Archive | July 2009

Free Hot Lava Software

Hot Lava MobileHot Lava, which was recently acquired by OutStart, is now offering a free version of their m-learning development tool. It is accessible at this link, Hot Lava download-registration. Here is also a description of Hot Lava.

It is a full version and without any time limitations. My guess is that OutStart will be making significant improvements to the software, so why not offer the current version free as a teaser. If you are interested in creating m-learning, here is a free tool to get you started.

Adobe FlashTutorials

flash_cs3_48x45I have been deep into numerous Flash projects. Some are WBT’s that contain Flash interactions, others are entire courses made in Flash. For some, I am delving beyond my current knowledge of Flash Actionscript. Thus, I have been visiting many Flash tutorials. Here are some of the Flash tutorial sites I found out there. FYI: These sites contain free tutorials.

http://www.entheosweb.com/Flash/default.asp – Entheosweb 

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/ – Flash Development Center 

http://www.w3schools.com/Flash/default.asp – w3schools.com 

http://www.flashkit.com/tutorials – Flash Kit 

http://www.gotoandlearn.com – gotoAndLearn()  

http://www.flashandmath.com – Flash & Math (AS3 tutorials) 

http://flash.tutsplus.com – Flash Tuts+ 

http://www.echoecho.com/flash.htm – EchoEcho

 

If you have any favorite Flash tutorial sites, please share. I am also adding a Flash Tutorial category on the Free e-Learning page.

NOVA's Interactives Archive

I absolutely love seeing great examples of e-learning. While watching NOVA,  I took a trip over to their website and found their Interactives Archive. It has hundreds of educational interactives. They are organized by interest and range from anthropology to technology. Here is the link,  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/hotscience, take a look. It will be added to the Free e-Learning page too.

I Carry My ActionScript Around My Neck

Whenever I write new Flash Actionscript (that works) or find useful Actionscript, I make it a point to place it somewhere accessible where I can access it later. It may be years before I need that particular code again, but I want to access it quickly along with any associated notes I saved with it.

Here has been my solution for many years. I have added a personal wiki to my removable flash drive. As I write or find new code, I add a new post on the wiki, add appropriate tag, and paste the code along with any directions for the code. When I need the code again, I pop in the flash drive, copy the code and paste in right into Flash’s Actionscript pane. This has saved me many hours of hunting down code from prior Flash interactions that I have made or needing to write anything from scratch a second time.

If you need a personal wiki that can reside on your flash drive, TiddlyWiki provides one. There may be others out there, but this one works for me. Oh, get a nice lanyard to put your flash drive on too.

The Eagle has Landed – Apollo XI

One of my earliest memories as a child was the Apollo 11 Moon landing 40 years ago. With the anniversary upon us (7/20), I am promoting some of the great resources NASA has on the web celebrating this event.

NASA – Apollo 40th Anniversary

Explore the Apollo 11 Landing Site

Interactive: One Small Step

Restored Videos of the Moon Walk

Real-Time Replay of Mission Audio (July 16-July 24)

Simulations – Considerations

Currently, I am involved in creating simulations for a new system application. This is something I have done a lot of over the years. And I have learned quite a bit, but the hard way. To avoid the problems I encountered in the past, I strongly suggest making the following considerations prior to developing software or system application simulations.

  • Have access to a “test” system to capture the sim’s screens. If there is not a test system and you must capture screens in a live system, identify all the tasks you can or cannot do without adverse effects on the system or its data.
  • Is there sensitive data or information on the system (test or live) that should not be displayed on the simulation? Can dummy data be added for the sake of the simulation? If not, you may need to alter the captured screens with a graphics editor to eliminate and replace sensitive data.
  • Is the system you are using when capturing the screens exactly as it will appear when it is “live?” The graphic user interface (GUI) and functions should replicate what the user will actually experience when they start using the actual system.
  • Determine the end users’ computer specifications. What is their bandwidth, browser type, Flash player version, etc.? These will all determine how you develop the sims and what software(s) you choose for sim development. For example, some development software may require certain players or plug-ins your users do not currently have or they may have low bandwidth causing the very slow download of the Captivate sim you built, etc.
  • Timing of the course launch. Obviously training should occur prior to when people are expected to use the system, but retention can be an issue and I like people to be use the system soon after training
  • Keep the course accessible. Users will probably find the sims to be great refreshers at a later time, so make sure it stays online and is  easy to navigate. They should be able to launch the course on the fly and go directly to the sim they need. Make sure the course’s menu and navigation are very user-friendly.
  • Provide job aids. If the system is not intuitive or the tasks taught are very complicated, the job aid can be a big help to the users after training.
  • Coaching labs. If geography and resources allow, I like to also offer “training labs.” After attending the online training, system users can come into a computer lab and receive coaching on whatever issues they are having or still confused about.

Following the eLearningLearning Community

If you have not been to eLearningLearning.com recently you will notice their redesign and new features. I am a frequent visitor and also member of this elearning blog community. It’s a great collection of elearning blogs with a wide spectrum of perspectives.

Here are some of the new features that make it easy to to follow:

  • Best of  link– Provides the best posts on eLearningLearning based on social signals.
  • RSS – The best of eLearningLearning or full list of blog posts.
  • e-Mail – Receive recaps of the best of elearningLearning or receive recaps of the full list of blog posts.
  • Twitter (elearningPosts) – An easy way to follow eLearningLearning’s posts and when an interesting blog post appears you can zip right over using the tinyurl link.

Outside of going directly to www.elearninglearning.com, my preferred way to follow eLearningLearning is on Twitter.

If you are not following eLearningLearning, you do not know what you are missing. Go ahead, visit the site, explore and start following this wonderful elearning community.