Eva's Café

Start Up Considerations

For those of us who are interested in moving forward with a start up after this course, please consider the following article from the BBC:


This article interviews three venture capitalists as to what qualities a new venture should have to get their attention. A must read. An interesting point they raise is that they do not accept ‘cold calls’. To get their attention, you must first get to know someone they already know. They never fund projects ‘off the street’. Knowing the right people is as important as it has always has been.

Best Wishes


Question and Answer

Weekly A2 Forecasts have dissappeared out of the nav menu/category

All of the the weekly A2 forecasts have disappeared out of their category archive. I logged in to check in on the Week 10 forecast discussion and couldn’t find it any longer! It looks like clicking on anything under the “Forums” category brings up a list of website suggestions being ranked rather than bringing up the requested stream. For anyone normally going to the “Forums > W05/12 Opportunity Forecasts (A2)” as a part of their routine to find the weekly launchpads,  W10 Launchpad, it is located here. Where/how should we be looking for the weekly OER presentations and activities now?



Eva's Café

Blog Post on Vendors’ focus

I came across this blogpost summarizing ISTE 2014. If anything the ISTE conference is as much about teachers coming together to learn and share as it is vendor’s hawking their wares. This blogpost focuses on a pet peeve of mine and that is the never wavering focus on technology, the latest gadget, rather than teaching and learning supported or enhanced by the technology. It is something to keep in mind as we pitch our projects.


“Walking through the Expo Hall at ISTE is — in many ways — a frightening experience.  You are surrounded by hundreds of companies peddling their products, working to convince you that their features would revolutionize education.  What frustrated me was that 90% of the crap on display did nothing to give kids the chance to learn about, participate in, or improve the world around them.”tweet

Eva's Café


Leah recently posted about coworking spaces and we ended up in a discussion about the different forms of spaces available some of which are accelerators that have specific focuses. One of the global spaces I know of from living in Bogotá is called ImpactHub. Turns out the Seattle Impact Hub was involved with Google on something called ImpactOnAir where people can share their pitches for their ventures. Recently they did one about educational ventures, so I wanted to pass along the Youtube link to the Google Hangout they did.

Eva's Café

Smartphone Apps Infographic

Hi Everyone,

Found this really interesting infographic on Smartphone Apps and their integration into education.  Thought this was especially relevant since we are now moving into using IPads into the classroom, mobile apps for Game based learning and numerous other apps that can be used with an educational spin or relevance.  With the growing number of uses of Apps we are moving towards helping our students use Apps for educational purposes.

It is interesting to note that only in 2012, within the U.S. more than 25 million apps were downloaded so within the time frame of two additional years the growth in that number would be exponential.  There is also a growing number of students who use apps to study and learn curriculum material via their smartphones.  This also lends to the idea of medical schools now using apps within their curriculum and related to cloud based learning that group 9 addressed with their project in relation to medical relevancy.

Provided by onlinecolleges.net Infographic on use of smartphone apps

Eva's Café

Co-Lab and Interesting Collaborative Venture

An interesting business venture which I wanted to share with everyone. Co-Lab is a new business venture in the Philippines. As a new entrepreneur if you have a new big idea but need a collaborative business space to work in Co-Lab offers that capability. I think this is especially important and great for anyone starting a new business if they need the start-up or don’t have the investment pull yet to have all the needed supplies and office space. The space can be used either part-time or full-time.

This is their definition of Co-Lab on their website: “Co.lab offers a coworking space created to spark collaborative fusion among like-minded individuals. The word co.lab can be short for collaborate or co-laboratory, where ideas synergize and ideas are set on fire. Co.lab has no cubicles but instead a variety of different areas which offer coworkers the freedom to work from a desk or a sofa, a communal table, or a lounge chair—whatever is more conducive for their productivity. Coworkers can come in from 9AM-6PM, Monday-Friday with whatever materials they need to get their work done such as laptops, cameras, and pens. They must select the package of their choice and make their payment, then begin co-working.”

Thought I would share this venture with everyone. If your pitch comes to fruition, another similar company within your area could be created as a collaborative working space area.


Cooperative Learning venture space

Eva's Café

Canadian Start-ups

If you are still considering a company to focus on for your A3 assignment I just finished my MaRS monthly meeting with a few suggestions.  The following are startups with MaRS that you might want to learn more about or use for your pitch assignment.

Raise Your Flag – https://raiseyourflag.com/?skip_landing – Just saw their pitch – great job, I’d invest 🙂

Ooka Island – http://ookaisland.com/category/ookawave/

Clapfoot – http://www.clapfootgames.com/

LEO Fitness Intelligence – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/leo-fitness-intelligence

MUSE – brain sensing headband – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/muse-the-brain-sensing-headband 

Synergyse – Google product training – http://www.synergyse.com/

Eva's Café

Is Silicon Valley Funding the Wrong Stuff?

During my research, I stumbled upon an interesting article where Christopher Mims presented his interesting view on Silicon Valley VC funding startupspublished in The Wall Street Journal on July 6, 2014.

What has been funded lately in Silicon Valley?

  • Social networks that allow you to send only the message “Yo” to your contacts.
  • Food-delivery services valued at $400 million.
  • Startups that deliver rolls of quarters to your home (just $27 for $20 in change!).

It isn’t hard, looking at a lineup like this, to conclude that Silicon Valley has jumped the shark. The entire Bay Area appears to have given up on solving anything but its own problems: those afflicting the same 20-somethings who are building these startups.

That’s a pretty cynical take on what’s going on in technology.

And what about Google and Facebook buying everything in sight for billions?

But, to my surprise, the partners of one Silicon Valley venture-capital firm made the very same case to me: That their kind had lost its way—and, in the world of startups, money wasn’t flowing where it should anymore.

Read more here: http://online.wsj.com/articles/is-silicon-valley-investing-in-the-wrong-stuff-1404688048

Regards, Milorad.

Question and Answer

Q & A: VideoScribe Emerg

I know there are a lot of people in this course with diverse experience using video tools online – so I wanted to pick your brain. I have a video due for another course, and used videoscribe (7 day trial, and i have two days left) — for my initial video, it allowed me to upload it to Youtube. The second video, I wanted to upload to Youtube today and the option was gone…

I am trying to figure out another way to give my professor access… I uploaded it to the Scribes online account, but it still does not allow anyone to view it…
This is new territory for me, so I was hoping someone would know more.

Any info would be great ASAP! thanks,

Question and Answer


Hi David(s),

Is there any way that I can create a subpage for our week. I can’t seem to do it with the permissions I have.

I’d like to keep everything in one place so people are clear where they post and how.




W5/12 Opportunity Forcasts (A2)

Week 12 – Wearables

Eva's Café

Crowdsource Funding: Considerations

Here is a link to an interesting article regarding issues and limitations in regards to crowdsource funding.


I think we all hear stories (like this one about Potato Salad) and imagine that raising capital through these tools is simple and a solution to all of our problems in funding new ideas. However, the Forbes article is an interesting reality check as it tends to illustrate some of the legal limitation (at least in the US) regarding what can be done with such venture finance.

Best Wishes


522 Feedback, Question and Answer

Website suggestion – 522 anatomy helpful?

As a website feedback suggestion (tagged in the 522 feedback category) I’m wondering if an “anatomy of 522” image might be helpful? I know this is explained with text and images in the intro, but maybe a simple anatomy is more clear?

The biggest learn curve and complication is that “posts” refer to something different in the WP environment (they create separate artifact/post pages), whereas “comments” and “reviews” add  commentary to an existing “post.”  It can be  confusing when we need to submit a post versus a review. In this case, students may refer to the “how to use this blog page”  and see only instructions on how to create a new ‘post’ when what they need to do is submit a review on the bottom of an article/post.

Maybe in the next evolution there is an explanation of reviews on the “how to use this blog” page, and/or more elaboration in weekly tasks to submit reviews using the reviews feature (located at the bottom of a post)?

Anatomy of 522

Eva's Café

Do Cryptocurrencies Increase Access to Education?


I have been further investigating a closed resource from W08’s OER called Treehouse because I am considering buying their product. I noticed that the company proudly accepts Bitcoin, touting its crucial role in increasing access to education. Moreover, dozens of educational institutions are now accepting Bitcoin claiming that it lowers the cost of education! Consider the following statements from ventures and institutions accepting Bitcoin:

“As one of the fastest growing payment methods, Bitcoin will give more people across the world the opportunity to learn with Treehouse. Our mission is to bring affordable Technology education to people everywhere, in order to help them achieve their dreams and change the world, and we believe that Bitcoin can help us accomplish that.” – Treehouse

“The King’s College seeks to transform society by preparing students for careers in which they help to shape and eventually to lead strategic public and private institutions. Allowing Bitcoin to be used to pay for a King’s education decreases our costs while simultaneously allowing our students to be a part of this exciting new technology.” – The King’s College, NYC, US

“Digital currency will create more efficient services and will serve as a mechanism for spreading financial services to under-banked regions of the world. In this light, we consider it appropriate that we implement digital currency as a method of payment across all our institutions in all cities and countries of our operations.” – University of Nicosia, Cyprus

Treehouse reports that learners’ most often pay with credit card, which usual cost 2-3% per transaction. Furthermore, international students need not bother with fluctuating currency exchange rates. Everyone also enjoys Bitcoin’s minimal transaction fees. Although Bitcoin currently has a high buy-in, the popularity of other cryptocurrencies is also rising.

Here are three questions to consider about the developing future role of cryptocurrencies in the marketplace of education:

1.Is it inevitable that ventures in education technology will accept cryptocurrency as a standard method of payment?
2.Are cryptocurrencies a reliable source of funds for small start-ups like Treehouse?
3.Most importantly, are ventures and institutions accepting cryptocurrency truly empowering learners?



Get Your Education On: Treehouse Now Accepts Bitcoin For Coding Courses

Tech Education Startup Treehouse Looks to Bitcoin Payments for International Advantage

Eva's Café

Northern Ontario: My Local

I am not sure about you, but I know for myself it has been interesting watching my friends being their own ventures and forays into business…. and in Northern Ontario that is a big challenge (isolation, low populations, and sometimes a little bit slower to adopt new tech). I wanted to share with you, in case any of you are from the area, some of the new ventures that I have been connected with that involve media, the community and education on some level that have been formed at a grassroots level by local artists and entrepreneurs.

Near North Mobile Media Lab – I have utilized the N2M2L to take workshops and private lessons in using Final Cut Pro, incorporating video and digital images into projects. They have a mobile trailer that has been customized to include a media lab, they drive around to Northern communities and do workshops to teach people how to use these tools.


Thinking Rock Community Arts – this project was initiated by a dear friend of mine in the Algoma Region (Sault Ste. Marie) and has really taken off in the last year. Through art projects this organization seeks to build community and foster positive change (ie. various youth programs etc).


These initiatives are so interesting because they use media to build like-minded communities, to share information with other communities, create networks and links between communities and overall improve accessibility to information, technology and positive change. I just thought these ventures might spark something in you to look a bit closer at your own community, or greater community because usually there are some hidden gems there!

Question and Answer

W07: Review

Hi Team W07,
First, I was struck by the look and feel of your site. It is clean, polished and easy to navigate. I have an interest in coding, having tried my hand at several tools, so I really enjoyed the variety of activities. Activity 3 that takes a look at the opportunity horizons of various applications is very useful. I appreciate the wide selection of applications and know that I will be revisiting your site to explore further. Thanks for putting the OER together and for taking the time to respond to each comment posted. Great job!

Question and Answer

Review: Week 7

Week 7 — I loved your website, I loved the layout and the detail to provider the user (me) with instructions to navigate. I really enjoyed the diverse information, hyperlinking, incorporation of images and elaborate discussion. I applaud your group for the flow and cohesion that the site and information had, because I like many of our classmates understand how challenging it can be to get that cohesion when working with others at such a distance. I feel like I got a lot of your site, for me code is a whole different world, it is intimidating and I often am deterred to explore further, but your site was very welcoming.

Great job!

Question and Answer

Creative Commons Image Attribution :)

In the spirit of our last Week 07 “Share” Activity, I recently found this link on the Creative Commons Wiki about how to attribute Creative Commons images, and thought I’d link it here. We used a variant of it on our site. There’s really no hard and fast rule other than “be reasonable.”


Ps. It’s also worth a visit because the Creative Commons cupcakes on this page look rather yummy! ; )

Eva's Café

Interesting Article: Ed Tech Investment Bubble

I came across an interesting article in Fortune from February that argues that there is a bubble in terms of educational technoloyg investments. The article states that:

Schools are slow to adopt new technology because they have to be: Their procurement processes are inflexible and complicated, involving contracts, RFPs, lawyers, review cycles, approvals, and compliances. This makes it difficult for small startups to sell their products into schools. The procurement cycle alone lasts long enough for a startup to run out of money.

The article also links to another article that discusses the challenges of finding who the audience is for your product. As we have discussed in the course, the user is often not the same person who makes the purchasing decisions. Anyhow, it is good to see that these topics are being explored in a wider discourse.

What articles and issues related to the venture side of educational technology have others come across?

Question and Answer

example of time-released post

I thought it might be helpful to let future groups know it’s possible to pre-schedule a draft post for release at a certain date/time. This can be very helpful for activities and links between OER and the 522 blog. For example, I can set a post for 10PM the next day. I am then able to use the draft post’s permalink (see below) to link between resources. As long as you don’t change the date, the permalink won’t change, and you can then use it to link back and forth. Also it’s important to note that while the post is still unpublished, it won’t “show up” (the URL won’t work) until published. Also best to double-check them after launch to be sure they are functioning correctly!




Eva's Café

Cisco Canada invests $150M in new tech start-up initiative


Cisco Systems Canada Co. together with federal finance minister Joe Oliver, today announced a strategy that will see the company invest $150 million to “support and accelerate innovation in Canada.”

Cisco says it plans to invest across a mix of technologies, businesses, and investment stages over the next 10 years, and will actively engage with investment partners and start-ups to mentor and develop new leaders and innovators.

Nitin Kawale, president of Cisco Canada, said the country produces some of the top engineering and management talent in the world and is home to dynamic industries that are ripe for business transformation.

The Cisco Canada Innovation Program will focus on three key areas:

* Direct Technology Sector Investment, which will investigate opportunities in areas such as cloud infrastructure, digital media, big data/analytics/information management, intelligent infrastructure and mobility.

* Venture Capital

* Working with Incubators

“Innovation and investment are the key drivers of the Canadian economy, leading to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Oliver.

Source: http://www.connectionsplus.ca/cabling/cisco-invests-150-million-new-tech-start-initiative/1002855238/?utm_source=CS&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CS-EN06202014&e=x8yvs03Mk8ozvo82Wwvstp4rqM20

It is nice to hear so good news about the big players supporting Canadian tech start-ups.



Question and Answer

Weekly discussions fix?

I’m currently not able to navigate to the Week 06 discussion posts because these are not available in the menu (they haven’t been added to the discussion menu yet).

The categories exist so I can categorize my post, but I can’t access the stream to read others posts and comments. They are floating off in nowhere land.  :


I know how to add these to the nav menu so they can be found more easily, but in order to do it I would need temporary extra-super-human (administrator) powers. This would only take a minute, and I’d be happy to do it for each week if I may be permitted to do so? I can also help someone else fix it. : ) Pretty please can we fix this?


Hehehehe, cheers,


Question and Answer

Posting a review for Week 5 group


I just want to clarify where/how I should post the review for each week (of the 4 weeks we have to review).  Is it best to do it as a new post or as a comment on the initial activity post by the group?  (hope this makes sense)  I wanted to post a review for the Cloud Based App group but want to make sure I do it to the correct place so they can see it.

Thank you!

Eva's Café, Question and Answer

Article: Creation of Useful Value Propositions

The article below is geared towards e-commerce specifically and perhaps doesn’t really fit our application needs, however I still found it useful (particularly in differentiating what a value proposition is and isn’t). While I might structure my value propositions much differently in the upcoming A3, there were perhaps some good points in terms of presentation with regard to clarity, brevity,  jargon/hype etc.?

Perhaps David & David might have some helpful tips to add on to this?



It occurred to me that there aren’t many resources here to help us understand the different facets of the assignments. Rather than each of us doing individual research that doesn’t enrich the community, how about we resource pool here?

Maybe we could have a new forum for sharing/pooling resources (+discussion) to help us better understand and complete the assignments? There’s a lot of conflicting “advice” on the internet regarding what makes a “good” or “bad” pitch/venture/value proposition; perhaps vetting, discussing and rating these as a group might be enlightening?

Eva's Café

Article: Building Compelling Value Proposition

I just stumbled upon an interesting article on Forbes.com about building a compelling value proposition. It has a chart about how to best position value propositions in relation to being blatant vs latent or aspirational vs critical. I thought it might be a useful consideration for our upcoming A3 Venture pitch assignment.



Eva's Café

Summer PD with MOOCs to consider


Even though, we are quite familiar with MOOCs, you may check out The New York Times video below, which explains the ins and outs of this interesting educational concept.


Upcoming MOOCs to Consider

Below are links to some MOOCs from the most popular MOOCs providers:

  • Coursera (7): This portal, which was started by two former Stanford University professors, might have the most promise for educators. Most courses are free to participate in. Check out the Teachers’ Professional Development (8) and Education (9) collections for the best teacher-specific courses.
  • Udemy Courses for Educators (10): Udemy courses are designed and taught by experts in their respective fields. Currently, Udemy’s education section has some fun and useful courses for educators, many of which are free, including “Google Earth for Educators” and “Apps in the Classroom.” (Both are free.)
  • Udacity (11), another excellent source for expert-taught courses.
  • edX MOOCs (12): A joint project of Harvard and MIT, edX offers courses from a number of top universities, including UC Berkeley and University of Texas. In addition to education-specific courses (13), edX features tons of interesting math, science and IT courses as well, along with many other topics.
  • Class Central (14): Launched in 2011, Class Central is a MOOC aggregator, and it’s the perfect search engine for finding the online course that’s right for you.
  • Canvas Network (15) and NovoED (16) from Stanford University are also worth considering.

Read more here: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/summer-pd-moocs-matt-davis



Eva's Café

Wi-Fi leading charge for smartglasses

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, wireless technologies will play a pivotal role in the emerging wearable devices market. In 2015 Smartglass shipments will see Wi-Fi penetration of 79%. Devices from major brands such as Google and Samsung will be key to driving wearables growth for the next five years.

Matt Wilkins, director at Strategy Analytics, said, “for the Smartglasses user, Wi-Fi is a key enabler, allowing the user to upload HD video (recorded on the device) to video sharing services. As a result we forecast global Wi-Fi-enabled smartglasses penetration of 79% in 2015, at 4 million units up from 1.2 million in 2014. While Google is a driving force in Smartglasses today, we have to think Samsung and Apple are also eyeing the segment and will be potential long-term rivals.”

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, added, “wireless technology is enabling owners of wearable devices, such as Smartglasses, to both share created content as well as consume content.”

Read more at www.strategyanalytics.com.



Question and Answer

Where do we post?


Just wondering where we should post related to this week’s suggestion.

  “The web has so many examples that you should look for yourself – and if you find something of special interest please share it in the blog: we appreciate participation and collaborative knowledge construction in this course.” The MaRS Discovery District has resources I’d like to share.


Question and Answer

A1 Extension please for early groups?

Hi David V. and David P.

This might be a silly question, but would it be possible for groups presenting their A2 and A1 practically at the same time to have a one week extension on A1?

With both being 25% of our grade each, it perhaps puts a bit of an unfair crunch on the groups that go first. It’s just a thought and I might be completely out-to-lunch on this, but I’ve never had two assignments of equal weight due almost on top of each other in the same class. These assignments are a major learning curve…particularly for those enrolled in more than one class.

Thanks in advance for your help on this.