Eva's Café

Eva’s Cafe: Innovative Value Propositions, Clashes & Fun exercises?

I had a unorthodox thought about “unique” value propositions I thought I’d share:

In my undergrad before pitching/critiquing new ideas for product design, we were taught an exercise to sum up the uniqueness or edge of existing designs in one or two sentences. We had to do so while imagining that we were pitching it to a stranger who knew nothing about the product. What is the promise/essence it has over something else?  Sometimes, we’d go around in a circle as a group helping each other to refine the idea or definition until it was keen and sharp, then moved on to our own ideas. This helped distill these to see if they were really unique.

Oddly, the most innovative or disruptive ideas often “clashed” with the way two concepts are integrated or with how something is or used to be done. We were told to look for and create clashes because they catch attention, go against the grain, and generate interest/curiosity (particularly amongst those who long for change). This is not always a successful strategy, but in an entrepreneurial sense a really fun and creative angle to play with. Sometimes the clashes created by mixing/splicing contentious issues make powerful solutions?

I see Anne’s post about Edmodo as a great example of this: splicing social media with learning. After all, “social media is a distraction for students isn’t it? It’s entertainment which goes against “serious” education efforts doesn’t it? Well now, it’s all in how you apply technology isn’t it? Maybe social media can be used for good, let’s build something on that!” ; )

Clashes: serious vs social/ education vs entertainment/

Chris’s example of Codeacademy also illustrates this type of clash. “Coding is for adult/professionals and computer science majors isn’t it? Wait, what? It can be made accessible to everyone? Let’s build that!” (Incidentally, this is also how I see littleBits).

Clashes: open vs closed/ free vs paid/ expert vs novice/ elite vs commonplace/ training vs DIY


Anyway, I thought it might be fun to start a “clash-radio” conversation here. If anyone has any cool examples please post them! Rock on! lol : )

Eva's Café

Canada 2020′s new policy paper

Canada’s performance in higher education and skills development has been fairly strong for many years. On key measures we are at or near the top of international rankings and our highly skilled people contribute to economic competitiveness, social innovation, and political and community well-being.

But there are troubling indications that Canada’s skills and education performance is deteriorating, that not enough is being done to address a range of economic and social problems, and that opportunities and benefits have been poorly distributed across regions and groups. In short, there are signs that we are not doing enough to achieve the high levels of skills excellence and equity we need. Action is needed to sustain and enhance the performance of higher education and skills development in Canada.

In this paper, Dan Munro explores two central needs to Canada’s skills problem: excellence, and equity.

Excellence means asking the question: is Canada producing graduates with the right skills to sustain and enhance the country’s economic competitiveness and social well-being?

And Equity means asking: Are some regions and groups being left behind?

Download the first paper in Canada 2020′s new policy paper series below:



Eva's Café


I saw this pitch and thought I’d put it in the pool.


Company: Singspiel

Team: Arian Rahbari, Ivan Cheung

Industry: Education technology, music, learning software

Founded: 2012

Elevator pitch: Singspiel is music education software that makes regular music practice more effective by leveraging mobile technology to provide coherent feedback to students.

Vision: Organize the world’s forthcoming products to make them more accessible while quantifying the world’s level of anticipation for them.


Singspiel Website

Company Overview – Finances, Team


Eva's Café

Week 4 article links

Hi there,

While trying to access Week 4 readings, I ran into some snags. Thought I’d share a more direct way of accessing the UBC library journal articles here. You’d be prompted to authenticate using your UBC login.


Ghemawat, P. (2007). Managing differences: The central challenge of global strategy. Harvard Business Review, 85(3), 58-68. 

>> UBC Library Link

You will see a message that says “limited access”: Screen Shot 1

To get to the PDF full text, click on Find Similar Results on the left:Screen Shot 2

Elberse, A. (2008). Should you invest in the long tail? Harvard Business Review, 86(7/8), 88-96. 

>> UBC Library Link

De Coster, R & Butler, C. (2005). Assessment of proposals for new technology ventures in the UK: Characteristics of university spin-off companies. Technovation 25(5), 535-543. 

>> UBC Library Link

Question and Answer

How to disable comments when needed

Just in case anyone’s looking, here’s how you disable comments in new weekly artifact posts, so reviews end up the right location:

Edit Post > (read it to make sure it’s yours first)

You have to be able to “see” the settings for “discussion” first before you can change them, so turn this on in your “Screen Options” tab at the top of the screen:


Now that you’ve turned on the options for “discussion,” scroll down and look below your post for the “discussion” box

un-check the “allow comments” field > click the “update” button your post.


Notice there’s only a “reviews” box at the bottom of this page? (This is where reviews can be recommended)

Question and Answer

Does anyone know how to edit a review?

Hi Everyone,

I don’t normally consider myself technologically deficient, but I can’t for the life of me find the edit button after I’ve posted. The issue stems from an earlier error I made when posting a review of LittleBits. Midway through the review, I accidentally hit the ‘enter’ key, thinking I would start a new paragraph, but instead I submitted my post.

As you can see, I now have two posts, which were just meant to be one. Is there a way I can go back an edit it? It’s not the end of the world if I can’t, but I just wanted to know for future reference.

Thanks in advance,

– Yik Wah

Eva's Café

Google Classroom – Free LMS as Part of Apps for Education

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a new tool coming to Google Apps for Education. Classroom weaves together Google Docs, Drive and Gmail to help teachers create and organize assignments quickly, provide feedback efficiently, and communicate with their classes with ease. And it lets students organize their work, complete and turn it in, and communicate directly with their teachers and peers.

Classroom helps teachers create and collect assignments paperlessly. When teachers create assignments, they can choose to share a single document, or automatically make a copy for each student. They can quickly see who has or hasn’t completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback.

Classroom automatically creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student. Students can easily see what’s due on their Assignments page, so they can stay on top of their work.

Classroom also lets teachers make announcements and pose questions—improving communication inside and outside of class.

Classroom was designed hand-in-hand with teachers to help them save time, keep classes organized, and improve communication with students.

Here are some of the most important benefits:

Easy to set up

Teachers can add students directly or share a code with their class to join. It takes just minutes to set up.

Saves time

The simple, paperless assignment workflow allows teachers to create, review, and grade assignments quickly, all in one place.

Improves organization

Students can see all of their assignments on an assignments page, and all class materials are automatically filed into folders in Google Drive.

Enhances communication

Classroom allows teachers to send announcements and questions instantly. Since students can post to the stream, they can help out their classmates.

Affordable and secure

Like the rest of our Google Apps for Education services, Classroom contains no ads, never uses your content or student data for advertising purposes, and is free for schools.

Teachers and professors can apply for a preview of Classroom. Based on the requests Google receives, a limited number of educators will be invited to try it.

Google is also inviting other ed tech companies to inquire about integrating their tools with Google Classroom. Google is aiming to make sure it works alongside all existing tools that teachers use.

By September, Google Classroom will be available to any school using Google Apps for Education.

Read more here: http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/05/06/google-developing-free-lms-as-part-of-apps-for-education.aspx

Question and Answer

Would anyone be opposed to me adding a tagcloud to the wordpress menu?

Hello Everyone,

I have had a lot of experience building wordpress sites like this one. Would anyone be opposed to me adding a tag cloud as an additional page. This would allow us to create an easy way for us to review the course content based on tags, since both comments and posts can be tagged. The user can choose where he/she thinks its better to post. However, everyone and the instructors are able to see it in one location. This could also help us build the venture lexicon when posting information that could be useful as resources later on. This also solves the confusion around where to post.

I could easily add the tags as they are in the categories. And people could feel free to add there topics as well ie: social media, 3d printing etc…

Let me know your thoughts,


Question and Answer

Reviews Clarification

Hi David V & David P.

Can you please clarify if our pitch reviews are supposed to appear on each individual pitch page like the following:

(so that the thumbs up feature can be used to return for the second part of activities?)

There’s a mixture of pitch reviews being done this way, and many being done as separate posts (understandably some new pitch posts contain reviews). Clarification would be extremely helpful, as students who have previously taken ETEC 565M are accustomed to rating right on the item, but others are not).

I can/will happily contribute to fixing these by copying the posts and recreating them as pulses, assigned to the correct author (with your permission if this is the case).


Also it would be helpful for those posting new artifacts for rating, to know that they should turn commenting (not pulse rating) off on the back end before publishing, so users don’t see two input boxes and post to the wrong one.


If this is forgotten, we see two inputs like in the image below:

We should be using the bottom (pulse) input, not the comments input? I’d happily volunteer to fix posts to turn off comments if this gets forgotten.


Question and Answer

Okay to post a pitch that’s gotten mixed reviews?

Hi David V. and David P.,

I’m wondering if its okay to post in the “pitch pool” this week, a televised pitch, something that has gotten a mixed VC pitch review? I tried to find a clip of a video that I could shorten to chop off the pitch review portion but can’t find it in a format that I’m able to shorten/crop. On the other hand, it received quite mixed VC reviews which were not entirely based on educational merit, and thought it might prompt interesting analysis?

Please let me know if the video is appropriate given that I can’t chop the reviews at the end. The video is located here:



Bobbi : )

Eva's Café

Silicon Valley – HBO


In keeping with the spirit of the course there’s a new show on HBO called Silicon Valley. A bit rude (as only HBO can be) but very funny. The show is all about a tech start-up who seem to pivot a lot.  The scene in this week’s episode where various companies pitch their product is pretty funny.

Anyway here’s the episode guide and PiedPiper the guys website. Who knows you might find something there for your pitch 🙂

“But it is safe to say, we intend to deploy an integrated, multi-platform functionality of all conceivable applications of the algorithm, that we hope will make the world a better place through compression services across diversified market segments.”

Question and Answer

Opportunity Horizon- as comments or as a discussion?

Hello Everyone,

I have a couple questions.

1. I am wondering whether or not we are suppose to post the Opportunity Horizon as a post or as a comment.

2. Is there a way to format the comments/ or can we add a feature?. I want to be able to comment in a way that it is easy to read for everyone. With the amount of material we all read, I want to make it an enjoyable experience.


Eva's Café

Emerging Mobile Technologies drive learning and overall growth


Wireless and emerging mobile technologies are one of the most dynamic and fast-growing industries on the planet, and as a result they help us communicate, entertain, do business and banking, educate ourselves, and a whole host of other things on the move. Mobile technologies are rapidly making ways into Canadians’ lives and simplifying our mode of communications, thereby enhancing productivity in the overall economy. The widespread usage of mobile technologies in Canadian society, resulted in 26 million Canadians – out of a total of 35 million – own a mobile phone today. The stats on smartphone penetration and data growth, and the rapid spread of mobile broadband networks, are gradually bringing the promise of the Internet of Things. Mobile is omnipresent and rapidly influence nearly every sector in technology: cloud, big data, enterprise software, digital media, advertising, commerce, and payments. Mobile is a complex ecosystem, consisting of unique value chains, technologies, economics, and business models, that needs certain standardization for better and faster applicability in almost all sectors of human learning, entertainment, social and business activity. That is a huge potential for providing various mobile business services and related opportunities, resulting in use for all kinds of formal/informal learning needs, driving unprecedented growth and ICT development in all sectors including digital media, eHealth, wireless technology and financial services, with strong emphasis on developing and empowering pure mobile sectors such as; cloud computing, mobile apps economy, Near Field Communication technology (NFC), Augmented Reality (AR), wearables, etc.

That unprecedented potential of mobile technologies for learning should be furthermore explored and ventured in our learning technologies quest.


Milorad Zivkovic

Question and Answer

Twitter info

Hello instructors!

I am asking a redundant thing here and sorry for that. I know I stumbled upon a twitter account (one of yours) somewhere in the course, but I can’t locate it again. I re-connected to my twitter and wanted to do follow you. Would you be kind to send me the contact info once again? Thanks. 🙂


Eva's Café

Augmented Reality

Although many people have voted already I wanted to include Augmented Reality. This category encompasses Google Glass and also wearable technology. The idea of layering digital information over your visual environment has huge potential in education. Whether used to provide support or enhancement by layering links, video and resources on top of (inside?) posters, papers and books; creating interactive learning spaces inside and outside of the classroom or supporting a variety of student learning needs including those with autism, I think AR has the potential to help expand the walls of the school and definitely make our text heavy environments more accessible to today’s learner

AR differs from Virtual Reality (computer generated simulation that allows the used to interact with the 3-D artificial environment in seemingly real or physical ways) and QR Codes (which provide access to online resources but doesn’t layer over the users environment).

An interesting and exciting twist on AR is augmenting your video reality. TouchCast is an exciting technology that lets the user add  interactive video apps (v’apps) into their videos thus expanding and personalizing the learning experience for the learner.

To learn more hopefully you can see this UBC site a group of colleagues and I created – https://blogs.ubc.ca/augmentedreality/


Layar App

Aurasma App

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyLK8N4ovdg[/youtube] [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frrZbq2LpwI[/youtube]

Emerging Markets Poll – Thank You!

I just wanted to take a moment to appreciate your participation in the Emerging Markets Poll.

I know it felt quick & you didn’t have enough time to think about or explore the ideas involved, but that’s exactly the point.  As instructors we could have unilaterally decided everything that you “should” know in this course.  As if we should pretend to know everything.  This flash response from you is a wonderful way for David & I to recalibrate our perceptions – we always are surprised by the results, and try to learn from them.  We continue to think that you may be misguided in some of your selections, but we’re humble enough to listen, and your ideas have precipitated a set of topics & teams that are excitingly original for us as well.

Knowledge isn’t a popularity contest, nor is it a privilege of experts.  Your input helped to shape a learning journey for all of us.



Authors, General, Non-Forum

Hello from Calgary


My name is Naomi.  I live in Calgary, AB and this is my 7th MET course.  I currently wear a number of hats including professional and workskills trainer, EAL (English as an Additional Language Instructor) to adult immigrants and IELTS examiner.  My real interest lies in adult education and workplace learning, and my dream is to someday have 1 job 🙂 working in this field.  I am very excited about the topics and projects we are going to cover in this course, especially assignment 3.  A recent Linkedin discussion focused on what skills people thought instructional designers lacked and the top two were project management and selling skills.  So this course has me feeling goosebumps!  Now it would be really interesting if we could bring in a Dragon (CBC show) and see if they would invest in our ventures:)  Anyway., I’m looking forward to working with all of you


Team Assignments – Emerging Markets Analysis

Team Assignments for Emerging Markets Analysis

By now you will have received your team assignment for the Emerging Market Analysis via email from your instructors.

Your instructors took a look at both the poll results and the posted comments about each identified market to help narrow down 8 topics for analysis.

The first 4 topics were clear winners and popular choices in the poll. We then had to choose 4 others that broadened the market space and included some newish topics that are very much emergent. A summary is outlined below.

Team 1 Social media in the classroom Week 5 September 30
Team 2 Apps Week 6 October 7
Team 3 Game-based learning Week 7 October 14
Team 4 Digital textbooks Week 8 October 21
Team 5 Makerspaces Week 9 October 28
Team 6 Learning analytics Week 10 November 4
Team 7 3D printing Week 11 November 11
Team 8 Connected learning Week 12 November 19

The expectations for Assignment 2 are outlined in the Startup section of the course.

If you need inspiration, you can also look back to previous iterations of ETEC 522 to see how other teams handled this assignment.


ETEC 522 – September 2011 – Archive


Of course, we’re expecting some fresh ideas from you in the 2013 iteration of the course.

Go for it.


Week 2 Kickoff

Welcome to week 2 of ETEC 522.

This week you’ll be immersing yourselves in the global marketplace for educational technologies and resources.

We’ve assembled a small library of recent research reports and market projections related to emerging technology markets (these were used to populate the poll we just completed).  You’ll explore who the customers are for educational technologies and what a venture entails.

You’ll select one (1) of the reports from the small library, review it in sufficient detail to post a concise critical analysis of it in the ETEC522 course blog, focusing on the following general criteria:

How, and how much, is it useful and valuable to the the broader community of educators, as well as learning technologies specialists and venturers?

Do you expect to seek out future versions of this report to help drive your own professional success, and also to recommend it to others in this regard?

To wrap up week 2 you’ll publish your short critique to the course blog and tag it using the Week 02: The EdTech Marketplace category so that others can find, read and respond. Beyond this posting, please review and provide constructive response where appropriate to the critical analyses posted by your classmates.

If you would prefer to offer a critical analysis of a similar report that is not on the ETEC522 list, please consult with one of your instructors.

Please note –> All critiques and responses should be posted by the end of week 2.  In order for your own critique to be responded to, it would be best to post it a few days ahead of the deadline if possible.



Week 1 Summary Thoughts

Happy Sunday All,

Thanks for all of your introductions – what an amazing group we’ve got assembled here!

There are 42 of us (including your instructors) on this journey.  A few thoughts on our first steps together, and the road ahead:

Conversations:   I’m pleased with how everyone is being convivial & concise in their postings and responses.  We also encourage everyone to experiment with images, video, infographics, etc, as a means to leap beyond text in our media environment.   Always aim for whatever is most appropriate to the message and to our learning together.

Week-to-Week Transitions: Each week of the course ends Sunday at midnight (Pacific), so that’s when you should be finished any contributions relating to the previous week, and can begin posting in relation to the next week.  Posting early or late will be considered asocial & could impact your participation grade.  The only exception to this is when materials specific to the next week’s activity are being posted by your instructors or any of the A2 teams:  Sundays from noon to midnight is an appropriate ‘move-in’ period to set up for the next week.

Assignments:   I (DavidV) will be marking A1 & A3 for everyone, meaning that David P will be marking A2 & A4.  Please direct your inquiries about these assignments to the appropriate one of us if you can.

A1:   By now you’ve probably begun thinking about your A1 topic.  Hopefully the Emerging Markets Poll activity helped you to scope out some ideas.  Don’t hesitate ask me if you are unsure.

A2:  Later today your instructors will break out the results of the Emerging Markets Poll & use these to determine the topics, teams and weeks for your A2 presentations.    If you don’t know your topic, team & week by tomorrow noon, please let DavidP know about it.

In the Flow:  Finally, if you have any questions or concerns about the course, how this WordPress platform works, or what is expected of you, don’t hesitate to ask.  You can email either of us, reply to these announcements, post in the Question & Answer category, or consult with your peers.

DavidP will be following shortly with an announcement concerning instructions for week 2.

All the best,


Authors, Non-Forum

Greetings from Beijing

Hey everyone,

I am currently enrolled in my fourth ETEC course and am really looking forward to this course. It is probably the area of the #edtech field that intrigues me the most. I have worked for a number of non-profit organizations back home and have become passionate about the benefits and rewards that social media can bring to any sort of campaign.

The past two years I was seconded by my district in southern New Brunswick to work as a technology mentor; teaching teachers and working with administrators and district office staff to find technology based solutions to different programs and systems. With the changes in education this past year, there are very few new projects on the go. This influenced me to take a bit of a year leave from work and teach at an International School in Beijing. My new role is teaching design technology to middle school students using the MYP Design Technology curriculum. Using the design cycle is an amazing way to introduce students to different programs and software and I am already finding a lot of value in my experience.

I very excited to get started in this course and am excited for the fall semester. I have attached a photo of myself and the local chef at the halal restaurant down my street.

Phil Sweezey


Please complete the poll

Good morning!

A few of you haven’t completed the Emerging Markets Poll yet.   It is your chance to shape the overall content of the course, and to drop yourself into a content focus you care about.

Remember vote positively for the 8 most opportunistic, negatively for the 8 least opportunistic, and provide a short personal perspective on the 3 most important to you.




Getting your RSS reader into play

Hello all.

One of the items we recommend when using the ETEC522 blog is to employ an RSS reader to keep track of posts and read them in an offline browser or RSS reader application that gives you ultimate flexibility. I previously posted in my welcome note some software tools to consider. I use Vienna for Mac and Feedly for my Google Nexus 7 Android tablet.

  • https://blogs.ubc.ca/etec522sept13/2013/09/01/howdy-davidp-here/

You can also find more details about using the ETEC 522 blog here:

  • https://blogs.ubc.ca/etec522sept13/stage1/how-to-use-this-course-weblog/

One detail that is not always easy to find is the secret recipe for subscribing to the RSS feed for posts and comments. Every RSS reader application will have a way for you to enter the details about the blog posts you’ll want to read in a more convenient fashion.

For our ETEC 522 blogs, the key details are:


Welcome to the course!

Hi everyone! Welcome to September!

You have two instructors named David – David Vogt & David Porter.   You can reach us whenever you wish at david DOT vogt AT ubc DOT ca and dporter AT bccampus DOT ca via email, or by using the message system in this weblog.

Rather than two concurrent sections of the course, we’ve combined everyone in order to get some crowdsourcing happening. We’re therefore a big group, which is why building a presence for yourself through good postings will be essential to your success. However, given the group size, be smart (and courteous!) – make all of your postings brief and valuable.

A few important points about this WordPress environment we’re going to share:

  • appropriate to the innovative spirit of ETEC522, we’re always trying something new. Please walk through “How To Use This Weblog” under the 1. Startup tab above to understand how this environment works.
  • it’s not an experiment if it doesn’t fail sometimes, so let us know when something isn’t working, or contact the MET support crew.
  • when you introduce yourself you don’t need to reveal your external email as we did above because we’re all connected via private email within this system. However, that’s one of the few things that are private. Please be aware at all times that your postings here are public – conduct yourselves accordingly. And if you do reveal your email, use a convention like I’ve done above.

Here’s your job list for this first week:

  1. Carefully review everything about this course and what is expected of you by making your way through all of the section under the Startup tab above. Let us know immediately if anything isn’t clear, or if you have questions.
  2. Complete Activity #1A – Introduce Yourself!
  3. Complete Activity #1B – Emerging Markets Poll
  4. Notify me (DavidV) by email if you have a special interest in any of the emerging market topics – if so I can try to assign you (no guarantees) to the appropriate team for Assignment #2.

Please enjoy the course – I’m really looking forward to your contributions!