Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sweet moments in web browsing

Following Cammy's discussion on seat time in elearning (far more interesting than this post btw) I found myself at the Brandon Hall site where Janet Clarey had taken up the same question.

While you are there, and hopefully adding your contribution to the debate, just check out the sweet tag cloud that seems to take its name quite seriously. Nice touch.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Snapshots of 21st century learning #1

My friend has just started his first teaching job as a graphic design lecturer at three different FE colleges.

The levels of the students varies from establishment to establishment, but he admits now that setting a research project as his first major piece of work with one group was perhaps a little optimistic.

Dismayed at the lack of progress that was being made he accompanied them to the library. The source of their problem was clear. Students would take books off the shelf and leaf through them at random, wondering how they were supposed to find what they were looking for beyond seredipity. My friend had to introduce the idea of the index and the contents pages as the crude, real-world precursors to the search function...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Getting perspective - the geophysical view

I've been working with a client in the financial sector lately, so I've had my focus directed at the markets perhaps even more than I might otherwise (not that we can avert our stares from the car crash).

So this is not really elearning related, but is instead a beautiful take on perspective in these interesting times - from a great blogger who is, I think, a Brit working in the financial sector in Tokyo.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Three tiny tools to help your course development

I am still doing a lot of work with development tools such as Articulate/PowerPoint, Captivate and most recently KSTutor, supplemented with standards such as GIMP and Kompozer.

In the line of this I have at various points had cause to look to add to my toolbox with some very nifty, but tiny micro apps. Here are three I am using at the moment:

GetColor SF: In essence a standalone version of the dropper tool offered by GIMP, Photoshop et al.

If you are working in PowerPoint you don't have the same luxury. GetColor offers a great way to get the hex value of any colour on the screen, and even save them for reference.

Arguably an essential addition to the PowerPoint learning designer's desktop.

Colour Contrast Analyser: Not sure if your imagery will meet accessibility requirements? This little app assesses contrast between colours. If you are working with the likes of Ufi you may know about this, but if you aren't, especially if you are doing your own SME-centred in-house development, this is a great way to get "free" accessibility.

This is a product of an Australian organisation called Vision Australia and a great example of an interest group that not only campaigns for equality but actually goes out there to make it easier for people to comply (overcoming inertia) after all - choosing colours wisely is essentially a 'free to implement' accessibility standard.

Sizer: A simple little tool that allows you to set the size of a window. With screen sizes now rapidly diversifying this allows you to choose to view at standard size, or to set your own sizes. Useful for viewing courses as your learners will see them, or for setting them prior to a capture session if you are using things like Captivate or KSTutor.