Online Course: English Composition I by Duke University Jun 26 – Aug 27


You will gain a foundation for college-level writing valuable for nearly any field. Students will learn how to read carefully, write effective arguments, understand the writing process, engage with others’ ideas, cite accurately, and craft powerful prose. We will create a workshop environment.

About the Course

 English Composition I provides an introduction to and foundation for the academic reading and writing characteristic of college. Attending explicitly to disciplinary context, you will learn to read critically, write effective arguments, understand the writing process, and craft powerful prose that meets readers’ expectations. You will gain writing expertise by exploring an area or topic in which you would like to gain expertise (a hobby, trade, profession, discipline, etc.). Your major writing projects will be about your own selected topic and will be drafted and revised in sequenced stages: a visual analysis (600-800 words); a case study (1000-1250 words) and an Op-Ed (500-750 words). Your writing will be central to the course as we create a seminar/workshop structure with peer response and selected instructor feedback.

Two overarching assumptions about academic writing will shape our work:  1) it is transferable; 2) it is learnable. Being an effective academic writer involves asking meaningful questions and engaging in complex dialogue with texts and ideas. These skills are useful across virtually all academic disciplines and they provide a valuable means for making sense of non-academic experiences as well. Perhaps even more important, though, is that learning how to write effectively does not require inspiration or genius, but hard work, reflection, and feedback. This means that, with practice, dedication, and working with others, you can be an effective academic writer and contribute your ideas to important, ongoing conversations.

**English Composition I has earned a Certificate of Recognition from Quality Matters, a non-profit dedicated to quality in online education.**


Can Jamaica Profit from the Increasing Demand for Vinyl Records?

At first I thought the talk about “vinyl comeback” was unfounded. That was about 3 years ago. As I read more headlines like the following, I am convinced there is something here worth looking into.

The Resurgence of Vinyl Continues In 2012 – Record Stores Making a Comeback? (2012)

Weaned on CDs, They’re Reaching for Vinyl (2013)

The baffling revival of the vinyl LP (2014)

Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records (2014)

The True Story of How Vinyl Spun Its Way Back From Near-Extinction (2014)

Here’s Why Music Lovers Are Turning to Vinyl and Dropping Digital (2015)

The Resurgence of Vinyl in Seven Graphics: A Breakdown (2015)

Vinyl sales are still on the rise in 2015, fueling a revival that keeps pointing up (2015)

UK’s first Official Vinyl Charts launch as vinyl sales soar in 2015 (2015)

Music industry struggling to keep up with demand for vinyl (2015)

Vinyl sales represent a small piece of the music “pie.” But demand appears to be growing and there are not enough manufacturing plants to keep up with the demand for quality vinyls. According to, “Since the breakout year in 2008, vinyl albums sales increased 223 percent to 6.06 million units last year [2013]. And rather than slow down, sales are actually gaining momentum. In unit terms, vinyl sales grew 1.5 million units last year. With sales on track to surpass 8 million units, this year’s growth will surpass 2 million units.”

Can the surge in vinyl purchase be sustained? Many hope so. According to MusicWatch “…data shows people that buy vinyl are more likely than the average music consumer to listen to Internet radio, follow artists on social media and stream on-demand music. They’re heavy music consumers that need something beyond digital files or CDs.” There are millions of ardent music listeners in North America, Europe and the rest of the world.

Can the local Jamaican studios put out quality vinyls? Can they take advantage of the increasing demand for more LPs? I truly hope so.

TREND: Fast-Expanding Markets for Good

New markets such as personalized medicine can drive rapid social change.

In 2008, vitamin D deficiency—due in part to human’s increasing lack of direct sun exposure—was declared a pandemic. As the news spread among medical professionals, the market for vitamin D detection tests skyrocketed, growing at a compound annual rate of 76 percent between 2007 and 2010. One company, DiaSorin, positioned itself for market domination by increasing its expertise in vitamin D testing and output. By 2011, DiaSorin had achieved 47 percent worldwide market share and 51 percent of the US market. Vitamin D detection testing is an example of what we call a fast-expanding market (FEM).

FEMs are new, rapidly growing economic opportunities that fly under the radar of macroeconomic analysis. They are exciting because they offer value creation and growth potential with undefined limits. Entrepreneurs and enterprises astute enough to recognize an FEM in action can pivot or diversify their suite of products and services, and drive social change in doing so. Some FEMs are observable from a national or regional basis, while others, such as vitamin D testing, exist on a global product or industry level. In today’s technology-driven and information-rich world, more and more FEMs are emerging. One of the latest developments is the rise of personal genomics and personalized medicine—a new market where advanced technology is transforming the way doctors diagnose and treat diseases.


Rural youths being groomed as entrepreneurs

RENEWABLE energy company Gennex has partnered with Trelawny-based Kimroy Bailey Foundation to assist less fortunate rural youths in becoming entrepreneurs.

The partnership has so far trained and certified four individuals in the manufacturing of solar-powered lanterns, during a two-day workshop at the University of Technology, Jamaica, earlier this week. Upon completion of the programme, each participant was assisted in packaging their products which will then be sold to individuals in their communities.

Thereafter, the young entrepreneurs are expected to gain enough capital to start manufacturing their own products to continue the business. Additionally, the trainees are able to buy the manufactured products from the Kimroy Bailey Foundation at a discounted price to aid in the growth of the business. Continue

Jamaican Entrepreneur Exploit the Value of Bamboo to Make Bamboo Tomato Ketchup

BambooKetchupJamaican entrepreneur Chevaughn Bowen, a graduate of International University of the Caribbean (IUC), now has his latest creation – Bamboo Tomato Ketchup – on the market. The new product is produced by Jamdun’ Food Processing in Kingston.

According to the Jamaica Observer, “Bowen said he got the idea to make the bamboo tomato ketchup while in discussion with director of special projects at the BSJ, Gladstone Rose, who heads the Government’s bamboo programme.”

“He then went to China to have a first-hand look at that country’s bamboo industry, and to do further expert research on the properties in the bamboo edible shoots. After he returned, he began producing the bamboo ketchup, which is available locally.”

A recent Jamaica Information Service report stated “For State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, the product (bamboo ketchup) is the first of its kind in the world, offering a number of vitamins.”

“This is one of the products for diversification, our own bamboo indigenous ketchup. There are several things that we can do with bamboo…there is bamboo pharmaceutical, the bamboo charcoal, bamboo flooring, furniture, bamboo to feed animals, and the bamboo fabric that is in demand, fetching a high price on the world market,” she told JIS News, at the recent opening of the first bamboo charcoal factory, in Pembroke Hall, St. Mary.

“We are looking at the tourism industry, because instead of buying and selling things from other countries to our tourists, we can give them authentic Jamaican products, made in Jamaica. That is what people want when they come on a vacation,” the State Minister said.


Local Bamboo Ketchup Now Available
Jamaica Embarks On Commercial Bamboo Production
Jamaica looks to bamboo industry for housing, furniture and charcoal
Organic Jamaican Bamboo Charcoal

Review of Jamaica’s Economic Performance July – September 2014

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) published an economic performance report dated November 19, 2014. The report covesr the economic performance for the quarter July to September 2014. This report covers sectors of the Jamaican economy such as tourism, agriculture, forestry & fishing, manufacture and construction.

Here are some of what you will find in the report:

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing
The Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing industry declined by an estimated 21.0%, reflecting:
Other Agricultural Crops down 32.9% due to declines in production in all crop groups Potatoes, down 47.9%; Vegetables, down 45.0%; Condiments, down 44.4%
Other components which recorded contractions were:  Traditional Export crops, down 1.0%; cent; and Post Harvest activities, down 41.8%
The fall-off in the industry was due to:  Drought conditions which curtailed planting activities and lowered yields for crops.

Mining & Quarrying
Crude bauxite production up 2.2% due to increased demand
Bauxite capacity utilization rate increased by 1.8% points to 86.0%

Transport, Storage & Communication
Real value added for Transport, Storage & Communication grew by 1.3% reflecting an expansion in the Transport & Storage; and the Communication components of the industry.
Transport component grew reflecting increased levels of activities at seaports:
Cargo volume handled at the islands seaports increased by 2.3% to 3.9 million tonnes:
Outports up 3.3% to 2.6 million tonnes – driven largely by increased Bauxite exports; Port of Kingston, up by 408 tonnes to 1.2 million tonnes
Airport activities were estimated to have increased due to 6.4% increase in total air passenger movements

Hotels & Restaurants
Real Value Added for Hotels & Restaurants grew by 3.9% due to increases in:
Cruise passenger arrivals up 27.3%
Stopover arrivals up by 5.0% resulting in
Total arrivals up 11.8%
Provisional visitor expenditure up 6.8% to US$523.0 million


  • For January to September 2014 inflation rate was 7.2%
  •  Remittance inflows for January-July 2014 amounted to US$1,238.3 million, up US$47.6 million relative to January–July 2013.
  • Total employed labour force increased by 16,700 persons to 1,124,600 compared with July 2013.
  • The unemployment rate for July 2014 was 13.8% compared with 15.4 % in July 2013.

SOURCE: Planning Institute of Jamaica

Android for Beginners (8+ Hours of Content)


** Last updated on JANUARY 11, 2015 **


There goes a chinese proverb - “Tell me, I’ll forget. Show me, I’ll remember. Involve me, I’ll understand.”

The highest degree of learning takes place with your involvement. And this course is designed to do exactly that. This course introduces you to the basics of Android development. You will need some Java fundamentals to get started. If you are not sure about the difference between an abstract class and an interface you might have to refresh your Java concepts before proceeding.

Also, if you are new to Java I recommend John Purcell’s Java Course, in order to acquire the minimal Java programming skills required to step into Android development.

I’ve also got you some companion code which you can download from the appropriate lectures. You’ll be working on the source code along with me, so that you could get a good grasp on the concepts you will eventually be introduced to. At the end of this course you’ll be able to write and deploy AWESOME!! apps to Google Play.

How is this course designed?

  • Comprehensive - Contains lessons and exercises that enable you to develop real-world Android applications.
  • Simple & Sequential - To keep complexity at bay, the course introduces you to independent concepts initially and then reveals more of the complex stuff.
  • Focused towards Results - This is the same course that we use internally at our mobile app startup, to train new talents.
  • Hands-on Sessions - I guide you through sessions building apps and writing code snippets clearly explaining every line of code.
  • Drills - Easy-to-moderate beginner level exercises in which you get the opportunity to practice what you’ve learnt and verify the same.
  • Elaborate Videos - Learn Android concepts in a thorough manner, I’ve made sure that all WHYs and HOWs you need to know are covered.

Since this course is for beginners, I highly recommend you to take this course sequentially. You can pick on random videos, but remember – the complexity increases down the road so it is imperative that you take them one by one.



Could Your Business Use a Mentor? Where Do You Find One?

Here is a great article published in FORBES a few weeks ago:

The Importance of Mentors, And Where To Find Them

Why Mentors Matter?

Mentors or business coaches are one of the most valuable resources an entrepreneur should tap into. The idea of launching a business should no longer be a scary or daunting experience, riddled with unknowns. It should be a collaborative experience accumulating the learnings of the hundreds of local entrepreneurs who have already built successful businesses, and can help you move faster and avoid known pitfalls based on their years of experience, as entrepreneurs themselves. Continue

Online Course: Innovation for Entrepreneurs: From Idea to Marketplace Feb 9 – Mar 21

About the Course

We establish a framework for examining the innovation process, and quickly transition into exploring how to successfully bring innovations to market. Key questions answered within the course include:
  • What are the key indicators of innovation opportunities?
  • What steps are critical for entrepreneurs to bring innovations to the marketplace?
  • What innovation strategies are valuable for new ventures to establish and maintain a competitive advantage?
With this course, students experience a sampling of the ideas and techniques explored in the University of Maryland’s Online Master of Technology Entrepreneurship.


Course Syllabus

Week One: The Innovation Landscape
  • Defining Innovation for Business Strategy
  • Creative Destruction as Innovation’s Outcome
  • Innovation’s Value Proposition for Entrepreneurs
  • New Models of Innovation for Entrepreneurs
  • How the Life Span of an Innovation Follows Product Life Cycles
  • How Innovations Diffuse into the Commercial Marketplace
Week Two: Indicators of Innovation Opportunity & Steps in the Process of Innovation
  • Drucker’s Seven Sources of Innovation Opportunity
  • How Technology “S” Curves Reveal Innovation Opportunity
  • Understanding How Innovations Disrupt the Marketplace
  • How Lead Users Foster Innovation
  • Where Innovation is Hiding in the Value Chain
  • How to Recognize a Winning Innovation Idea
  • Ways Technology Can Be a Source of Innovation
  • Three Framed Views of the Innovation Process
  • How Individual Steps Form the Overall Innovation Process
  • An Innovation Process Applied: New Product Development
  • How Creative Roles Contribute to Innovation
  • How Implementer Roles Contribute to Innovation


Week Three: Innovation Strategies for Competitive Advantage

  • How Strategic Alliances Enable Open Innovation
  • How a Blue Ocean Strategy Leads to New Market Niches
  • How to Cross the Adoption Chasm and Get an Innovation to Market
  • How Benchmarking Can Be an Innovation Strategy
  • How Technology Influences an Innovation Strategy
  • How Lead User Research Becomes an Innovation Strategy
  • How to Compose the Elements of an Innovation Portfolio
  • How Technology Transfer Fits into an Innovation Portfolio


Week Four: Creating Winning Business Models
  • Developing Products and Services to Fit the Market
  • Keys to Developing Winning Business Models
  • Beginning the Business Model Canvas
  • Completing the Business Model Canvas