Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp RSS Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Patrick Pichette 7:22 pm on October 1, 2012
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    Tags: Codecademy   

    Zach Sims is the co-founder and CEO of the Codecademy website.  As a 22 year old CEO, much of Zach’s biography involves some of the short term projects he’s worked on to date such as Drop.io (acquired by Facebook), AOL’s venture group, and GroupMe (acquired by Skype).   Codecademy Codecademy is a website designed to […]

    Continue reading Zach Sims is the co-founder and CEO of t… Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • teacherben 4:43 am on October 2, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I signed up for codeacademy when it was in beta and managed to get through the first set of beginning tutorials on javascript. I think it’s great that it has become popular and that so many people have used it to learn coding. I set 2011/12 as my year to learn programming, but I personally found codeacademy to be really dry and ended up turned to other resources. There is no shortage of competing products out there there days. The new Khan Academy computer science section certainly takes better advantage of possibilities for interactivity than these guys, but Khan Academy started off a bit boring too. With the right backers and momentum, I imagine that they will be able to tweak the product to match the wants/needs of their target audience, whoever that turns out to be.

    • Patrick Pichette 6:04 am on October 2, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      The thing I enjoyed about Codecademy was its ability to encourage younger students to learn to code. Many of my high school students loved the badges and reward system and constantly strived to get more badges and compete amongst themselves. The immediate response and guided approach seemed to work well to help students progress through the content at their own pace. I haven’t looked at Khan Academy’s new computer science course so I’ll need to have another look but I did find Codecademy’s approach to be quite promising. If anything, their core concept could be leveraged to produce content for other courses as well (math, languages, etc..).

  • jameschen 10:58 pm on September 30, 2012
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    This is Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Foundation. OLPC is a non-profit organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts which provides low-cost, internet-capable laptop computers  to children across the world. Its XO laptops have been designed specifically to meet the needs of children and their usage under extreme weather conditions, […]

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  • sophiabb 5:32 pm on September 30, 2012
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    Tags: Blackboard Inc, , Expertise, Innovator, Michael Chasen, Online platforms, Passion, training   

    Michael Chasen is the president and chief executive officer for Blackboard Inc.  He and Matthew Pittinsky founded Blackboard in 1997. According to Blackboard Inc., “his expertise managing fast growth Internet software companies coupled with a passion to enhance education through technology has been critical to Blackboard’s success.” Chasen is recognized as an innovator. Among his many awards […]

    Continue reading Michael Chasen, Innovator and Founder of Blackboard Inc. Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • Lisa Nevoral 7:36 pm on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Sophia,

      Michael Chasen definitely seems to have the background (undergrad – computer science and MBA) to competently lead the Blackboard Inc. team and make the company a success. I wonder if it will ever be used at the high school or middle school levels in Canada. Although it is cost-effective, school districts may opt to use open source learning management systems like Moodle to fill the need for these technologies to save on costs. But I commend Chasen for the forethought to work closely with universities and colleges, to spread the idea of the Blackboard Inc. LMS through them.


      • sophiabb 9:37 am on October 2, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Lisa, good point. Although there is a cost to Moodle (server hosting, tech support) it seems to be more cost effective than Blackboard. Many schools, colleges, and companies are using Moodle as their LMS.

    • jameschen 12:19 am on October 1, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi sophiabb,

      I think you made a good point about the importance of Chasen’s experience at KPMG being vital to the success of his company. It seems that successful entrepreneurs in learning technology need to have enough experience in both the business sector and the field of education before starting their own companies. Knowing how to build a company’s product from scratch also seems to be another key element in the success of an entrepreneur.


      • sophiabb 9:51 am on October 2, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hi James, great point re entrepreneurs involvement in the development from scratch. I think that entrepreneurs who are involved from scratch are more passionate and credible in their pitch delivery. Are we more inclined to say ‘yes’ to such an entrepreneur?

        • jameschen 4:03 pm on October 2, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          I think as an EVA in training, I am more inclined to say ‘yes’ to an entrepreneur who has credibility and competence and a viable idea (Section 2.6). Seeing how Blackboard is gradually expanding its operations, I think its initial investors made the right decision.


    • Peggy Lawson 7:15 pm on October 1, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Just as an aside – I attended Blackboard’s annual conference, Blackboard World, a few years ago. Michael know’s how to throw a great party!


  • Shaun Pepper 5:39 am on September 30, 2012
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    TED Talks have left an impact on the world. One that has only been growing in the last 10 years, with a digital media push by Chris Anderson, who in 2001 became the curator of the event, after taking over from Richard Saul Wurman one of the original founders.(http://www.ted.com/pages/16) According to his profile on TED […]

    Continue reading Chris Anderson TED and TEDEd curator Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • visramn 10:19 am on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Shaun,

      I really liked how you outlined his path to success into concise points. That made it easy to see how all of those aspects set him up for success in his business venture.
      TED TALKS are definitely well known and in my opinion they have a great impact on people of all ages. This is a great means of sharing important ideas, tools and connects with. Digital learning tools have gained an avenue of exposure through these talks that have helped to educate so many people on what is available out there. Chris’s idea of using pre-existing lessons and bringing them alive in one location that is accessible to educators is great. This opens so many doors for teaching possibilities and can assist in making learning environment so much richer. This sounds like an amazing resource.
      Thank you for sharing Chris’s inspiring journey and the link to the blog he envisioned. I know this will be helpful to me.


    • Peggy Lawson 10:42 am on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks Shaun – While I’ve known about TED Videos for a few years (but even at that feel like a late-comer to them), I hadn’t known about TED Ed. I watched the introductory tour and was impressed by how the earlier concept of TED videos was linked to another earlier concept of Flipped Classrooms. This is a great example of how a synthesis of existing products and services can become a valuable enterprise – emergence, as was described in Section 2.8 Entrepreneur Bootcamp.


      • jameschen 12:50 am on October 1, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I think TED Talks is also a great way for entrepreneurs to get the support of the right people by spreading their ideas to the right audience. And to have a non-profit targeted for this particular purpose is just a brilliant value proposition.


  • Eva Ziemsen 11:56 pm on September 29, 2012
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    Matt Kelland is co-founder of the company, Moviestorm Limited, which he co-founded with his Cambridge colleague, Dave Lloyd, in 2003.  As described on the company homepage, “Moviestorm is a software application that lets anyone make 3d animated movies on their computer,” (http://www.moviestorm.co.uk/). Moviestorm offers, an “explorative game-style interface and a massive library of characters, props […]

    Continue reading Matt Kelland, co-founder of Moviestorm Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • sophiabb 5:53 pm on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Eva,

      Matt Kelland sounds like a true innovator/creator. He seems to really enjoy ‘creating’ a venture more than managing its continuation. Your admiration for Matt Kelland as an innovator came through clearly; as well as your passion for the platform Moviestorm. Your post has really helped me to better understand Moviestorm.


  • Scott 7:55 pm on September 29, 2012
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    Tags: Bryan Falcon, ceo, haiku,   

    For my founders profile,  I have selected Bryan Falcon, CEO & co-founder of Haiku Learning Systems. Since 2006, Haiku Learning Systems has been providing an online learning management system (LMS) for K-12 educators, which aims to provide the “The simplest way to bring the web to your classroom… and your classroom to the web”.  I […]

    Continue reading For my founders profile,  I have selecte… Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • melissaayers 5:37 am on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      HI Scott, Haiku seem to have a nice product, its the first time I have seen/heard of this LMS. It has a nice simple, lightweight feel to it. I wounder if the GUI and usability design has been influenced by Falcon (and his theatre/director background) or it was his design/development team.

    • C. Ranson 7:14 am on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Scott, I too had never heard of Haiku, would it be comparable to Moodle? I navigated through the website and looked up their partners, interesting one of them is Desmos the second company I selected to investigate. I am guessing their revenue is generated through the advanced user who pays for the service?

    • stammik 9:17 am on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      The school board I teach in encourages us to use Moodle, which I have tried, but as Falcon insightfully notes, LMS which strive to offer a wide range features for everyone, as Moodle does, often become too bloated, cumbersome to learn/use and unattractive looking. Under Falcon’s guidance, Haiku instead aims to satisfy 80% of its users extremely well and realizes that the remaining 20% may not find what they are looking for with Haiku – which is ok. It’s a focused product, clearly targeted to a specific customer.

      I imagine Falcon’s clear sense of creativity and design have strongly influenced the GUI, but when the the concept hits the screen, its the development team which must be trusted to execute Falcon’s vision. One more reason to applaud him for selecting the right team to execute his vision.

      The “fermium” price model hooked me. It’s the classic puppy dog sales approach, just hold on to it a bit and you won’t want to put it down!

    • Lisa Nevoral 6:15 pm on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hey Scott, since our last course together I have checked out Haiku and liked the simplicity of it. We are still using Moodle at my school, but as you have indicated, Moodle is sometimes fairly cumbersome and unattractive looking. I find at times it is not an intuitive site, but there are things on there that I like.

      I think that it wise of Haiku Learning Systems to work closely with educators to get a feel of what is needed. In my school district (and many around BC), we are using a online student information system for attendance, marks, etc. but is not user friendly. There have been suggestions on how to improve the system, but not many have been made. If Haiku can satisfy 80% of it’s specific users, I think that is pretty good for a business.

  • Lisa Nevoral 5:42 pm on September 29, 2012
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    Crestron – in business for more than 40 years Founder, sole owner and President of Crestron – George Feldstein (engineer) George Feldstein started his own company in 1969 out of a room above Crestkill Delicatessen, New Jersey, when he got fired from an engineering company and decided that he could not work for anyone else.  […]

    Continue reading Crestron – George Feldstein – Founder and Sole Owner Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • C. Ranson 7:25 am on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Lisa, interesting life story about the founder George Feldstein. Creston has many areas of the market covered, not surprised they are so successful.

  • lullings 3:59 pm on September 29, 2012
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    Meet Jim Breen

    Continue reading Pulse Learning Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • Jenny Brown 7:29 am on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      The idea of not necessarily going with statistics but with feelings reminds me of Jobs saying: “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” If you really believe and “feel” that you have an amazing product, hopefully people will agree, although not everyone in the world is a Steve Jobs.

  • melissaayers 9:01 am on September 29, 2012
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    Georg Petschnigg is one of the Co-Founders of FiftyThree who created the iPad application Paper. FiftyThree’s Paper Paper was designed to replace a pen and a piece of paper, it is a drawing application designed to capture your ideas as sketches, diagrams, illustrations, notes or drawings which can all be easily shared across the web. In […]

    Continue reading Georg Petschnigg – CEO and Co-Founder of FiftyThree. Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • lullings 2:47 pm on September 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Nicely done Melissa,

      i have been looking at this lad and their team for a few months now. I think that they are excellent at how they focused in on a product, made it incredible and are now looking at niche ways of making bespoke elements for certain professions and industries. I definitely dont get a greed impression from him/their team but more of a ‘lets make things better’ impression.

      Really impressive team.
      Nice entrepreneur overview too.


    • melissaayers 5:48 am on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks Stuart, that’s an interesting observation you make that they are more focused on ‘lets make things better’ rather than lets make money. I think you are right from the interviews and the commentary I have seen so far they are really focused on making a great product first and foremost.

    • stammik 5:41 pm on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I found your references and supplemental links very interesting, thank you Melissa. I downloaded this app the weekend it was released and I really enjoy using it, as do my daughters and a few of my students, It’s not as feature laden as some other drawing apps, which may be it’s best feature – what it does, it does very well. Petschnigg and his team are not the only tech team with this approach. Jonathan Ives has the same goal for uncluttered design. “”Our goal is to try to bring a calm and simplicity to what are incredibly complex problems so that you’re not aware really of the solution, you’re not aware of how hard the problem was that was eventually solved.” I really look forward to what Petschnigg and his team set their sights on next…

    • melissaayers 5:45 am on October 2, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the quote by Ives Scott, I have not seen that before. I wish more designers/developers would follow this philosophy, as you mentions there are many applications that are laden with many features (that are not always well done or are too complex for the target users) and it makes them a bit harder to master.

  • C. Ranson 8:56 am on September 29, 2012
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    Eli Luberoff was also selected by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of the top 25 entrepreneurs under 25 in 2011. Eli Luberoff, CEO Eli, like most elementary students were exposed to the TI-83 graphing calculator. Eli began working on software that would become Desmos.com during a year long hiatus from Yale University, returning to graduate summa […]

    Continue reading Eli Luberoff was also selected by Bloomb… Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • melissaayers 10:54 am on September 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      This company has an interesting story and guiding principles 🙂 It seems the product they develop is free – if this is the case how are they able to fund it? Thanks

    • C. Ranson 6:35 am on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Melissa,

      The company is very new and their startup funding came from Learn Capital and Kindler Capital, recently adding Google Ventures to their investor portfolio. The company reports they are generating revenue from partnerships with publishers, who have been integrating the calculator into digital textbooks. This will be a company to watch as it continues to grow and solidify its planning and business model.

  • visramn 6:30 pm on September 28, 2012
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    There are two founders for the SMART Technologies Company. David Martin, who is the Co-founder, Director, chairman and was a CEO of this company. Nancy Knowlton who is also a co-founder, Director, vice-chair and was and a CEO. These two individuals founded SMART technologies in 1987. Nancy has an undergraduate in business administration, she qualified […]

    Continue reading David Martin and Nancy Knowlton- Smart Technolgoies Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • cunnian 10:34 pm on September 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      That’s a great story! Well presented. SMART has come a long way, but I wonder to what degree this product has passed it’s prime. I’ve used SMARTboards in the past and found that I was simultaneously impressed and irritated by their software and used the board much less once I got my hands on a table device. Mimio (http://www.mimio.com/) seems to be a lightweight version of the Smartboard, so SMART now has some competition. Seems that you can make them with a wii and infrared pen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQnIVJNvG_k&feature=related). These might squeeze SMART out of what might already be a shrinking market.

      • teacherben 6:15 pm on September 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Unless the prices come down, SMARTboards may not be replaced by alternatives so much as just present an unjustifiable expense. I have been at a number of schools that tried to work them into the budget, then decided to use the money for other things. I have a school full of Mimios now and they are awful to work with. (I even made a DIY rig using an IR pen and a couple of WiiMote’s, which worked but was not worth the hassle. On the other hand, when I have been using SMARTboards along with software that really showcases their functionality (such as Algodoo–if you haven’t seen it, you should) they are an amazing tool. (Another cool project is EduSim, which is a 3D virtual world targeted at schools that is meant to leverage the power of SMARTboards and such.) But I have also seen them collecting dust in a lot of schools. That may be due to a lack of training and support. Just sticking it in a classroom doesn’t guarantee it will get used. But they may not provide enough added value to the classroom to justify the $5000 layout.

        • Lisa Nevoral 5:56 pm on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          Our middle school has installed quite a few SMARTboards in our classrooms this past year, but I have yet to see how they have been used that is drastically different from a whiteboard. Although is does have interactive capabilities, I think that there needs to be more teacher training (as Ben stated) for us to use them to their fullest potential. I think that if we could use tablets in conjunction with the SMARTboard, this may increase the interactive abilities of the boards. Maybe another way to go is multi-touch desks or tables. With multi-touch desks, more people can interact with the table or desk and with the people around it at the same time. A multi-touch desk is not controlled using a mouse or keyboard, so it provides a way for everyone to interact with the system. Minority Report here we come…

    • Jenny Brown 7:17 am on September 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for sharing this cool these cool alternatives! I love the mimio tablet idea as that way students can easily write down notes because you are not in the way. Also the idea of having the students use the tablet to be more engaged with the session (adding their notes, completing the activity, etc.) might be easier as well. Hopefully they will come out with one that has a little longer range but 9m is pretty good.

    • Suhayl Patel 9:58 am on September 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Smart has come a long way since the introduction of it’s first products. They are growing rapidly and continue to create tools for business, governance, and education.
      although SMART is commonly known for their hardware (smartboard, smart table, smart slate, etc) what many people don’t know is that, they are very keen on creating software as well. They obviously developed the Smart Notebook suite, but are constantly making additions to their softwarwe as well. They have created the amazing Smart Math Suite and 3d tools, which many educators are unaware of. As a matter of fact, I have a meeting with Nancy Knowlton next week to talk about the New Smart Bridgit Software and the impact it could have within the board.

      You are more than welcome to come with me Nureen.

    • C. Ranson 6:49 am on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      This is great information, our new campus just installed SMART boards in many of the classrooms. There appears to be a high level of interest from faculty around learning how to use them and implementing them into classroom learning. I have had some introductory training and I am impressed so far with the product. I will have to look into the SMART software options.

  • Kent Jamieson 5:58 pm on September 28, 2012
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      Jeremy Friedman is Co-founder and CEO of Schoology. It is a company which offers a collection of features to help teachers enhance their lessons plans, as well as manage their classrooms. It allows educators to host discussions, set up coursework, add videos and interactive media, and track grading and engagement in one spot.  In […]

    Continue reading Presenting Jeremy Friedman – Schoology Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • stammik 5:54 pm on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Excellent profile Kent. I used this product for a short time a few years back while assessing various LMS and I really liked their approach. What I find most telling about your profile is contained in the final paragraph, namely how reluctant school administrators were to initially adopt the product. I’m sure Jeremy is not the first or last CEO, to face opposition about novel ideas to solve “old school” problems. It emphasis to me, just how hard an edtech entrepreneur must work to champion and sell their ideas in the face of adversity from institutions resistant to change.

    • Lisa Nevoral 7:45 pm on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      To me, this product does have the potential to attract many customers. I like the idea that they have included such things as differentiated learning programs in the system. My only question was why did he make the platform similar to Facebook? Was it to draw people in? And why would people say “we can’t have that in schools”? Some aspects of Facebook could be used for student learning, but I don’t think we have explored that avenue enough.



      • Kent Jamieson 1:59 pm on October 4, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hello Lisa, i’m not sure exactly why the Facebook feel is so prevalent in emerging LMS’s like Edmodo and Schoology. It may be just as you said…’to lure people in’. In that same token,however, i think sites like Facebook get a raw deal in education. It comes with such stigmas involving privacy issues and sharing information over the web that not alot of teachers/administrators want to go near it. I have emailed Jeremy Friedman to ask a few questions, but haven’t been able to reach him yet. Thanks for your question, I will make sure to ask it if i ever do get in touch with him. Kent

  • Ranvir 2:49 pm on September 28, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: gamification   

    Rajat Paharia is the founder and Chief Product Officer of Bunchball, a market leader and visionary gamification company.  Founded in 2005, Bunchball provides cloud-based SaaS gamification platform to help companies improve customer loyalty and online engagement using game mechanics. Bunchball enables organizations to improve business performance by creating highly active and loyal customers, employees, and partners. Bunchball’s customers […]

    Continue reading Bunchball – A leading gamification company Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • Pat A Son 11:49 am on September 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      This founder is certainly a radical one as I consider gamification word that I would not connect to business as a whole. However his customer list and the company he has worked for suggest that he is a seasoned ‘customer’ who knows what he is about with the right combination of skills for success.

    • lullings 4:09 pm on September 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Yes – I knew that my mom was wrong when she was saying I was wasting my time watching television and playing games. The former as I now work in television and the latter because of your post!

      At the moment there seems to be a clear business focus to the strategy. I will have to look into Rajat some more and see if there are any desires or plans to get into education-gamification. To have players like him developing this area would really start to see a strong positive impact in this field I think.

      Thanks Ranvir

  • C. Ranson 6:38 am on September 28, 2012
    0 votes


    Jose Ferreira Founder and CEO Jose Ferreira is the founder and CEO of Knewton, the world’s leading adaptive learning company. Knewton personalizes any publisher or school’s online learning courses. In October 2011, Knewton announced a partnership with Pearson to power their complete line of MyLab and Mastering products, currently used by nearly 10 million students. […]

    Continue reading Twitter: @Knewton_Jose Jose Ferreira Fou… Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • C. Ranson 4:05 pm on September 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I just realized that Knewton has already been posted a few days ago. I will search for another interesting venture and update soon.

  • cunnian 9:47 pm on September 27, 2012
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    Co-Founders: Nicholas Borg and Jeff O’Hara Venture: Edmodo Photo source: Xconomy Edmodo is an educational microblogging site which affords students and teachers to collaborate in a private environment. It was co-founded in 2008 by Nic Borg (CEO) and Jeff O’Hara (Co-owner) as a means to incorporate a social media element to mainstream education, while nonetheless […]

    Continue reading Edmodo Posted in: General, Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • tomwhyte1 11:32 am on September 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I have personally used Edmodo for years in my class, and love the mobile app as well. I am aware that Edmodo provides more sophisticated services for a fee, but was unaware that they are a for-profit venture.

      With that in mind, I also wonder how the potential inclusion of a more sophisticated fee structure, or advertising might influence those 8 million plus users…


    • frank 12:33 pm on September 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Edmodo seems to be right on the button of taking Social Media into schools and using it as a driving vehicle to leverage technology to provide education for the 21st century classroom.
      In fact, I am curious as to whether our class, or for that matter any class could be taught through the use of Edmodo as the underlying technological platform facilitating online content delivery, social interaction, and tracking.

      Tom, do you think that for example, you could use Edmodo to deliver a financial literacy module for your class, using content that is already available online? Any shortcomings to using such an approach, and suggestions on how they could be overcome?

      My two risk concerns for this venture are 1) Whether social media moguls such as FB or Google Plus could create spinoffs to outcompete Edmodo, if Edmodo’s success grabs their attention and they decide to enter education technology. 2) I’m dubious about marketing/advertisement as revenue sources for educational products. Mainly because learning requires focus, and advertising disrupts it.

      As for the founders Jeff and Nicholas, they’re clearly doing somethings right as their venture is gaining in prestige and popularity. Whether they have the right stuff to go from entrepreneur to CEO remains to be seen.
      So far, so good..

      • teacherben 6:43 pm on September 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I also wonder if Google+ has the potential to steal Edmodo’s userbase. Apparently, Google Apps has 40 million active users and is used in 61 of the top 100 schools (I just plucked that off the Internet, it came from a report in US News & World Report) but they only rolled Google+ into it less than a year ago. With tons more schools preparing to move over to GApps (like mine) it seems silly not to use it. While Edmodo does include all sorts of assessment and tracking tools, for example, you can make your own quizzes and so on, you can do a lot of the same things without much more difficulty using google forms. I believe there is a lot of potential for social networks in the classroom for sure. I set up a social network for our grade 5 classes about 5 years ago using an open source product called Elgg. Even after the novelty wore off, the kids were still on there all the time and using it for things I had never imagined–creating discussion groups to share their passions for horses and LEGO and all sorts of stuff. But today, the kids ant my school are divided between a whole punch of overlapping software, Weebly, the school blogging platform, Managebac, the school unit planner, WCBS, the school gradebook, FirstClass, the school email system and then their own stuff on Facebook and all the rest. A move to a single platform like Google Apps will reduce the hassle of multiple sign-ons in a big way and make it way easier for them to keep track of their online world. I could never sell Edmodo in a situation like this and I bet that’s the same in a lot of places.

    • tomwhyte1 2:05 pm on September 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Interesting inquiry. Our school actually uses many of the embedded features within Edmodo to instruct our students in Information Technology, through the use of this social platform, we instruct students how to be proper within online environments, as well as managing an entire class with no physical paper. We have been quite successful with this approach.

    • Kent Jamieson 6:14 pm on September 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Currently, our school is looking at many options for an online learning environment. I have recently posted about Schoology as another one of these LMS’s that seems to have grown out of necessity to have ‘one stop shopping’. Teachers are looking for it all when it comes to online class management and collaboration tools, and the ability to not only view paperless student work but to comment on it, grade it and access it anywhere.
      The Facebook feel of both Edmodo and Schoology is what concerns me the most, as many parents have voiced concerns in our school over the use of Facebook and sharing student files in the cloud.
      It is all a learning opportunity, and as Tom put it, we can embed information into these platforms to help alleviate the concern and proactively promote positive online behaviours.

    • kstackhouse 7:22 pm on September 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi there,

      I personally loved using Edmodo. I had tried Twiducate before that and like most of it…but it was incredibly slow. I was cautioned though through discussion with the Department of Education in my province. They were concerned about the content being hosted outside of our own servers. They said that we could continue to use it as long as there was no identifiable information anywhere on the site. Not even the school’s or my name. They were also concerned about the intellectual content stored there. Reading through the information it seemed as though the authors would be protected. However, the concern was if the company was bought out or shut down…what would then happen with those resources. Good questions to consider.


      • cunnian 10:26 pm on September 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        The privacy issue is indeed a sensitive one. It is interesting that working in the public system last year I would not have been able to use Edmodo, but now being in the private system it is permitted with some stipulations (close reading and disclosure of the terms of service is a big part of the solution). I wonder how many schools are currently looking for LMSs and running into this problem… does this favour the use of Moodle and others which can be stored locally? There’s a segment of the market that Edmodo can’t tap into.

  • jenniferschubertubc 9:05 am on September 27, 2012
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    Tags: , founders parade, gaggle, jeff patterson, social media   

    Gaggle – Jeff Patterson, Founder and CEO ·         Gaggle started out as a filtered, controlled email client for students and teachers alike but has grown into a full social media suite which provides students safe places to communicate and collaborate, all whilst affording them personal spaces in which to foster and express individual creativity. The […]

    Continue reading Gaggle – Jeff Patterson, Founder and CEO… Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • tomwhyte1 9:53 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I find it interesting that this venture was created out of a need for email…

      Lately, when instructing my students, and introducing email, and the platform we are using to accommodate this service, most students ask – “What is email?”

      Have we held onto something, that many of our students have moved beyond? Is it important?

      Secondly, in your information about the individual and company in general, I really appreciated and found value in the fact that this is not his first venture into technology and education, but another venture based upon a need he felt existed. As I am unaware of this company, is this a for-profit or not-for-profit venture?

      • jenniferschubertubc 6:21 am on October 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        The way I am interpreting what they state in their FAQ’s, Gaggle is a for-profit venture which does occasionally offer free services to selected schools who cannot afford their product (by invitation only). As far as the email origins… I quite enjoy that the company recognized the need to grow and expand from that and move into social networking. I have found that they have “kept up with the times” as it were and opened themselves up to new markets and services as the demand has grown and changed.

    • Ranvir 10:00 pm on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I have looked at the Gaggle website and it seems that the concept of providing a controlled, human monitored environment works great for k-12 schools who are able to get the grant funding from the government. However, I wonder how this affects the students behaviour and their web etiquette when they know that their keystrokes are being monitored. I guess this may not be much of an issue in primary grades, however in high school where students are more matured, I wonder how much is the uptake. We don’t like to be policed irrespective of our age.

      • jenniferschubertubc 6:26 am on October 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I’m sure this is always in the back of students’ minds… especially when they become old enough to “know better.” I’m sure genuine posting is more than likely filtered to become what they find to be more safe or to look better to teachers rather than true feelings. After all, they still have facebook, twitter and other non-policed ways to communicate outside of school. (I do wonder if students would choose to use this service for anything other than strictly school-related communication in this instance. I do like the idea for younger students to have a safe space, but I can’t help but feel that older students will duck the system so to speak in order to have more genuine interaction with friends/peers.)

  • pcollins 7:41 am on September 27, 2012
    0 votes

       The year was 1977 – three young and upcoming programmers from Ampex (producers of digital storage systems) took a risk and branched off to start their own company. One of them was Lawrence J. Ellison Serving as Chief executive officer from the beginning, Larry Ellison has been a man with far reaching dreams. When […]

    Continue reading The year was 1977 – three young and upco… Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • kstackhouse 8:07 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Interesting post. Thank you for sharing about his childhood. It is interesting to see how so many people are able to excel when they don’t fit the mold of the traditional educational setting. Universities haven’t changed much since their inception. It is interesting to see how institutions are now trying to adapt to the changing needs of today’s young students and life-long learners that continue to pursue education.

    • Ranvir 10:12 pm on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      It was good to know more about the background of Larry Ellison, CEO of this successful database management company. It is indeed inspiring to know how about his giant leap to set up a successful company and realize his dreams even though he comes from a disadvantaged background. This shows his passion and hunger for success which I feel is a necessary ingredient for realizing our venture.

    • lullings 3:05 pm on September 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I am always secretly delighted when I hear of one of Larry’s (yes Larry!!!!) purchases – 400ft+ yachts, investments in the Volvo Oceans Race, buying a Hawaiian Island. Finally a billionaire that is having a bit of fun and splashing out on some toys. Interesting about his modest upbringing, I wonder does that give him some nonchalance about cash?

      Thanks for the background info p.


  • kstackhouse 7:40 am on September 27, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: Grockit, , Online Tutoring, social learning   

    Grockit, Founded by Farb Nivi. This is a Social Learning Company that is sure to continue to succeed. Grockit offers a wide variety of services and has a strong management team…

    Continue reading Grockit, the Social Learning Company Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • tomwhyte1 10:02 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I appreciate reading about companies, founded by educators for educators. I see that there approach is to provide a review for specific tests, what appears mostly are university level, with some 7-12. In your research, I was wondering how the social aspect functions within this environment?

      Secondly, as seen in other posts. I appreciate people from the education world, going forth with their ideas, teachers helping teachers, instead of non-educationally formed companies trying to cash in on our already limited budgets. What are your thoughts regarding the potential success of this company? Are they providing a unique service, or simply an old service packaged in a new way?


    • kstackhouse 10:15 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I think the biggest social aspect comes in the form of the group study sessions, collaboration, and competition as students work through the materials. There are SAT prep materials and other standardized assessment. There are grades k-12, Virtual School materials, included AP course materials.

      So far the company is looking very strong. Their latest launch, Learnist, looks to be a Pinterest style of learning. I have not loaded the app yet, so I can’t be certain. The company lists some of its investors here: https://grockit.com/about_us. They claim to be the world’s fastest growing online test prep for students.

      There have been other test-prep services in the past. I think that Grockit is trying to take a new approach at the way test-prep has taken place and trying to match the social focus that has been surging in the past few years.

      • tomwhyte1 10:29 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Thank you for furthering my understanding regarding the service, greatly appreciated.

        As well, you mention “competition”… What does that look like inside of Grockit?

        • kstackhouse 10:40 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          I’m not entirely sure how this looks. I did here in the video that students can earn points, badges, and connect with Facebook. I think in this sense and maybe in the quizzes or study sessions they may be able to compete. Again, I am not certain how this works from a user standpoint. Hope this info addresses your question.

          • tomwhyte1 7:06 pm on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

            More than addresses, thank you for the information. I realize, it is not what we are entirely supposed to be focussing on for this portion of the assignment. It is just that my inquisitive nature took over.

    • Peggy Lawson 7:26 pm on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Well, well – this is an intriguing product! I took time to view your posted Grockit video. Very impressive. The product seems to offer so much it was difficult to keep track. A long elevator pitch, but well produced and I had to watch it all. My biggest concerns I guess, for deciding whether I would invest in this product or not – you mention that the company began in 2006. It is now 6 years later, and I have never heard of Grockit before now. Why not?


    • kstackhouse 9:35 pm on September 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Good point Peggy about the video…it was actually a marketing commercial so it was longer than an elevator pitch. I’m not sure how popular it is in Canada since many of the standardized tests may be for university entrance in the USA. It is funny how ed tech works, I have been teaching in Canada for almost 10 years and I only heard of Moodle last year. Of course now I know how huge they are. It is always surprising when we find out about a technology and it already has millions of users. That just proves how big the market really is.


  • jhodi 9:26 pm on September 26, 2012
    0 votes

    Andrew Cohen in the founder and CEO of Brainscape, an online tool compatible with mobile devices that allows students to create flashcards to increase information retention and to help studying.  Brainscape allows users to create their own content or choose from a wide variety of pre-made content.  Users go through their flashcards, and after answering, […]

    Continue reading Andrew Cohen- Brainscape Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • kstackhouse 8:36 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Very interesting app. The ability to create the flashcards to modify the content to the user’s interests/needs is a great idea. I think even the process of creating the cards/slides would help the learner. They would have to go over their material and decide what is most relevant. Can a user share their study cards with another user? That would be a great feature.


    • tomwhyte1 10:42 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thank you for providing an overview regarding the rationale of this products creation, I like the fact that some are trying to answer a problem that exists, instead of trying to force a product into a market that may not require it, or even want it.

      Secondly, I like the fact that this is a mobile device app. Which would allow students to access the information in a variety of locations, and also provides students with the opportunity to start using their personal devices and educational tools, not personal toys.

      Lastly, I was wondering if this is web based, or app based. If app based, what technologies do they currently support?

    • melissaayers 10:40 am on September 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Its interesting that he created a product because it was something he needed himself. It seems when entrepreneurs design something that they want/need themselves it can result in some great products. I am sure this is something Steve Jobs had in mind when he developed many of Apple’s devices, that he tried to create something he wanted to use rather than try to imagine what the customer would want.

    • visramn 8:31 pm on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I had never heard of this resource. I think it is great. Unfortunately, testing is a big part of education and that results in students needing to memorize information. This is a great means of helping students to learn content and to remember it. You mentioned that the program even recognizes what the student is doing well with and what needs more work. Then goes on and adapts the flashcard being used to help them student to work on what they are weaker with. That is great!!! The age old means of using flashcards is difficult if you do not have another individual working with you and asking you questions. That means also does not help you to focus on concepts you are struggling with more. Brainscape can allow a student to work independently and also can help them to zero in on their areas of need.
      It is also interesting to see so many educators involved with this tool.
      Thank you so much for sharing this resource. I am truly interested in this tool.

  • 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…?


  • manny 7:17 pm on September 26, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: ,   

      William (Bill) Hamilton is the president and CEO of TechSmith ventures. Upon first glance, this name probably does not ring a bell but his staff is responsible for producing video capturing software apps such as Screenchomp for the iPad. This App has received rave reviews amongst the learning technologies community and allows students to […]

    Continue reading Introducing William Hamilton…….. Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • jhodi 9:40 pm on September 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply


      You were right! I did not recognize the name at first, but I have used some of the products that he has helped develop! This was particularly interesting for me to read because I find it very interesting the long path that he has taken since 1987. In my lifetime, I look back and think about all of the advances in technology and can only imagine what he has seen, experienced, and learned from.


    • kstackhouse 8:48 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      What an interesting app. I agree that this will be a great tool for education. I am sure that this will help students and teachers create some great learning materials.


  • Pat A Son 8:15 am on September 26, 2012
    0 votes

    Born January 12, 1964 Jeffrey Preston “Jeff” Bezos the founder and CEO of Amazon.com which isthe largest online merchant of books and a wide variety of products on the World Wide Web. He graduated from Princeton University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and computer science. After graduating he worked at several […]

    Continue reading Jeff Bezos the founder amazon.com Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • Jonathan 8:03 pm on September 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      It’s amazing to see how Amazon is growing in all different ways. It has essentially become synonymous with online shopping. I couldn’t agree with you more on the idea that it is an e-learning company. If it isn’t then it certainly is a distributor of material. I can’t count the amount of times that I have gone back to Amazon to purchase texts, at least towards the last year in undergrad. The growth of the company truly has no limits. It has gone from selling books to literally everything.

      I recall being down in US and having the option to purchase and have same day delivery? Wow! Very powerful company and you can bet they are chomping at the bit to get into the digital textbooks.

    • teacherben 8:56 pm on September 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Not specifically about educational technology, but interesting from a business point of view, I read an article a couple months ago about how the US govt.., under pressure from various brick-and-mortar retailers, was forcing Amazon to charge sales tax. The article warned that this might ultimately work against them. Until now, Amazon only charged sales tax in places where they had a physical presence (distribution centers and so on.) They limited the number of these that were out there so they could minimize the number of places where they had to charge taxes. Now that they have to pay taxes all over the place, they are likely to start building up a physical presence in a lot more place, now allowing them to expand their services in a big way, such as offering same-day service. So, in trying to level the playing field, Barnes and Noble and some of the others unleashed a beast. A couple months later, this does indeed seem to be the case. They are building all over the US.

    • jkotler 1:57 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I found your biography on the founder of Amazon.com to be quite interesting because I am quite familiar with the company (and buy many books through it on my kindle) but honestly never knew about its CEO and their beginnings. As well, I too find it inspiring when I learn about a company that is able to adapt so well to the changing market, which especially now changes quite rapidly.

      • Pat A Son 7:07 am on September 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        If amazon was a creature Darwin would be proud of it 😉

    • pcollins 8:02 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Gosh, only one person behind amazon – that’s amazing. I honestly thought that it must have been a group design. And it’s interesting to envision it as a e-learning venture. I do a lot of “quik-search” to learn about authors/get reviews/find related topic books. Not that I would probably ever include an amazon cite in my references, but for daily life and general knowledge there is a lot to be found.


    • kstackhouse 9:14 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I think Amazon has become a great resource for students and educators. I have bought several books for MET courses through Amazon, one book was $20 less than at the UBC bookstore…which charges $25 to ship within Canada. I got my book shipped for free…

      I also use Amazon to order books for our school. We can buy them much cheaper this way and the shipping and payment is always a breeze. As you say, they are becoming the everything store. I have also purchased cameras, external hard-drives, and other materials for classroom use.

      Students (and most users) are using the reviews feature as a great way to help them select books. This has been great when a student asks me about a book down in the library or one of the extra ones on my shelf. I direct them to the reviews on Amazon and other sites to help them decide if this is a book they might want to select.

      • Pat A Son 7:03 am on September 29, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I got my credit card in order to purchase books on amazon, books that were not available locally. Now my students take it one step further they are purchasing previous versions of text at minimal cost in order to save. This is something I never do but it is an option they exploit, And yes I use the review all the time. All in all I amazon to be a gem for students and educators alike.

    • Jonathan 9:24 pm on September 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Ken — Great point about the user reviews. I forgot about that feature. Those reviews are immensely popular and useful when it comes to online buying. Amazon definitely setup their venture properly in allowing for the user feedback to come through on all of their products.

  • 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.

  • Doug Connery 9:21 pm on September 25, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , databases,   

    Paula Young is the founder and President of Governet.   Paula founded Nevada Contractors Registry, the predecessor company to Governet in 1986. Her original idea was to pioneer the concept of distributing aggregated databases from many local and state government agencies through a single point of access on a network.  The success of this idea […]

    Continue reading Paula Young, Founder and President of Governet Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • kstackhouse 9:24 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      This is an interesting concept. I have participated in the writing of two course curricula over the past two years. I just completed piloting one last spring and presented in the summer to new teachers. As I was an active participant I am not sure if the upper-ups were using anything like this to coordinate and manage the work being done by those of us that were working on the courses. It seems that this would be of benefit…what are the costs?

    • Doug Connery 8:39 pm on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ken:

      I am not sure of the costs, it is managed at the institutional level. We have been using it for 5 years. The service was acquired to replace to two outdated in-house systems: one to manage curriculum changes and one to house course outlines. We now have a reliable archive of old course outlines and we can track exactly what changes have been made by who and over the years that follow our curriculum change processes and procedures.


    • kstackhouse 7:16 pm on September 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Very interesting. Thanks for responding. I wonder if this would be a benefit for the projects I was working on. Who knows maybe the coordinators were using something like this and we weren’t aware of it? I am curious to find out now.


  • tomwhyte1 7:45 pm on September 25, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , , Khan Academy   

    http://www.khanacademy.org 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 http://www.khanacademy.org 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.

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