Author Archives michelle.allan

Blog Post #5

Today we finished our Business Model Canvas/Marketing Plan.

At this stage of the project, the idea began to feel a little more “real” as we started to get in the financial specifics of what it would take to make Homeroom happen. We had to research costs of all the components we would need in staffing the organization, making the website, maintaining the website, writing the articles, and making sure the world knows about Homeroom.

One of the challenges we faced was determining the revenue sources. As a non-profit, we would be very dependent on funding from grants, charities, and government organizations. While we are hoping this would be enough, our long term goal is to eventually be used by school boards throughout the province and country. We were unsure of what kind of compensation we should be getting from them. We decided that eventually we would like to charge school boards to use Homeroom throughout their districts, but would not charge individual users.

Another challenge was determining the specific cost of the creation of the website. Since there are so many different types of websites and needs vary project to project, it was virtually impossible to get an exact figure on how much it would cost to bring Homeroom to life. We decided to just invest as much as we could afford into paying for a web organization’s services to create and maintain the site. This will likely be cheaper in the long run than employing in-house staff.

When determining how much money we could theoretically get, we were pleased to learn that we would likely qualify for many existing grants and bursaries. This was a success- if we were to try and make Homeroom real, it is possible that it would be financially viable.

While it was challenging to determine whether to focus our efforts on the website, IOS app, or Android app, we decided to focus on the website first, while committing to expanding into apps once we were able.

All in all, while there were some gaps of figures we were not able to determine, completing this assignment together gave us a good sense of how Homeroom would do in the real world, and we were satisfied with the result.

  michelle.allan   Apr 09, 2020   Uncategorized   0 Comment Read More

Blog Post #3

Last week, our team finished the market research report and handed it in.

Danielle interviewed parents of children in order to find out how their children are (or aren’t) exposed to news and media. In addition to the interviews she conducted, she also created a Google forms survey for group members to share on social media in order to reach additional parents. I interviewed teachers, who shared details of how they incorporate media literacy into their curriculum and shared that most of their students have a low level of interest in the news. Nojoud and Danielle also interviewed several children.

While Danielle and I were able to find a fair amount of parent and teacher sources, experts within fields of media, tech, and education were difficult to find. Coby was able to get input from a Scholastic Books editor and Nojoud was able a lecturer and researcher at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.

We originally planned on doing a series of leveled content for ages 6-12, but the wide range of ages and abilities because difficult to manage. We decide to narrow down targeting children between 10 and 13. While was disappointing to abandon the leveled model, targeting this age group will be effective because that is the age most teachers incorporate news literacy into school curriculum.

Throughout our research and interviews, our hope that children would be interested in news on their own diminished. After speaking with teachers, it became clear that most children were not interested in the news outside large events like coronavirus and Kobe Bryant’s death. While our group did toy with the idea of focusing on ages ranges starting as young as 6 in order to catch the kids before they become apathetic, we decided that ages 10-13 is a better market.

All in all, we believe that we found out a good deal about the low level of media literacy children currently have, what teachers would need to see from the app/website in order to use it, and researched the market in order to find competitors to provide us examples of what works and what doesn’t. By taking a page out of the book of apps/sites children actually use (such as TikTok) and combining it with the effective traits of other successful children’s news aggregators (such as CBC News Kids), we will create an app/website that stimulates children intellectually without being inaccessible or boring.

  michelle.allan   Mar 04, 2020   Uncategorized   1 Comment Read More