but a simple statement such as “Your assistance will benefit….” might encourage more donations. You conveyed a great deal of passion and knowledge in the area and I liked how you spoke loudly and at a good pace. I agree with you that it would appear that many educational contexts are leaning more towards consumption over creation. At my school, they are aiming to purchase more and more iPads. When I suggested they may instead wish to think about purchase laptops, they looked at me like I had three heads. If we continue down this route, I hope I will be able to find more app that are creative in nature and less skill and drill. Anyway, thanks for sharing! Best, Jen

    • joeltremblay 4:11 pm on November 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great elevator and venture pitch Ben! Very impressive!

    • joeltremblay 4:14 pm on November 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I really liked how seamless and professional it felt. Couldn’t find any faults in it.

    • tomwhyte1 10:08 pm on November 26, 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:

      After having watched the elevator pitch and read the not-for profit venture proposal, I feel the CEO of this venture not only appears credible, but through all aspects of the Edutech/HK presentation, it was apparent that they were not only knowledgeable but passionate as well, a good start for any venture. Furthermore, the team assembled for Edutech/HK has knowledgeable, and educated members not only in various disciplines, but also in the geographical area they are focussing on, again a good start for any venture.

      Venture Concept:

      Overall, Edutech/HK is mashing together various strategies that have been implemented in both online and offline environments over the years. However, to this ventures credit, even though the elements are similar, they appear streamlined, allowing for the company to provide quality support and resources, instead of trying to be a jack of all trades. To determine the feasibility of this venture would be to understand the needs and market in Hong Kong, an area this venture might have provided more specific information on. Overall though, the issues presented within this pitch, is relevant not only to Hong Kong, but the global education community as well, therefore, I would further investigate the information presented within this venture.


      The actual marketability of this venture was not provided, leaving potential investors wondering about this ventures true market size, potential share, and overall need within the Hong Kong educational system, making this not-for profit venture a more than moderate risk. Secondly, the only significant market edge provided by Edutech, is their ability to provide guest speakers and potential internships from field experts. However, this edge is mostly founded on the ability to form and maintain relationships with this individuals/groups over long periods of time. Furthermore, if this venture is successful, competitors will enter the market, and actively work to erode and take over these relationships for their own companies success. All of which, reduce Edutech’s market share.

      Venture Plan:

      At this time, no specific guidelines were provided to demonstrate the time necessary for this venture to be truly operational, more information would need to be provided on this. Overall, this venture has possibilities, but I would like to see it eventually expand to a more global market, for the skills and abilities they are focusing on, would benefit students the world over.

    • avninder 12:33 pm on November 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi teacherben,
      This seems like a very worthwhile venture. Your pitch, which seems to be aimed at potential sponsors was very professional and informative. I like that your site would be a central location which would provide a ton of resources for teachers. But because of the wide range of services it would provide, you would need dedicated support staff in place for upkeep, which you did address in your pitch. I have just seen a lot of sites which are a get resource initially become obsolete and unused because there is no maintainence. All the best if you choose to pursue this endeavor.

      PS: Maybe I missed it, but why is the “A” is STEAM sometimes in brackets?

      • teacherben 8:52 pm on November 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        The ‘A’ is in parentheses because it was a later addition. People have been talking about STEM education for a while, but only recently have a few organizations recognized the opportunity to add ‘Art’ to the list. You will see the STE(A)M, acronym used by Adobe Education, Autodesk, Unity and a few others while most school board and government initiatives use STEM.

        The big product for Edutech/HK is actually the workshops and conferences. The Face 2 Face stuff is where my real interest lies. The website is where people can stay in touch and share what they are doing after they met at a workshop. The idea is to keep the organization small–likely under a hundred members. Most people would either know each other, have heard of one another or at least know people in common. If I am a pretty swift tech teacher that is pretty good at a lot of stuff, but maybe have little experience with 3D modelling and would like to introduce a 3D modelling and 3D printing program in my school, I contact Edutech/HK and ask around to see if there is someone out there that has something going. Perhaps I can arrange to go to their school and visit. I can get advice on a good 3D printer to buy. As it turns out, there are a few more people who want to get a 3D printing program going in their school. So we all go to that school together to see how it is being used. We might be able to watch a lesson. The teacher gives us a short workshop to get us started. Then, we create a discussion group on the website where we might keep in touch with one another and see what challenges others are having. In the meantime, I didn’t know much about 3D printing, but am an expert in app development. Others have dabbled a little, have maybe downloaded a couple programs and played around. I can offer workshops, school visits etc… to help people get an app development program going.

        There are certainly a lot of online groups for this sort of stuff, but few that are very local, very specific and are meant to support face to face interaction, rather than the other way around. The website may not need a whole lot of maintenance. With that number of people, I would set up something like Elgg or Buddypress and it could easily be maintained by one person in their spare time. My brother and I set up a social network using Elgg on our own server to support university-aged ESOL students and it was pretty active, with a couple hundred members and he was able to keep it running smoothly on his own in his spare time, while still holding down a full-time university teaching load and a family.

    • sophiabb 1:02 pm on November 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ben,

      Excellent use of Prezi to present your elevator and venture pitches. I thought your pitch was clear, clean and professional. Your elevator pitch did a great job in presenting you the problem and your solution. I would have liked more specifics on your ask and the potential benefits for investors.

    • visramn 4:12 pm on November 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Ben,

      I think both your Prezi and your video did a great job of describing your idea and outlining all parameters needed to make a strong and successful venture.
      This is a great idea and there is definitely a market for it. You are obviously knowledgeable in this area and this came across very clearly in your presentation. You did a good job of sharing visuals and data to back your venture and make it stronger. You explained who your company comprised of and did a good job of outlining the roles everyone plays. You also did a great job of outlining aspects such as market, financial components, etc.
      Overall, I think you did excellent. This was definitely a well thought out pitch and the time and effort you put into it is evident. Thank you for sharing.


    • frank 9:11 pm on November 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ben,

      Your Passion and Expertise always resonate through you comments and work.

      Your analysis of promoting substance over style and creation or consumption are well taken.

      Coming from the West where perhaps Art and Design are more privileged than Engineering, Math and Tech; I wonder if focusing on the former could be your true niche.

      I’m curious what the advantage of a not-for-profit is over a social venture in this regard. For the former – as there is no exit (sale) value – you will likely need considerable momentum/critical mass, before big sponsors jump on board (i’m thinking how Sal Khan (Khan Academy) spent considerable time building his tutorials online before Sponsors took notice.

      I recommend you avatar yourself – figuratively – and walk through what your success journey might look like and what obstacles you may have to overcome; if you can see those and lay out your milestones, I think this venture could be a GO – I wish you luck!

    • kstackhouse 9:47 pm on November 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I have selected your pitch from the group that I am reviewing to comment on in more detail. I was very impressed with the quality of your presentation. I feel that the venture idea that you have presented here is one that has a real market (in any region). You explained your venture in a way that was engaging and easy to follow. I was interested to see this as a not-for-profit venture pitch. As I initially thought of how to make money with my idea, you have turned it around to provide quality experiences for those that participate. Your invitation to sponsor or find out more was handled tactfully. It would be interesting to see how much would be required to reach the goals of your venture in a given month or year. I don’t know if that would cause more donors or not, but it would be good information for an EVA to have. I think I would consider another meeting to go over the complete business plan with you, if I was an actual EVA. I think there is great potential here.

    • melissaayers 3:15 pm on November 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ben,

      Great work.

      My evaluation of the elevator pitch is that it’s a very polished video, with a clear description of the venture and what it does. I.e. what pain point it addresses and the solution it provides as well as clearly stating what it would like from investors (expert time and hardware or software donations).

      For the venture pitch the team seems very credible and with enough combined experience and expertise to make this happen. The venture concept is clear and meets a viable identified market need. I am pretty sure these conferences, events and services are marketable going by the popularity and increasing use of technology in education and the workplace. The venture plan seems sound. It details how the events could feasibly be funded through subscription and corporate sponsorship.

      All in all a well thought out venture. And YES, I would invest in/support this venture if I was based in Hong Kong. Furthermore if I was working in HK, given I normally work for tech companies, I would encourage any company I worked for to donate either the time of their employees (as experts), or hardware and software. I believe they should be investing in their future employees with ventures such as this one.


    • Scott 2:09 pm on December 2, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Ben your pitches were very informative and it’s seems you have been able to find a helpful solution to the challenging pain point of how to keep learning professionals interacting and developing as a community. As I have state on numerous occasions already, I maintain that Prezi is fine choice for “gluing” pitches together and presenting them to investors. Which brings me to my primary criticism – as an education venture investor, what do you need me or my money for? It seems the venture is already well on its way. Beyond donations of time, or used resources I’m not sure you need any of my 1 million dollars! In the end, I feel the market for Edutech/HK is quite narrow and it seems more like a government initiative in many respects rather an a venture concept. In true Canadian fashion, I’ll apologize now if I have been overly critical in my assessment, but within the context of our purely academic assignment, I’m not sure how I fit into your concept as an EVA.

    • Eva Ziemsen 3:59 pm on December 2, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ben,

      I found your elevator pitch to be very polished. Great job editing and scripting it. I also enjoyed the prezi presentation format, as it allowed for a clear and concise exposition of the pain point and the solutions you are providing. Your venture actually strikes me as one that has already been going on for a long time, and almost seems as though it is running on its own (and does not need support). However, this is all to say that, I would definitely respond to this and encourage sponsors to support this venture. While your venture is very much niche, I think the format could be adapted in other places with great ease. It would be great to know more about the potential branding of this venture.

      Great work,

  • teacherben 11:30 pm on October 28, 2012
    0 votes

    http://mashable.com/2012/10/26/gift-of-the-day-nerf-lazer-tag/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29   …just in time for the holidays

    Continue reading Augmented Reality Lazertag by Nerf Posted in: Blog Café
    • jenbarker 4:15 pm on October 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      As a parent who is constantly picking up the foam Nerf pellets all around my house, I am excited to see if my son takes to this. I hope they find a way to make it work with an iPod because there aren’t many young children who own iPhones and I’d be reluctant to hand mine over. Thanks for sharing, Ben.

    • Jenny Brown 7:09 am on October 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      That’s a really cool idea!

  • teacherben 11:59 pm on October 13, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , , webmail   

    The Supreme Court of South Carolina recently ruled that webmail cannot be classified as online storage and are therefore not covered by the  Stored Communications Act of 1986.  The case involved a woman who hacked into her husband’s online email accounts to see if he was being unfaithful.  This may have some interesting repercussions regarding the cloud […]

    Continue reading interesting case regarding ‘Stored Communications Act’ Posted in: Week 06:
  • teacherben 12:31 am on October 11, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: entrepreneur, founder   

    Worth a read: http://mashable.com/2012/10/05/90-entrepreneurship-lessons-fab/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29 Written by Jason Goldberg.  Here’s his profile on Crunchbase: Jason Goldberg edit Jason Goldberg is the founder and CEO of Fab.com. Prior to founding Fab, Jason was Chief Product Officer at XING AG and before then he was founder and CEO at socialmedian (sold to XING AG) and Jobster. In a prior […]

    Continue reading “90 Things I Learned from Founding 4 Tech Companies” Posted in: Blog Café
    • frank 6:01 pm on October 13, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Ah, just 90 things to remember about running your own successful ed tech venture, of course.

      I like how persons such as Goldberg are changing the face of how businesses are run in the 21st century, vis-a-vis many traditional hierarchical and overtly conservative institutional/organizational models of the past.

      Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • teacherben 9:03 pm on October 10, 2012
    0 votes

    I just finished my A1 presentation and could use a little feedback.  I did it as a Prezi.  As it turns out, Prezi can be incredibly time-consuming–jeez!  (I probably could have written the essay in half the time.) If anyone has the time to have a look and share their thoughts, I would appreciate it: […]

    Continue reading feedback on A1 Posted in: Questions & Answers
    • jenniferschubertubc 3:57 am on October 11, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ben!

      I am getting an error message when I try to access your Prezi. (Something went wrong – We could not load a media file in your Prezi). I would love to take a look at it! Hopefully you can get the media issue resolved. Good luck!


      • jenniferschubertubc 6:06 am on October 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        It must have been a glitch on Prezi’s end as everything appears fine now. I quite enjoyed your Prezi! Sometimes it can be a difficult medium to work with as it is time consuming, but the results are often very impressive (as they are in your case). I found your presentation focused and informative without being oversaturated with unnecessary info. Your presentation moved along smoothly and was easy to navigate, unlike some of my first experiences, both making and viewing, Prezi works. There is very little to critique here!

        Thank you for creating an attention grabbing, informative presentation. (I want to try out gamesalad now!) Well done.

    • teacherben 7:49 am on October 11, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jen. Thanks. I’m not sure what the problem is. I just opened it with 3 different browsers just by clicking on the link and it worked for me. Are your plugins all up-to-date?

      If you still can’t view it, I put a downloadable, offline version in my GDrive that you should be able to get from here:


      It’s about 45MB, I think.

      Any feedback would be appreciated.


    • visramn 8:30 am on October 11, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ben,

      I have to agree with you. I chose to use Prezi also and it is a lot of work. I looked at your presentation and I thought it was very good. You did a good job of explaining what the ventrue is, where it stands in the market, etc. Looks like you covered all the bases. Well done.


    • frank 11:58 am on October 11, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ben,

      I don’t have a critical assessment to offer you right now.
      I just wanted to say, I enjoyed going through your presentation, which I found simple to navigate through and informative. Prezi adds a feel of interactivity to presentations that I think is missing from MS Office tools. It was worth your time to learn the progam, and i think your presentation has benefited from it. Keep up the good work.

    • tomwhyte1 7:52 pm on October 11, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I did not get an error message, therefore I am wondering if it was something internal at Prezi which has since been resolved.

      As for the presentation, I like the comprehensiveness of your thoughts, and the area’s you explored. I am wrestling with a potential market analysis paper, and found some of the topics you touched on to be very similar.

    • lullings 9:11 am on October 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Nice work Ben,

      At the end I was hoping that the last action would come out and it was going to spell Ben or salad or something cool like that.

      You did well segmenting the delivery without loosing the content.
      Really liked the founders bit with the pictures – nice reminder that there are real people behind these things.


    • Peggy Lawson 10:09 pm on October 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I really liked it Ben – well done.

      Like any other media, really, Prezi does take a lot of work to do it well. You have a lot there, and it has a good flow and a consistent presentation, the latter which is often lacking in Prezis. You have a lot of information, too often lacking in Prezis, but I still found it easy to follow along. A nice mix of links to follow for further exploration. I loved the vertical flow within your major topics – a very nice way to connect the major sections.

      I will look forward to going back to explore the details, Nicely done!


    • jenbarker 10:40 am on October 13, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ben,
      Thanks for sharing. I really liked how you organized your information, headed by six questions. I am doing something similar using the cube as my guide. I found your Prezi answered all of the dimensions of the cube. I liked the mix of text and pictures. Thanks for sharing.

    • C. Ranson 4:58 am on October 14, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ben,

      Your Prezi presentation is very effective, was helpful in helping me sort out some of my thoughts that were all over the place. Prezi is an interesting application, I find it frustrating but I am sure with repeated use it gets easier. It appears you have included all the content that is required according to the rubric, including the reflection piece and the time requirement. Really enjoyed your presentation, thanks for sharing.

  • teacherben 5:43 pm on October 10, 2012
    0 votes


    Here’s a great infographic with some revealing statistics regarding cloud services and usage. http://mashable.com/2012/10/09/infographic-cloud/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29 And a funny cartoon here: http://ca.com/cloudviews

    Continue reading Week 6: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Cloud Posted in: Week 06:
    • visramn 8:36 am on October 11, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for sharing. Very interesting vantage point. It is interesting to know that the technology may be present but we may not be ready for it. Things are not always what they seem.


    • jenbarker 6:57 pm on October 11, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Yes, thank you Ben. I also think that people are scared away from unknown terms such as “the cloud”. I believe that many people use platforms such as facebook, without even realizing that they are using the cloud. Once terms are unpacked and explained, people usually are more open to change.

      • Peggy Lawson 7:04 pm on October 11, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I fully agree Jen. I don’t think we realize how much we all use the cloud, and how difficult it would be if it were suddenly there no longer. I think the future trend will be more as Iaas and PaaS (and of course continued Saas – Software as Service). From my own school division perspective – we are getting teachers, school administrators, and division personnel quite comfortable now with Saas; the other two will require additional changes in thinking. I had not quite realized the distinctions before your presentations this week, but I am now definitely seeing the separations. And they are important distinctions. You’ve given me much food for thought this week.


        • Kent Jamieson 10:21 pm on October 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          i was just thinking the other day…”what if google was gone?”

    • manny 7:12 pm on October 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for sharing that infographic Ben. It seems as though the Cloud entails so much secrecy and unknowingness about its inner workings that people don’t know what to believe. It also has intrinsic properties built into it in that if you lose your information on a specific device and have it backed up to the cloud, you can easily restore it. My only concern with cloud technologies is how safe they are to hackers. One would think that the hacker community would be all over this and would love nothing more than bragging rights to bringing down the cloud. In terms of actual sustainability, it seems pretty reliable. Then again, only time can tell whether this will be the case.

  • teacherben 5:24 pm on October 6, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , DIY, games, programming, week 5   

    For those who are interested in making apps without programming, one of the first and most powerful options is GameSalad (http://gamesalad.com/)  It uses the same sort of drag-and-drop into a flowchart that you have seen in other applications.  It is huge.  60 of the top 100 apps in the app store we built with GameSalad, […]

    Continue reading some other tools for creating apps you should see Posted in: Week 05:
    • Pat A Son 6:20 pm on October 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      These tools certainly puts creativity into the hands of the non-programmer and in the world of education the potential is limitless.

      Thanks for posting

    • stammik 10:30 am on October 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Many excellent resources and comments – thank you.

      I look forward noodling around with GameSalad this afternoon, while the smell of turkey drifts into the office!

  • teacherben 8:17 pm on September 26, 2012
    0 votes

    ModKit Micro is about the “democratization of programming and engineering”.  It builds on the solid foundation laid by Scratch and other graphical programming environments by lowering the bar to give new users access to the tools and techniques that were formerly the exclusive domain of engineers.  Rather than typing code, users drag programming ‘blocks’ into […]

    Continue reading ModKit Micro: Ed Baafi Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • kstackhouse 8:42 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      While I am not familiar with this venture it does remind me of the emergence of WYSIWYG applications, such as our blog that allows the user to create great looking web-content without having to know the background codes involved. Even embedding a video is a copy and past of the url. This lends to your statment of “democratization”. Putting the power to create in the hands of more people. Sounds good to me.

    • tomwhyte1 7:13 pm on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I find the information regarding Kickstarter to be quite interesting. In my experience, Kickstarter has been a form of natural selection (or crowd sourcing with money) for small projects to get off the ground. Those that have enough potential usually get funded, those that have limited potential, well, receive limited funding.

      Therefore, I wonder if like this company, will future ventures go this route to start the company to show its potential, and for investors to want small companies to show their potential by having these small investments to start them off…?


  • teacherben 7:25 pm on September 26, 2012
    0 votes

    Just launched: Google for Entrepreneurs Here’s an article about it: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/google-supports-startups-launch-google-entrepreneurs-updates/

    Continue reading Google for Entrepreneurs Posted in: General
    • David Vogt 7:47 am on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for sharing this, Ben –

      In every sector, not just digital, companies are finding it more and more difficult to innovate internally. The number of processes, events, incentives, etc, that companies are inventing to try to ramp up internally-generated innovative ideas is quite amazing. Google in particular has given its employees enormous creative freedoms to pursue new ideas on company time. However, it doesn’t seem to be enough to allow companies to be competitive. The demise of Google Labs is one indicator of this for me.

      What’s the problem? The way I see it is that with global competitiveness the proverbial “low hanging fruit” in every sector is long gone. That means companies need to reach higher (for example, do lots of advanced R&D in pre-competitive technologies) and reach wider (for example, bring on experts and projects intersecting many different fields) in order to stay ahead. Both of these activities are typically expensive and really difficult for companies to manage, especially on their spreadsheets.

      So most companies in the world don’t actually “do” much innovation anymore, they “buy” it. They allow the depth and breadth of the open marketplace (ie: gazillions of small start-up companies) to take on the expense and risk of pioneering. Then they try to buy those few companies that seem to be succeeding while they’re still young and affordable. Its a risky and inefficient process, but less so than doing it yourself.

      Another thing large companies are doing is getting involved in “open innovation”. This is where they will put money, with few strings attached, into research labs, incubators, etc, that aim to do work in sectors the company cares about.. Their hope is that this will allow them to spot emerging innovations more quickly than anyone else, and then scoop them up.

      The analogy I’ll use is that traditionally companies planted their seeds in walled gardens, but now they’re finding that this soil isn’t fertile enough anymore. So now they’re more often sewing seeds strategically in many public places, waiting to see what comes up.

      This is how I characterize “Google for Entrepreneurs”. It is a “strategic” public service, essentially like all of Google’s products, that give something away in order to reap value from the activity it generates. Very smart….

      The reason for this long comment is that this global innovation trend should be eye-opening for our current entrepreneur bootcamp. Companies can hire the best people in the world, but they can’t seem to successfully hire entrepreneurs, or cultivate them internally.



  • teacherben 12:31 am on September 25, 2012
    0 votes

    Here’s a fun site that tries to show how a whole pile of Tech companies try to monetize their products.  I don’t know what their sources of information are or how accurate it all is, but it’s fun to look at and a starting point for those who are interested. http://rcs.seerinteractive.com/money/

    Continue reading How do they make money? Posted in: General
    • Peggy Lawson 6:00 pm on September 25, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for posting Teacherben!! I had just posted on Colin’s post, asking this very question. Your post is excellent. Personally, this would be a very useful direction for ETEC 522 – not just what makes for a good entrepreneur, but also how one could/would/does make money in the “free” web 2.0 world.

      Your post provides excellent food for thought – thank you!


    • Colin 11:03 pm on September 25, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the website I just replied to Peggy and then saw your post. I definitely will need to use that with my class.

  • teacherben 6:38 pm on September 19, 2012
    0 votes

    When we are submitting assignments, such as this weeks pitch reviews, whether we add our stuff as a ‘new post’ or as a reply to someone who got there first?  I guess we can’t add tags to a reply (gotta check that) but otherwise it looks the same to me.  Will this make a difference […]

    Continue reading new post vs reply Posted in: Questions & Answers
    • David Vogt 2:25 pm on September 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ben –

      A new post is like a new conversation – if it is a substantial new direction then please launch it and go, otherwise reply to an existing conversation and enhance it with pertinent new ideas.

      I do read everything, so it doesn’t the placement of post/reply has almost zero impact on your participation – they are equivalent. However, I’m assuming most people will have a few original posts and a number of replies during the course.



  • teacherben 11:31 pm on September 11, 2012
    0 votes


    This is the second annual blog post from ‘The eLearning Coach’ where the author, Connie Malamed, gives her predictions of which educational technologies will really take off in the upcoming year.  The article is perhaps meant as casual reading and provides some ‘food for thought’ but her predictions are fairly conservative and there is nothing particularly surprising […]

    Continue reading Learning Technology Trends to Watch Posted in: General, Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
    • tomwhyte1 12:39 pm on September 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I find it interesting the delay this article has in presenting “trends” when compared to other similar articles. Might this be her attempt to allow the general educator time enough to become familiar with the technology to use, and not those on the cutting edge?


    • teacherben 7:21 pm on September 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      My guess is that she composed her list based on her reading of other people’s top ten lists. Her blog rarely has anything original. She is more of a content curator than anything else.

      • tomwhyte1 8:39 am on September 13, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Interesting observation, which would force one to recommend this type of posting based upon the individual teacher. Those who need time, and more general information, experience should utilize this type of information. Where as our early adopters should steer clear?


    • Mike Rae 11:05 pm on September 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I think that lists like these that are casual, light readings are more important than ones that are overly technical. The majority of educators and administrators do not subscribe to “Wired” or follow Ed Tech professional’s twitter feeds. Lists like this might be purposefully underwhelming as to not scare off an on-the-fence educator who might be looking to become more tech-savvy. If the overall goal is to encourage more teachers to use and become interested in the available technology to increase learning efficiency, it is important to give opportunity for some to start in the shallow end of the swimming pool, so to speak.

      • tomwhyte1 8:41 am on September 13, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I agree with your statements, as to not scare them off.

        However, to help facilitate more general educators, would it not be beneficial to add ideas, suggestings, examples on how this technology might look like within a classroom. Allowing teachers to get their “feet wet” before jumping into the pool.


    • adi 2:18 pm on September 13, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I agree she just mentions the tools, but not how they could be integrated into classroom practice. She says that the advantage of clouds is that you don’t have the content of your course in your desktop; i though this was the case with an LMS, too. And if you look up the sites she mentions, they are all private companies that offer, easy online course creation tools and even hosting of the course. Isn’t this what Blackboard does? I was not impressed

      • tomwhyte1 8:05 pm on September 13, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I see what you are getting at, however I have a different opinion between Blackboard and a Cloud Based Application. Blackboard is a Learning Management System. I go, get information, maybe take a quiz, maybe have a working “chat room”, post comments, upload assignments, get grades. Basically, an electronic version of a traditional classroom. Where as cloud based applications, like Google Docs, simulate traditional software, such as MS Word, that would be entirely housed on your PC, but can be accessed from anywhere.

        Yes they have similarities, need the Internet, function regardless of computers operating system. But LMS’s facilitate learning, where as true cloud based applications facilitate the creation of learning artifacts.


  • teacherben 1:18 am on September 6, 2012
    0 votes

    My name is Ben Cooperman and I am currently working at an international school in Hong Kong as a Technology Integration specialist.  I teach a few Design & Tech classes as well.  It’s a pretty fun job, since I get all over the school and have a chance to work with most of the teachers […]

    Continue reading Hi from Hong Kong Posted in: Week 01: Introductions
    • jkotler 2:44 am on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ben,

      Sounds like a great job! How long have you been working there? I’m also curious if you have taught anywhere else and if so, how it compares?


      • teacherben 3:45 am on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Julie,
        This is my second year in Hong Kong. I spent 6 years at a school in Beijing before this and 5 in Taiwan before that. I did a semester at a school in India before that, but negotiated my way out of what was a pretty bad contract and situation there. I taught in Toronto for a couple of years after I finished my teacher training.

        i have specifically targeted IB schools because, for the most part, I like the structure of their curriculum. It’s one of the better examples of Constructivist pedagogy in practice on a large scale–particularly the approach they take to teaching Technology. i spent most of my career with little ones though. I just made the jump to secondary a few years ago for a change.

        Beijing was a good place to live a very comfortable life and save a bunch of money. Hong Kong allows for a better lifestyle (except that you live in a shoebox-sized apartment) but it’s tougher to save.

        I have a knack for selecting the sorts of schools where you get to go out on a limb a bit, which is certainly more fun, but it also usually means that they are still working out the kinks and don’t really have their curriculum in order. I always seem to find myself writing curriculum from scratch. Good PD I suppose, but I think I might go for a big school that is better established for my next post. (In fact, I would love to return to Canada at this point, but the job market isn’t looking good from what I hear. Perhaps this course will inspire me to try a different path!)

    • kstackhouse 8:16 am on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Welcome Ben. It sounds as though your background and approach to teaching will be well suited for this course. Have a great term!


    • Jonathan 9:26 pm on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ben —

      I vividly recall a conversation with several architects and engineering friends speaking about the upcoming promise of 3D printers. Is your school planning to purchase one? Are you seeing them in more schools?

      — Jonathan

      • teacherben 7:34 pm on October 4, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        My school is dragging its feet over the 3D printer. I put one in the budget for 1200 bucks but they turned it down and asked me to wait a year. I decided to start teaching towards that anyways, so I have students doing a unit where they produce the model and i will get someone else to print it for us. In the meantime, I am also doing a unit where they design and create a model in SketchUp and using a plugin I found, will be able to ‘unfold’ their 3D models flat so they can be printed on paper, cut out and refolded up into 3D paper models. I’m just starting to flesh out the unit, but you are welcome to see it here:


        And I met a guy here in HK that, after trying to build a 3D printer from a kit and getting very frustrated, decided to invent his own, better one. He started his own company and has shared every step of the way on his blog, including the 3D designs. I guess the product will be open source in the end, but I’m not sure. In any case, he figures it should retail for only 350 USD! I will grab one of these as soon as I can.

        Here’s the step-by-step of his process:

        and here’s the main site for the product:

    • jameschen 7:55 pm on September 7, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ben, it’s great to see you again! I would love to learn more about your experience teaching with 3D printers and microcontroller boards. Looking forward to the things we’ll be learning together this term!

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