Saturday, February 27, 2010

Earthquakes Online

With the tragic news of the recent earthquakes, first Haiti and now Chile, I thought I would share some of the e-learning resources regarding earthquakes and tsunamis. Prior to that, it is important to note the valiant relief efforts so many are doing and the support they need. There are many relief groups in need of donations and it can be done easily online or via text. Mashable has posted a list of ways you can make online and text donations.

Here are some e-learning resources regarding earthquakes along with emergency preparedness:

These are also now listed on the Free e-Learning page.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Preview a Tablet, but This One has Flash

As we all know, that tablet everyone has been talking about recently does not have Flash. Oh well, I am over it. However, Dell will be releasing a multi-touch tablet of their own, the Mini 5, and it WILL have Flash. Take a look of the preview below from Adobe TV.

Yes, I know what you are thinking. A 5 inch screen and they are calling it a tablet? It may be a stretch, but Dell is talking about scaling it up and offering larger versions. Beyond a 5 inch screen and I will let them slide on the semantics.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Great Example of Using Multiple Forms of Media

Last year "We Choose the Moon" was launched in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch. This is a fantastic example of using video, audio, photos, and animation all in one course. Here is the link, It is absolutely worth the visit.

Also, here is a video from AdobeTV that provides some background on the development of "We Choose the Moon."

If you liked this course, you will also like these courses on space and NASA.

Explore the Apollo 11 Landing Site - NASA

International Space Station - NASA

One Small Step - NASA

NASA 50 Years - NASA

Rocket Science 101 - NASA

A Sense of Scale - The Elegant Universe

Trace Space Back to You - NASA

And there are plenty more on the Free e-Learning page.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Development Tools - Should I Cut Out the Middle Guy?

Adobe Flash Logo

Back when I first started developing e-learning courses, I used Macromedia's Authorware. For more interactive elements, I used Flash and imported the SWFs into Authorware. Over the years, I have used ToolBook, Trainersoft, and even Dreamweaver with Coursebuilder. Almost every course involved using Flash for interactive elements (animations, games, quizzes, simulations, video, etc.). It has gotten to a point where some of my courses are all developed in Flash and the e-learning authoring tools (DHTML) have been used more as a "shell" that decompiles it as a SCORM package. I really prefer the robust ability of creating courses in Flash and only use the DHTML e-learning authoring tools for their ability to make the course SCORM or AICC compliant.

So,  do I really need to continue using these authoring tools? No, I can skip the middle man and produce entire courses in Flash. These courses can be published as SCORM or AICC compliant courses. This includes the learning interactions that are easily added as components. The learning interactions can be used for multiple types of quiz questions that will be tracked by a learning management system (LMS).

Here is a tutorial on How to Add Basic SCORM code to a Flash Movie from Pipwerks.

And from Adobe, Creating e-Learning Content, which includes configuring learning interactions and tracking to a SCORM or AICC compliant LMS.

Granted, many authoring tools provide a great deal of  ease when adding content, navigation and quizzes, but the interactions they include within these tools are limited.  For me, if I am already developing so much of the course in Flash, I might as well use the Flash learning interactions for the quiz questions and publish the entire Flash file as a SCORM compliant course.  I will note that I will keep Captivate in my toolbox, as it is more effective for developing software/application simulations than building them from scratch in Flash. Of course any sims developed in Captivate (also SWF files) can easily be included, or launched from, a course developed with Flash.