Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Common Craft Cut-out Library

If you are a fan of the Common Craft library of videos like I am, you will LOVE the Cut-out Library.  Cut-outs are digital images like the ones used in the videos.  Use the images in your training programs and presentations.

You can download the images as part of a PowerPoint presentation or zipped file.  You must be a Common Craft member to download the images.  Members can also download the Common Craft videos.

Check it out:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Free Articulate Storyline Interaction - Octodogs

Here's a free Articulate Storyline interaction that I came accross in a LinkedIn group. 
Credit to Alexandros Anoyatis (twitter@anoyatis).

View Demo :

Download Story :

Screenr :

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Planning Computer Simulations for Delivering Information Through Video: STC Meeting

People are increasingly using video to provide technical information. From
YouTube to free webinars and services like, recorded video
training is a powerful medium.

Join Matt Sullivan for a 4-hour workshop
designed to help you implement video training using various tools.

He will cover the following topics:
* Developing a storyboard for your project
* Writing a script for actions and voiceover
* Practicing and recording your content
* Editing the resulting video
* Publishing to various formats

Please bring your own laptop to the workshop. Having Captivate 6 installed
on your laptop is preferred, but not required.
Lunch will be provided.

About the speaker
Matt Sullivan (@mattrsullivan) is a senior STC member, an Adobe Certified
Expert, and an Adobe Certified Instructor. He helps individuals and teams
implement technical communication and e-learning strategies by integrating
text, video, and online deliverables.

Location: American Red Cross, 2700 Southwest Freeway
Time: 10 AM ­ 2 PM, Monday, October 22

Registration Due Date: October 12, 2012, register at

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Free Webinar: The Elements of Interactive eLearning

David Anderson,   Community Manager,   Articulate

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 | 10:00AM Pacific Time

Free Webinar, Membership Not Required

This webinar showcases one of the most popular, best-rated sessions from DevLearn 2011 Conference & Expo, newly updated and now available to all through this special online presentation.
It wasn’t too long ago that eLearning designers wanting to build interactive courses were forced to choose between one of two realities: a blissful illusion of interactivity, or the painful truth that interactivity required advanced programming skills. That’s no longer the case because today’s eLearning tools make it easy for anyone to design interactivity.
This session is all about deconstructing the best corporate eLearning, multimedia journalism, and interactive infographics. Participants will learn the three most common types of interactivity and learn creative ways to apply interactivity in their own courses.
In this session, you will learn:
  • The basic elements of interactivity
  • Rapid instructional design models that you can build with any authoring program
  • How to evaluate and design the right interactivity
  • How to reuse interactive widgets and customize them for new clients and projects

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

eLearning Atlas

The eLearning Atlas is a comprehensize free list of elearning and LMS providers - brought to you by  Rustici Software, LLC.  One interesting feature is the ability to select a product type and then narrow down the choices to those who have specific specification support - such as authoring tools that support the Tin Can API.  The list is being updated on a regular basis.

Check it out:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Articulate Storyline training

Artisan E-Learning will be offering Articulate Storyline training in September!  You can pick from a virtual format you can take anywhere, or an in-person format in Arlington, VA.

Visit their website for more details.

Virtual Training:
September 6, 11, 13, 18 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. $495

 Classroom Training (DC Area)
September 20-21 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. $595
(Plus, they will be offering similar Captivate training in October.)

 The course will be based on their book, E-Learning Uncovered: Articulate Storyline

1. Getting to Know Storyline
2. Creating New Projects
3. Scenes and Slides
4. Working with Text
5. Adding Graphics
6. Object Properties
7. Arranging Objects
8. Working with Media
9. States & Layers
10. Triggers & Actions
11. Advanced Actions & Variables
12. Questions & Quizzes
13. Screen Recordings
14. The Player
15. Publishing

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Complimentary eBook: 62 Tips on Graphic Design, UI/UX Design, and Visualization for eLearning

Effective eLearning deliverables require more than just text and a few random graphics. Good graphic design, user interface (UI) design, and user experience (UX) design aren’t optional – they’re necessary to ensure maximum learner comprehension and retention.

This complimentary eBook, 62 Tips on Graphic Design, UI/UX Design, and Visualization for eLearning, draws on the experience of 12 professionals who are leading sessions in The eLearning Guild’s August 2012 Online Forum, “Graphic Design, UI/UX Design, and Visualization for eLearning.”

Download this complimentary eBook today and discover tips to guide you in areas including:

• Highlighting Learning
• Aesthetic Considerations
• Tricks and Tools

Download now:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

FEMA Course: IS-42 Social Media in Emergency Management

I was part of a learning team developing a new course for FEMA.  The purpose of the course is to provide the participants with best practices including tools, techniques and a basic roadmap to build capabilities in the use of social media technologies in their own emergency management organizations (State, local, Tribal) in order to further their emergency response missions.

Great experience collaborating in a virtual environment.  Our team was spread out all over the country - Seattle, New York, Virginia and Texas.  We used BaseCamp to store master files, source materials and to manage the development schedule.  Drop Box was used to exchange large files.

Check out the final course:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Inside Search: Become a Google power searcher

Inside Search: Become a Google power searcher: (Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog ) You may already be familiar with some shortcuts for Google Search, like using the search box a...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Webinar: Using Social Media to Support Workplace Learning

Jane Hart
Social Business Consultant
Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 | 10:30 AM Pacific Time

Complimentary for Paid Guild Members
More and more people are using social media and networks to solve their learning and performance problems in the workplace — connecting, conversing, and collaborating with colleagues both inside and outside the organization. Jane Hart will share her experiences in, ideas about, and predictions for using social media to support workplace learning.

Check it out: 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Google Knowledge Graph

The Knowledge Graph enables you to search for things, people or places that Google knows about—landmarks, celebrities, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographical features, movies, celestial objects, works of art and more—and instantly get information that’s relevant to your query. This is a critical first step towards building the next generation of search, which taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do.

Check it out:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Free Webinar: Clark Quinn on How Mobile Enables Social Learning, May 23

Social learning is an increasing part of organizational learning, and mobile learning brings a new dimension to social learning in important ways. What do we need to know to do this well? Find out on May 23 in How Mobile Enables Social Learning with mLearning expert Clark Quinn. Register now for this complimentary webinar.

You do not need to be a member of The eLearning Guild to access this event.

 Check it out:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lose Your Excuse for Losing Energy

Great website for kids ... and everyone else.  This interactive site offers many online and offline activities for students to learn about energy conservation from the U.S Department of Energy.  View some popular excuses we hear over and over about why we don't save energy. Find videos and other resources under Energy Extras. Click on Posters to create your own energy conservation poster or to see posters created by others. Play the Energy Rescue Game (more entertaining than educational) or go to the Lost Excuses Land to save energy by eliminating the excuses and learning the facts.

Check it out:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Gamification of Learning and Instruction

Karl Kapp’s new book “The Gamification of Learning and Instruction” launched this week – I was able to preview the book. It’s available on the ASTDBook store and Amazon. Make sure to use your Chapter Code when ordering the book to support your local ASTD Chapter - the Houston ASTD Code is CH7032.

From the book - The engagement achieved through games means that gamification is a concept that needs to be a part of every learning professional's tool box. Games provide meaning and context to learners, they provide a set of boundaries within a "safe" environment to explore, think and "try things out".

The four themes in the book are:

1. Describe and define the concept of gamification, dissect games to determine the elements that provide the most impact for the players and why these elements are critical to the success of the game.

2. Research and theoretical basis for the use of games and game-based thinking.

3. Matching game results with game design.

4. Actual design and development of the gamification of learning and instruction.

Full disclosure - I'm still working my way through the book.  What I’m appreciating through the book is the depth of the material, examples, and key takeways. I came into the book with my own ideas about gamification and what it means.  I’m getting a clear picture of the true power of game-based thinking including engagement, storytelling, visualization of characters and problem solving.  We’ve been using these elements in learning for a long time.  I don’t think we’ve considered them gamification.  One example given is “The Binary Game”  from Cisco (  This is a arcade game.  The idea is to teach people the basis of binary numbers.  The player leans the concepts while playing.  The patterns and strategies in game provide the ability to think in binary.  I think this book will help anyone who wants to understand how to bring “gamification” into their toolbox –finding methods to improve learning, retention and application of knowledge.  I’ll circle back with more thoughts once I complete the book!
Karl presented to the Houston ASTD chapter yesterday on this topic - his slides can be found at

Monday, April 23, 2012

Attending the ASTD International Conference? There's an app for that!

If you are attending the ASTD International Conference in Denver May 6-9, download and start populating the ASTD Events app - Android or iOS (iPhone/iPAD) available.  You don't have to carry around a paper schedule! Only drawback I see is I loaded the app on both my iPhone and iPAD and it looks like they don't sync up. 

Features include:
  •  Native universal app: Great for iPAD and no wifi connection required to access the conference program, visual schedule or animated maps.
  • Now View: Stay informed about hot issues, program changes, upcoming sessions, Twitter feeds and organizer messages. 
  • Contact Sharing: Easily share your digital business card information via QR or Bump technology.
  • Programs: Browse the entire event program to build your personal schedule, take notes, share with integrated social media and more. 
  • Session materials: Access session handouts and slides. Take notes and email them as part of your trip report for reference.
  • Exhibitors and Sponsors: Browse or search exhibitors and easily find their location on the expo floor.
Check it out: 

YouTube Video:

Harnessing the Power of Mobile in Education and Training Today

May 8, 2012

10:30AM to 11:30AM Pacific Time

Judy Brown
Mobile Learning Analyst, mLearnopedia

There is a lot of talk about mobile in our field today, and even more questions: What really is mLearning? Why is mLearning important? Who is developing and deploying mLearning, and what is working? How do I get started with mLearning? Judy Brown — a learning expert who believed in the potential of mLearning long before it was really possible — addresses common questions about mLearning and to explore opportunities for mLearning moving forward.

Register Now -

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tom Peters - Best of Excellence. Now Presentations

Tom Peters has distilled down thousands of slides from over 2,500 presentations that he has done on organizational and personal excellence into 23 separate presentations that you can download.

Peters say, “Use this material as you wish and please 'steal' all you want.” Includes both a PDF and PPT - he is releasing one a week so you'll want to bookmark the site and go back!

Check it out:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Free Webinar: Designing Instructionally Sound and Engaging mLearning

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 | 10:00AM Pacific Time
 Free Webinar, Membership Not Required
This webinar showcases one of the most popular, best-rated sessions from mLearnCon 2011 Conference & Expo, newly updated and now available to all through this special online presentation.

It is clear that mLearning presents a unique challenge for instructional designers. In this free one-hour webinar, Curtis Burchett will discuss instructional design changes in the new mobile learning area, explain the challenges instructional designers face, and provide a methodology for instructional designers to organize and create successful mLearning products. By the end of the session, you should be able to successfully design instructionally sound and engaging mLearning projects.

In this session, you will learn:
  • What technologies you can leverage to create mLearning projects
  • The evolution of instructional design in mLearning
  • How mLearning projects differ from traditional Web-based or instructor-led training
  • A methodology to organize and create successful mLearning products
Check it out:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Free Social Media Infographic Generator

What About Me? is a free social media infographic generator from Intel. The purpose of What About Me? is to create infographics based on your Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube activities.

The infographic created includes parts of your recent Facebook posts, when and what you post about on all three networks, and What About Me? even evaluates the average tone of your messages. When your infographic is complete, you can download it from What About Me?
Check it out:

Friday, March 16, 2012

e-Learning for Kids: Professional Instructional Design Volunteers Needed to Make a Difference for Children!

Do you have time to volunteer your instructional design skills during a three-month period? If so, e-Learning for Kids, a global non-profit foundation that reached over 3 million children in 190 countries in 2011 (with 50 percent usage in the United States) with its free courseware, needs your help! The goal is to develop 100-plus lessons in 2012 for Math World—a virtual world for learning Math in the context of different countries and continents. To-date, more than 80 lessons have been launched! How can you help? 
  • Are you a skilled instructional designer who can develop two or more storyboards?
  • Do you have approximate 30 to 40 hours to volunteer during a three-month period?

If you have the skills, time, and interest to make a difference for children, e-Learning for Kids needs your assistance! To learn more and participate, please complete the volunteer form here. You will be contacted and provided a storyboard template (with a manual) and a subject matter expertise package (with math examples) so you can begin!

Thank you for considering making a positive difference in the lives and education of children! To learn more about the foundation, please visit

Monday, February 27, 2012

Free Webinars - Working with Adobe Captivate

Topic: Creating Quizzes with Random Questions in Adobe Captivate 5.5
Date and time: Thursday, March 1, 2012 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM US/Pacific
Description: Join Dr. Pooja Jaisingh and Vish to learn how to create quizzes with random questions using Adobe Captivate 5.5. They will show you how to create a question pool, create a quiz with random questions, reuse question pools created for other projects, and create a quiz with questions coming from various question pools.
Registration Link:

Topic: Best Practices for Working with Objects in Adobe Captivate 5.5
Date and time: Thursday, March 15, 2012 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM US/Pacific
Description: Join John Daigle, Pooja Jaisingh and Vish to learn about the best practices of working with standard and interactive objects in Adobe Captivate 5.5. These objects include text captions, images, rollover images/captions/slidelets, animations, click boxes, buttons, and highlight boxes. They will also be sharing some quick tips on troubleshooting common issues you can face when working with objects in Adobe Captivate 5.5.
Registration Link:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Free Webinar Series: Learn to Use Articulate Storyline

Building interactive eLearning usually means you have to have programming skills or a team of programmers at hand. Today, that’s no longer the case. With Articulate Storyline you can experience the simplicity of working in a familiar interface and the power of creating more than click-and-read eLearning…all at the speed of business.

Attend "How to" workshops - free to members of Training Magazine Network. Registration will be limited to the first 2,000 to sign up. To access handouts, access links, etc, participants will need to register as members of Training Magazine Network.

 TUE, April 3: Getting Started with Articulate Storyline

THURS, April 26: Create Interactive Software Simulations with Articulate Storyline

THURS, May 31: Interactive E-Learning Made Easy with Articulate Storyline

Friday, February 10, 2012

Internet Safety: Educational programs for parents and kids

I recently read a Facebook entry by one of my “tween” relatives that disturbed me.  She probably thought it was an innocent remark but to a predator it could have been interpreted differently.  I wanted to find the right words to convey what I thought and provide some good education resources for her and her mom.  In surfing the web, I found a website with some interesting statistics:
Did you know that..?
  • 26% of children report having a public social networking profile.
  • Children of all ages are lacking digital skills –confidence is often not matched by skill!
  • 12% of 9-16 year olds say they have been bothered or upset by something on the internet… however, 56% of parents whose child has received nasty or hurtful messages online are not aware of this.
  • One in eight parents don’t seem to mediate their children’s online activities…while 56% of parents take positive steps such as suggesting to their children how to behave towards others online.
  • 44% of children think that parental mediation limits what they do online, 11 per cent say it limits their activities a lot.
Here are some safe Internet resources I found - please share them with your children, family and friends.We all have a role to play in ensuring that every child is safe online.

A Parents' Guide to Facebook a soup-to-nuts guide to Facebook privacy settings, profile settings, group settings.

NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive, educational program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) that provides age-appropriate resources to help teach children how to be safer on- and offline. The program is designed for children ages 5-17, parents and guardians, educators, and law enforcement.

PBS Kids offers the Webonauts Academy in which elementary school students can learn about safe online behaviors.

Through the Wild Web Woods games teach children about potential dangers online and how to avoid them.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Army OneSource Virtual World

Explore the new Army OneSource Virtual World and stay connected to Family and friends! This virtual environment allows you to collaborate, learn, socialize, host or attend training sessions, and participate in daily events. By using a customizable avatar, a virtual self-representation, participants can access a variety of Army services by simply exploring the virtual world. Army OneSource programs are also at your fingertips in this three-dimensional environment. The Army OneSource Virtual World was built specifically to serve Soldiers and their Families and features each Army Resiliency in their own virtual region.

As part of Army One Source Virtual World, the Virtual Resiliency Campus offers Community members engaging and enjoyable ways to build strength in the five areas of Resiliency: Spiritual, Family, Social, Emotional and Physical.The Army OneSource Virtual World regions are open to Army Soldiers, staff, volunteers, Veterans, Family and friends. All you need is an existing Army OneSource login!

Free Webinar: 2/10 - Litmos "Love your LMS": Experience the world's most user-friendly Learning Management System

February 10th, 1:00pm ET
Space is Limited
Reserve Your Webinar Seat Now At:

Litmos is the Learning Management System (LMS) that people love to use. Easy to assemble courses, assign them to learners and watch the results come in.

The best part is Litmos is a hosted training system, which means you'll never need help from the IT department to set up. You can literally get started in minutes.

Key features in Litmos:
· Hosted/SaaS LMS
· SCORM 1.2 Certified
· Accessible via Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad and Android
· Themes/Brand Customization
· API - for integration with other systems
· eCommerce and self sign-up
· Certificates
· Course Library
· Automatic compliance reminders
· No software to download
· No long term contracts

Real time reporting makes it easy to track learner results and get ROI for your online campaign. At any time you can see if your students have completed their training, how long they took and what scores they achieved. Plus, all of this information can be instantly exported to Excel or PDF.

Monday, February 6, 2012

ASTD Houston Membership Mixer: Use the power of KINECT for Windows to transform training

Register at:

Come and Join the Fun! Kinect has changed the way people play games and experience entertainment. Now, Kinect for Windows offers the potential to transform how people interact with computers and Windows-embedded devices in multiple industries, including education, healthcare, retail, transportation, and beyond. We’ll discuss how the Kinect technology will change the face of training. We’ll also provide a demo of Kinect working in the Windows environment.

Join or Renew your Houston ASTD Membership
Take $25 off your General Membership fee if you join or renew your membership at this event. Membership in the Houston ASTD chapter creates the professional opportunities you need to compete in today’s rapidly changing marketplace. Whether you are a professional in the field, a student just starting out, or you are transitioning into Training and Development, find networking opportunities, programs, events and conferences just for you.

Date and Time: Feb 22, 2012, 8:30 – 10:00am
Location: Microsoft Store Galleria Mall, 5015 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77056, Phone: (713) 860-5790
Cost: No charge!
Presenters: Debbie Richards - Creative Interactive Ideas. Yoshi Takekawa - Microsoft
Refreshments provided by:  Obsidian Technical Communications
Door Prize Donated by the Microsoft Store: One year MS Training membership (one hour per week). Get the most out of your PC experience with a one-on-one training session with a Microsoft Answer Tech at the Microsoft Store.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

ASTD Essentials Series: Essentials of Experiential Learning and Simulations

Experience is the Best Teacher – Using Simulations to Build Experience Ken Spero, Executive Director, NexLearn - Immersive Learning University

Are you interested in developing simulations but don’t have the time to go to a workshop or conference?  If so, this ASTD online workshop may be the answer. 

Each Essentials Series online workshop is delivered by a live facilitator who is an experienced learning and development practitioner. You and your fellow classmates will collaborate in the virtual classroom via interactive group discussions, polls, chats, and whiteboards.  Each session of an Essentials Series workshop is recorded in case you miss a session or would like to review the content again.

This interactive online workshop introduces you to a simple framework for simulations, which combine one’s work experience and expertise with the power of storytelling. Simulation isn’t a science; it’s just a way of organizing your thinking. This workshop will help participants to organize them to train others.

Check it out:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Free Webinar: Leveraging Voice Tools for Training

January 27th, 1:00pm ET
Space is Limited
Reserve Your Webinar Seat Now At:

You've tried every trick in the book to engage your learners. Everything from simple drag and drop to highly animated avatars but you may be missing out on one of the best and simplest forms of engagement, conversation. Learn how to integrate interactive voice tools and audio based instructions to actively engage the learner in a mobile application or a blended learning solution. The presenter will be Nancy Munro, CEO of KnowledgeShift and a seasoned developer of online and mobile learning applications.

During her presentation, Nancy will seek out a volunteer who will demonstrate some of these interactive voice tools in real time. Rapid Intake's development platforms can easily integrate the voice/audio tools that she will be demonstrating. Nancy has been a presenter for regional ASTD chapters, eLearning Guild's mLearning Conference and a repeat presenter for the Chicago eLearning Showcase.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kinect for Windows - Feb 1, 2012

Yesterday at CES, Microsoft announced the new Kinect for Windows hardware and accompanying software will be available on February 1st, 2012.

In a blog post, Craig Weiss wrote "Kinect technology and gesture free will equally make an appearance in 2012. I am projecting that the number of vendors who enter this space to start slow, but gain steam – at least with some aspect, by the end of 2012. ..... Great opportunities in education (K-12 and higher ed) and even with companies, although I see it more with mid-size and large. Costs will vary, again lower price points are needed. What is great about Kinect technology is that it will work with tablets, eventually smartphones and televisions. "

Check it out:

Craig's Post:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Miss out on Learning 2011? Check out the Learning Wiki

Did you miss Learning 2011 (Masie Conference)?  If so, here's the scoop on available content - lots of great information, videos and a free eBook!

Learning Wiki: Content, video and participant perspectives on the seminars and keynotes at 

Watch interviews with Inventor Dean Kamen, learning leaders from Walmart and Starbucks, and much more. The interviews are rboken into segments focused on key questions; you can use them or pass them along. Go to for the videos from Learning 2011.

 eBook Released: Learning Perspectives 2011: This year’s Learning Perspectives 2011 e-Book was just released in open source for your download and reading. Articles from several dozen “30 Under 30” learning professionals, with their views on the changing nature of our field. In addition, Bob Baker, CLO of the MASIE Center, has a detailed perspective on the role of “Checklists” for the learning world. Download it at

Learning 2012 Dates: October 21 to 24, 2012 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Early Registration will open next week for those who want to use 2011 funds for next year’s event.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Free webcast (ASTD members) - Twitter 101: The Basics and Tips for Learning Use

Thursday, January 12 • 2:00 p.m. ET
Presenter: David Kelly
Twitter is an excellent tool to leverage for both personal and professional learning and growth, and more and more organizations are harnessing its power as part of learning programs. And with that, many learning professionals are encountering the same challenges, such as: How can I use Twitter in my learning programs if I don't even know how to use Twitter myself? What is the platform's value? We will explain what Twitter is, walk through the steps to (properly) set up a twitter account, define much of the technical Twitter terminology, and share some examples of how learning professionals are using the platform.

Open to all as part of the ASTD 2012 TechKnowledge webcast series

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Free video presentation software

With Knovio, take your existing PowerPoint slides and quickly and easily add your own video to synchronize with the slide content. You can then share this new presentation out to your intended audience by email or social media. 

You don’t need any special software to use Knovio. From a standard web browser you simply upload your existing PowerPoint files. You will need a webcam and microphone to record your video and audio which is already installed on most laptop computers.

Check it out:

Monday, January 2, 2012

Webinar: The Secrets to Rapid eLearning Success, Jan. 17th

eLearning Guild:  Thought Leaders Webinars

January 17
Tom Kuhlmann |VP, Community, Articulate
Here’s a story that resonates with many: You were a good explainer, so you became a trainer. Then your company said, You’re now doing eLearning. So you bought a tool and got your courses online. Soon you started hearing that all your stuff looks and feels like PowerPoint. So you started building better-looking courses. But then you went to a conference and someone said, you need to make your course more interactive. So you made them more interactive. But then your company said, You need to develop these courses more quickly. How do you keep up with all of these demands and produce effective eLearning?

Register now: