Archive for the ‘Communication Technology’ Category

The Medium vs. The Message, in eLearning

April 5, 2012

A recent e-learning post on Linked-In shows people fixated on what software to use to create training programs. Only one person weighed in with — what I consider — the most important point: Think less about the tool and more about the project.

Almost any project can be built with almost any e-learning software tool. Sure, if you need to integrate video and a lot of interactivity, some tools handle those things better than others. But it’s not impossible to incorporate them in most training software applications. And since most are PowerPoint-based, a whole lot depends on your skills with that software.

The hardest thing to do in any e-learning project is build in excitement. So how to decide on software? Stay focused on what you want to teach. Get the content right. Ask yourself how best to engage learners, and how to measure effectiveness. The answers to these questions will bring your e-learning content, software, delivery system and measurement tools into proper alignment.

What We Learned About PowerPoint Add-Ons and OS

January 24, 2011

PowerPoint add-ons like Articulate and Adobe Presenter enable you to vastly improve training programs and presentations with enhanced motion graphics and sound. But be careful when upgrading equipment and software you’ll run those apps on.

If you also plan to use RAM-hungry programs for things like video editing, you might want to make your next PC a 64-bit system. It will accommodate 8MB of RAM (vs. 4 with a 32-bit computer) and should process faster. Windows 7 and many other operating systems can be ordered either way.

If you do, be aware that software and OS suppliers don’t always know which apps run correctly in the 64-bit environment. We ran into that when upgrading to PowerPoint 2010 and adding a 64-bit Dell Studio XPS system. Dell supplied the 64-bit version of PPT and the add-on (32-bit version) gave us trouble.

Sixty-four-bit operating systems are supposedly backwards-compatible with 32-bit programs (but not vice-versa). So we figured the problem had to be using the 32-bit add-on with the 64-bit PPT. This turned out to be true, even though the more popular PPT add-ons run with 32- and 64-bit versions of PPT (thank you, user forum contributors). PPT 2010 is the exception.

Since switching to the 32-bit PPT, things have been fine. We look forward to pushing the envelope with images and action for training and presentations created with 64-bit video and graphics programs. Can anyone recommend some good ones?