Category Archives: Development Tools

Update Captivate for 2017

Captivate 2017 (v.10) was released a couple months ago.

The brightest update – ‘Fluid Boxes’ which help you to create truly responsive pieces for your multi-device delivery. From their site, Continue reading Update Captivate for 2017

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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.” Continue reading You’ve got 2 years to convert your SWFs…

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, Continue reading Kaltura Virtual Education Summit – 2016

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 (?)

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

How and Why: GreenScreen eLearning Video

When I started in video production, learning how to ‘Chroma Key’ was a high-end skill (that, and learning how to use the ‘Chyron’).  It was very cool to see the weather-person pointing to a blank screen as the control room overlay the forecast images…as well as see the imperfections when the announcer wore a color a bit too close to the bluescreen behind them and the keying came through on their clothing!

One lesson learned from those earlier days; blue was not a good color to key against as it’s a pretty common in everyone’s wardrobe …thus the move to the more uncommon, luminescent green we see today, and the now more recent event of ‘greenscreening’ becoming a verb.

Keying (or greenscreening, or color overlay, etc) is a lot easier these days, as so many things, with advances in computer power and tools. Continue reading How and Why: GreenScreen eLearning Video

Updates! Captivate 9 and Prime (Adobe LMS)

Big update news from Adobe! A long-awaited update to Captivate, now at version 9, AND a new LMS product – Captivate Prime. I new this LMS was coming but assumed it would be an extension or adaptation of Adobe Connect, so was surprised to see Captivate Prime and not Connect Prime. Looks like Adobe has put significant effort into this LMS product, building it from scratch (?) as opposed to sticking a new UI or plugin on to their mature Connect platform.

First, back to Captivate 9 itself. As with all their version updates, this new release includes some solid updates. Two of the most exciting for this old Captivate developer: Continue reading Updates! Captivate 9 and Prime (Adobe LMS)

Adobe TechCommSuite 2015 release

TCS-ProductsResponsive HTML5 output and Right-to-Left (RtL) language support! Two significant updates to the latest release of Adobe’s Technical Communication Suite. Targeted as a “publishing toolkit for technical writers, help and policy authors, and instructional designers”, Adobe’s TCS includes:

  • Acrobat Pro DC – “The complete PDF solution for working anywhere
  • Captivate 8 – “Everything you need to create eLearning courseware
  • FrameMaker 2015 – “Easily author bidirectional technical content and publish across mobile devices
  • RoboHelp 2015 – “Deliver personalized content across platforms and mobile devices
  • Presenter 10 – “Video creation was never this easy

While those versions of Captivate and Presenter have been out for a while, the updates to Framemaker and RoboHelp allow the entire TCS to finally hit a new release (release notes). Continue reading Adobe TechCommSuite 2015 release