iBooks, the future of course material?

If you are in the training and learning business, you know that course material always has been the subject of many discussions. Some say it is necessary, others say that they are never used, but most students want “a manual”. Entire forests disappeared because of it, the added value of it is uncertain.

What if you could avoid using paper, and make the manual really deliver added value? I spent some time playing with iBooks author, a manual in Word format about an IT application, and Adobe Captivate software demo’s, to see if this could be a valuable alternative.

The workflow to replace all your paper based manuals by this solution would be:

  • Get yourself a Mac :–)
  • Get yourself an iPad if you want to preview your iBooks
  • Download a copy of iBooks author
  • Import your Word document into iBooks author
  • Publish your Captivate demo’s as .mp4 (standard publish function in CP 5 and higher)
  • Convert your .mp4 files to .m4v with QuickTime
  • Insert the demos in your iBook using the Media widget
  • Add some interactivity if necessary, e.g. multiple choice questions
  • Publish your project
  • Distribute your iBook (via the store or as a file)
  • Get an iPad for all your students :–)

I will let you judge for yourself. This is the result:

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Links from “The New Learning starts Today”

I want to thank everyone who attended my presentation on the Xylos Clients’ Day. These are the links I promised you:

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Take a peak at Windows 8

Microsoft posted a video about the user experience in the coming version of Windows, Windows 8:

It is of course very early to draw conclusions out of this, but these are mine:

  • we need a design room like this for our team
  • it might be the end of “Windows” as we know it, because the only windows you see in the movie are the ones in the legacy applications
  • touch will become more and more important. Imagine this demo with a mouse and a keyboard…
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