Archive | May 2010

Adobe Flash on Your Google TV

I have talked in the past about Adobe Flash coming to TV and the potential impact on e-Learning (Adobe Flash on TV and Adobe Flash on TV – Update). Now Google has announced Google TV and it WILL have Flash (Flash Player 10.1). They even have a page regarding designing websites for TV that provides some guidance on designing Flash for Google TV.  The SDK is expected in several months and Google TV devices will go on sale this fall according to their FAQs.

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A Few Practical Tips on Storyboarding

When I peruse my blog stats it always amazes me that my storyboarding posts are some of the most visited and my storyboard template has been downloaded far more than expected. I guess the practical things are the most valuable. Since there is such interest in storyboarding I thought I would follow-up and offer a few more practical tips on creating and using storyboards.

  • Determine who you are making storyboards for. Are they for:
    – your client and/or Subject Matter Expert (SME),
    – developers you are handing the project off to,
    – your own use, or
    – a combination of the aforementioned.
    This will determine how detailed they should be, the technical information you need to include, and how “rough” they can be. For example, storyboards that are for my sole use are sketched out in pencil and the notes are to a level of detail that suits my own needs. If for a developer, obviously I would add far more technical detail and content, for a SME it would focus more on the content and I may leave out technical specifications, etc.
  • Put storyboards up on a wall. This is the best way to get the feel for the course’s flow and how well it is, or is not, designed. Keeping them on the wall is also a constant reminder of the project, keeping you looking at it, and will call out to your coworkers to take a look and provide feedback.
  • Play with the storyboards. I write mine in pencil just for that reason. Once you read them over there will be many improvements that jump out at you. Make the changes and see how they work on the storyboards.
  • Don’t feel you have to stick to the storyboards. Sometimes what works on paper just does not translate well on the Internet. Also, at times the technology, resources, or time just does not allow exactly what is written on the storyboards  to happen. We often discover this during the development phase. Note: Whatever sacrifices you make do not make them at the cost of learning.
  • Include good notes on navigation and orientation. Even properly arranged on the wall, a non-linear course’s storyboards can become confusing without good notes on which link/button goes to which screen or event.
  • Storyboards never do the final product justice. They are only representations and cannot fully capture the rich interactivity of the course. Be patient with them and remind anyone involved with the storyboards that they are an initial design and they will get an even better feel for the final product when it comes to life in the coming online drafts.

If you have additional storyboarding tips, please share them in the comments section. Thanks!

Here are past storyboard posts:

Storyboard Templates and Resources

It Came From Hollywood – Storyboarding

Need a Storyboard? Heres a Place to Get Them

To Storyboard or Not to Storyboard

May's Big Question

Learning Circuits’ Big Question for May is “So what can, should, or will, we offer the digital generation by 2015?”

Five years is not very far into future, but in terms of technology things can change immensely in that amount of time. Just think of how learning technology has changed in the past five years. Off the top of my head here are a few things I think we will be offering in 2015.

  • We are already seeing the impact of social media and informal learning, but we will see it blend immensely with both classroom and e-learning. Asynchronous e-learning will incorporate social media into courses allowing for more collaborative learning and formative evaluation by the course designer. As for the classroom, we already see a “back channel,” but it will be more prevalent and more accepted, even encouraged, by facilitators. More access and advances in smart phones, tablets and smart boards will help blend e-learning, social media and classroom training.
  • The cloud has also grown, but I see in five years much more robust development tools on the cloud. There are already great cloud tools out there, but I think we will see more e-learning development tools at the level of Flash, Captivate, Articulate, OutStart Trainer, etc. on the cloud. Much of which will be courtesy of open source projects. Among the many benefits, it will increase mobility on the developer’s end. We designers/developers won’t be limited to working only on the computer in which we loaded our Flash CS10.
  • Adobe Flash will be alive and well. HTML5’s full release is two years away. We probably will see it replace Flash for video/audio support, but it will fall short in its quality and level of interactivity and animation. HTML5 development tools will not provide the ease of creating rich Internet applications… at least not after only three years in. We will see Flash be the preferred medium of e-learning developers and a favored output (SWFs) of other e-learning dev tools. Upside Learning Blog has a good post on HTML5 and e-learning development that is a worthwhile read on this subject.
  • We will offer even more edu-games. Again Flash will still be preferred as HTML5 just won’t be there yet.
  • On the design end, the industry will focus much more on offering truly engaging, instructionally sound courses and our audience will demand it. Hopefully page turners will be extinct by 2015.