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You’ve got 2 years to convert your SWFs…

Flash Player vs ToolThere is a lot to “Flash”.

The Flash Player will finally be EOL’d at the end of 2020. So all of us who still have Flash *player* published content out there have about 2 years to get it migrated to a non-Flash solution.

I think the above image is being a bit nitpicky but its a valid point, and a somewhat sore point for thousands of developers who spent years refining their Flash skills – and who struggle to find as an effective rich media development platform.

Indeed, apparently “Adobe AIR for desktop and mobile will continue with a re-energized roadmap.”

Most audio and video can be converted in a straight-forward manner and natively supported by current browsers. ‘Protected’ video via RTMP still has a bit to go, as I understand.

The HTML5 canvas element and CSS/SVG animations are the substitute approaches for Flash animations. Adobe Animate (CC), the newest version of Flash Professional, will continue to be developed and support. So hopefully they will (significantly) improve the methods to export rich media to a native HTML5 format – and significantly improve their ‘create.js’ approach which reminds me of Dreamweaver’s code in 1997…
As it stands now, there are a variety of tools to help mimic Flash output to HTML but none as featureful and capable (that I’ve seen. I’d love to be corrected!)

Here’s a decent writeup by Adobe on the whole HTML conversion process.

One last thing – I do hope the Flash Player continues to be available for installation if someone wants it. There is a LOT of SWF-published content out there and to completely cut it off from folks who may want to view it would be…unfortunate.

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Rustici Acquisition and Open Standards

Open StandardsRustici is a reputable company with a lot of talented folks and deep involvement in eLearning standards such as SCORM and ‘TinCan’ (xAPI !). In fact, so thorough is their involvement and expertise, not only have quite a few other LMS products licensed Rustici’s engines but Adobe migrated Captivate’s entire SCORM (and probably xAPI) engine to Rustici’s implementation…and starting with Captivate 9, they included a specific publishing link to Rustici’s ‘SCORM Cloud’ site. I myself have recommended ‘SCORM Cloud’ countless times as a testing platform for developers’ eLearning content. All in all, Rustici creates industry-leading API engines for the eLearning industry, no doubt.

So I wonder if their acquisition by Learning Technologies Group (LTG) in January 2016 will have any affect on that expertise and dedication. Probably not. Per the Rustici blog, they will “continue to be agnostic, supportive of the standards, and generally the same company we always have been.”
That’s somewhat reassuring. Continue reading Rustici Acquisition and Open Standards

Kaltura Virtual Education Summit – 2016

Online education continues to see the use of video on a rapid rise, especially with the popularity (deserved or not) of MOOCs. Thankfully the speed of most home and mobile connections has finally allowed high-quality video to be a substantial medium in eLearning. I’m sure many remember the small 15fps videos that we had to make do with a decade ago…and how many remember the even smaller, more-compressed video we had to optimize when authoring CD-based training?! Ah, Cinepak

Kaltura is a provider of online video solutions and moving up in the world right along with video itself. We’ve worked with Kaltura fairly extensively over the past year and find its capabilities and features to be mostly excellent. There are, of course, a few areas to be improved…but the core video-streaming capabilities, to a variety of client devices, is simply solid.

I try to be fair and/or somewhat agnostic in this blog, so don’t think of this promotion something specific only to Kaltura. There are other solid video providers out there (i.e. Panopto, MediaCore [now owned by Workday], Vimeo, etc.), each with variations in toolsets, features, and focus… I just don’t have a lot of direct experience with most of them (well, maybe Vimeo a bit) and have been working deeply with Kaltura…plus, ‘open source’ is nice.

SO, to the point, Kaltura is presenting their Education Virtual Summit on May 19th (2016). From their page,

“Through MOOCs, lecture capture, flipped classrooms, media libraries, alumni relations, and more, educational institutions are using video to transform the way we teach and learn. Join leading educators to explore how to use video from the classroom to the dorm room to the library to the admissions department. At the Kaltura Connect Education Virtual Summit, you will find the best practices to inspire your educational institution through video.”

Kaltura Connect Panel-2016Certainly the best part of the summit will be the very first panel session, “Empowering Faculty and Students to Create and Engage” – though perhaps I’m a little biased :).

10:10am EST, May 19th – be there!

And of course, the subsequent presentations are also of high-value with some pretty darn impressive and qualified institutional experts. Check out the registration and agenda page – it’s sure to be an informational blast of knowledge!

Other topics on the agenda:

  • Changing the Learning Paradigm Without Breaking the Bank
  • The Secret Weapon for Video
  • Improving Learning Outcomes
  • Tear Down the Walled Garden
  • How University of Georgia Crowd-Funded Video
  • Melding DIY and Professional Video
  • State of the Union in Edu

Also note this virtual conference is targeted for the Education sector, but Kaltura also has another targeting the Enterprise sector on June 16th.

 

Authoring Tool Updates

New software updatesEdit 3/14/16: Adobe has released an official update for Captivate 9. Most of you should be able to open Captivate and select Help > Updates to launch the Adobe Application Manager and select the release. For those of you who need an alternate method, you can download the patch from the CP Downloads page. See the Release Notes and this Adobe Blog post for more details on this rather extensive update, including new Responsive Skins, improved ‘Roundtripping’, and improved Rulers, Guides, and State options.

A summary of current (as of this post) updates for the more ‘popular’ eLearning development tools; Lectora, Storyline, and Captivate – along with thoughts on a couple other tools: Continue reading Authoring Tool Updates

Flash > Animate, a new beginning (?)

AnimateCC-2015As has been bouncing around the news, or at least relevant social headlines, the past few months – Adobe’s Flash product has undergone a significant makeover. Long doomed by many, considered ‘too proprietary’ or old or irrelevant in the current HTML5-is-our-saviour era…Adobe has taken steps to keep it alive. Welcome Adobe Animate CC.

Too little, too late? Is it enough to overcome the flash-bashing trend (deserved or not)?

Continue reading Flash > Animate, a new beginning (?)

Intern at Adobe!

Adobe Summer InternshipsAdobe has opened the search for Summer Interns. I sure wish this program had been in place (or if it had, that I was aware of it) when I was in grad school. How cool…

The college tour dates started in mid-January, so check quickly to see if they’re coming to your campus or if you’ve already missed them. If so you can surely learn more at their University Recruiting page (and you can look for FT job opportunities there too).

From the page, “We’re looking for interns – undergrads through PhDs – who possess a variety of skills and are eager to make an impact at Adobe.” Continue reading Intern at Adobe!

Screen Capture Tools and Resources

screencap-IntroA significant amount of the eLearning development I’ve been involved with, from production to project management, has included software training. A key element for that subject is, of course, recording the computer (or mobile device) screen to show the software, introducing the user to the UI and stepping them through the particular process.

There are lots of ways to capture the screen, from still shots to video recordings, some more preferred than others. I’ve compiled my ‘favorite’ list here in hopes it may save you some search time when you encounter such a requirement. Continue reading Screen Capture Tools and Resources

Community Connections

Adobe-Community-ConnectionsAdobe has recently been making a push to significantly improve the user experience of their community support resources (likely, at least in part, to Articulate’s excellent user-group support forum). Adobe’s relatively new ‘Community Connections‘ page is a add-on to their revamped product communities (i.e. Photoshop, Captivate, and tons of other products).

Per the Community Connections page, Continue reading Community Connections

For-Profits care too :)

(Courtesy: Amanda Osbon)

A bit off the usual tack of this blog, but this is a good story. Both my parents are retired college professors and growing up I’d occasionally hear similar stories. While this blog focuses on eLearning and few direct classroom interactions, it’s anecdotes like this – caring for students and helping provide a way for people to better themselves – that makes me personally appreciate being involved in the learning community overall.

Just hours before class was scheduled to begin, a student from our Nashville campus lost her babysitter for the evening.  She contacted Peter Powell, Nashville campus director, indicating that she would either need to skip class or bring her two-year-old son to class with her.  While kids normally are not permitted during classroom instruction, Keller Professor Joel Bunkowske (pictured) and Peter decided to allow the student to bring her son to class so that she, in turn, could attend class that evening.  At one point, the boy wanted to be held by Professor Bunkowske, who proceeded to pick him up and continue with his lesson.

Continue reading For-Profits care too 🙂