Monday, December 21, 2009

Embracing technology

Interesting article that talks about taking good ideas from the academic world into business. I especially liked this quote – “When technology is designed to promote adaptation, or is developed and consumed in ways that can support changes to configuration and flexible levels of personalization the opportunity for end users and employees to 'discover' new and better uses is significantly enhanced”.

Check it out:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday: Online Course Helps Students Master the Rules of the Road

The most common distractions cited by students are talking, yelling, arguing, and goofing off. teaches teens to become competent licensed drivers. The interactive online course allows teens to take their drivers ed at their own pace on their own schedule.

Check it out:

Traffic school courses -

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Free: PowerPoint to Flash in One Click

Free PowerPoint to Flash converter promptly creates web-friendly Flash (.SWF) movies from your PowerPoint content (.PPT, .PPS, .PPTX, .PPSX) keeping its visual parameters, animation effects and slide transitions, audio narrations, video and Flash objects after conversion.

iSpring Free works within PowerPoint, transforming it into a fast and easy Flash authoring tool. It is compatible with any PowerPoint version 2000/XP/2003/2007 installed on a Windows machine. To create Flash files viewable on any device from your PowerPoint presentations, just install iSpring Free, open your PowerPoint presentation, click Quick Publish and get Flash slideshows from your PPT presentations in just a few seconds.
One interesting option is adding YouTube movies into your presentation. The Presenter version of the product includes SCORM/AICC and quizmaking components - costs $399.

Check it out:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Envato Marketplaces

The Envato Marketplaces allow anyone to buy or sell digital goods like WordPress themes, stock audio, After Effects project files, Flash templates and much more. The marketplaces are home to a thriving community of over 240,000 users, authors and buyers and everyday hundreds of new files are added.

Check it out: 
HTML templates:
Flash Components:
Music and Audio:
After Effects:
PhotoShop and Vectores:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Search Is A Learning Activity

When a team of Pennsylvania State University researchers set out to discover the cognitive processes underlying search behavior, the team discovered that Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and other search engines have become part of the learning process for people who venture online.

Check it out:

Monday, November 30, 2009

GPS Academy

Do you feel like you need to learn more about how a GPS works, or how to use a GPS unit on the road? Get back to school and brush up on the latest in GPS. Interactive tutorials in the form of detention, Driver's Ed and quizzes make learning fun.

Check it out:
Short video clips offer expert tips and step-by-step instructions on how to use your gps device.

Check it out:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Free e-Learning Additions: History

Jeffery Goldman (MinuteBio) has added a new section to his free e-Learning category.

Check it out:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Communication Etiquette for Professionals: Free Webinar

"Please Ignore the Message I Just Sent You!" Communication Etiquette for Professionals"

Speaker: Anna Post, author and spokesperson for The Emily Post Institute
Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Time: 10:00AM Pacific / 1:00PM Eastern
Having strong communication skills - written, verbal and in the use of technology - is one of the keys to business success.

During this webinar, Anna Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, spokesperson and author for The Emily Post Institute, will highlight how training professionals can better build and strengthen relationships through the use of consideration, respect and honesty when communicating with trainees, colleagues, clients and total strangers.
Check it out:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Training Industry Statistics

Taken from Knapp Notes Blog (
Here are some interesting statistics from TRAINING (
  • 2009 U.S. Training Expenditures (including payroll and spending on external products and services) was $52.2 billion (a 7% decrease from last year)
  • 41% of organizations plan on purchasing online learning tools and systems in the next year.
  • Payroll was $32.9 billion, about a $1 billion dollar overall loss from 2008.
  • 47% of organizations surveyed reported a decrease in training budgets this year.
  • Companies spent $1,036 per learner this year ($1,075 in 2008).
  • Small companies (10-999 employees) spent about 33 hours of training per employee in 2009.
  • Midsized (1,000 to 9,999 employees) spent about 29 hours of training per employee in 2009.
  • Large (10,000 or more employees) spent about 33 hours of training per employee in 2009.
  • 1.5% of companies are using social networking or mobile training methods.
  • 47% of training hours are delivered by a stand-and-deliver instructor in a classroom setting.
  • 18.5% use online or computer-based technologies for their training delivery.
  • $306,178 was the average expenditure for training outsourcing

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday: Copper Plating and Etching Altoids Tins

Looking for a unique holiday gift? How about Copper Plating and Etching Altoids Tins? Check out the Sreampunk site for other ideas. Steampunk is the intersection of technology and romance. It’s a genre of fiction, an aesthetic, a musical style, and a burgeoning sub-culture which delights in making things that are a blend of the modern and anachronistic.

Check it out:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Microsoft Translator

Check out the new Microsoft Translator - it raises the bar for translating three ways: on the Web, for Office 2007 & 2003, and a unique translation widget for your site. See the links below to get the particular tool you want.

Office Casual: How you can translate better with Microsoft Translator

Update any Office 2007 or Office 2003 product with Microsoft Translator, find instructions for the free download:

Microsoft Translator widget:
To drop text for translation (or a URL) via Bing:

Want to dive deeper? Read the Microsoft Translator blog:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Microsoft Showcase

The Microsoft Showcase website has lots of videos that you can view, email or embed in a webpage.  There are over 800 videos including previews of Microsoft Office 2010. 

For example, Health Tech Today with Dr. Bill Crounse is a monthly online series providing cutting-edge stories at the intersection of health and information technology. The show features informative interviews with some of the world's top health leaders; compelling health-related personal stories; and the latest technology and IT innovations.

Check it out:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Free lecture notes, exams, and videos from MIT. No registration required.

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.
For example, check out 12.003 Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics.  This undergraduate class is designed to introduce students to the physics that govern the circulation of the ocean and atmosphere. The focus of the course is on the processes that control the climate of the planet.  The course includes interactive simulations and videos.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Largest Houston-Area Training Companies List

For the third year in a row, Creative Interactive Ideas has made the Houston Business Journal's Largest Houston-Area Training Companies List!

Connect Learning is also on the list - way to go, Sally!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Girlstart provides online science, math, and engineering lessons directed at girls. It has helpful information and games as well.

Check it out:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Girls Go Tech website

Girls Go Tech provides information on how math, science and technology play an important role in the world around us. Includes technical career information and games that introduce math, science and technology concepts.

Check it out:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wind Web Tutorial

The American Wind Association has a good tutorial on wind energy - includes costs and statistics. You can download a PDF with all the information.

Check it out:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dr. H. Carbon

The U.S. Department of Energy offers lessons on fossil fuels, featuring cartoon personality Dr. H. Carbon and his interactive quizzes.

Check it out:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Official Energy Stats

Energy Explained Web Banner

Energy Explained, a web portal launched by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), celebrates Energy Awareness Month with the most comprehensive energy education resource available from the U.S. Government.

The site explains where gasoline comes from, what determines the price of electricity, how much renewable energy the United States uses, and hundreds of other energy topics.

Energy Explained allows easy navigation between major energy topics:

Check it out:

The Energy Information Administration “Energy Kid’s Page” has useful terms, facts, and historical data on energy. It also has educational games and helpful links.

Check it out:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Energize Your Future (Shell)

Shell has a great website (Energize your future) that includes an education section - check out the Adventures in Energy Flash animation that takes you through the energy cycle. The games and and quizzes are great. Try the technical quiz to find out which technical career is best for you.

This website sent me on a path exploring Energy education websites - I will share these with you this week.

Check it out:

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday: Just in time for Halloween, photo editing made fun

This online photo editing tool has a Touch Up suite! 15 cool effects like Sunless Tan, Airbrush, and Lip Color to guarantee that every picture shows your best side. Goodbye shine, goodbye wrinkles; hello Mascara, Blush, and Highlights! Advanced Tools (Dodging and Burning) keep shadows off faces and make spotty lighting consistent.

Check it out: Be sure to pay attending to the loading messages!

There's a whole section for Halloween in the premium edition ($25/yr):

Plus with the premium edition- you also get unlimited access to all your favorite photo websites right from inside Picnik, including Photobucket, Flickr, Picasa Web Albums, and Webshots, which gives you the ability to transfer photos to and from those different sites, to and from Facebook!

Wild and Wacky Friday: Show your best side

This free online photo editing tool has a Touch Up suite!

15 cool effects like Sunless Tan, Airbrush, and Lip Color to guarantee that every picture shows your best side. Goodbye shine, goodbye wrinkles; hello Mascara, Blush, and Highlights! Advanced Tools (Dodging and Burning) keep shadows off faces and make spotty lighting consistent.

Check it out:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Making an impact through stories

What challenges do you face at work? How to capture the attention of distracted employees and have them accurately recall what you told them? Finding sure-fire ways to position the organization or quickly communicate complex ideas and new initiatives? Inspiring people to change? Stories can help you and your organization achieve these outcomes—and more. Learn what distinguishes stories from examples and case studies, what makes them more effective than other forms of communication, how to structure their content for maximum impact. Also discover how to effectively use story prompts, story triggers and story listening techniques to add power to your communications.

I didn't attend this session at the conference - a colleague did and raved about it.

Check it out: : Information about Stories Trainers Tell and free stories, articles, and a monthly e-zine. : Information about Wake Me Up When the Data is Over: How Organizations Use Stories to Drive Results: Book reviews, articles, and examples of story use in organizations

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Social Media Adoption in the Enterprise

Attended session by Josh Scribner, Social Software Advocate at IBM, who champions the adoption of Web 2.0, new media, and emerging multimedia technologies within IBM. Josh architects IBM virtual worlds, teaches around the company and advises on technology adoption.

Check out Josh’s presentation on Identity Management for IBMers on Facebook :

The cool graphic on the title slide was created using "Wordle", a tool for generating graphic word clouds -

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Using Yammer (Internal Twitter)

Yammer is an enterprise collaboration tool that lets you easily connect and share with the people in your company or organization (like an internal Twitter). The question is "What are you working on?". You must have a company email address and confirm membership to participate.

Download the Yammer Desktop Application to follow and participate in Yammer conversations on your Mac or Windows desktop. Yammer also has applications for iPhones and Blackberry.

Check it out:

Monday, October 26, 2009

From Tepid to Turbocharged

Jeff Herrington provided a checklist of writing tips to transform content into something compelling. Check out Jeff's site for more details:

Tips included:

In addition, check out these vocabulary websites:

IABC Align '09

Attended IABC Align '09 - definitely worth the time out of the office. This week, I'll share info from some of the sessions I attended.

Check it out:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday: Keeps Elderly Drivers Safely Behind the Wheel

CogniFit Senior Driver is an online software program aimed at helping aging adults improve and maintain the cognitive skills that are essential for safe driving. This program provides an assessment and training for 10 key driving-related skills, and can help drivers stay safer into their later years.

“It’s important for the well-being of older people to continue driving because it helps them to remain independent and to maintain social relationships,” says Shlomo Breznitz, Founder and President of CogniFit. “CogniFit Senior Driver can improve the specific cognitive abilities that are most important for safe driving.”

Users train online for 20 minutes a time, three days per week. After the training cycle is completed, a progress assessment is given to provide the user with a progress report and to set training goals for the next cycle. In a matter of weeks, users will notice an improvement in their driving skills. CogniFit Senior Driver also offers an option that can notify the user when their cognitive skills may no longer be sufficient for safe driving.

Check it out:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

30-Minute Training

From Training Magazine:
How do you design a training curriculum to deliver maximum learning impact with minimum disruption to employee productivity? This was the question Joel MacCharles, VP of development and facilitation for Allied International Credit (AIC) Corp., grappled with in developing his company's workforce development strategy for its call center representatives.The answer?

"Micro training," MacCharles says. In a more conventional approach, employees might be required to attend one- or two-day training seminars on call center software, for example, or the use of Excel spreadsheets. "Sure, you're exposed to all the material; you might get 50 to 100 tips in a two-day course. But how much of it are you actually learning and retaining?" he asks—"to say nothing of the lost productivity created by taking call center reps off the job and locking them in a classroom for days on end."

Check it out:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Microsoft Windows 7 website

Gearing up for Windows 7? Check out the Microsoft Windows 7 website - including features, a comparison of editions and downloads.

Check it out:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Phone Applications for the Business Traveler

When traveling on business, there are some cheap and easy applications to download on your smartphone to make life easier. For example, JustAddMoney helps you track travel expenses; TaxiMagic connects directly with taxi services; and Right Signature allows you to sign documents on your phone.

Check it out:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Importance of On-the-Job Education

Interesting article about online learning and budgets - for example, according to the ASTD's latest Learning Executives Confidence Index, released in July, nearly 60 percent of professionals within the learning industry expect an increased shift toward online learning and virtual delivery of lessons in the near future.

Check it out:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

MAC Screen recording program

Snapz Pro X allows you to record anything on your screen, saving it as a QuickTime® movie or screenshot. It captures full motion video of anything on your screen, complete with digital audio, and an optional microphone voiceover.

Check it out:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Annotate, Edit and Comment PDF Files

PDF Annotator lets the user open any PDF file and add annotations, using the mouse or a Tablet PC pen, directly on the PDF file's pages. The annotated documents can then be saved directly back to PDF format. In this way, anyone can read or print the annotated PDF documents. Annotated documents can also be easily attached to emails.

You can download a 30-day trial version.

Check it out:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Rise Of Gaming In Healthcare

Interesting article about how gaming can be used in all aspects of health.

Check it out:

Humana has a health game beta site:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How to create a "My Map" in Google Maps

With the My Maps feature in Google Maps, you can mark locations, paths, and regions of interest on a personalized map, and share it with the world!

You can even add descriptive text, embed photos and videos, and view your map on Google Earth.

Check it out: or

Use this api to embed in Flash:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Flash Player 10 New Features- Online Training Course

Flash Player 10 New Features is a new online training course including how to set up a system for development and testing from Adobe evangelist Lee Brimelow. He shows how to use the new Pixel Bender tools to create beautiful filters and export them to Flash. Lee covers the new sound and drawing APIs, which can be used to add real-time audio effects and UV texture mapping to any project.

The 9 minute Overview of Flash Player 10 module is free.

Check it out:

Monday, October 5, 2009

SharePoint in Plain English

The focus of the video is to introduce Sharepoint and illustrate the old way (project info exists on multiple computers) vs. new way (project info lives in SharePoint).

Check it out:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Maps of the US

The National Atlas has prepared reference and outline maps of the United States that you can print or use online. The reference maps display general reference features such as boundaries, cities, capitals, major highways, rivers and lakes, and terrain.

Check it out:

Flu 101

Eveything you need to know about flu prevention.

check it out:

Healthcare Napkins All

Check out this SlideShare Presentation. I am highlighting the way that Dan explains a complex topic simply. Not meant to be a political statement from me.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday - Nursery University

The film focuses on the insane world of New York preschools, and the lengths parents will go to in order to secure the right spot for their children.

Check it out:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Google Toolbar with Sidewiki

Everybody is talking about Google Toolbar with Sidewiki. Google Sidewiki is a new feature of the Google Toolbar that lets you leave comments about any website. When some else running Sidewiki views that web page, they'll see your comments.

Check it out:

Youtube video:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A World of Cables, Unknotted

Cables are important, but they should not be expensive. To help untangle some of the confusion, here is a simple, somewhat opinionated taxonomy of most of the cables that we deal with in our lives. It’s completely up to date — until the tech industry adds another confusing format to the pile.

Check it out:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gauging Your Distraction

New studies show that drivers overestimate their ability to multitask behind the wheel. This game measures how your reaction time is affected by external distractions. Regardless of your results, experts say, you should not attempt to text when driving.

Check it out:

Full press:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Music on the Web

I came across a couple of good articles that consolidate music website information - music recommendations, independent music, creating playlists, search engines, mix and share. Not exactly on topic, but interesting.

check it out:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday: Microsoft's secret tablet

It's not a tablet, it's a booklet. The dual 7-inch (or so) screens are multitouch, and designed for writing, flicking and drawing with a stylus, in addition to fingers.

Click the video to see how the device could be used. I want one.

Check it out:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tweet this! Using Twitter and Social Media to Promote your Project and Yourself

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 10a.m. PT / 1p.m. ET.

Visit for complete details.

At this Webinar, you will learn:
  • How to extend your film's narrative into social media
  • How platforms like Facebook and Twitpic can become part of your plan
  • How to sell your work without looking like a salesperson
  • Using Twitter to increase traffic to your Web site
  • Monitoring what's being said about your work online
  • Who to follow and how to attract followers
  • Strategies for becoming part of online conversations
  • Reaching out to the media - including the critics
  • Connecting with collaborators
  • Using Twitter tools and resources The difference between self-promotion and conversation

Capture stuff. Find it using any computer or phone

Evernote is ready to collect all of your ideas, experiences, thoughts, and memories into an always-accessible place.

  • Take down your inspirations and ideas as they happen
  • Capture interesting webpages you see, images and all
  • Snap photos of everything from whiteboards to wine labels

Then, find it all any time from your computer, phone, or the web!

Check it out:

Using Evernote as a learning tool with Screenr videos:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Corporate Learning Trends 2009

Three days of online dialog on Convergence in Corporate Learning. Free.
Time: November 17, 2009 to November 19, 2009
Organized By: Jay Cross, Tony Karrer, George Siemens

Office Live Workspace - Address the classroom challenge of H1N1

Microsoft is encouraging teachers to use Office Live Workspace to hand out work and assignments to children with H1N1. Microsoft's Office Live Workspace is a free web-hosted service (currently in beta) available in many countries that lets users publish and share Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations.

Check it out:

Blog (VP, Microsoft Education):

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Benefits of Adobe eLearning Suite for Adobe Captivate users

Webinar - Wednesday, September 30, 200910:00 AM - 11:30 AM US/Pacific

In this session you will learn about:
  • Using Adobe Soundbooth for recording and editing pristine audio for inclusion in Adobe Captivate projects
  • Leveraging the power of Adobe Flash for supplementing Adobe Captivate projects with animations, as well as for creating and customizing existing Flash Widgets
  • Designing in Adobe Photoshop for including high-impact layered images in Adobe Captivate projects
  • Using the Emulator in Device Central for testing mobile learning projects developed in Adobe Captivate
  • Supplementing informational-based eLearning in Adobe Presenter with Adobe Captivate content
  • Expand your eLearning delivery options using Adobe Acrobat and Dreamweaver
Check it out:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Amazing Food Detective Game

Read a good blog article reviewing a fun learning game. The game emphasizes on the importance of healthy eating habits for youngsters. After playing the game for a while, you are stopped and asked to take a break - to do push-ups or other exercises. Interesting.

Check it out:
Blog article -

The game -

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Improve Your Email etiquette

Check it out:

Also - email addiction survey:

My Top 10 Tools for Learning

  1. Microsoft PowerPoint: Create storyboards. Tried many; this still works the best for SME reviews
  2. Proof HQ: Rocks for storyboard review and edits. Easy for team collaboration.
  3. BaseCamp HQ: Project management - ties back to Proof HQ.
  4. Blogger - My blogging tool of choice.
  5. Dim-Dim - For web meetings and webinars.
  6. Adobe elearning Suite - The whole ball of wax for course development - plus extra add-ons like CourseBuilder. Captivate for simulations.
  7. Articulate Studio - Quick course development - Engage, Quizmaker
  8. Rapid Intake ProForm - Quick course development; quickly develop custom templates for clients
  9. Google alerts - to stay on top of the latest news (topics of interest)
  10. Wikipedia - learn about stuff that I don't know.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Cheese or Font Game

Test your knowledge of cheese and typography in one game.

Check it out:

Houston: Growing And Changing

Good NPR podcast on Houston.

Check it out:

Interactive Map -

Wild and Wacky Friday: How global is Twitter?

GoodMorning! is a Twitter visualization tool which shows about 11,000 tweets collected over a 24 hour period between August 20th and 21st.

The tweets were harvested to find people saying 'good morning' in English as well as several other languages.The tweets appear as blocks and are colour-coded. Green tweets are early in the morning, orange tweets are at about 9am, and red tweets are later in the morning. Black tweets are 'out-of-time' messages (sent at times that aren't in the morning at that location).

Check it out:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Adobe® AIR™ Marketplace

Adobe® AIR™ Marketplace is a central resource that collects the broad and ever-growing array of available AIR applications. Whether you want to bring the web to your desktop with the latest AIR applications or publish your own applications to share with everyone, AIR Marketplace is the ultimate worldwide resource.

Check it out:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Three-Part Series on Emerging Trends in Technology-Enabled Learning

Register for a free webinar series: Global economic pressures are forcing learning professionals to think about ways to get more value for their existing investments. At the same time, emerging technologies are opening up new possibilities in the design and delivery of corporate learning. This series explores trends in social learning, mobile learning and leadership development, with an eye toward helping learning professionals separate reality from overheated hype.

Attendees will come away with a better understanding of these important trends, as well as actionable ideas on how technology-enabled learning can drive higher levels of performance in the near term.

Check it out:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Inspirational videos and books

Need an inspiration boost for your class? Check out these books and videos. You can view the videos for free. Great for team building and for discussion starters.

Check it out:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Five Ways to Create Engaging Videos

Take Five - Brandon Hall (current issue of Chief Learning Officer) has a great article about creating engaging videos for e-Learning.

Check it out:

I featured the PricewaterhouseCoopers training videos in a previous blog - in case you missed it:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

iTunes U

iTunes U is a part of the iTunes Store featuring free lectures, language lessons, audiobooks, and more, that you can enjoy on your iPod, iPhone, Mac or PC. Explore over 200,000 educational audio and video files from top universities, museums and public media organizations from around the world.

Check it out:

How to Implement Twitter as an eLearning Tool - Register for free webinar

Webinar - Wednesday, September 16, 2009 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM PDT

How to Implement Twitter as an eLearning Tool
Presented by: Brent Schlenker September 16, 2009 10:00 am PST

Topics to cover: *Why Twitter has become popular with trainers and eLearning specialist? *What is new with the technology of Twitter? *What are initial success experiments? *How do you implement Twitter as part of your eLearning design?

Check it out:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday: How to videos

WonderHowTo hand-selects & curates the best How-To Videos & How-To Articles from thousands of websites.

Check it out:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

911 Day of Service - It's not too late

Please take a moment now to post your personal plan to perform a good deed, volunteer or engage in another charitable activity in observance of the newly established September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. Help create a wonderful legacy that honors the victims and those who rose to service in response to the attacks on America.

Check it out:

One great place to start:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Web game provides rice for hungry

For each answer you get right, 10 grains of rice are donated through the UN Food Program to end hunger. FreeRice has a custom database containing knowledge questions at varying levels of difficulty. FreeRice automatically adjusts to your level. It starts by giving you questions of increasing difficulty and then, based on how you do, assigns you an approximate starting level. You then determine a more exact level for yourself as you play. When you get a question wrong, you go to an easier level. When you get three questions in a row right, you go to a harder level.

Check it out:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

More than PhotoShop training

I recently browsed the Kelby Training website. I hadn't been interested in the past because I thought it was just PhotoShop training. There are some great courses - including food photography that look interesting. Cost is reasonable - you can access all the classes per month or per year. You can test drive the courses without having to sign up for anything - a big plus. And the video plays great!

Check it out:

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday: Video appears in paper magazines

The first-ever video advertisement will be published in a traditional paper magazine in September.

The video-in-print ads will appear in select copies of Entertainment Weekly. The slim-line screens – around the size of a mobile phone display – also have rechargeable batteries.The chip technology used to store the video – described as similar to that used in singing greeting cards – is activated when the page is turned. Each chip can hold up to 40 minutes of video.

Check it out:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

100+ Smart Ways to Use LinkedIn

Good resources for folks using LinkedIn and for newbies.

Check it out:

Communicate Visually

SmartDraw is used to create business graphics such as flowcharts, organization charts, Gantt charts,tinelines, mind maps, floorplans and other diagrams.

SmartDraw is also available in two industry-specific solutions: the SmartDraw Legal Edition and the SmartDraw Healthcare Edition.

Check it out:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What Is Creativity?

Using Play-Doh and the Apple iPod as examples, Robert Sutton, Co-Director of the Center for Work, Technology, and Organization at Stanford University, explains that often creativity is simply making new things out of old ones.

Check it out:

Monday, August 31, 2009

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse, without charge. OER often have a Creative Commons or GNU license that state specifically how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared. Include Interactive mini-lessons and simulations about a specific topic, such as math or physics.

Check it out:

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday: Cymbolism

A color tool that includes information on what emotions and words are associated with different colors.

Check it out:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Experience Shades of Gray

Accessibility testing tool that displays a full-color Web page in grayscale.

Check it out:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Six Sigma Online Introduces Free Online Video Database

Six Sigma Online, the leading provider of online Six Sigma training, introduced its new Online Video Database.

The Online Video Database is broken into two categories; Six Sigma Videos, located at , and General Business Videos, located at

These databases currently contain videos specializing in all areas of Six Sigma methodology training, as well as general business articles their readers, and now viewers, will find interesting. The video database is updated on a weekly basis with more well-written, current, and well-researched Six Sigma and General Business Videos. The succinct and helpful videos are all around five to ten minutes long, making them enjoyable, and quick to watch. These videos are an addition to an already existing online article database, which contains well over 600 articles, specializing in all areas of Six Sigma methodology and Six Sigma training. While the video database will be updated on a weekly basis, the article database is updated on a daily basis.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Receive a daily summary of the most important industry news

SmartBriefs are free customized newsletters on topics of interest. I am interested in Social networking so I signed up for that SmartBrief. You can view a sample before signing up. Comes to your inbox.

Check it out:

What's your RQ?

RQ stands for Readiness Quotient . . .and was developed by a broad coalition of experts. Through rigorous testing and validation, experts agree these ten simple questions are actually the most predictive of an individual’s preparedness.

The RQ Test scores you on what you know and have already done to get prepared. It also provides you with the simple steps to take to improve your score and increase your preparedness.

Check it out:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Screenr: Record screencasts directly within your web browser

Screenr from the Articulate folks allows you to record screencasts directly within your web browser.

Some highlights of what you can do with Screenr:

  • Record from a Mac or a PC
  • Preview your screencast before publishing
  • Share via Twitter
  • Publish directly to YouTube
  • Share the link via email
  • Embed in your website or blog
  • Play videos in full-screen mode
  • Playback via your iPhone

Check it out:

We're number 22!

Creative Interactive Ideas is #22 on the top 25 largest Houston-based web design and development companies list - Houston Business Journal. 4th year that we've made the list.

Free Quick Reference Guides

Need quick reference guides for MS Office and Adobe products? This website has lots of reference guides - including older products. You can also purchase the guides with your company logo added.

Check it out:

Online Red Cross Training

Hurricane season is here - found some great online training through the Red Cross.

Check it out:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Free online courses - Weather and the Environment

Online courses and training materials that address the connections between weather and environment.

Registration is simple, and free; all you have to do is provide your email address and a password to gain access. The site includes fun facts, tips and information such as how weather impacts bee behavior, how many years it takes to create one inch of soil and who is more vulnerable to heat-related health issues--children or adults?

Check it out:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday: Intelligent Life on the Web

The Buzzle web portal contains stories, articles and lots of general information. Click on the "Escape Hatch" for creativity - poems, stories etc. You can become a Buzzle author and contribute to the portal.

Check it out:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Book: Essential Articulate Studio '09

Just got my copy of "Essential Articulate Studio 09". Even if you have been using Articulate forever (like me), you'll find lots of great tips and ideas to help with your learning projects. The book includes information on each Studio product along with tutorials and projects. The accompanying CD has trial versions of the software.

You can order the book directly via the publisher and receive a 35% discount with coupon code art0586: Essential Articulate Studio ’09 by Patti Shank and Jennifer Bircher (ISBN: 9781598220582).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

#lrnchat - Chat about learning using Twitter

#lrnchat is a place for people interested in the topic of learning who use the social messaging service Twitter to learn from one another and discuss how to help other people learn.

The online chat happens every Thursday night 8:30-10pm EST / 5:30-7pm PST.

Check it out: (blog)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Microsoft Workers Unveil Office Suggestion Site

2 Microsoft employees, Steve Zaske, a planner on the Office development team, and Luke Foust, a Microsoft developer in the test group, have created a unsanctioned suggestion solicitation site, where you can submit suggestions for improving MS Office. Note sure if it will impact 2010 but it's a chance to make suggestions.

I like the ranking application and counter....

Check it out:

Cartoon Stock Art

Want to use a cartoon in your training? CartoonStock was the first searchable cartoon archive on the web and the first to offer instant online licensing and downloading of printable images.

Licenses to use CartoonStock cartoon images and animations vary in price depending on the use.

Check it out:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tech Help on the Web

Looking for good resources for technology questions? Check out these 2 websites featured on Sunday's Today show.

For example, provides information on different battery types; including a table comparing each type. provides information on different backup strategies and backup software.

Check it out: and

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday - Microsoft SongSmith

" Ever sing in the car? Maybe in the shower? You know who you are. Admit it, you like to sing, and you like music. Ever thought of writing your own music? Most people never get a chance to try... but we want to give everyone a piece of the songwriting experience, so we’ve developed Songsmith, an application that lets you create a complete song just by singing! Are we going to turn you into an award-winning songwriter overnight? Of course not. But Songsmith will give you a way to create something authentically musical and authentically yours, even if you don’t know the first thing about chords or music theory."

Check it out:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Website Named Desire - a supergraphic

Sometimes the best possible way to visualize something really complex is to create a high-resolution supergraphic. But then you are faced with the problem of sharing it over the Internet.

A Website Named Desire is a printed supergraphic that illustrates the process of launching a web site. This visualization allows you to explore a 100 megapixel digital version of the poster with interactive annotations to add context to the nuances of the illustration.

  • Presents a way to navigate processes and characters in web site construction visualization.
  • Shows customized use of Silverlight DeepZoom.
  • Employs “Power Scaling” to position elements overlaid on the DeepZoom surface.
  • Uses both storyboards and programmatic methods to animate elements.

Check it out:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Windows 7 - Everything you wanted to know

There's a website dedicated to the new Windows 7 - what is it and do you need it?

Check it out:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Microsoft Learning Snacks

Learning Snacks are short, interactive presentations about popular topics created by Microsoft Learning experts. Each Snack is delivered by using innovative Microsoft Silverlight technology and includes various media, such as animations and recorded demos. At the end of each free presentation, you can view more Snacks, learn more about the topic, or visit a related Web site.

I am looking for the player information.

Check it out:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Join in on the Twitter fun for a chance to Win an Adobe Suite

Follow RJ Jacquez, Senior Product Evangelist at Adobe in his quest to get 1000 followers via Twitter.

He will do a drawing and randomly select a winner, who will have the choice between either the Adobe eLearning Suite and the Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2.

Check it out:

History of Microsoft - the 1990s

Spent this weekend with Microsoft stuff - lots of interesting things to share.

A video series that gives you a rare glimpse into the story behind the software giant. Using rare footage and never-before-seen photos, experience Microsoft's history by year. You can download the videos in a number of different formats.

Check it out:

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Free quality vector images is a Showcase site for free quality vector images from around the net.

Check it out:

Other vector-related links: - a blog on vector illustration - huge library of vector shapes

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Free high-res textures

The blog focuses mainly on giving away free high-res textures to all of the dirt-poor, starving artists and designers out there.

Check it out:

Another one:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Free Stock Photo Site: SXC

SXC was launched in February 2001, as an alternative for expensive stock photography. The idea was to create a site where creative people could exchange their photos for inspiration or work.

Check it out:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Color Challenged?

Adobe Kuler is a web-hosted application for generating color themes that can inspire any project.

Whether creating websites, interior designs, scrapbooks, fabric patterns, graphic identities, or any other visual, you can experiment quickly with color variations and browse thousands of themes from the Kuler community.

Use of Kuler is free and can be accessed by anyone with an Adobe ID. Anyone can use Kuler to create, share, and exchange color themes online. Designers and developers working in web creation and development can copy and paste hex values directly into their web development software.

Check it out:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Want a free book?

During the entire month of August, you'll get one of the books or DVDs listed on the link page absolutely free when you sign up for a Safari Books Online trial.

Check it out:

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday - STS-127 Crew Answers Your Questions From Space

NASA Astronaut Mark Polansky and the STS-127 crew aboard space shuttle Endeavour respond to questions submitted on YouTube. What happens if you sneeze in Space?

Check it out:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

e-learning Game Templates

Need something to spice up your training?

I came across these products at the recent DevCon09 conference - and purchased them all. I am using them in both Articulate Presenter and Rapid Intake FlashForm training classes.

You have to have Flash to make your customizations but there are tutorials on the site that show you how to do it. You get both the FLA and the SWF files so you can brand the games for your clients.

The prices are reasonable enough that like me, you will want to have all the templates in your e-Learning tool box.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Free screen capture and recorder software

I am evaluating ActivePresenter, a screen capture and presentation creation tool designed for eLearning. The standard version of the software has more features and is $250 until August 1.

ActivePresenter can record a presentation and convert the file to a number of different formats including AVI, WMV, MPEG4/MP4, Flash, HTML, interactive AJAX, or document formats (PDF, DOC, PPT). I am mainly interested in the interactive AJAX component as an output method.

Check it out:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday - Video Book signing

Margaret Atwood is getting the word out about her new novel with a coast-to-coast video launch connecting various book festivals across the country.

Atwood is set to attend the Word on the Street festival in Toronto on Sept. 27, but will simultaneously appear at sister events in Vancouver and Halifax via interactive video conferencing. She's promoting her new novel, "The Year of the Flood," about two women who have survived a natural disaster that has obliterated most human life. Festival organizers say Atwood will use the video-conference technology to speak with fans, answer questions and sign autographs long distance.

Check it out:

The technology she is using is called "LongPen" - read more about it at It allows someone to write in ink anywhere in the world via tablet PC and the internet.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dimdim. Another Web Conferencing Tool

I am checking out DimDim, another web-conferencing tool. Setting up a meeting in Dimdim is very easy. You can kick off a meeting immediately or schedule it for later (including recurring meetings).

The product lets you conduct online slide shows using PowerPoints and PDFs. You can annotate as you go and let users mark up, too. You can also work on a shared, multipage whiteboard. Or you can share your screen, which is useful for demos.

There are a lot of ways to interact with your viewers. You can send them Webcam video and audio (or make it a two-way conference if you like), chat with all attendees, or send private instant messages to individuals.

Check it out:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fuze Meeting

Came across this alternative for web conferencing. With Fuze Meeting you can:

  • Host web conferences from your computer
  • Host audio conferences or attend web conferences from your mobile phone
  • Get a free phone conference number
  • Share presentations, documents and synchronized video in HD
  • Fetch attendees so your web meetings start on time

What caught my eye was the mobile meeting component - With Fuze Meeting you can easily host audio conferences and attend online meetings from an iPhone or BlackBerry or WiFi-enabled mobile device or laptop. I am going to test this feature and will let you know how it functions.

You can sign up for a free account - without inputting any credit card information.

Check it out:

Register for a live walkthrough of Fuze Meeting. Hosted Mon-Fri at 11 AM (PST). Please be sure to sign up at least two hours in advance.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Meeting software

Yesterday, I hosted 2 different meetings - a webinar with folks around the globe (used GoToWebinar) and the first day of my 3-day training class (used GoToMeeting).

I've used both products before - but not to the extent of these meetings. The webinar program worked great - the only problem we had was getting people to register so they got their log in link. The separate link is needed to track individuals during the webinar - you get a nifty report at the end of the webinar. This product is great if you have more than 10 people on the call. Pricing is good - $99/month for unlimited people and calls.

I used GoToMeeting for my class. The only problem we've had is using the USB headset instead of a phone. Had a MAC user who wasn't able to get his system configured correctly.

You can try out either program for free. I will provide info on other web meeting programs later in the week.

Check it out:


Monday, July 13, 2009

Web Conference Training Tips

I am doing a 3-day online instructor-leading training class this week. I came across this good article that has lots of helpful tips.

Learning to use web conferencing technology is pretty easy, but there is a lot more to training via web conference than just putting on a headset, dialing up an audio-conferencing bridge, and logging onto the application.

Check it out:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday - The Diabetic Dog Game's educational section consists of 41 productions. Of these, 29 are interactive learning games of various sorts and degrees of difficulties. Most of them also includes a "Read more" about the subject. You will get sucked into this site for a while ... enjoy.

I found the game about diabetes very interesting - The Diabetic Dog educational game, with two related readings, are based on the 1923 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which was awarded for discovering the hormone insulin, making it possible to treat people suffering from diabetes. Make sure you read the instructions before beginning the game!

Check it out:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tips for great looking charts

The Rapid e-Learning Blog has a great article about making charts and data more memorable.

Check it out:

Also, check out the presentation mentioned in the article at

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Future of Learning as a Business - Free Online Event

July 23, 9 AM – 1 PM Pacific Time / 4 PM – 8 PM GMT

This online event will bring together people with a variety of perspectives on what we should be doing today to set ourselves up for success going forward. We will look at questions that include:
  • Is this a temporary downturn or changing landscape?
  • How will demand change?
  • What will internal or external customers pay for that's not traditional training?
  • What's already selling today?
  • What business models, products, companies should we be watching?

What should we be doing today to be in position for the future?
Check it out:

Background material on the topic:

Tips for capturing e-Learning audio

This article contains tips - along with suggestions for audio equipment purchases.

Check it out:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies

Online learning has definite advantages over face-to-face instruction when it comes to teaching and learning, according to a new meta-analysis released by the U.S. Department of Education.

Check it out:

Monday, July 6, 2009

Online tool for building objectives

Objective Builder has a tutorial along with a wizard for building objectives as well as resources for building performance-based objectives.

Check it out:

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Storyboarding Template from the MinuteBio site

Jeffery at MinuteBio has a great new post - which includes a good storyboard template. He also includes other storyboard resources.

Check it out:

While on his site, check out the free e-learning course links. I liked the airport screener training at

Wild and Wacky Friday: Screw in a lightbulb

Have you ever wondered about CFL light bulbs? Why would you want to use them instead of regular light bulbs? Check out this training video from the folks at Common Craft.

"CFL Lightbulbs in Plain English" introduces the benefits and risks of using compact fluorescent light bulbs. The video focuses on saving money and reducing pollution by switching to bulbs that use less electricity. The video includes:

  • The connection between using electricity and burning coal
  • Cost savings of using a CFL compared to a normal bulb
  • How switching to CFLs can reduce CO2 emissions
  • Proper disposal of CFL lightbulbs, which contain mercury

Check it out:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Storyboarding Software

Free to try. Storyboarder Pro integrates into Microsoft Word (2003 or later).

Check it out:

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tips for effective storyboarding

ASTD presentation - tips from the front lines
Check it out:

Creating Scripts and Storyboards for e-Learning - article from Kevin Kruse
Check it out:

Storyboards tailored to you
Check it out:

Storyboards for eLearning
Check it out:

Monday, June 29, 2009

History of Storyboarding Video

My focus this week is on storyboarding e-Learning. I've been searching for a new tool or template to use - something easy enough for SMEs to review with enough features for developers. Through my research, I have collected a series of programs, videos and articles to share. Hope they help you!

Check out this video on the history of storyboard - much of this translates to e-learning. The author of this blog has another article on when to storyboard.

Check it out:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday: Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) is a field of computer research which deals with the combination of real-world and computer-generated data (virtual reality), where computer graphics objects are blended into real footage in real time.

GE's Smartgrid website has a great example of AR that you can try out in real time. See instructions on the right. You have to print out the document – then follow instructions. Way …

Check it out:

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Firm Coaching video - in a familar vein

From the website: Coaching happens everyday in big and small ways at PwC. This film series, an odd collection of personalities and real life situations, was created to show PwC staff just what we mean by "coaching culture."

Check it out:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday: the story of stuff

This "story" presents some fairly dry facts and complex ideas by combining a ”talking head” presenter using simple language, with visually simple images and animation.

The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

Check it out:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Autodesk Assistance Program

Autodesk Assistance Program was designed to help displaced workers in the architecture, engineering, design and manufacturing industries maintain and develop their 3D design technology skills and help improve their employability in a down economy.

Autodesk University(AU) Online: Autodesk Assistance Program members may receive full access with a separate AU Online membership. This valuable resource provides 1,000-plus session videos and handouts, including more than 400 sessions from AU 2008.

Check it out:

Assistance Program -

AU -

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How to create a great latte

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), in conjunction with Starbucks Foodservice, has introduced “Coffee: Brewing, Tasting, and Cooking” – a free online learning and videos tracking America’s favorite beverage from bean to table. Geared to professionals, but suitable for home cooks as well, the e-learning module includes 16 downloadable recipes, demonstrated by CIA chef-instructors in streaming video.

Access the program online at

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What makes us happy?

This presentation (the video is half way down) uses a conventional talking head.

The delivery is narrative based, the key points are illustrated by stories.

A few very simple text slides and some still images support the message.

No graphs, no lecture notes, no clip art.

But it's great .....

Check it out:

Hidden Costs Associated with Hosted (Sass) vs. Licensed LMS/LCMS Decisions

Bob Goldschneider, Director of Business Development at SyberWorks discusses his latest article, “Hosted (SaaS) Vs. Licensed Cost Analysis of a Learning Management System/Learning Content Management System.” He mentions the top three hidden costs which organizations leave out of their analysis when evaluating a hosted vs. licensed LMS/LCMS purchase.

Check it out:
SyberWorks e-Learning Podcast Series: Episode #32: “Hidden Costs Associated with Hosted vs. Licensed LMS/LCMS Decisions” -

SyberWorks Online Media Center -
Transcript -

Source article, “Hosted (SaaS) Vs. Licensed Cost Analysis of a Learning Management System/Learning Content Management System” -

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday: Decision Engine

Have you checked out "Bing", the new search engine from Microsoft?
Bing is a search engine that finds and organizes the answers you need so you can make faster, more informed decisions.
I liked the image search - typed in "Paris" and got back some pretty nice photos - including some of Ms. Hilton. Next, I selected video and got a bunch of videos that were on the same subject. Roll over the video and it starts playing. News brought up stories related to the topic.

Check it out:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Read Free How To Books Online

All of the books on the HowTo site are available for purchase in bookshops. But here on the site, access to the full content of each is completely free. You don’t even have to register or anything complicated like that – it’s all here for you to read online for nothing.

Check it out:

Friday, May 22, 2009

Wild and Wacky Friday: All you need is music ....

British psychologist Catriona Morrison states "Music is a powerful cue for storing and retrieving data ... you can use music to process new information more deeply. You can train yourself by associating what you want to remember - your new PIN for example - with a particular piece of music."

In her most recent project, Morrison uses the works of the Beatles to explore this music-memory link. She allows people to share the recollections sparked by the mention of particular album, song or band memory.

Check it out:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Take the Rework out of Reviews

Use Review Spice to get detailed feedback on storyboards, graphics, narration scripts, and screen text.

You no longer have to take handwritten notes, faxes, multiple emails, and reviewer edited PowerPoints and consolidate them into one cohesive set of changes. Instead, you can have one report with all feedback consolidated for each slide. You can print the report, or if you have a Print to PDF product you can save it to your project files.