Top 100 learning tools for 2014 – my top 10

Jane Hart is gathering votes for the Top 100 learning tools for 2014. Every year, this is a very interesting way of getting to know new learning tools and explore their possibilities.
This is my top 10, in random order:
  • Twitter: the best way to generate your own “information streams” about various subjects.
  • Tweetdeck: invaluable for organizing my twitter stream. I like the fact that it is cross-platform.
  • Microsoft OneNote: the best note-taking application on the Windows platform. Unbeatable in combination with SharePoint and a tablet pc with a digitizer pen. Now finally available for OS X!
  • Instapaper: with the “read later” button in your browser toolbar, you can save interesting articles for later, and read them e.g. in the iPad app.
  • WordPress: excellent blogging platform. Recent releases have been focussing on the usability for the writer, and it is setting the standards for usability. Administration is getting easier with e.g. the auto-update feature.
  • Fever: after the “death” of Google Reader, and the competition between various RSS platforms, I decided to choose a self-hosted solution. Fever is exceptionally easy to install and very stable.
  • ReadKit: excellent RSS reader for Mac, with support for Fever.
  • WebEx: a very reliable, easy to use and complete web conferencing tool.
  • Yammer: the enterprise social network in our company keeps us up to date of what is happening in the various locations and business units.
  • Office 365: the “swiss army knife” of productivity tools: enterprise-grade e-mail and calendar, SharePoint sites for collaborating or storing knowledge, and OneDrive that has 1TB of storage and that is slowly becoming a serious competitor of tools like Google Drive and DropBox.

You can still post your own top 10 and contribute to the list until September 19.

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Book: Adobe Captivate 7 for Mobile Learning

People are often asking me if I can recommend good study material about Adobe Captivate 7. Of course, there is a lot of “free” material available on the web, especially from the Adobe site, but it is not always easy to get a full, structured overview of what is the best way to use the program to its full potential.

Recently, I had the opportunity to review Adobe Captivate 7 for Mobile Learning, written by Damien Bruyndocnkx. The title indicates that the book was written with a specific focus on the use of Captivate for Mobile Learning, but it is also a good introduction for people who are just getting started with the program and want to create animations and simulations that will just be published to pc. If you are creating e-learning content today, it is in your best interest to go directly for a “mobile-friendly” format, as you will get the question anyway to make your content available on iPad or other devices.

The book is really “hands-on”, with practical step-by-step exercise and does not just explain the features of the program, but teaches you the optimal “workflow” to produce Captivate content. This is what makes this book stand out from some others that are just explaining what the different buttons in the program do.

The book is available in e-book and paper format. Table of contents and sample chapters are available.

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What if Captivate 6 or 7 sends zero-scores to your LMS?

Recently, we ran into an issue with a piece of Captivate 6 content in our LMS. Although the content did not contain any quizzes, the content sent a score of 0 to the LMS, messing up the reporting.

We had a look at the reporting settings in Captivate, these were the settings used:

captivate quiz

If you use these settings, the content communicates the following to your LMS:

[2013-06-16 09:15:49] LMSSetValue(“cmi.core.score.raw”, “0”)
[2013-06-16 09:15:49] LMSSetValue(“cmi.core.score.max”, “0”)
[2013-06-16 09:15:49] LMSSetValue(“cmi.core.score.min”, “0”)

Strangely enough, the solution is very simple: under Data to Report, you change the option Quiz Score to Percentage. This stops sending cmi.core.score values to the LMS. You would expect that this setting has no importance because you specified that you do not want to track the Quiz, but it does make a difference.

quiz data

I have noticed exactly the same behaviour in Captivate 7.

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