Category Archives: Other Tools

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

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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

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

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

Creative Cloud 2015 – Upgrade Cautions

CC2015-installIssues01Adobe recently released a pretty substantial update to their Creative Cloud (CC) product. Included are updates to many of the products, a return of Adobe Stock Images (though at additional cost) through a partnership with Fotolia, and a variety of bug fixes (release notes and a much-more detailed blog post on update specifics).

CC2015-stock01Update with caution! With substantial updates to the child products, when you install each update the default option is to have the previous versions *removed*. This is different than previous updates’ defaults and is a concern for a variety of reasons: Continue reading Creative Cloud 2015 – Upgrade Cautions

Cloud Applications, Anecdotal Support

I’m not 100% sold on ‘cloud-based’ (SaaS, whatever-current-term) applications. Generally, I want to be able to work with my installed applications without being dependent on an internet connection. Despite the ever-rising prevalence of ‘always on’ connections, such connections DO go down…or have unusable latency, or are just saturated, or the Cloud service is unreachable, or…cloud-what

Continue reading Cloud Applications, Anecdotal Support

New eLearningChef Logo

eChef-Logo_src2What do you think of our new logo?

I really liked the lighthouse, an ‘enhanced’ picture we took of the local , historic Thomas Point lighthouse…but it didn’t have much to do with eLearning…
(plus the lighthouse theme is one better suited for our CapeMedia website)

eChef-Logo_photo
So we whipped the new logo together last Sunday – took a pot, put in some related books I’ve had on the bookshelf for a few years, added a small tablet and a whisk (can you see them?)…then brought into Photoshop and cropped and cleaned a little, added a handle, overlaid a word-cloud, then some ‘simmering’ effects…

Does it work? I think it works well. And, hey, I’m an overall chef, not a sous-chef. If I wanted a professional logo, I’d have hired a professional graphic artist 🙂

Adobe Max Online, Creative Cloud Updates

Adobe Max starts today and the Keynotes are being webcast!
http://max.adobe.com/sessions/max-online

They’re having some connectivity issues, likely due to heavy traffic, but coming in well here so far…

  • Day One keynote: Creativity on the Cutting Edge: Monday, Oct 6, 9:30–11:30am PT
  • Day Two keynote: Community Inspires Creativity: Tuesday, Oct 7, 10–11:30am PT

Check out the Adobe Max Blog for timely updates. One major topic is the latest Creative Cloud updates. That blog post covers the highlights, including new Adobe Apps:

  • Illustrator Draw: “An all-new app that reinvents the best of Adobe Ideas, letting you work with familiar tools and features in a modern, streamlined interface.”
  • Photoshop Sketch: “Draw with new expressive brushes as well as custom brushes, and send sketch artwork to Photoshop as a PSD file…”
  • Lightroom Mobile: “View comments and favorites in Lightroom mobile that clients, friends, or family leave on the photos you’ve shared online in Lightroom on the web.”
  • Creative Cloud Market: “A collection of high-quality, curated content that’s free to Creative Cloud members.”

Additionally, some new CC Resources:

 

PowerPoint for Courseware Development

Despite the many naysayers, PowerPoint is a fine place to start with eLearning development – whether the ultimate goal is to just convert those presentations to actual courseware or to use the deck as an initial storyboard for further development with more substantial tools like Storyline or Captivate (or any of the other plethora of eLearning tools).

PowerPoint has a place in eLearning development. I’ve worked with hundreds of PPT files over the years, from standard presentations to pre-production storyboards to ILT conversion. Here are some ideas how to fit PowerPoint in to your eLearning production process.

Continue reading PowerPoint for Courseware Development

Adobe’s Edge-y HTML5 Development Tools

With Flash being increasingly dismissed for many web projects, Adobe needed an answer to replace at least some of that functionality with a tool that used HTML/JS…resulting in the Edge suite of tools.

Here’s Wikipedia’s entry on the Edge tools. I’m not sure the overview paragraph is terribly accurate, but it’s a good reference page overall, outside Adobe’s site.

That said, Flash isn’t entirely out of the game. With CreateJS integrated, Flash can output to HTML5 Canvas, creating solid images, charts, and animations. I consider this the beginning of the Flash IDE transformation. Until it moves further, however, the Edge tools provide a lot of the otherwise missing HTML functionality.

Continue reading Adobe’s Edge-y HTML5 Development Tools