ComWriter functionality leaves old ‘word processors’ behind

ComWriter is the only writing platform to provide the breadth of functionality actually needed to write to academic standards (see diagram).

ComWriter functionality outstrips the competitors

ComWriter functionality outstrips the competitors

While Microsoft suggests they support the education market, all they do is provide discounted licenses to an old product. Even their new cloud-based subscriptions (MS365) are a cutdown (and clumsy) version of their tired product. Microsoft’s real target is large corporates.

Likewise Google also suggests it supports the education market. But, realistically Google Docs is not different to MS Word, except that it is a stripped down version that is cloud-based and free. Google’s primary target is small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and individuals they can advertise to.

Neither of these suppliers/products actually delivers the functionality required by students and academics to meet academic standards. All the word processors that we have investigated, all seem to work much the same as MS Word. So there has been no real innovation in writing products since the inception of referencing software about 10 years ago!

We think it’s time to change that scenario. And, our mapping of ComWriter’s functionality against these two giant word processors, suggest we have hit the mark.


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Aussie Startups Set to Boom

‘The Startup Economy: How to support tech startups and accelerate Australian innovation’ provides a snapshot of Australia’s 1500 current tech startups and a roadmap to help ensure the success of the sector.

Australian entrepreneurs working more closely with educators, government and corporate Australia is the key to unlocking the potential of the tech startup sector. The startup sector is a rapidly growing part of the economy which has the capacity to contribute four per cent of GDP or $109 billion and create 540,000 new jobs by 2033.

According to the report findings, the key ways to unlock the potential of the sector are:

  • Attract more entrepreneurs with the right skills: In the short term Australia needs 2,000 more tech entrepreneurs each year drawn from the existing workforce. In the long term, our education sector must produce more skilled tech entrepreneurs.
  • Foster a stronger and open culture of entrepreneurship: Australia has a considerably higher ‘fear of failure’ rate than nations like the U.S. and Canada, constraining the sector. The tech community is key to changing this by celebrating its own success and becoming more inclusive.

Also important is:

  • Encourage more early stage funding: Funding for the Australian tech startup sector will need to increase. Australia invests approximately $7.50 per capita in venture capital per annum (all quoted in US$ figures), compared to the United States ($75) and Israel ($150).
  • Open up local markets to tech startups: Governments are major consumers with spending totalling $41bn in 2012. They can become more startup friendly with procurement reform.
  • Continue to improve the regulatory environment, such as removing the barriers created by taxing Employee Share Option Plans up front

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April 27, 2013 · 9:02 AM

New formulae for University Lectures

ImageAfter attending TEDxNoosa last week, and reading about the demise of the traditional University Lecture in favor of interactive activities (via MOOCs), I couldn’t help thinking that the 18 minute max. for a speaker at TEDx might be a new formulae for University Lectures. Short video bites of information, rather than the procrastinated 1 hour of boring! Short Blogs also seem to be in favor.

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Filed under Teaching innovations

The Pyramid Principle

The Pyramid Principle is an excellent method for developing a logical structure for your writing, whether it is a short essay, a book or an entire dissertation.

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Abbreviations used in academic references

And others (et al.)

  • The latin is et alli, abbreviated to et al.
  • Et al. is used to indicate a list of authors in a reference; for example, Glassop, et al. 
  • Generally, always list all authors the first time, after that you can use the first author and et al.
  • Always consult your official reference style guide to check the requirements
The same place (ibid.)
  • The latin is ibidem, abbreviated to ibid.
  • When repeating a citation consecutively, you can put ibid. to indicate that the reference is exactly same as the previous one
  • For example, (ibid.)
  • If ibid. is used in a footnote, use a capital I: Ibid.
In the place cited (loc. cit.)
  • The latin is loco citato, abbreviated to loc. cit.
  • An alternative meaning is: in the same location
  • When repeating a citation, you can put loc. cit. to indicate that the reference is the same resource (author/s and date) and the same citation location (i.e., page number or paragraph) as the previous one
  • For example, “Smith (loc. cit.), also claims that…”
In the work cited (op. cit.)
  • The latin is opere citato, abbreviated to op. cit.
  • When repeating a citation, you can  put op. cit. to indicate that the reference is the same resource (author/s and date) as the previous one (but the citation location, i.e., page or paragraph number, is different)
  • For example (op. cit., p.3)

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Filed under Grammar and punctuation tips

TEDx comes to Noosa

TEDx offers the opportunity to learn, be enthralled, and be supportive of the innovation, creativity and ideas emerging from our local community. I follow TED on YouTube, regularly watch and share video’s and have continued to be captivated by the inspirational people (young and old) that TED has given voice to. Having become an entrepreneur for the first time, post 50 yrs, I find inspiration in diverse fields and conversations. As an educator, developing a product in the education space, TED offers a role model for open access to the great thinkers of our time.

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April 2, 2013 · 3:54 PM

Common abbreviations (e.g., i.e., etc.)

For example (e.g.)

  • The latin term is exempli gratia
  • Write the long form, for example, in a sentence and the abbreviated form (e.g.,) when in brackets.
  • Note that there are full stops to indicate the abbreviation
  • Note that there is a comma after the phrase in both the sentence and the brackets to indicate a pause
That is (i.e.)
  • The latin term is id est
  • Write the long form, that is, in a sentence and the abbreviated form (i.e.,) when in brackets
  • Note that there are full stops to indicate the abbreviation
  • Note that there is a comma after the phrase in both the sentence and the brackets to indicate a pause
Etcetera (etc.)
  • The latin meaning is and the rest
  • Write the long form, etcetera, in a sentence and the abbreviated form (etc.) when in brackets
  • Note that there is a full stop to indicate the abbreviation
  • Tip: rarely use etcetera within a paragraph as it indicates that you have provided a sample only; so it probably should be in brackets.


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Filed under Grammar and punctuation tips

ComWriter Update – March, 2013

An update on the development of ComWriter Beta, our forums, and other news.

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April 1, 2013 · 11:56 AM

Using a colon, semi-colon or comma in essay writing

 Colon (:)

  • Place a colon (:) before you add a list things: bread, butter, milk

Semi-colon (;)

  • A semi-colon (;) is like a comma, but joins two part sentences together or appends a phrase to a sentence; for example, when you provide examples

Comma (,)

  • Place a comma (,) where you would pause when reading text aloud, or to separate items in a list.
  • If the list is provided in bullet form, then you don’t need to use a comma at the end

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Sneak peak at ComWriter dashboard

Sneak peak at ComWriter dashboard

This is what the dashboard will look like for ComWriter: start new writing projects, monitor existing projects, collaborate with others. Beta due out in May, 2013

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March 27, 2013 · 11:18 PM