Posted
Comments None

A few weeks ago, I received an email from one of our most talented and dedicated librarians requesting that the board consider purchasing “Explain Everything” for our Chromebooks. If you don’t know about Explain Everything, pause here and watch this video


Explain Everything™ – Interactive Whiteboard for iPad from Explain Everything™ on Vimeo.


Also, before I go further, I have to declare a bias…I love Explain Everything. In fact, this is the only app that our school board puts on every single iPad (almost 2000 of them now). It is an app that by its nature encourages students towards higher thinking… the creating, evaluating and analysing end of things if you are a fan of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Our french consultant was looking for a french specific app to recommend to our teachers: Open your iPad Settings -> General -> Language & Region -> iPad Language and choose the language you would like to start using. Open Explain Everything and c’est voila. Long story short..this is my deserted island app, if I could choose only one app for our students this would be it.

Having now come clean about my love for Explain Everything, and honestly willing to do just about anything to support this librarian, I started to look in the Chrome store for Explain Everything. Three stars out of five. I ask myself, how could that be? No Google Drive support. How can you launch a program for a Google Chromebook with no Google Drive support, I did not even think that was possible. Regardless, I am willing to overlook this as I love the program and have faith that this feature will be forthcoming in a future release. I email the folks at Explain Everything to get pricing and inquire about a bulk purchase and this is where the wheels fall off. They have changed their pricing model since we purchased for all our iPads. Now they have developed the application so that it stores all your data on an Explain Everything account and without an account, you cannot run the app. I really do understand why they would want to do this, it means more stable revenue for them, better metrics on usage and presumably a better user experience for those people who are using multiple devices that cross platform/os lines. Here is the company’s take on things

To make matters worse, all the comments decrying this change, hundreds of them, have been removed from the iTunes store. The developer appears to have re-enrolled their app under a new name and removed their old app. Dirty pool if you ask me. The bottom line is that they are now looking for $2.67 per named user per year. I have 14462 students and about 1600 employees who should have access to this wonderful app. To date, I have spent about $10K on Explain Everything which (I thought) would give us perpetual access on our iOS devices. Now I am being told that I have to pay $43K every year and that our “perpetual” licensed app, now being called Explain Everything Classic will, in their words, “ride off into the sunset.”

What do you think? Will you be subscribing to Explain Everything or moving to a different product/service? Do you see other apps moving in this direction? Tell me in the comments.

Author
Categories Educational Technology, School

Posted
Comments None

One of my courses this semester is “Digital Media in Practice” and while we just started, it already has me thinking in a different way. I am going to warn you though, once you read this blog entry you will start to notice something that may take away from your enjoyment of the Stanley Cup playoffs. My enjoyment of the playoffs was taken away by Anaheim when they beat Edmonton in Game 7, but that is another story. This is the kind of thing that you have probably ignored but once you see it you will be amazed at how often it appears in the arenas of NHL teams. So, with that forewarning, here is a photo of a rink board at the Boston Garden:

After a little googling I discovered that ORG Packaging is in the business of beverage packaging (Bloomberg, 2017) and has annual revenue of 6 billion yuan or 1.2 billion Canadian dollars (ORG Packaging, 2017). This begs the question, why is a B2B firm that operates in China spending millions of dollars on rink board advertising. This article in the Hockey News sheds a little light on his motivation, linked to growing the game in China and also being a superfan and player himself. I still cannot imagine why a businessman would spend this amount of money. It is difficult to find out how much rink board advertising costs for this season’s playoffs but if this article in le Journal de Montréal is any indication we can estimate $350 000. ORG has advertised in every arena in the NHL playoffs so we can conservatively estimate the company has spent $5.6 million on advertising (16 teams X $350K per arena).

He is advertising a product that no one in the target market will or is even able to buy and in a place where he has zero market share and seems to no have no intention of wanting to grow market share. Is this simply a case of a wealthy Chinese businessman trying to get in on the ground floor of what might be explosive growth in an untapped market? Why else would Zhou Yunjie of ORG spend millions of dollars on advertising that he must know will have little discernible impact on his company’s sales numbers. Perhaps it is the same reason Billy Ngok Yan-yu, a Chinese oil and gas investor, sinks $40 million into his Chinese entry in the KHL. Either stands to make a lot of money if the sport takes off in a market of 1.4 billion people.

Author
Categories School, Personal

Posted
Comments None

What you will need:

OTA Antenna – I like the RCA Multidrectional Indoor Antenna, it is available at Canadian Tire (Product #045-2815-4) for $90. It mounts in the window and is fairly inobtrusive. It also has an amplifier which helped bring in an additional channel for me.

Tablo Tuner and PVR – This can be ordered direct from Tablo at https://www.tablotv.com/store/ or online at various retailers like Best Buy and New Egg. I picked the two tuner model because I don’t watch that much TV.

Tablo Subscription – I opted for the lifetime subscription for $179.99, after 3 years you break even when compared to the yearly subscription.

Set top box of your choice – We purchase our movies from iTunes so Apple TV was the choice for us. It has to be a new Apple TV (the one with the black remote). I tried a Roku box and it was excellent but the movie rentals and purchases on my Apple ID brought me back to Apple TV. Check the Tablo site for other options, some TV’s have Tablo capability already.

I also subscribe to Netflix, Crave TV and FonGo (~$25/month) and changed my internet provider to one that had an unlimited plan ($45).

So, my monthly fees are down to $70/month from $180/month for cable (including internet and home phone). I spent about $600 on everything, including a new Apple TV. At that rate I will break even in under six months.

Author
Categories Funny tech tricks, Personal

← Older Newer →