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Free Wi-Fi For Everyone!

signal.pngSounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

Well not in Osaka, Japan. According to their tourist info site, Osaka is officially Wi-Fi enabled city-wide. It’s funny to think how two non-words linked together can bring us so much joy (especially when preceded by everybody’s favorite word: Free!), but we all know it’s more than just that polysyllabic title that means so much to us: behind the word Wi-Fi is access to the world beyond our own backyard. Continue reading Free Wi-Fi For Everyone!

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The Common Core Debate

apple-on-the-desk-1428611-m.jpgAs most of you may know, I tend to spend a good deal of time making my way around the Internet researching the latest and greatest that E-Learning has to offer. The point is two fold. First, I enjoy it. Second, it allows me to keep up with the industry as a whole while also learning about any key or trending issues. And right now there is a huge issue that is dominating the world of education. Want to know the biggest issue in education?

I bet you can guess.

Continue reading The Common Core Debate

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Applying Gameification to E-Learning

1206962_theatre_seats.jpgThe way we learn is outdated. There! I said it. Don’t agree with me? Then let’s talk about it.

My personnel argument begins way back in college. (Okay, not toooooo far back, but you get the picture.) There was a psychology class I had to take if I wanted to graduate. Not something I was excited about, but there was no way around it.

So I made out my schedule and soon found myself all lined up with 47 other students who were ready, well maybe not ready but certainly willing, to learn right along with me. Why does the number matter? Because that made a total of 48 of us all spread out over a classroom that often doubled as an auditorium. Continue reading Applying Gameification to E-Learning

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Flipping the K-12 Model?

1275249_study_table.jpgThe other day I was hanging out at a friend’s house and noticed their high schooler didn’t budge from the kitchen table the entire time I was there.  Never having seen any teenager sit still for that long I couldn’t help but go over and see what was going on.

It didn’t take long for me to find the problem.  Homework.  Bleh.

As soon as I sat down the kid looked up at me with glazed eyes that told me nothing they were reading was sinking in.  There was no retention going on. None. In that moment it was all about getting it done as fast as possible so they never had to think about it again. Continue reading Flipping the K-12 Model?

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Participant Analysis: Matching Your Audience in E-Learning

1395767_agreement_survey_scale_1.jpgOne of the topics we have spent quite a bit of time talking about around here is participants. Namely, learning how to keep your focus on your participants and create initiatives that clearly meet their needs.  This sounds great!  There’s only one problem.

How do you do it?

How do you find that perfect mix that not only fulfills the needs of the organization, but also matches with what your audience prefers and wants?  Tough questions for sure, but I think I may have an answer. Continue reading Participant Analysis: Matching Your Audience in E-Learning

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Games Based Learning in the E-Learning World

188636_monopoli.jpgOkay, I have a story to tell.  It’s one I’m not particularly proud of, but it’s mine nonetheless and I’m going to own it.

A few weeks ago my niece was begging me to play Monopoly with her.  You all know the game.  The seemingly never-end game made up of endless trips around the board and ill fated hopes that you can either hit it rich or go ahead and end the misery by landing on Boardwalk and handing everything you own to the player on your left. Continue reading Games Based Learning in the E-Learning World

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E-Learning … When Does the Lesson Begin?

944126_coils_1.jpgA few weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with a brand new client and discuss new training initiatives within their organization.

The goal was to create a training program for their 1st level supervisors to improve leadership skills and increase retention rates for entry level employees.

Sounds fairly straight forward. Right? Continue reading E-Learning … When Does the Lesson Begin?

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3 Types of Writing for Effective E-Learning

1368361_reading_book.jpgOne of the things that pops up time and time again when talking about E-Learning is the topic of effective writing. Namely, what does effective writing look like?

It seems like a simple question, but the answer is not as easy as one might think.  Why? Because the idea of effective is extremely subjective. Not only that, but what may be effective in one situation would be completely inappropriate in another. Continue reading 3 Types of Writing for Effective E-Learning

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Three Top Mobile Learning Resources

1225930_mobile_phone_1.jpgWhen I hear the words “mobile learning” my ears instantly perk up. No matter what the conversation, no matter what the topic, all it takes is that one little phrase and suddenly you have my full and complete attention.

Why?

For a few reasons. For starters, mobile learning is and will continue to be the next big thing in E-Learning. This is the buzz word of the year and the trend may well continue into next year. We all know this. And this is one of the main reasons why I am always so interested to key into any chatter around the topic. Continue reading Three Top Mobile Learning Resources

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Addressing the Growing Generation Gap in Relation to E-Learning

759889_eye_see_you.jpgLast week I had the chance to partake in one of my favorite parts of my job….meeting with a new client.  See, one of the perks of what I do is that everyday has the opportunity to bring something new and different to the table.  It’s something I love and something I look forward to.

This particular client wanted to discuss the use of E-Learning and mobile learning to roll out targeted training options for their workforce.

My favorite subject! Continue reading Addressing the Growing Generation Gap in Relation to E-Learning

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Creating Effective E-Learning Outcomes

1319069_the_door.jpgI have a question.  When you sit down to create a new E-Learning initiative, where do you start? At the beginning? Or at the end?

The knee jerk reaction is to say, “of course I start at the beginning!”

But today I want to look at things a bit differently.  I want us to start thinking in terms of outcomes, and creating E-Learning initiatives that fulfill business needs. Continue reading Creating Effective E-Learning Outcomes

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5 Tips for Effective Mobile Learning

237801_mob5_3.jpgWhen we think of mobile learning we tend to get a picture of the commuter working their way through the morning train ride, and while this is accurate, there is so much more to mobile learning.

For the first time ever we have a platform that allows users to maximize their time and find the moments that work best for their own unique needs.

It’s really a simple equation: Continue reading 5 Tips for Effective Mobile Learning

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Factoring in Organizational Culture in E-Learning

815492_computer_frustration.jpgRecently, I was speaking to a colleague who was just about ready to throw in the E-learning towel.

They had, in their own words, done everything “right.”  Meaning that their initiative was well thought out, carefully planned in coordination with proven adult learning theories and executed perfectly.

The only problem was that it wasn’t working.   Hence the whole “throw in the towel” portion of the conversation.

Why aren’t they getting it?“  “Why isn’t it working?“  And, my personal favorite, “what did I do wrong?”

All good questions.  But, as we soon found out, none of them directly addressed the issue at hand. Continue reading Factoring in Organizational Culture in E-Learning

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Beware the Lemming: The Most Destructive Trends in E-Learning

1173214_hamster.jpgFirst off, let me ask you this.  Does anyone know what a lemming is?  Well, I’d be happy to enlighten you!  See a lemming is a small rodent type creature that has a tendency towards mass suicide.  It works like this.  When the population gets too large, lemmings will throw themselves off cliffs in huge numbers.  It just takes one to get things started and then this seemingly never ending wave of tiny rodents voluntarily tosses themselves down into the sea.  It’s one of those things that is horrifyingly interesting to watch.

So here’s the question.  How could lemmings possibly relate to E-Learning?  Continue reading Beware the Lemming: The Most Destructive Trends in E-Learning

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Top 3 Signs of a Learning Mind

I had some time to think recently about what makes learning initiatives, specifically E-Learning, 544853_question_mark.jpgsuccessful.

Is it the content? Is it the presentation?  Is it the instructor?  Is it all the pretty pictures we throw in there?

I think that yes, it’s a bit of all of these things.

But, I propose that it is also something more.   Continue reading Top 3 Signs of a Learning Mind

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Top 10 Ideas to Expand Your Learning

1266360_sparkler.jpgAs part of wrapping things up last year, we looked at some of the best free learning tools out there.  A sort of looking back on the year and hitting the high points so to speak.

Now a few months into the new year, I am more than ready to move forward and greet this year with everything I have.

Want to come with me?  Awesome!  Then let’s go check out what might just be 10 great ways to expand your learning.

Continue reading Top 10 Ideas to Expand Your Learning

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4 Useful Free E-Learning Tools to Try This Year

free-sign-797711.gifWe all have our favorite e-learning tools we use (I of course am partial to Atrixware e-learning tools, and I suppose everyone has their own favorite brand). Maybe its something fresh and new, or maybe its something so old that you take extra steps to make sure it works every time you get a new PC.

However, today I want to appeal to you adventurous side, and suggest to you some useful (and free) e-learning tools you may want to try out for size. You just might find that one or two of these are a nice compliment (or maybe even a replacement) to your existing tools.

Continue reading 4 Useful Free E-Learning Tools to Try This Year

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What Makes a PowerPoint Slide Good?

powerpoint.jpgPowerPoint … the tool we all love to hate.

Well, that might not be exactly fair.  I mean, if I’m being completely honest then don’t I have to admit that the problem may lie with the user rather than the tool?

Maybe not in all cases, but I know that my own personal issue with most of the PowerPoint presentations I have had the displeasure of viewing is they are boring.

And not just kinda boring.  I mean chin on the desk, prop your eyes open with a pencil, fall asleep sitting up snooze worthy! Continue reading What Makes a PowerPoint Slide Good?

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10 Tips for Getting Started in E-Learning

imgrestop10.jpgDo you remember your first E-Learning project?  You know what I mean, the one that started it all?  Some of you are sitting there reading this with a smile on your face as you laugh at the thought of stumbling your way through your first project.  We’ve all been there.

And that is what this post is all about.

So, in an effort to ease the pain of new beginnings, I’ve put together a little list.  One that I hope will help you on your journey as you get started in the crazy and often frustrating world of E-Learning.

This list certainly doesn’t cover everything – no mere blog post could, but its a great place to start and will hopefully give you a few new things to think about as you put together your own E-Learning new initiative.

Continue reading 10 Tips for Getting Started in E-Learning

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The Burning E-Learning Question: Does Slide Count Matter?

1158070_876226201.jpgAs I sit down to write this post I’m thinking back on my long lost college days.  Specifically I’m thinking about sitting through Dr. Holland’s endless marketing theory class and his love for all things PowerPoint.  See, Dr. Holland (name changed to protect the not so innocent) only taught night classes.

This was both good and bad.  Good because you only had to go one night a week.  Bad cause you then had to make yourself sit there and pretend to pay attention for the entire 2+ hours that he droned on … and on … and on. Continue reading The Burning E-Learning Question: Does Slide Count Matter?

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Weblearning 9.63 New Features

whats_new.gifWeblearning 9.63 will be released this week (end of November 2011) — sort of.

First, we will be putting in on the Demo system (demo.atrixware-online.com) for about a week while we iron out any last remaining bugs.

After that, new sign-ups will get the new build, and those owning an Enterprise/Enterprise Gold/Enterprise Platinum system that host the system on their own servers will be offered access to the new build.

Existing hosted customers without customizations will get their systems migrated one-at-a-time to the new build (and consequently during the migration will be moved to a new and improved server hosted over at liquid-web). This will be a process – likely to take about a month to get every system moved. After these are complete, we will move the customized systems over one-by-one.

Continue reading Weblearning 9.63 New Features

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Strengths and Weaknesses of Mobile Learning

1101414_40995791.jpgHere’s the thing about mobile learning … it’s a buzz word.  It’s one that we’ve all heard and probably one that we’ve all said at least a time or two, or a hundred.  I can admit that it’s been known to slip out of my own mouth on occasion.

But what does this buzz word actually mean?

And, probably more importantly how can we put it to use in our own little E-Learning world?  These are the questions we answer today.  We’re going to take a closer look at both the strengths and weaknesses of mobile learning as well as look at the opportunities this new technology will offer us all.

Continue reading Strengths and Weaknesses of Mobile Learning

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Weblearning LMS 9.63 Update Sneak Peek

If you have been using Weblearning for any length of time, you are probably used to getting 1 or 2 updates every year with a mixture of new features and interface enhancements.

Our upcoming update (9.63) is due out by the end of this year, and includes dozens of enhancements (and some behind the scenes stuff), and a major rehaul of the admin interface (and probably some new course design changes as well).

We realize that most of you are used to the interface the way it is (it has pretty much been the same for a few years now), so we tried really hard to keep the same workflow, while really beefing up the interface. So, I thought I would show off a hadful of screen shots to give you an idea of what it will look like (I will write another article talking about the new features).

Here is the new Home Screen (what you see when you first log in):

1.png

Here is  a screen of the Module List – notice that plug-in modules can be managed from here now too:

2.png

 Here is an example of a Plugin subtab – we moved from list-style to icon-style rendering.

3.png

Here is the Account tab (overview). We moved the tab to the right (out of your way since it is most likely the least frequently used tab in your account). This makes room for a future tab-plugin ability.

4.png

Each tab and sub-tab you are on also pulls dynamically relevant articles and  Q&A from the help section – this should help you along a bit if you are stuck on something (you will see those on the right panel).

Of course, nothing here is finalized (we are still working on it), but what I have shown you is pretty close if not exactly what it will look like when your system gets the update later this year.

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Distance Learning … Old School Style!

1185429_13825221.jpgI’ll admit, I can be a bit of a pessimist.  Not in a “glass is half full” kind of way but more in a “been there, done that, got the t-shirt” kind of way.

It’s just hard to shock me, and even harder to show me something new and different.

Well, I stand here before you today as a changed soul.

Why you ask?  Because a good friend managed not only to shock me recently, but to shake me right down to the center of my E-Learning core.

It all started with a phone call.  “You’ve got to see this!

See what?” I ask as I lean back in my chair, kicking a stray foot up onto the desk in front of me.

There aren’t words.“  Was the answer I received.

Continue reading Distance Learning … Old School Style!

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Approaches to Creating Effective Learning Objectives

1238452_46868173.jpgThe other day I had a bit of an epiphany of sorts that I would like to share with all my dear friends in the E-Learning world.  I was talking with a student when they asked me a very pointed and direct question that I wasn’t expecting.  Nor, as it turns out, was I prepared to answer it.

Curious as to what it was?

Simple….why? Continue reading Approaches to Creating Effective Learning Objectives

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5 Smart Habits for the E-Learning Professional

869401_90854159.jpgPeople ask me all the time about success and what that reality looks like.  It seems like a simple question, but think about it for a moment.  What does success look like for the typical E-Learning professional?

Is it someone with a full calendar of events and classes?  Is it a person who is well thought of?  Is it a bit of both?  Or is it something else entirely?

The truth is that at the end of the day, success is defined by the individual.  What you find successful will differ from the person next to you as you each have your own unique set of goals for your life.

Continue reading 5 Smart Habits for the E-Learning Professional

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Teaching vs. Storytelling … One in the Same?

1174415_19441857.jpgLet’s take a minute to go back … and for some of us I mean way back.  All the way back to a time when we sat gathered around our grandparents’ knees as we waited with baited breath to find out what happened next to our favorite characters.  Back to the days of storytelling and the magical moments those tales produced.

I’m betting even today you can remember every word.  I know I can.  I’ve even shared a few with the next generation, taking my place in a tradition that is as old as language itself.

This brings me to the question of the day.  When did we forget about the power of the story?  When did we forget that stories themselves are powerful teaching tools that can create memories which are both strong and lasting?

Continue reading Teaching vs. Storytelling … One in the Same?

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5 Shortcuts to Effective E-Learning

253947_2193.jpgThe other day I sat down to work on some new course content and ran straight into a solid brick wall.  It didn’t matter what I tried, my mind was a complete blank and words were simply not making their way onto the page in any way shape form or fashion.

Normally this wouldn’t be much more than a simple irritation but on this particular day it was giving me cause to panic. Continue reading 5 Shortcuts to Effective E-Learning

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Top 5 Things NOT To Do when Authoring E-Learning

1135124_28581582.jpgWe always talk about the things that we need to do.  Those little dotted “i and crossed “t type details that make us stand out from the pack as we strive to offer something special and exciting to our students.

But what about the other side of the coin?  What about those simple little habits that manage to slip unnoticed through the cracks as they chip away and undermine all of our hard work and dedication?  Why do we never talk about these things?

We all know they exist, yet year after year it becomes easier to ignore them altogether rather than take the time to deal with the issue right from the beginning. Continue reading Top 5 Things NOT To Do when Authoring E-Learning

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4 Ways to Mold Yourself into the World’s Most Ineffective Leader

1335583_42968226.jpgThis week, I am going off topic a bit to talk about leadership (which is indirectly related to e-learning, and more related to learning as a whole).

Question: do you know the number one criteria for career advancement in America?  Tenure.  Yep, park your rear in a chair long enough and someone is bound to promote you eventually.  The problem with this strategy is that leadership, unlike fine wine, does not get better with age.

Now, before you all break out the pitch forks and other sharp, spiky type items, let me explain what I mean by that. Continue reading 4 Ways to Mold Yourself into the World’s Most Ineffective Leader

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