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  • tomwhyte1 8:55 pm on November 29, 2012
    0 votes


    While I see some of the points made by other students regarding the Blog vs traditional LMS to facilitate this course.  I myself liked the fact that this information would be live to the Internet.  With this knowledge, I had to ensure a more respectful tone (not that we weren’t), but more so, considering at […]

    Continue reading Participation Portfolio – Resource Depot Posted in: General
    • teacherben 11:47 pm on November 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I think the same thing could have been accomplished using a discussion forum that was publicly visible (although I would say that the thought of my colleagues in this class, all professionals and working at a master’s level, seeing my work was more than enough of a motivator to try to write something intelligent. My personal opinion is that a blog is best used when you have one primary author and a multitude of commenters. The discussion is guided by that primary individual. With so many authors, it is difficult to keep track of new, interesting posts, or to se who responded to the question that you asked here or there. I definitely prefer being able to open up a forum and see how many ‘unread’ comments I have. I am sure that I missed all sorts of good stuff in this course because of this. People are more likely to check the ‘recent posts’ or ‘recent comments’ and respond to something that interests them in there. If, for example, you happen to be in the same time zone as the majority of people, then you are more likely to get a response and generate a real discussion since more people will see it while it is up. For those that aren’t, their ideas may be buried quickly and by the time they get back 12 or 24 hours later, the discussion has long since moved on. (Either that or my comments were just boring…) Subscribing to a feed was one way to do it, but it’s not so simple to click from there into the wordpress to respond to a comment. So while I believe that there was no shortage of good discussion in this course, I would not recommend a blog for the next time around. (Incidentally, it seems that this was on a wiki sometime in the past, so it is cool to see the David’s experimenting with formats and technologies.)

      • tomwhyte1 6:03 am on November 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I am not disagreeing about the intelligence of the community of learners, that was not my thoughts or intentions. However, in many of closed off courses, sometimes discussions are not course related, and yes I realize there is a section for those in those courses, however it was rarely used. I was just getting at the fact that the completely open environment, ensures that we are not only intelligent in our responses, but our cognitive dissonance, which will and should occur regularly, regarding at times, real life products, not only keeps us disagreeing agreeably, but aware that we are discussing real life products and the time and effort multiple people have put forth. Do I like other LMS’s, yes. I have used Blogs, Connect and Vista – and in my mind Vista provides the most services to assist conversations, in that it shows where new conversations have occurred and if any have been directed at you. Both of which are essential, and have missed dearly in this course.

        And I am glad to hear that experimentation on delivery happens. For no matter what system you provide, some people will be happy, while others less so. And you never know, with experimentation may one day come my much wanted Resource Depot.


    • visramn 10:15 am on November 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I think that is a good idea. I think for a course at this level, individuals would use such a tool as a resource to help them to concretize and further their understandings not as means of plagiarism. I am a visual person and find that seeing an artifact teaches me a lot more than reading about that same artifact or the components of that artifact. This type of resource would be helpful to individuals who have no prior background in business and would give them more confidence in their ability to create a potent and plausible venture.


    • Peggy Lawson 9:42 am on December 1, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I’ll just add to your comments, Tom, regarding the quality (stay-on-topicness) of discussion threads when open to the public vs in a closed LMS. I’ll respectfully disagree. Now in my 9th MET class, I’ve generally found my classmates to be very focused on the topics, always respectful, and very meaningful and rich. There was the odd brief off-topic comment, but those more often than not added to the spontenaity and group-building of the course. As mentioned several times now, in numerous threads, I think the combination of a large class size and the nature of blogs vs discussion boards (Ben explained it well) made it much more difficult to create rich discussions in this course. Rare were the real conversations between more than 2, occassionally 3, people at a time as a reall back-and-forth discussion. Unfortunately I felt very little of the collegial bonding of classmates in this course that I’ve come to greatly appreciate in MET and perhaps the public blog forum was a major reason for that.

  • tomwhyte1 9:35 pm on November 25, 2012
    0 votes

    The following links are to each component of my Venture Pitch.  I have included both the video and transcript version, to provide options depending on your personal or learning preference. Elevator Pitch – Video – Transcript Venture Pitch – Video – Transcript Self Evaluation – Document References – Document Thank you for taking the time […]

    Continue reading PD Bridge Posted in: Venture Forum
    • Mike Rae 6:18 am on November 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Kick a** job Tom!

      excellent delivery of both pitches, clarity, hand gestures and inclination all worked really well together. Your idea is a very good one. In my experience professional development has been unfocused and in general, a waste of time. Considering that teachers in BC must meet a PD requirement, it seems inevitable that this time will be better allocated to improving teaching in meaningful ways. Just the idea of changing the current system, which I agree with you, is very outdated, should be enough to get districts listening.

      I liked your presentation style with embedded video on the page with buzz words popping up as you say them. Very effective.

      Great job!


    • tomwhyte1 7:30 am on November 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the review, it is greatly appreciated.

      And like you, I feel that current PD is not as effective as it should be or even could be. I hear many teachers grumble before and after these “events”, not really seeing the worth of these opportunities, not because they are not passionate, but because the opportunities themselves leave something lacking…

      Do I think I solved the problem, nope, but took a good swing at it…


    • lullings 5:31 pm on November 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      You took an excellent swing!!

      Great elevator pitch Tom. Really engaging. I did feel that I didn’t quite know anything about what it was that you were really offering but was excited to go to the venture pitch to find out.

      Your elevator pitch was incredibility detailed and very much leveraged at the educational profession audience. You certainly covered all the buzz words in completing the delivery.

      For me this is an excellent idea. It is delivered well and has a clear gap in the market. I would not invest on the back of this pitch unfortunately. I would imagine that teachers could find themselves accessed/judged on how much they do within the PD Bridge environment – particularly because their account is with them throughout their career. Secondly I would not see districts allowing a fully online system take over from their traditional professional developments (despite them really needing it).

      But these reasons didn’t loose me entirely. I would happily discuss further with you your initial strategy for getting the teachers and districts on board. The concept is a necessary development within the teaching environment and I would be interested in not missing the opportunity to get in early with you and your concept.

      On a side note – how did you get your elevator pitch to be full HD and then have your elevator in 4:3 360p. Not that it made any difference to your delivery but just curious.

      You are a natural at delivering content too so fair play.

      • tomwhyte1 10:52 am on November 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        First off, thank you for taking the time to review both my Elevator and Venture Pitch, even though they were a lot of fun to complete, it was a challenging and educational experience.

        Upon reflection, I see your points regarding potential implications of online professional development. I myself believe, that it would be possible to have both, in the perfect world. Do I think, the world of education is ready, maybe not yet. However, in the next ten years, more of our teachers will be those that are currently and constantly connected to screens. So maybe one day, this format may exist.

        Yet, I agree, how to get people on board? See the value? It was my hopes to approach it similar to the Khan Academy, yet added the pay for element to ensure the continued existence of the service. Yet, I am curious to your thoughts, on how to best approach individuals/institutions?

        As for the HD issue – both Elevator and Venture were filmed at 60 frames a second. The elevator was edited entirely in iMovie, so no loss in quality. However, I decided for some reason to use Keynote for the Venture Pitch, to do the bullet points, etc… However had a difficult time getting the exported version to work like I wanted it to. So I manually did each slide, while using Camtasia to record the events. Which lowered the overall quality of my project… so was disappointed there…

    • Lisa Nevoral 10:38 am on November 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Tom,

      You have put a lot of thought into your product. You did a very good job on your elevator and venture pitch. As noted in another post, you certainly used educational buzz words in your elevator pitch. You mentioned in your video that “PD Bridge” was going to capitalize on using Web 2.0 and social media. I wanted to know how “PD Bridge” was going to do this and I thought you might have expanded on this a bit more throughout the venture pitch. Did I miss that?

      Here is some constructive feedback on your venture pitch:

      • I liked that you had a “PD Bridge” logo.
      • You were very relaxed in front of the camera and spoke at a good pace.
      • You included the pain point – professional development is time consuming, expensive, and one shot activities which is very true.
      • You included the solution – “PD Bridge” – an online professional development site which will also provide resources.
      • You did include the competition, or lack of competition, but you could have stated some challenges for you product. What are some of the issues that may arise?
      • Marketing – You did state the market size (5.4 million teachers, with an increasing amount of them being younger aged teachers that are more comfortable with web-based technologies), but I would have also liked to know how the buyers were going to be reached. PR, ads, commercials, social media, etc…
      o As well, would you target individual teachers or school districts?
      • The ask – just in case I got this wrong, you were asking for initial funding for the designing, development, and deployment of “PD Bridge”. Is that correct? What return did you want investors to have?

      You did a great job on your elevator and venture pitch. Depending on who you were targeting, I could see a need for this product. I don’t think I would personally invest in this company for a couple of reasons. First, although some professional development days can be tedious, there is also some good networking that can occur during these sessions. I have met people that I still keep in contact with. As well, although travel is expensive at times, if you go with other teachers from your school, it can bring staff closer together and allow them to talk and work on goals together. And finally, although I think the professional development aspect of “PD Bridge” has potential, you lost me when you brought in M.O.O.C, accreditation courses, and other training programs. I think your focus should be on the K-12 schools professional development. Those are just a few of my thoughts.


      • tomwhyte1 11:01 am on November 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        First off, thank you for taking the time to review both my Elevator and Venture Pitch, even though they were a lot of fun to complete, it was a challenging and educational experience.

        I appreciate and totally agree with the comments/suggestions you made, for many of them ran through my head while reviewing over pitches… Thoughts like… “Should have added that” … “Marketing approach… great idea…”…

        But more specifically, the Web 2.0 apps, currently could include YouTube for video delivery, an Edmodo like environment for small group discussions, wiki/blog like formats for content delivery and resource allocations. Things that enhance communication, co-operation, and most importantly collaboration. Again a detail, that could and should have been more flushed out…

        Also, I totally agree that I missed adding in Marketing, and what that would look like. A key point to ensure that both teachers and institutions to can access, and would access this venture.

        As well, the money, and potential return on investment – which would allow investors to see a potential return, was something I noticed in other pitches I reviewed, and again, wished I had thought to include it as well.

        As for the final points you made in regards to traditional PD and all that it provides. I totally agree, my vision was not to replace those activities, but to supplement them. For example, phase one of the project would be entirely free, and expose teachers to new ideas and approaches easily, and effectively, and with enough teachers, a monthly fee of 10 dollars could be applied to access phase two of the program – the professional development focussed on certificates, etc… using Massive Open Online Courses.

        Overall, I appreciate the feedback yourself and others have given, for it makes me reflect on the product I put forth, and the changes I would make to enhance the presentation.

        • Lisa Nevoral 11:22 pm on November 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          Hi Tom,

          I totally agree with your comment about missing items and wishing I would have added them in also. I found this assignment fairly challenging, and while I tried to hit all the points, ended up falling short in some areas (ie. the ask and return). It was good working with you and good luck next semester.


    • jenniferschubertubc 11:34 am on November 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Tom,

      This venture really spoke to me! I got very frustrated teaching the public school system in the States. 9 times out of 10, our professional development consisted of a talking head (usually administrative with little to no teaching background) coming in to our department and either clicking through endless PowerPoint slides or delivering a non-media enhanced lecture about the newest rules and regulations adopted by the district. It was painful, not exactly helpful, and often a waste of time.

      What software did you use to create your venture pitch? It is making me weep for my Mac. Seriously though, both pitches looked fantastic. I was impressed by the integrations of text and graphics in a way that was not overwhelming or daunting in any way. The addition of the graphs specifically outlining the market demographics (age, specific technology use, etc.) was particularly helpful in determining the importance and value of the venture. Great addition.

      Overall this was a very well put-together presentation. You hit all the key points, including outlining the competition and the job specifications of the team. It would be interesting to see how willing districts would be to move beyond what they are used to and move into the future.

      • tomwhyte1 6:44 pm on November 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Thank you for your thoughts on my project, they are greatly appreciated. I believe, just like in many areas of educator, technology will create large disruptions in the consumption and creation of educational opportunities, such as Professional Development.

        As for the software – iMovie entirely for the Elevator Pitch. As for the Venture Pitch – iMovie for the video’s, but Keynote for the entire presentation (which was a pain to get into YouTube – so I had to use Camtasia to do a screencast… – next time I will know the solution… instead of banging my head repeatedly against the wall).

        Have a great day, and again thanks for taking the time to view my pitches.


    • Patrick Pichette 6:59 pm on November 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Tom,

      Although your elevator pitch confused me the first time through, your venture pitch definitely helped clarify exactly where it was you were heading with the pitch. My biggest recommendation in terms of the elevator pitch would be to potentially show a group of teachers in a traditional PD environment followed by what they would like in your environment (following PD on a device).

      Despite this minor setback, I think your pitch is very engaging and shows great potential. Having experience this point point as recently as yesterday, I know that this approach would be extremely beneficial for me. I would much prefer go through content at my own pace than that of the presenter. I would also appreciate the ability to skip or rewind through content as I attempt to grab every useful bit of information that would help me in my teaching practice. The proposed team appears sound and shows a well thought-out approach to implementing this venture. Although I do feel there is likely a fair bit of competition in the market, I think your determination and passion give you an edge in securing funds for your venture. The only thing really missing in your pitch is the investment amount you’re seeking, what you plan to do with the investment funds as well as the exit strategy for investors. These are definitely major points however, so you are asking EVAs to do a bit of legwork in getting this info rather than providing it right from the start. Still, I would likely take the effort to seek out additional info as you do show a promising venture.

    • C. Ranson 7:54 am on December 2, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Tom,

      Sorry, little late here but all the pitches are so interesting and take time to watch and digest.

      Your pitch and presentation are excellent, well researched and I think you have a sound venture idea, especially if there is non or little competition. Your delivery is very clear and professional, you have identified a problem and a viable solution to the problem, your team is impressive. The video is a bit choppy, I had this issue as well and couldn’t seem to address it in my pitch. I wasn’t sure how the revenue would be generated but maybe I missed this. Well done.


  • tomwhyte1 10:15 pm on November 22, 2012
    0 votes

    It appears in my previous explorations of Second Life – coupled with my desire to remain anonymous while probably reading some Science Fiction about virtual worlds, and the possibilities of creating something beyond ourselves, not just a digital replica – I created the attached avatar. If memory serves me correct, I was going for proportions […]

    Continue reading Hey I Had An Avatar Already Posted in: General
    • Eva Ziemsen 11:08 pm on November 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Tom,

      Great avatar and response. You might enjoy reading Dr. Sherry Turkle (I’m sure you have already done so), and her research about how people use avatars to express other sides of themselves. Your entry supports her suggestions very well.

      I completely agree with you, I do not enjoy the upkeep. In fact, if you see my avatar in the video, you will notice that my skirt and tights are white. This was the default and after fiddling around, I realized that I am not so passionate about the look of my avatar, but much more what I can explore and potentially do in SL.

      I think this would be an amazing art project, but I would say that I would not recommend it under 18 years (as that is the new minimum age of SL). Perhaps you can use another VR? Perhaps your students already have avatars?

      • tomwhyte1 7:41 pm on November 24, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        As for the art project, I agree. There are other avenues – I tried Meez awhile ago – not sure it still exists. However, the value of the avatar might be gaining ground, for our school is exploring the use of Mathletics to assist our more struggling students, and the avatar is now a component on the student side.


  • tomwhyte1 9:58 pm on November 4, 2012
    0 votes

    The BYOD team would like to thank all of you for participating in the discussions and activities we created for this topic that is not only occurring in the world of education, but is also a significant reality in many other professional areas. The conversations were enlightening as well as engaging, and many of you […]

    Continue reading Thank You From Week 9 – BYOD Posted in: Week 09:
  • tomwhyte1 7:45 pm on September 25, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , , Khan Academy Sal Khan, the founder and current Executive Director of The Khan Academy, holds two different bachelor degrees and two different masters degrees (which include an MBA from Harvard), which not only demonstrate his passion for learning, but also shows he is capable of innovation as well as leading a successful educational technology venture.  As […]

    Continue reading Sal Khan, the… Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • Doug Connery 9:43 pm on September 25, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I saw Sal Khan as a Keynote speaker at a conference this last summer and he truly engaged me and the entire audience because of the passion that came through for his organization and his cause. It certainly made me rethink the concept of free educational materials.


      • tomwhyte1 10:08 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I agree, he is a very passionate and persuading speaker. However, I wonder is many people have been swayed by passion in the past? I am not saying that passion should be ignored, but we are beings that are very emotive… therefore, what might we do to recognize the passion of the presentation, but then move to a place more cognitive to assess the information.


    • manny 7:30 pm on September 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Tom,

      Upon reading our course materials this week I was going to do a biography on Sal Khan myself but noted you post yesterday. Nevertheless I thought I would go ahead and comment on your post as I think the Khan academy is probably one of the front runners in the flipped learning concept. I have seen some of their videos and they range in quality from great illustrative examples to just a recording of a teacher on a blackboard. Some educators fear that this method of instruction is a threat to teacher employability and that eventually schools will begin to shut down. Of course this is a far fetched thought as students still need to learn how to search and decipher the vast amounts of information that are out there. Doug was lucky to have seen Sal at a conference. There is no doubt that he is passionate about his product, a key entrepreneurial skill one must possess to ensure success. I have left a link to a TED talk below in which Sals enthusiasm and passion is evident.


    • tomwhyte1 8:02 pm on September 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I find it amusing, that with many new technologies, educators fear we will be replaced. Such stories can be found with the overhead projector, that min wage staffers would simply place overheads upon the surface, students would mindlessly copy down material and…poof…learning would happen. If it was that easy, there would be no schools, and education would be that simple.

      The Khan Academy allows myself as an educator to help the student when it is important, trying out the new skills they have learned, not the “download of information” otherwise known as the class lecture.


    • teacherben 9:13 pm on September 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I don’t know if you have seen his TEDtalk, but you should. It might provide you with some inspiration. His project has very humble beginnings. He was just making videos to supplement his weekly tutoring sessions with his niece. When she told him he didn’t need to come over anymore and that the videos were good enough on their own, he knew he was on to something. Personally, I’m not a big fan of all of his work. I think the idea is sound and the quality of the videos is certainly improving, but most of the videos are still excruciatingly boring. he has yet to really leverage the power of a truly interactive experience. (The new programming section is definitely a step in the right direction.) A lot of educators have (I think correctly) expressed concern that people are trying to use these videos in place of some other curriculum. They are a great supplement, but, as he points out in his TEDtalk, the whole point is that these free up the teacher to work with kids individually and in small groups to differentiate instruction based on student needs, and to give contextual tasks a more central role. The kids learn it at home and they apply it in the classroom. To what extent this is actually happening is an important question.

      • tomwhyte1 10:07 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        What I appreciate, is the Khan Academy coaching information. The overall level of detail, down to individual student responses on specific questions, provides myself as an educator a tonne of information to help make decisions on areas of growth, areas of focus, who can help and who needs help.

        And yes, the videos are not a replacement. Just another way to deliver basic information.


    • pcollins 8:10 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I have used Sal’s videos when my science classes have been flipped. Although the videos can be a tad dry – they are succinct enough to engage the student at home. The Gates foundation and Google both gave significant donations to get the Khan academy off the ground. Great to see other tech companies supporting e-learning


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

        Interesting point about the “dryness” of the videos. I wonder if this is intentional… to avoid the novelty effect, or to reduce cultural items that only specific groups associate with…


    • adi 6:24 pm on September 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      What I find fascinating is how many of these ventures are born, i.e. from a need. In this case it was from the need to help out a niece online; ‘Slideshare’ from one of the co-founders wanting to share his conference slides and not being able to; ‘Dropbox’, from its founder constantly forgetting his USB. How many more things could we make ventures out of if we only stopped to think ‘Hey, there´s a need here, and a possible venture!’

    • ETEC522grp8 8:37 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great discussion so far guys! I think that the point of the vanishing educator is a persistent concern. I heard in one of my Literature classes at UVic that people expressed the same level of fear when the printing press was invented and information could be widely disseminated by text. is this the same situation, or completely different? I like the idea, too, that the “dryness” of the videos could be intentional. Good food for thought.

  • tomwhyte1 7:37 pm on September 11, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , future, trend   

    For this critical analysis, I have selected Connie Malamed’s piece entitled “Learning Technology Trends To Watch In 2012”, which highlights potential educational trends for instructors and students based upon the convergence of informal and social media, as well as the increased use of smartphones and tablets within multiple learning environments, and the impact each may […]

    Continue reading Where Were Going We Don’t Need Roads (The future paths of education?) Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
    • Colin 9:46 pm on September 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Tom, I definitely agree that I found the material generally a review of what I know mixed in with some new facts. I don’t feel that her site is very cutting edge and I noticed that she didn’t put the date on any articles on when they were written.

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

      Hi Tom,
      While I admit I did not read Malamed’s piece in its entirety, I believe you have done a great job in reviewing the key technologies. Within that, I can appreciate how you often brought it back to what would be useful to general educators as I too have often found many are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with various new technologies, and so fail to implement them despite their potential benefits. In your opinion, what would be the best approach to change that trend?

  • tomwhyte1 11:41 am on September 4, 2012
    0 votes

    Good day, My name is Tom Whyte, from Medicine Hat, Alberta. This is one of the many courses I am taking this semester, which I hope I will be able to continue to take, professional changes might be happening, which may reduce time 🙁 However, if I remain this will either be my 6th, 7th, […]

    Continue reading Greeting From The Hat Posted in: Announcements, General
    • jameschen 12:49 am on September 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      3 MET courses in one term is quite a bit! Nice meeting you, Tom.

    • kstackhouse 5:50 am on September 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Tom,
      Like you I am taking 3 courses. I have been doing two per fall/winter while teaching. I am on leave right now, so hopefully it won’t be too crazy. Best of luck this term.


    • avninder 10:22 am on September 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Tom,
      I took two MET courses at once, but found it to be more than I bargained for with work. Good luck.

    • tomwhyte1 7:34 pm on September 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      My professional obligations might be changing, forcing me to alter this plan… Will know in the next week. But thanks for the insights, greatly appreciated.

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