Sunday, October 23, 2016

Remember Those Great Volkswagen Ads?

The story of the charming, honest ad campaign DDB created for VW... universally acknowledged to be the greatest and most influential of all time. Directed by Joe Marcantonio - Book available:
"Remember Those Great Volkswagen Ads?" from Dial M Films on Vimeo.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Photo: Auckland Lottery Seller

From a street in Auckland New Zealand, these two guys look like they are dreaming of lottery wins.  Maybe the guy on the right is promising to share the winnings.  The image is dated 1977.

Auckland Kiwi Jackpot Seller, 1977

EdTech Market Map

An interesting formulation of a market map for ed tech provided by Flybridge Capital Partners. Not sure when this was first published since some of the information is no longer valid. For example, some businesses have folded.

 Here is a more recent static market map from CB insights:

And another view from CB Insights:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

What Teachers Say about EdTech in The Classroom - Report

A research report from the Gates foundation delves into the state of technology adoption in K-12 schools across the country and takes the point of view of teachers.  The report was released in November 2015 however results and analysis are updated on the report website.

Here are some of the conclusions from the report:

As part of its ongoing outreach to education technology developers, the foundation’s companion website to this research,, will feature more in-depth data from the research as it becomes available, along with existing resources for developers and interviews with a wide range of teachers who provide real-life examples of their needs and challenges. Through this research and ongoing efforts, the foundation hopes to elevate the voices of educators about what they need and spark conversation among the developer community, teachers, school leaders, and other supporters of public education. The recommendations for product developers, district and school leaders, teachers, funders, and investors made in earlier Teachers Know Best reports continue to offer our best guidance, grounded in the research, for ways the field can make technology more responsive to teachers’ needs and speed its adoption in the classroom. Based on our current findings, we add to that guidance a small number of additional, more specific, recommendations:

Product Developers:
  • Teachers need core resources, a sentiment backed up by their perception of the supplemental nature of many digital tools and the belief that they are less useful for remediation than other classroom purposes. Product developers should continue to work to fill perceived gaps in the market—in part by identifying and addressing specific standard, subject, and grade-level needs cited by teachers.
  • Developers should make their feedback process more transparent. Following the lead of their counterparts in other sectors, support and feedback could be driven by open, online communities in which teachers and developers collaborate to identify and resolve issues and iterate on improvements.
District and School Leaders
  • District leaders must find ways to address the digital divide. Without ensuring equal access to technology in all schools and classrooms, learning gaps are likely to increase as digital tools become a more integral part of classroom instruction. Equity must also be considered in digital instruction plans, as teachers will be less likely to embrace the use of digital tools and more personalized instruction if they feel that they do not equally benefit all students.
  • District leaders should ensure that they better understand how teachers will use the digital tools they are considering for implementation—and create avenues to help teachers become more directly involved in school- and district-level technology decisions.
  • Educators should familiarize themselves with resources like Graphite and EdSurge that provide information not just about digital tools, but also the strategies that align those tools to the most effective instructional purposes. Doing so can help ensure that a digital tool that other educators have found effective is used effectively in their own classrooms as well
  • Educators should provide feedback to developers of the digital tools they use most. Doing so will close the feedback loop and speed ongoing improvements.
Funders and Investors
  • Given the continued prevalence of access-related barriers to technology adoption, funders and investors should identify ways to address school and educator needs. Doing so involves not just supporting the improvement of access to digital tools but also the hardware required for students and teachers to use them, as well as the training and professional development needed for them to be used effectively and for teachers to become more engaged technology consumers in their classrooms.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Amazon's Prime Bizarre: More and More Content

The way Amazon is going with the relentless push to add more and more value to the Amazon Prime membership there won't be any more content that isn't included in the membership fee.   Hyperbolic certainly; however, Amazon has just added more than 1,000 books, comics and magazines which Prime members can access for free via phone, tablet or Kindle device.

From Nieman Labs:
There are currently 42 magazine issues listed in the program, called Prime Reading, including familiar names like Sports Illustrated, Vogue, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Consumer Reports. “Every month we choose a selection of top magazine issues for you to borrow as part of your Prime membership,” Amazon said. Users can download up to 10 titles at once.

Originally, I and probably most people joined up when in the process of buying something big the promise of free shipping prompted a 'why not' shrug to their Prime promotion.  Years later and the free shipping pays for the membership but, most importantly (in my case anyway), it has worked glue-like in the manner of airline miles to encourage loyalty.  The added stuff like book and magazine content and audio books announced earlier this year are increasingly making a tie that won’t ever break.

Several recent news stories put the number of Prime subscribers over the 50mm household mark.  It is also estimated that Prime members, who pay $99 per year for the membership, spend roughly double non-members.  (Twice)  The reports and estimates do tend to feed on themselves because Amazon is very cagey about reporting out actual data.  Other recent reports include BusinessInsider and CNN.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

PND Flip Board Magazine

Here is a current link to my most recent article picks for the PND magazine:

PND Flipboard Magazine

Articles about,

The 'new' telenovella
Amazon's pricing algorithm in conflict with 'customer first'?
How bad data costs all of us
Ferguson's philosphy
Who's black box do you trust.

+ More