Tag Archive | Misc.


Perhaps I have been living under a rock, but until today I have not heard of Pecha-Kucha. I am not a big fan of PowerPoint mostly because of the abusive use of the tool itself. After all, PowerPoint does not bore people to death, presenters (or e-Learning designers) WITH PowerPoint do. Upon being introduced to the term Pecha-Kucha, I Googled it and was intrigued by the concept.

In a nutshell, it is a presentation that contains 20 images each displayed for 20 seconds (20×20). It was originally designed to reign in presenters who needed to be more concise in their presentation. Here are some examples. The first explains the concept further. You can also learn more about it at http://www.pecha-kucha.org.

Another good example of Pecha-Kucha is Failure by Bob Berkebile.

Oh, Pecha-Kucha is a Japanese term meaning chatter. It is pronounced “peh-CHAK-cha,” here is a video that helps with the pronunciation.

Adobe Design Achievement Awards

Adobe Achievment Awards 2010

Adobe has announced it is now accepting submissions for the 2010 Adobe Design Achievement Awards. These awards celebrates higher education students who are creating amazing art with Adobe technology. Here is Adobe’s description:

The Adobe® Design Achievement Awards celebrate student achievement reflecting the powerful convergence of technology and the creative arts. The competition – which showcases individual and group projects created with industry-leading Adobe creative software – honors the most talented and promising student graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, animators, digital filmmakers, developers and computer artists from the world’s top institutions of higher education.

To learn more about the awards go to http://adaa.adobe.com.

Video on SixthSense Technology

Here is a great video about the potential of sixth sense technology. It will be very exciting to see this technology take hold and certainly exciting to think about all the potential it will have in e-learning.

This was presented at TEDtalks, which after seeing this, I will be watching more often.

Wanna Read Some e-Learning Horror Stories?

Edgar Allan Poe

Over at the PLS Online Course Development blog they have been posting e-learning horror stories and they have had some doozies so far. These stories are not only entertaining, but also valuable ways to learn directly from the witnesses of such ghoulish e-learning events.

Christy from the PLS Online Course Development blog was nice enough to include my horror story, but worked her magic and transformed it into a poem in the style of Poe’s “The Raven.” Thanks!

You can read the poem here. And read their other horror stories here.

Here is the original of my horror story. Although it may be more funny than scary, it was a horror to me went it happened.

Seven years ago, when e-learning was still new to my company, I launched an online course. My company, which provided health care to military personnel from North Carolina to Maine, had service centers throughout its footprint. Of course geographical distance was no obstacle to me, for I was a Distance Educator. Well, actually they called me an e-Learning Designer, but just the same.

As always, I marketed the online course. I included the title of the online course, who should take the online course, what they will learn
from the online course, the benefits of taking the online course, and how to access and launch the online course.

Several days later, while sitting in my cubicle in Baltimore, someone came a tapping. As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my cubicle door. Why is a co-worker from the far reaches of our Virginia service center here at my door?

She said, “I am here for my ONLINE COURSE.”

Searching Screenr

I am still exploring Screenr. While exploring, I wanted to find Flash tutorials… I can never learn enough about Flash. Am I missing something? Believe it or not, there is no search function on the Screenr site.  Luckily, I eventually found a Screenr tutorial on how to search Screenr. Thescreencast is below and was created by onEnterFrame.

Remember, if you are looking for Screenr tutorials, just use a search engine to  conduct a site search – site:screenr.com yoursubject. And yes I know one could search Twitter for Screenr tutorials, but keep in mind many companies still do not allow access to Twitter.

Thank you onEnterFrame for sharing this simple solution.

My Top 10 e-Learning Tools

Jane Hart is gathering top ten lists for e-learning tools. Thus far, 203 people in the e-learning field have submitted their list. I have posted my e-learning toolkit in the past, but not what I necessarily consider my “top e-learning tools.” So, here are my top 10 e-learning tools. They are not stand alone e-learning tools, but together allow me the ability to create effective e-learning courses. I have included how and why I use these tools.

  1. Adobe Flash – An essential tool for creating highly interactive elements, including animation, games, immersive learning simulations, and almost anything else you want if you can manage writing or finding the actionscript.
  2. Adobe Fireworks – It is my choice for editing graphics because it is user-friendly to non-graphic artists like me. And it worked very well with my Macromedia Flash when I was getting started in e-learning… old habits are hard to break.
  3. Adobe Captivate – Fantastic for creating simulations (software sims and branching sims), plus it does a good job recording audio for your sims. Being able to add quizzes and publish SCORM/AICC compliant courses is a big plus too.
  4. DHTML authoring tool My preference is OutStart Trainer (TrainerSoft). Being able to create SCORM/AICC compliant courses that imports Flash SWF files and plays well with the LMS makes my ability to implement e-learning much easier.
  5. WordPress – I am using it right now to get my blog posts out. Writing my blog is a great way share, learn, and connect with others in the e-learning field. It gets me out of my e-learning vacuum.
  6. Adobe Dreamweaver – Still the best tool for creating web pages (I occasionally have to do that) and  jerry-rigging the HTML in courses.
  7. Windows MovieMaker – Editing videos prior to using them in courses.
  8. Twitter Another way for me to share, learn, and connect with others in the e-learning field. I expect either it or Yammer to play a larger role for informal learning at my company.
  9. Notepad –  Editing XML, which is extremely useful in working with DHTML courses and sometimes Flash courses.
  10. SnagIt – Extremely helpful when making software  sims or getting screenshots for courses.

Learn About Tomorrow's Lunar Impact

LCROSSTomorrow NASA has a planned impact with the Moon. Here are a few resources to learn more about the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission, which if successful will identify water on the Moon.

And here are some LCROSS resources directly from NASA:

NASA’s LCROSS mission website

LCROSS Flight Director’s blog

Good luck NASA, if there’s H2O up there, you’ll find it!

Adobe Flash in Your Car

Adobe Flash has continually been showing up in more and more places. Phones, TVs, Billboards (really just big monitors in airports and mega stores), now in your car. QNX has created the Connected Automotive Reference (CAR) platform, which provides interactive interfaces for dashboard displays and car entertainment consoles. And games, widgets and videos can be integrated into these systems. WARNING: e-Learning while driving may be dangerous, leave it to the passengers.

FYI: This is not a thing of the future. Cars are offered now with QNX based systems, including BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Jaguar, Mercedes, Porsche and Toyota.

A Lot of Ingenuity and $148

Project Icarus photo near spaceTwo MIT students were able to accomplish a near space flight, capture images at 93,000 feet, track it with a GPS, and recover the equipment upon its return to Earth. You would think this would involve very high tech, expensive equipment. It did not. They did it with a weather balloon, cooler, a used digital camera, GPS enabled cell phone, and open source software. A total cost of $148.

I think this is very inspiring for those of us who may not have access to  high end technology and large budgets. These students truly demonstrate that with ingenuity and “can do” attitude a lot is possible in spite of limited budgets.

FYI: The time lapse video is shaky because the cooler that held the camera was not stabilized.

Go to their website to read the details of the Icarus Project and find links to pictures and interviews – http://space.1337arts.com. I am sure we will be hearing a lot more from these MIT students.

3-D Virtual Learning Environment – Right Here in Baltimore

This looks fantastic and is a great opportunity for students here at a local school in Baltimore (reported as a first of its kind in any U.S. high school). Johns Hopkin’s Applied Physics Lab (APL) worked with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and the University of Baltimore to deploy a 3-D Virtual Learning Lab. This is a state of the art learning environment modeled after the facility APL uses for DoD and NASA projects.

The first project will be exploring and learning about Mt. St. Helens.

Peloff said the area around Mount St. Helens was chosen because the ecosystem has changed dramatically over the past 30 years and is a great place to begin integrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts into the virtual environment.

And they are planning a Moon environment too!

I am very confident these high school students will learn a lot from this technology and have fun at the same time. It will be great to hear more about this project and the results of learning through games and simulations.

A big kudos and thank you to Baltimore County Schools, Hopkins ADL, University of Baltimore and their private sector partners for putting this together.

Read more about it – http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/top-news/index.cfm?i=60314