Gartner’s 2013 Top Ten Strategic Technologies Report is for Money Men Not Real Teachers

After reading several of the reports I’m struck by how little they matter to people who actually teach students. They may be relevant to administrators, and other non-teaching staff who spend the money and make decisions about how to invest for an always unknown future but they offer little insight for classroom teachers on how to improve student learning today, tomorrow or even for this generation of students at all. In short reports such as the Gartner one are largely for people who have been out of classrooms a long time if they were ever in one and who know little about teaching, learning or the current generation of children but who do control the purse strings.

While on a personal level I found the report’s conclusions interesting I don’t believe they’re very accurate. For example I disagree with their supposition that IT departments will support more platforms. Rather I think IT departments will continue to play favorites and continue offering various levels of support for different hardware and operating systems. Platforms like Apple which are extremely standardized will receive better support because it’s easier to do so. Other platforms with more flexibility and complexity will receive less support. I do believe BYOD will continue to grow but I think its success is going to rely much more on users becoming more knowledgeable than it will on IT departments supporting users of different devices.

I also have problems with the reports notion of a personal cloud anywhere in the near future. The problem being the singular nature of the statement. There are too many companies fighting for the market and whose often competing services do not play nicely together by design. So while I agree computing will continue to move to the cloud I don’t think the way in which services are delivered will be unified anywhere in the near future.

The report’s thoughts about Enterprise App Stores was another interesting section but personally I’m curious to see what effect competing paradigms such as from the new Firefox OS and the upcoming Ubuntu for phones will have on already established markets over the next 5-10 years.

In short while I found the report interesting I would not recommend it to others because I work with classroom teachers and there’s little in the way of actionable information in it. It could be useful as a provocation but little else.


First-World Paradigm: Top 10 IT Issues for Higher Ed (web seminar)

When I first began browsing through this week’s resources, I felt sensitive to how most of the IT issues addressed represent institutions of developed/Anglophone economy. Listening to the speakers elaborate upon the top 10 list confirmed that even within this ‘first-world paradigm’, such lists or models will never be universal; every institution will have different needs and goals. Such lists could serve as a precursor to discourse, or a starting point to analyze the environment where a particular technological innovation is meant to be applied. For example, it would not be safe to assume that students of a less-developed institution will bring a connected device to class, let alone 3 or 4, let alone be connected in their homes. But there may be technology which it can be assumed that students of a particular community have access to, such as television or cell phones. In response to the second question, I would seek out future reports, but I would likely refine the search to the particular culture/demographic with which I intended to work.


2013 Learning Technology Research Taxonomy


Ambient Insight is a market research firm that uses analytics to identify revenue opportunities for suppliers specializing in e-learning and in mobile learning. Ambient Insight has two business streams: publishing reports and providing research to suppliers and to private investment firms.

I) Educators

1a. How is it useful to the broader community of educators?

This report highlights how each PreK-12 school system is different in each country when it comes to purchasing decisions. Some school systems are operated by a central government, whereas others are operated at the provincial or at the state level. Altogether, it is important for educators to know who has purchasing control when it comes to buying digital learning products.

1b. How much is it useful to the broader community of educators?

Regarding buying behavior, the local and state/provincial governments vary widely worldwide. However, the commonality between all the countries is the impact of training budget cuts caused by slow economies in many countries. Altogether, it is important for educators to know that education and training budgets have been dramatically reduced.

1c. How is it valuable to the broader community of educators?

This report also states that many countries have centralized educational systems and they are the primary buyers of digital academic content. Altogether, it is important for educators to know that governments are not only direct buyers of learning products, but also spenders on technology-based learning initiatives.

1d.  How much is it valuable to the broader community of educators?

Ambient Insight does not endorse specific suppliers or products, and none of its syndicated research is influenced, sponsored, or subsidized by suppliers. Also, Ambient insight does not evaluate, compare, or rank products. Altogether, it is important for educators to know that Ambient Insight is impartial in its reporting and in its researching.

II) Learning Technologies Specialists

2a. How is it useful to the broader community of learning technologies specialists?

This report claims how Ambient Insight is the only research firm in the industry that has developed a precise learning product taxonomy based on pedagogical principles and information architecture, which is important for understanding the buying behaviors of different school systems. Altogether, it is important for specialists to know that they can use this report to learn about educational policies, digitization efforts, and e-learning initiatives happening in both PreK-12 and higher education institutions.

2b. How much is it useful to the broader community of learning technologies specialists?

This report states that the consumer demand for academic content in the United States in 2011, for example, was 4.1 million PreK-12 children, who took extracurricular online classes outside of school. The students were from public schools, private schools, homeschools, and virtual schools. Most of the online classes are sold to parents. Altogether, it is important for specialists to know that the buying behaviour of learning technologies is not limited to school systems only.

2c. How is it valuable to the broader community of learning technologies specialists?

Ambient insight also tracks seven international regions, eight distinct buyer segments, and eight product types. The firm further breaks down each product into six sub-categories. According to the firm, it is the most complete view of the international demand for learning technology in the industry. Altogether, it is important for specialists to know that the international regions, the buyer segments, and the product types all play a role in buyer behaviour, which influences e-learning and mobile learning.

2d. How much is it valuable to the broader community of learning technologies specialists?

Ambient Insight defines four major types of Mobile Learning products: Handheld Decision Support, Location-based Learning, Device-embedded Learning, and Mobile Learning VAS (value added service). Knowing these products is important because they are in both developing and developed economies. Altogether, it is important for specialists to know what devices are available for e-learning and for mobile learning.

III) Venturers

3a. How is it useful to the broader community of venturers?

Ambient Insight claims that the research taxonomy is the basis of a data repository that holds information helpful for identifying revenue opportunities for suppliers marketing specific products in specific countries. The purpose the taxonomy is to provide valuable data to suppliers competing in a complex global market of over 150 countries. Altogether, it is important for venturers to know that this report also claims to provide actionable data, proprietary custom research, and quantitative syndicated reports in order to compete in the global learning technology market.

3b. How much is it useful to the broader community of venturers?

Ambient Insight defines consumers as individual buyers who purchase products directly. Here, the buyer and the user are identical. The buying behavior in the global consumer markets tends to provide the best data on customer satisfaction from a product standpoint because the consumer demand for technology-based learning products is different in each country. Altogether, it is important for venturers to know that buyer behaviour drives product sales, which will not be same in any given country or region.

3c. How is it valuable to the broader community of venturers?

Ambient Insight claims that the market share map that they have developed allows suppliers to develop strategies for growth by way of mergers and acquisitions. That is, Ambient Insight generates actionable competitive intelligence by mapping the competitive landscape, performing supply-side and demand-side analyses, and compiling data of public companies through financial disclosures and of private companies through revenue reports. Altogether, it is important for venturers to know that baseline data are analyzed to determine global demand for specific products for specific countries and regions.

3d. How much is it valuable to the broader community of venturers?

Ambient Insight also claims to have developed competitive intelligence, multi-year tactical roadmaps, product pipelines, revenue stream timelines, pricing models, merger and acquisition profiles, and go-to-market strategies in its research practice in order to help companies bring new learning technology products and services to the market in a successful way. Altogether, it is important for venturers to know that Ambient Insight uses forecasts that reflect the unique characteristics of the international learning technology market in order to determine potential success in the global learning technology marketplace.

Final Thoughts

Do you expect to seek out future versions of this report to help drive your own professional success?

No, because, as a public school primary grade teacher, I would buy digital learning products on a ‘as need’ basis. I would rely on student need individually or collectively.

Do you expect to seek out future versions of this report to recommend it to others in this regard?

No, because I believe that, based on student need, my colleagues would look to other sources to determine what to buy or what not to buy.


7 Things…Again

Lists. Lists are engaging and easily trick your mind into a feeling of accomplishment. The quick and dirty nature of the Educause 7 things articles appeal to the time-crunch culture propagated by technologist blogs.

7 Things’ approach, a 2 page PDF published throughout the year, allows for analysis of trends as they arise as well as updates to previously covered material. This provides current, easily consumable information. The willingness to update previous overviews is beneficial as emerging technology does not always follow a predictable path. The main benefactors of this approach are people looking for an overview of current trends. With the basics of the article available in an abstract, the viewer is given the chance to reflect on the usefulness of the information before clicking through.

For any education professional making a pitch to a committee or potential employer, these articles provide an excellent base of knowledge. The case study introductions provide theoretical real-world situations to which the article contents pertain. These can be somewhat contrived, however, they serve to ground the full text for someone who is not well versed in the field and may question the relevance or practicality of the featured technology. While great for introducing ideas to more technologically removed individuals, Specialists may find it’s a good place to send people who ask annoying questions but will probably seek out more in-depth sources to further understanding and spark dialogue within their communities.

I would definitely use this as a starting point for research on a particular topic. The article publication date serves as a good indicator on when the technology first came to relevance within the Educause community, providing a timeline for research. Because of the approachable and concise nature of the articles, I feel it is a viable resource for anyone interested in education technology.


Review: Major Ed-Tech Trends for 2013

I really enjoyed reading the Major Ed Tech Trends for 2013. I am not sure how useful or valuable it is for the broader community of educators, learning technologies specialists and venturers. The information presented provides a nice overview of the direction of educational technology.

Mobile devices are becoming one of the primary ways to connect with students. There are apps that support text messagning already out the market, where the teacher can send out mass text messages to her students to inform them of important dates and events. The poster covers the basic framework, but lacks any in-depth understanding of how mobile marketing supports learning in the classroom.

Social media helps bridge the classroom to home environments. Students can access social media to connect and raise awareness on certain issues. Again, I am not sure how this is too useful or valuable, as there are many existing applications that can fulfill these roles.

Universities offering free non-credit courses is an interesting one. Yes, there are many different online courses that offer free courseware, but I am not sure that is helpful to educators. Future version of delivering e-learning through Moodle, WebCT, already exists.

I am also not sure how 3D printing helps educators in the classroom, or applicable in my classroom, perhaps it could be used to replicate certain animals in the local habitat – we learn that in Grade 1.

Overall, I think that these pretty pictures highlight some of the important aspects of what educational technology might look like this year or in the future. But it does not really provide us with any practical suggestions that specifically assist specialists and venturers. I think this is more geared towards the general mass, where someone who does not have a foundation in educational technology may benefit in understanding how education has changed since the past few decades. I think that this is a good starting point that might help drive my own professional success, such as integrating social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) to broadcast what students have been learning in the classroom. With the use of social media, there are many issues and concerns regarding the safety and privacy of our students and parents. Nevertheless, when thinking about creating a new educational venture, we must explore different venues and see what is the best for the market now and predict what will happen in the future.



EDUCAUSE is a non-profit organization made up of an appointed research panel of nineteen IT leaders from different institutions and from this group, panel members are randomly recruited to serve one year in quarterly meetings with EDUCAUSE Vice President Susan Grajek. Through an online survey, the research focus group were asked to select the top IT issues that the institution is facing and then vote on a final set of issues after reviewing the survey results. The randomly drawn panel members will then meet for 90 minutes quarterly in an open dialogue about technology issues revolving around the IT organization, the institution and cross-institution boundaries in order to refine the underlying issues. The results of this process were presented in a sixty minute live webinar using Adobe Connect involving the following speakers:

  • Diane Dagefoerde, CIO, Arts and Sciences, The Ohio State University
  • Butch Juelg, Associate Vice Chancellor, Technology Services, Lone Star College System
  • Joseph Vaughan, CIO and Vice President for Computing and Information Services, Harvey Mudd College
  • Susan Grajek, Vice President of Data, Research and Analytics, EDUCAUSE

The top ten IT issue in higher education that was identify in the talk is:

1. Leveraging the wireless and device explosion on campus

The density of devices (approximately 3-4 devices per student) on campus and bandwidth requirement in localized gathering areas are causing new challenges which are taxing IT organization’s ability to keep up with devices, version, or features and it is throwing out formal IT refresh rates. Providing readily available content (ranging from campus maps to schedules to campus news and alerts) and easy access is no longer an option but a requirement for institutions.

2. Improving student outcomes through an approach that leverages technology

An increase focus on student outcomes is generating interest in the development of technology to measure, manage and improve student outcome. One method of leveraging technology to assess and improve student outcome is through analytics and automated advising tools, which is only seen in 20% of the higher education institutions. Technology can also be employed in the design, creation and delivery of the learning experience to the student; however, this would require preparing, supporting and listening to faculty. In the past year, a study revealed that the most progress has been made in the deployment of using e-textbooks and mobile apps. The interest in e-learning is also on the rise and the support required is not straining the IT department, but the rewards for faculty implementing online courses needs improvement in order to ensure continual growth in this area.

3. Developing an institution-wide cloud strategy to help the institution select the right sourcing and solution strategies

Cloud computing can enable institutions to be more agile and deliver new services faster and with fewer/lower upfront costs. However, five essential characteristics of cloud computing identified by NIST (The National Institute of Standards and Technology) needs to be met:

  1. on demand self service
  2. broad network access
  3. resource pooling
  4. rapid elasticity or expansion
  5. measured service

Higher education institute will need to create guidelines for anyone acquiring a cloud services and will need to educate anyone who is concerned with cloud providers. It organization will also need to shift its focus from controlling proliferation cloud services to supporting the choices people make.

4. Developing a staffing and organizational model to accommodate the changing IT environment and facilitate openness and agility

To respond well to the new IT trends and environments, an IT organization needs to be resilient and ready to explore and take on new challenges and all of them on an increasingly short time line. As the IT organization move to outsource more solutions, the IT staffs are assuming new roles and forming new units to emphasis service management and strategy. The IT organization needs to shift away from an expert stance to a novice stance. By realizing and learning along side colleagues, institutions can focus on achieving goals with faculty who are willing to step up and try new things.

5. Facilitating a better understanding of information security and finding appropriate balance between infrastructure openness and security

IT organization needs to prioritize their information security efforts through a combination of risk management programs and data classification processes and they need to do that to assess security issues stemming from new and evolving technology. These technologies have the potential to make a profound difference in higher education, but it is also important for IT leaders not let security stifle innovation. It is important to find a better understanding towards information security and to find a balance between infrastructure, openness and security. A recent study revealed that only 27% of the institutions have a dedicated ISO (Information Security Officer) and that institutions most commonly use firewalls as a security measure instead. Even though data loss prevention has been frequently mentioned, there is little focus on it from individual workstations to individual departments to campus networks. On a more promising note, about one third of the institutions have a risk management program or methodology in place and a lot more institutions are planning to implement one or want more guidance.

6. Funding information technology strategically

Understanding what services truly cost helps an institution determine how to compare the costs and value of current and alternative sourcing options. Another key factor is having a transparent and inclusive governing structure for prioritizing and overseeing IT investments and for evaluating ROI (Returns On Investments).  Finally, it is important to shift academic and IT leaders from the budget and ledger view to an investment view of the world using portfolios.

7. Determining the role of online learning and developing a sustainable strategy for that role

Higher education is considering how online learning can fit into their academic ethos and how to support their design and deliver of high quality learning experiences. Many of the challenges in online learning is the same as adopting any new technology and would include factors like having: sufficient investment funds, effective chain management, sufficient support for faculty, proper assessment and evaluations of student experience and outcomes, sustainability of courses, protocols for transfer credits from other universities, alignment with business goals, etc. Currently, around 40% of the public university includes a centralized IT department that is dedicated to overseeing e-learning and online education.

8. Supporting the trends toward IT consumerization and bring-your-own device

The usage of internet resources is no longer confined to assess by authorized institutional channels due to the high level of consumerization. The community’s increase in need for storage, raw computing, infrastructure and services is changing the previous technology paradigm where all the networks were controlled by the IT organization. As a result, this requires the IT staff to shift their focus from devices to infrastructure and data.

9. Transforming the institution’s business with information technology

Many institutions are turning to technology to differentiate themselves from other colleges. In attempt to re-think their business plan, institutions need to have a strong desire and willingness to change and adapt new business processes.  Successful transformation also require good governance and a venue to enable leadership to make decisions about IT investment and priorities. In a recent study it has been discovered that financial capabilities are the strongest and process transformations are the weakest when an institution attempts to adopt information technology.

10. Using analytics to support critical institutional outcomes

The Institutions that are successful in using analytics see it as an investment rather than a new cost. They built an institutional culture that value data and ask good question. The data gathered from analytics can be applied to the following functional areas: enrolment management, finance and budgeting, student progress, instructional management, and central information technology. EDUCAUSE study developed a maturity index that track progress in Analytics in higher education using 6 dimensions:

  1. Government infrastructure – progress in government or infrastructure
  2. Data/Reporting /Tools –the right data to complete analytic and tools to execute
  3. Process –process of collect the data to making decisions
  4. Culture – culture of using and sharing data to make decisions
  5. Expertise – expertise in information technology and functional areas to make decisions with data
  6. Investment – viewed as investment or cost? Institutions that view it as an investment makes more progress

These issues reflect increasing interconnections between institutional strategic priority, information technology in higher education and external forces (ie. technology innovation, advances in data and text analysis software, processing and storage, enduring global recession and our fit for recovery, evolving business practices, and data visualization). These three areas are shaping the strategic priority for higher education with four particular factors that are highly pertinent to Information Technology:

  1. Containment and Reduction of Cost
  2. Achieving Student Outcome
  3. Pacing of E-learning and Usage of E-learning as a Competitive Advantage
  4. Meeting Student and Faculty Expectations of Contemporary Consumer Technology and Communications

All of these issues are achievable due to the intensifying connections among people, services, data, systems, and processes. Higher education is entering a new “Connected Age” as institutions have always been communities driven by connections among faculty, students, research, education, discipline, communities, and institutions. Technology makes the connected age possible by bringing together data, collaboration tools and communities. As a result, it does not matter where the information or people are but what matters is that the value that comes from the connection in the connected age.

Critique of EDUCAUSE

EDUCAUSE has outlined some very helpful issues supported with the experiences from various higher education institutions and extensive studies in some of the areas. As a result, the organization has covered both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the 10 issues outlined in their live webinar; however, the details of the studies were not revealed and therefore, it is difficult to determine the sample size and objectivity of these studies. The format chosen to present these findings also was not ideal as they encountered many technical difficulties with Adobe Connect which distracted the listener from the information being presented.  For one, the slideshow did not appear simultaneously with the speaker and secondly, the voice of one of the speaker was inaudible. Finally, one of the speakers was unable to show up until the end due to connection problems. But because the webinar was recorded, the presentation has the advantage of being replayed with the uploaded power point presentation at a later time. Overall, EDUCAUSE presented a very concrete methodology for higher education institutions to undertake the preliminary steps towards integrating technology. Unfortunately, the focus was primarily for higher education and did not include the elementary or secondary level.


Another review of the Horizon Report

Another review of the Horizon Report

“The Horizon Report” is an annual free publication that collects information on upcoming EdTech, chooses the most likely to succeed, then it assigns them a timeline until implementation. I was impressed to see that this was a not-for-profit organization (made possible with a grant from HP). They describe themselves as being “open, collaborative, research intensive, and global” (NMC homepage). The report is definitely a valuable, readily available, free resource.

The report is produced by the New Medium Consortium, based out of Texas, and EDUCASE, with offices in Louisville CO and Washington, DC. Wikipedia tells us that “The New Media Consortium (NMC) was founded in 1993 by a group of hardware manufacturers, software developers, and publishers who felt that the ultimate success of their multimedia-capable products depended upon their acceptance by the higher education community.” Basically, it seems to me that it is a not-for-profit dedicated to spotting the next successful educational technology…for development? The selections are chosen by a large advisory committee and, while many different countries are represented, most of the members seem to hail from the United States. This could present an unintentional ethnocentric slant to their findings.

This being said, I found the report quite useful. It not only describes the burgeoning technology but provides many links to examples or further information. For teachers, who are reading to improve their practice, this is a very valuable resource. Many of these ideas might be new to the reader. They have the potential to spark interest. Teachers may become inspired to try out some of these cutting edge technologies in the classroom. The timeline the article gives is also useful in gauging how quickly teachers can expect to be using these resources in their class.

The report takes on a similar purpose for learning technology specialists. Perhaps the learning technologies would also be looking to discover new technologies that they will be able to incorporate into their careers or perhaps to investigate and discover new possibilities. Who is to say that some of these technologies can’t be linked? Perhaps a MOOC combined with gamification. A game in which you learn about a variety of topics in different disciplines. You explore the worlds or topics in your own interest area. The field is full of exciting possibilities.

Venturers come to the report with perhaps a different goal. A goal we might say the report was designed to fulfill. They are looking for business opportunities. Perhaps some technologies have the potential for a greater profit margin. Or perhaps they are near to being implemented and there is room on the ground floor. Ventures are looking for opportunity and this report not only describe what they think will be most successful. A teacher working with a venturist mindset may be able to better predict what new technologies will take off.

The Horizon Report captured my imagination. I found myself clicking through the links they provided and following a chain of information through TED talks, interviews, initiatives and research reports. This I did all day and I refuse to say my time was wasted. Although I didn’t make any quantifiable progress towards my courses, I learned and I became excited and I think that will take me further. Regardless of the reasoning behind its creation, I think that I will use this report again in the future. I really like how it provided a quick summary to each new technology as well as providing links to further information. Their webpage has already been posted to my Facebook.


EDUCASE Homepage 12-9-2013 <>

New Media Consortium Homepage 12-9-2013 <>

“ New Media Consortium” Wikipedia  12-9-2013  <>

“The Horizon Report” New Media Consortium 12-9-2013 <>


Major Ed-Tech Trends for 2013

Major Ed-Tech Trends for 2013

Published in January, this infographic focussed on the perceived trends in technology use in post-secondary education for 2013.  As 2013 is almost ¾ done, this is an appropriate time to review and reflect on the experienced trends.

Social Media/Text Messaging

Schools use SMS messaging to update students on anything from deadlines to emergencies.  Tools such as Remind101 or ClassParrot make these mass messages easy and convenient.  As stated, 93% of university students text – passing a saturation point beyond that of intercom announcements or phone trees.  This percentage will only increase with time.  As students are becoming more attached to their cell phones these methods of communication are becoming preferred among students.

Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Universities have and will continue to offer free courses to all who wish to take them.  These MOOCs break down barriers of time and space, allowing students to take courses from anywhere and at anytime that suits their needs.  The content of these courses is equal to what would be experienced at the physical institution, but questions arise as to the amount and timeliness of feedback in these courses.  For example, one Stanford MOOC had 160,000 participants; an impossible number of students to give quality, timely, and consistent feedback.

Counseling Goes High Tech

The prediction of some schools moving to virtual counseling appears flawed.  While a text or video chat with a counselor is useful for minor issues, it is still not a substitute for being present with another person and discussing the issues.  While this may free up time and office space at the university, the question still remains at what cost to the students.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

This movement has the potential to allow universities to save massive amounts of money on technology but also creates the potential for major problems.  How can the university ensure that their networks are compatible with all devices that will come in?  What steps must the university take to ensure that any device on their network does not interfere with the operations of any other device?  How much training will the IT personnel need to become familiar with the massive number of devices on the network, or will they rather say that a BYOD will not be supported by IT?

This infographic is very useful for educators wishing to see some current and future perceived trends in technology.  The infographic format allows for quick scanning of the report and does not get bogged down in extraneous details or tangential topics.   However, there is danger in omitting certain facts and figures that could be important to the intent of the technologies referenced.

I would be interested to see future versions of this infographic to see the longitudinal trends from this group.


EDUCAUSE: Seven Things Review

What is it?

EDUCAUSE: Seven Things is a series of concise reports that provide brief snapshots of trends within emerging learning technologies and IT in higher education. The series covers a broad range of topics such as, Connected Learning, MOOCs, and Video Communication, to name only a few. Each report answers seven questions about a single learning technology, practice or concept:

1. What is it?

2. How does it work?

3. Who’s doing it?

4. Why is it significant?

5. What are the downsides?

6. Where is it going?

7. What are the implications for higher education?


2. How does it work?

Each issue tackles one technology, starting with a scenario that illustrates how it would work in the  real world when its potential is fully realized. This makes it very easy to grasp the key features of the technology and is the first step to imagining how it could be used in one’s own context. The seven questions follow, exploring both the pros and cons and potential of the technology.


3. Who’s doing it?

EDUCAUSE Learning Initative (ELI) is a subset of the not-for-profit EDUCAUSE dedicated to promoting the advancement of learning technology.


4. Why  is it significant?

Within a profession subject to information overload, the Seven Things series is particularly useful for identifying key learning technology trends to technical readers, and identifying and explaining them to  non-technical readers. As the reports are written in non-technical language, they are very accessible to educators, venturers and others outside the immediate field of learning technology, such as decision makers within an institution that may lack knowledge or context of an emerging trend.

As well, the seven question format is a valuable organising principle and according to the Seven Things About Seven Things issue, has been copied extensively (for example, this review).


5. What are the downsides?

The series is designed as an essential overview of a single learning technology topic, therefore, it is a great place to start an investigation. Further reading is required to develop an in-depth understanding of the subject. Technical minds may crave more practical details.


6. Where is it going?

Wherever emerging technologies dictate. The publication is on its 100th issue since 2005.


7. What are its  implications?

This resource would be my first port of call for any new learning technology or trend that I needed to grasp quickly. Because the audience is not limited to learning technologists or IT specialists, I would recommend it to venturers and other educationalists, as well as colleagues.


Review: NMC Horizon Report

The Horizon Report is a study of emerging technologies put out annually since 2002 by the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative.  The New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE are both not-for-profit associations which support the use of technology in education.  The report contains 6 technologies identified as being the most important to teaching in the next five years.  The six technologies chosen for the 2013 report include some general technologies, as well as others which are education specific, but each has the potential to have a significant influence on education.

In order to create the report, an international board of 51 members reviewed literature on emerging technologies, then discussed them through a wiki until they were able to create the final list.  The technologies are divided into three horizons: within 1 year, within 2 to 3 years,  and within 4 to 5 years.  Within 1 year, massively open online courses (MOOCs) and tablet computers were chosen as the technologies to watch.  Games and gamification, along with learning analytics were chosen for the mid-term horizon of 2 to 3 years.  3D printing and wearable technology were chosen for their potential for teaching in 4 to 5 years.

For each technology, the report effectively identifies key features which have led to its current success, as well explicit identification of its potential role in education.  This is followed by samples and examples of the technology being used in higher education, and a list of additional reading material on the subject.

The categorization of the list into horizons is helpful in identifying where the technology may be in terms of implementation.  We see that MOOCs have gained substantial traction as a tool in education with approximately 2,500,000 users, and that their importance to education is current.  The far term horizon technologies such as 3D printing are of interest, but more for reference unless your institute is an early adopter.

The key features in the technology’s success summarizes why these technologies are becoming of importance now.  For tablet computers, the report identifies the Bring-Your-Own-Device movement on campus as contributing to the technology’s success.  In doing so, the report clarifies factors which may have been absent for prior versions of the technology.  As well, this clarification provides insight into the environment which may facilitate the use of the technology within your own setting.

Likewise, the explicit identification of the technology’s relevance to education provides additional details which educators may apply to their own situations.  For gaming, the report offers badges as a feature of gaming which allows for recognition of achievements.  This detail provides a possible solution to a question which may arise during the technology’s implementation.

The samples and examples provide two benefits; they introduce the reader to a variety of possible uses for the technology, and they provide concrete examples of the technology’s use in education.

The organized layout of the report, along with its concise outline of fundamentals, makes the Horizon Report a valuable resource for educators looking to introduce or prepare for new technology coming to their settings.  Likewise, learning technology specialists and venturers would benefit from the identified success criteria, ensuring they provide products which meet educational goals effectively.

When our administration makes decisions regarding technology purchases or implementation, I would recommend the Horizon Report to identify and explain technology trends.  I would refer to future editions to check trends, criteria for technology implementation, and to peruse the samples/examples.  Considering that three editions of the report exist to address specific needs of higher education, K-12 and museum education, I would look for the K-12 edition for targeted trends in our bracket.


Johnson, L., Adams Becker,S., Cummins, M., Estrada, V.,   Freeman, A., and Ludgate, H. (2013).  NMC Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition.  Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.


Major Ed-Tech Trends for 2013

The information presented in this article is in itself presented in a trendy web fashion: the infographic. Although the audience is not specifically defined, I would argue that this infographic is not directed towards Ed-Tech professionals, learning technologists, or venturers. Anyone in these fields already has what brief knowledge is outlined in this document and would require deeper engagement. This infographic has been developed for the people who are removed from the educational-technology sphere, those who genuinely wonder, “So what is educational technology, anyways?” This may include the broader community of educators not necessarily tuned in to technology, administration, parents, or mature students.

The article is pleasing to the eye and easy to navigate, with information presented as generic quips and sweeping generalizations that are not specifically cited and often that fail to present the entire story. For one brief example, we learn that a MOOC from Stanford had 160,000 participants register from 190 countries. There is no mention of a completion rate, but it’s from Stanford so it must be good, right? Other information contradicts itself, as is the case under the topic of Free Education Resources, “Online Accredited Courses” has subtext reading may be subscription based (read: not free), although this caveat is not noted for the more general “Online Courses” and “DIY Degrees.”

Attribution/Noncommercial/No Derivative Works Some rights reserved by motti82

This infographic could be dangerous for educational technology professionals as the information is so basic and brief that it could be misinterpreted by higher administration, department heads, or any other higher-level stakeholder. For example, the infographic culminates with a few predictions such as schools realizing they can “save big bucks by allowing students to use their personal devices in the classroom,” or “…ditch [traditional] textbooks in favour of less expensive e-books, which may attract more readers.” These two assertions, again not specifically cited, could put the proverbial bee in a bonnet of an stakeholder wishing to invest in (and therefore save money by) utilizing these trends. If this were to happen it could result in a massive headache for the ET department to straighten out.


Gartner Technology Trends – Review

Gartner, a technology research and advisory company headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, developed this report to highlight its findings on the top 10 technologies and technology trends that will make a significant impact on enterprises in the next three years. As Gartner includes large telecommunications firms, post-secondary institutions, utilities, and more, impacts of significance include the need for major financial or resource investment, risk of late adoption, and potential for disruption to company infrastructure.

Gartner identified the following trends.

Mobile device battles: The widely varied adoption of Windows 8, iOS, Android, and tablet devices means enterprises will be forced to support a wider range of mobile devices.

Mobile applications and HTML5: Enterprises must find balance between the development of native apps (using several of the supported tools) and providing web-based apps using HTML5.

Personal cloud: Increased demand for instant and constant access to the personal cloud means enterprises must be more agile in their support for these services.

Enterprise app stores: Some of the above trends mean app stores will impose limits of the types of devices and applications they carry. Enterprises engaging with app stores will need to deal with multiple providers and improve governance and brokerage.

The Internet of things: Mobile technology embedded in automobiles and pharmaceutical devices allow for the development of a wide range of services but also present challenges.

Hybrid IT/cloud computing: Many of the above trends, along with current world economic status means IT departments must do more with less. Cloud services combined with standard IT services allows for more efficiency.

Strategic big data: Huge volumes of data and demand for improved speeds is pushing the boundaries of traditional storage systems, moving toward multiple systems.

Actionable analytics: On-demand analytics give enterprises greater ability to act.

In-memory computing: Vastly improved speeds allow for real-time services to cloud-based users, improving the ability to innovate.

Integrated ecosystems: User demand for better security, lower cost, and simplicity drive enterprises to create packages to allow for near-immediate access and a streamlined process.

Although informative, the Gartner report deals heavily with large business ventures rather than educational institutions. The day-to-day teacher or professor is unlikely to be involved in high-level IT infrastructure planning – rather, they act as the consumer or user mentioned in the Gartner report. The first three trends (mobile device battles, mobile apps and HTML5, and the personal cloud) seem to be the most useful and understandable of the report. For an instructor developing courses for student consumption, understanding the need to provide access for multiple devices on multiple operating systems is essential for ensuring as many students as possible have access.

Technology specialists, whether they work for educational institutions, or large or small enterprises, are faced with the same need to provide choice and flexibility while making do with less (see the trend hybrid IT and cloud computing). The need for non-traditional solutions also requires that technology specialists continue to receive education to stay relevant in the field.

As a business professional, I am already seeing how some of these trends shape the business and force change. I may pursue future additions of this support, if only to gain some definition of the forces at work in the business.


Review: Educause: Seven Things

Out of all of the components of the emerging markets projection library, I was the most impressed by the “7 things your should know about…” series on the Educause website. Not only does this site provide essential information to anyone interested in the latest trends and forms of technology, but it does so using a simple script.

The site is based around asking 7 simple questions surrounding emerging learning technologies. These questions are:

7 Things You should Know About…

  1. What is it?
  2. How does it work?
  3. Who’s doing it?
  4. Why is it significant?
  5. What are the downsides?
  6. Where is it going?
  7. What are the implications for higher education?

At first glance these questions almost feel too simplistic, but after reading a few of their reviews, it is quite evident that they touch on the most important elements of emerging trends. Of all the articles I read I quite enjoyed those that presented on Makerspaces and Infographic creation tools.

This online tool is perfect for the broader community because of the wealth of information regarding many different topics, but is also essential to specialists and venturers in educational technology as it also discusses the future (Where is it going?).

This tool is now a permanent link on my own bookmarks bar and will be a tool that I use for many years to come as it will allow me to better understand current and future bearings in the field of educational technologies.


Review of online colleges Major Ed-Tech Trends for 2013

This is an infographic posted on the Online Colleges website. This company’s purpose is to be a resource for students regarding online education. The infographic is based on predictions from and was published on January 23, 2013. The major technologies identified were:

  1. SMS
  2. Social media
  3. MOOC
  4. 3D printing
  5. digital text books
  6. virtual counseling
  7. game based learning
  8. BYOD
  9. Cloud storage
  10. open text books

Each item listed is followed by a few examples of how it can / or has been used in education.


Pros: This gives the reader a brief overview of technologies that are predicted to expand within the educational community. The graphic and colorful nature of the article is easy to read and remember.

Cons: Due to its brevity, the article lacks several components that other trend reports have incorporated. These would include infrastructure/support/technical aspects needed to utilize the technology, data and statistics on past experiences with the technology in education (if there is any), challenges of incorporating the technology, impact on education, educators, institutions, etc.

Overall impression: I think this article is a good starting point, especially for educators in the broader community. It’s brief and to the point which is sometimes all we really want. It gives us an idea of what is out there and what to look out for. However as a learning tech specialist or venturer, the info on this page is sparse. It may be a good starting point but a much more detailed report would be more valuable. As a venturer or learning tech specialist,  further research would need to be done. I would recommend this page for anyone looking for a quick overview and will visit it again in the future for this purpose. But if I wanted to look into incorporating one of these technologies in my practice/institution or invest in it, I would look at other resources.


522 Feedback, Analyst Reports (A1), Emerging Markets, Founders Parade, General, Market Projections, Pitch Pool, Venture Forum (A3)

Gartner: 2013 Top Ten Strategic Technologies

Gartner Inc. provides a glimpse into the future. Their report focuses on the next top 10 technologies that have either grown into game changing technology or have the potential to grow into one.

This review will focus on the technologies I feel will have the largest impact education. I have merged some of the top 10 technologies, as I feel they are directly related.

Change: Microsoft is being attacked on two fronts; mobile devices are becoming more popular than PCs and Microsoft only has 20% of the mobile market.

Impact on Education: Every school that has the adequate budget currently has either an Apple computer or PC located in classrooms or libraries. With a shift towards mobile devices will the need for a full labs still be needed? A school that advocated BYOT (Bring your own technology) could potential reduce its need for dedicated computer labs. Apps like Socrative are making mobile devices a viable educational tool.

Change: The storage of information and to a certain degree the running of apps is moving from the traditional PC to the cloud.  People are now expecting access to their information 24/7 regardless of their location (of course Internet needed)

Impact on Education: Traditionally students have been limited to their access to school material and learning programs to a physical building. As the capability of clouds services increases, the opportunity to move educational resources to the cloud will only increase.

In addition, as cloud services get more efficient, the memory capabilities of PCs or handhelds will become less relevant, whereas the need for larger Internet bandwidth will increase. Schools will potentially move away from investing in labs and servers and move towards providing larger Internet bandwidth.

Future Reports:

Gartner Inc. delivers a concise and simple list of potential future technologies. This is an invaluable resource to keep on top of new emerging technologies that could potentially affect education.


The NMC Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition Critique

This report is part of a longitudinal research study of emerging technologies that began in March 2002 as cooperation between the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI). Each year, they issue a new report for k-12, higher education and museums. Sometimes they implement sector and regional specific studies as well.

The report first introduces the context in which the new emerging technologies are taking place through highlighting the general trends and challenges facing learning technologies in higher education. Once the context is clear, the report summarizes the six emerging learning technologies that will be affecting higher education throughout different time ranges.

General trends:

  • The concept of openness is taking hold as in open content, open data, and open resources
  • MOOCs are explored as alternatives and supplements to traditional university courses.
  • The needed skills in the work place are acquired more in informal learning experiences not universities
  • Increasing use of new sources of data for personalizing the learning experience and for performance measurement
  • The changing role of educators
  • Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning, and collaborative models

Challenges for adopting technology in Higher Education:

  • Faculty training still does not include digital media literacy
  • The emergence of new scholarly forms of authoring, publishing, and researching outpace sufficient and scalable modes of assessment
  • Education’s own processes and practices limit adoption of new technologies
  • Personalized learning is not supported by current technology or practices
  • Competition between new models of education and traditional ones
  • Most academics are not using new technologies for learning and teaching, nor for organizing their own research

Emerging learning technologies in Higher Education

  • Short-term: expected in the next 12 months
    • MOOCS
    • Tablets
  • Mid-term: expected to be widely adopted within 2-3 years
    • Games and Gamification
    • Learning Analytics
  • Long-term: expected to be widely adopted within 4-5 years
    • 3D printing
    • Wearable Technology

In each technology the report covers the following points:

  • A brief summary about the technology itself, when it appeared, recent developments and its expected potential as well as criticism
  • Its relevance to learning and creative inquiry
  • Examples of its application in Higher Education.
  • Further readings with links to resources discussing this technology

I believe this report is very useful for educators, learning technologies specialists and ventures in higher education as it helps them understand the broader context they are working in and the specific emerging technologies they need to focus on. The provided time-frame for each technology also helps them plan their engagement. In discussing the technologies themselves, the report presents a balanced view of each technology with its pros and cons or what both the supporters and opponents say. Mentioning concrete examples of application in Higher Education with links to these examples is an additional help to the readers who can experience a real life application of the technology not just an abstract concept.

I think the only point that this report may lack compared to other reports is providing quantitative data of the trends, challenges and technologies it presents. This would have strengthened its case more. However detailing the used methodology and qualification of the 51 members who worked on the report with a link to their wiki where all the resources they used and the discussions they had would make for the lack of quantitative data.

I think I would be following future versions to keep myself updated with emerging trends, technologies and their application worldwide and to get inspired with new ways to improve my own practice.

P.S. away from the Horizon Report, I liked the major ed-tech trends for 2013. Its presentation is super creative. Though it is very limited, it also provides some basic information about how each technology is currently used. I would use it as material for a presentation and to get a quick idea about what is expected but would use the more elaborate Horizon report for deeper understanding and more in-depth knowledge.


Can tablets replace teachers

This article appeared on the BBC news site half an hour ago.  There is also a video but you have to have access to a UK proxy to view it.   I’m sure it’ll appear on youtube soon.  Basically 7 schools in the Netherlands have gone towards personalized learning and all students learn on tablets.  Teachers act mainly as coaches and mentors.

There is also a related article/video on the site in which Thailand’s goal to distribute a tablet to every child is discussed.

Links are below


More on Steve Jobs Schools

So what do you think this means for us as educators?  Will we be relegated to the role (and pay point) of teaching assistants?  How does this impact instructional design?


Analysis of OECD Report “Trends Shaping Education 2013”

The OECD report on Trends Shaping Education 2013 provides a statistical overview of current trends as they relate to education. The report is not designed to analyze and predict the impact of these trends on the future of education, but rather it is occupied in asking key questions that may stimulate important discussion. In doing so, it asks the main question “what might this trend mean for my education system and my work?” (p. 15) while fully recognizing that “the future is inherently unpredictable” (p. 16). As with any study by the OECD, critics will point to the lack of representation from developing countries. This criticism is well established, I have chosen to put those arguments aside for the purpose of analyzing the potential market opportunities created by the identified trends, and the value of the report to educators, learning technology specialists, and entrepreneurs.

My main goal is to analyze the trends presented in the OECD report and identify possible market opportunities for educational products and services that result from these trends. In the following chart, I have summarized the statistical overview provided by the OECD, along with questions related to these trends and possible market opportunities that arise from them.

Trend Area Trend Questions Raised Market Opportunities for Educational Products and Services.
Globalization Increase in immigration and travel to OECD nations, coupled with an increase in trade and openness to global markets has led to a trend away from nationalized decision making.
  • How can educators and service providers overcome the difficulty of educating a larger, more culturally diverse, and multilingual population?
  • What role will education play in creating environmental solutions and awareness, and alleviating a growing disparity between the rich and poor?
  • Competition and need for constant innovation for nations to stay relevant in global market creates opportunity for educational entrepreneurs.
  • Opportunity for “green” innovations, and products and services that help ease the burden of the wealth gap are apparent.
Well Being and Lifestyle Increasing urbanization of the population creates challenges and opportunities for education providers and policy makers. Social problems such as crime, wellness and a less politically active population are increasingly becoming a public issue.
  • How will education providers and policy-makers compensate for the burden of a growing urban population on educational resources?
  • How will education help develop solutions for societal issues?
  • Education is often turned to to solve social issues, creating opportunities for innovative solutions.
  • Investment in public health has increased dramatically, creating opportunity for entrepreneurs in the growing health education industry.
Skills and the Labour Market With increase of women in the workplace, comes an increase in the need for education. As a result of this increase, there is a growing need for child care and ECE services. OECD countries have invested heavily in R&D over the past two decades to stay competitive in the “knowledge economy”. As a result there is a substantial increase in patents through OECD countries, as entrepreneurs jockey to capitalize on ideas.
  • In what way can education help reduce wage inequality and further the course of women’s rights?
  • What is the role of the education system in promoting entrepreneurship and providing skills required to be self-employed?
  • There is an opportunity for educational entrepreneurs to take advantage of this growing sector of the market (women).
  • The growing need for childcare and ECE services creating a lucrative market opportunity in this important sector.
  • The increased investment in the “knowledge economy” creates opportunities for innovative education providers.
Modern Families The population of OECD countries is aging, and people are staying active later in life than ever before. Meanwhile, families are becoming smaller and more diverse. Education is being leaned on more than ever before as a way to for families to achieve upward mobility.
  • What role should education play in providing for the older members of the population?
  • How can education effectively support a more diverse family structure, especially as related to financial education, health and the growing emphasis on education in the workforce?
  • Adult education is becoming increasingly more important as people stay active in the workforce for longer.
  • Families are investing more and more into their children’s education, creating greater marketplace opportunities for educational entrepreneurs.
New Technologies The rapid development of information technology, the increased need for computer skills in the workforce, and the proliferation of internet usage and mobile technologies, have increased the importance of digital literacy within OECD countries.
  • How can education utilize the transformative properties of the computers, mobile technology and the internet,  in an effective and non-intrusive manner?
  • In what way can education utilize advances in technology (especially related to social networking, user-generated content, open-source software, cloud computing, applications and the digitization of texts) to enrich student learning environments?
  • The explosion of digital technologies has opened a massive but unpredictable marketplace, where entrepreneurs and innovators are given unprecedented opportunities.
  • Despite the population’s growing dependence on digital technology, education still remains mired in a traditional mold, leaving the door open for effective solutions to blending education and technology.

After reviewing the trends, key questions and possible opportunities for educational entrepreneurs, it is clear that the OECD report effectively cultivates a discourse that is both useful and valuable to educators. Teachers, administrators, stakeholders and policy-makers can use the study to discuss and predict future outcomes and position their organization or institution to provide viable educational solutions for future generations. Furthermore, the report allows learning technology specialists and venturers a glance at population trends that will shape markets in the coming decades. From here, questions can be raised, encouraging innovative and entrepreneurial minds to create marketable educational solutions for these issues. It should be noted, however, that a learning technology specialist may not glean any information t about specific technology trends from the report, which is designed to summarize population trends, not necessarily upcoming technological innovations. In this case, a person hoping to gain insight into what technological ventures to undertake, or what fads in educational technology to capitalize on, may not find value in the report.

For me, a report such as this provides me a broad understanding of current trends that are shaping educational markets and policies. As a relative newcomer to the field, such a report is valuable to my future success in that it provides me a necessary foundation of knowledge into population trends and how they are influencing education. It also provides me key questions to consider should I choose to venture into the educational marketplace. I would certainly recommend the report to others on those grounds, as it is not, and does not claim to be, a source of answers or predictions as to the next popular technology or educational fad.


Where does Language Learning (ESL) fit in the venture “Cube”?


I’m busy reading through the “What is a Venture” blog for this week and I’m having a little trouble situating my area of expertise, ESL, within Face 1 of the venture ‘Cube’.

For Face 1 – ‘Market Focus’ there are only 3 sections: K-12, Higher Ed, and Training Needs. Would ESL fall into the ‘Training Needs’ section? That doesn’t seem accurate to me as ESL isn’t “training” per say; although, perhaps the nomenclature can be stretched a bit to include it in this section.

Can somebody clarify?

Brendan Alexander

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


My visual contribution

Hi everyone,

I apologize as I forgot to add an image to my introductory post.

I think as this week was back-to-school week and many of my students were adjusting to the routines of our school day again, a short instructional video helping my students open their 3 digit locks for the first time is most appropriate.

This may take many of you back to your school days… Ok two full turns to the right… Now to the left past the first number… Uh oh… Start again.


Emerging Market Reports: an EVA perspective

Moving on to explore Emerging Market Reports from, I found the emerging market reports to differ greatly in their scope and geographical reach, as well as to differ as reports of primary research or reports of secondary research. The style of publication was also interesting.

Very capturing was Major Ed Tech Trends for 2013 by Online Colleges at The authors cleverly used an infographic to present ed-tech trends that they had located from and other sources. As an EVA, I found this infographic helpful.  It summarised key trends in an illustration that was very easy to read.  The colour coding was particularly helpful.

However, the ‘report’ has limitations.

Firstly, the writer of the article cannot be identified (the link for ‘staff writers’ doesn’t open up a page with details about writers).

Secondly, the source of data in the infographic is unknown. There is no specific reference to the page or pages on the site where the writers obtained any of the trend data, nor who on the site was the original writer or publisher. None of the data in the infographic has a citation.

Thirdly, the context for data is unknown. Without explanation or a source, the data is not contextualised to a location, state or country. We can assume it’s the USA, but there is no more detail than that as to what location and what sample was used to gather any data.

Fourthly, the references in the box at the end of the article, of which is one, do not provide proper reference details. They are simply home pages of websites (e.g.

In summary, as an EVA, I would need to do a lot of work to validate the findings of the article.


Dalian Wave

Good Afternoon,

I’m currently working in Dalian, China at Maple Leaf International School – Dalian. Start of year administration and PowerSchool implementation takes up far too much of my time at the moment. This is my 4th MET course and I’m excited by the fact that I do not have to use Blackboard.

This is the beginning of my 6th year in China but I still call BC home. I worked as a science and IT teacher before working as an academic advisor for the last two years.

I am excited to work with such a diverse and interesting group. The presentation aspect of the course should provide a better opportunity to get to know you all. All said, it’s going to be a great few months.


In Vancouver, moving to Calgary

Hello class, my name is Alex and this is my 5th MET course. I’m currently enrolled in the Graduate Certificate track, but will be switching to the full master’s program soon. I currently work at the Sauder School of Business, managing the Canaccord Learning Commons. I am responsible for co-curricular programming at the school, including spaces, in person-programming and services, as well as online learning components. Recently I’ve been working with faculty on creating co-curricular learning activities grounded in their course assignments inside of our LMS. I’m very excited about this since this is major milestone for us. You can see what we offer students by visiting our website here. I’m currently in the process of leaving my job at UBC and moving to Calgary, so I apologize in advance if I go MIA for short periods of time.

My background is in business. I graduated with a BCom. from Sauder, specializing in Organizational Behaviour and minoring in Psychology. I was an analyst at a management consulting firm before joining UBC, and have extensive experience with business analysis and presentation building (two things that it seems we’ll be doing a lot of in this course). PS we have some content on building great presentations on our website here if you want to check that out :).

I’m looking forward to engaging with all of you.

Here’s a video we made for our students as part of our weekly video series with three tips for better presentations:


Course Dates

Good morning!

I am wondering what the “first” day of the week is for this course – and by corollary, what day is the last day of the week, when our assignments will be due 🙂   In my previous experience this has sometimes been Monday and other times Sunday, so I didn’t want to make an assumption.

Thank you!



Introduction: Nicola Einarson

Hello everybody! It’s nice to be starting Winter Term 1 with you.

My name is Nicola, and I am originally from northern B.C.. For the past three years (and since commencing MET) I lived in Haida Gwaii and worked as a librarian on reserve and an educational consultant. Projects included a variety of technology-supported educational ventures, including a mobile app for the local Aboriginal language revitalization initiatives, and an eSchool for adult learners.  I have been interested in ETEC522 since 2010 when I was first reviewing the courses MET had to offer, as I believe that the ability to successfully pitch and analyse pitches is an essential component of any educator’s skillset.

I took a break from the 2013 summer term in order to move to Quebec in order to pursue French as a second language.  For the 2013/2014 school year, I’m living about 90km northeast of Quebec City, in a small town called Baie-St-Paul where I am employed at an école secondaire as an English language monitor through a program funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage.  My new workplace has strong ET leadership and significantly innovative projects, including a recently completed, fully equipped CNC lab with an elective course for students to create their own snowboards from scratch; and an award winning, student-led television program.

This term, I am taking my eighth and ninth courses of MET, with my other course ETEC565M: Mobile Education. I have a variety of interests in the field of educational technology and it seems that with every course, I develop new interests to add to the list. Major themes through my MET courses to date have included technology applications for language acquisition, applications of 3D printing, and more recently, educational technology in defense/military settings. Wearable technology is one area that I currently know little about, but would be interested in delving into.


Greetings from Moscow

I’m Ross. This is my 6th MET course. I currently teach kindergarten at an international school in Moscow. I love traveling, working with kids and technology. We use ipads, document cameras, SMART boards etc. every day at school. At home I’m even more of a geek or at least that’s what friends and family tell me. I’m an early adopter and love to play at the edges of what’s possible with technology. I often tell people it’s not that I’m better at technology than most rather that I simply have more experience because I jumped in early and continue to do so.

I look forward to learning from all of you but now I’m off to enjoy Moscow city day. It’s been raining here for a week but for holidays the government actually releases chemicals into the clouds to dissipate them. The result is that official holidays are always sunny! Another great use of technology! I don’t know about the environmental implications but I’m going to enjoy the sun and blue sky anyways.


Hello from Northeast BC

Viewpoint on Highway 29

Viewpoint on highway 29

photo by Susan Hubbard

My name is Jackie and this is my 8th MET course. I am responsible for overseeing 29 distributed learning Math and Science courses for the secondary students in our district. Our school has been undergoing a great deal of change over the past couple of years which makes this a very exciting and trying time. I hope to be able to make a positive contribution by implementing some of the things I learn in this program. 🙂


Ange’s Intro

This is the 9th and last time I write an intro for MET.  I am a jewelry artist /teacher, and I enrolled in MET 3 years ago to put my jewelry classes online. The research I have done has led to some innovative yet ridiculously simple applications using video. I have a vision for a methodology that I want to explore in this class. I hope we all have a great term.


Assembling Plug and Play Courses

Surely at the speed the internet is evolving Open Source traditional subject courses should be available for general access and integration within programs of study. Why re-invent the wheel? The availability of such plug and play content frees the teacher to focus on enrichment experiences, adaptations and modifications. A collected resource library should be ever expanding and as per YouTube will be bested by newer versions; in other words a market place for knowledge.


Moore – Introduction

Hello all,

Troy Moore from glorious Quesnel, BC…home of the giant gold pan, West Fraser, Billy Barker Days, and, of course, the Moore family. This semester will mark class number 7 and 8 of my MET. I am hoping to be done in April. Keep your fingers crossed. Currently, I am librarian and Writing 12 teacher at Correlieu Senior Secondary School (Home of the Clan!). I took this class out of interest. Learning and technology is an oft-bantered subject. Every wants to bring in more technology, but at what cost and benefit? There is the potential for great strides in technology and education. BCEsis was a venture in learning technology, as was the overhead projector once upon a time. I wonder what the next powerpoint or prezi will be?

my overhead projector

Good luck to all this semester and I look forward to learning from each and everyone of you!


Hello from Dana

My name is Dana.

1. My professional background

– Learning support teacher

– Grade K classroom teacher

– Grade K/1 classroom teacher

– Grade 1 classroom teacher

2. My current employment

– Elementary teacher

3. My reason for taking this course

– I am interested in learning how to become a pioneer in advancing learning technologies that would benefit my class, my school, and, perhaps, my district. Although I have no idea what this will mean for me, I am looking forward to finding out if I have what it takes to be a pioneer in my teaching context.

I wish everyone success in this course!


Hello from Vancouver!

Hi everyone,

Ta Chi Lee is my legal name, but I am more used to be called Margaret Lee. I immigrated to Canada 20 years ago from Taiwan, so I think of Vancouver as my home now. I am a bilingual instructor teaching ESL and Mandarin as a second language. In Vancouver, I had taught at Langara College and SFU and I am now a language program coordinator at a private college. Having read many of your posts, I have learned that each of you have diverse backgrounds and are living in different places, so I’m quite excited to work and learn with everyone. This course uses UBC Blogs instead of the Vista and Connect, so I think this would be another intriguing experience which can extend my practice in both learning and teaching application.

E-learning has changed the way we educate and at my college, our plan is to focus on expanding this market to Asia.  This will be the first step for us in attempting to balance the theory and practice to successfully create market plans and find e-learning business opportunities in this digital generation. This is why I am here to further my knowledge and expertise in the field of education as an enterprise through this course. I am looking forward to working with everyone.




Cathy in Duncan on Vancouver Island

Hi guys.

After a summer off, I have signed up for my 6 & 7th MET courses this semester (522 & 531).  I have worked as a Veterinary Technician (like a nurse for animals) for years and had hoped to teach it online but horizons keep expanding so who knows where this will eventually lead.

I have learned much about teaching from MET (actually, just the tip of the iceberg – teachers are my new heroes!) but technology still challenges. It takes me a while but I eventually catch on. Just bought my first smartphone the other day.

Riding the great biking trails of the Cowichan Valley in summer keeps me sane but when it rains in winter, I wimp out and walk. Just about walking season again.


Hi from Vancouver Island

Hi there everyone

I’m Alex from beautiful Victoria, BC.  This will be my fourth MET course and it’s nice to see some familiar faces back again.  I am a middle school learning support teacher – just beginning my seventh year on the job.  Special Ed and technology work very well together and are definitely providing learning opportunities that have simply not existed before.  Pretty exciting.

When I’m not in the classroom I like being outside.  My bike ride to/from work is often one of the best parts of my day.  So many podcasts, so little time.

I’m looking forward to this course and connecting with new and interesting ideas.