Posted by bryanzug - 2006/10/27
Very interesting post by Danielle Crittendon on “Why Your Kids Should Play More Video Games” over at the Huffington Post. Thanks to Ian on the Second Life Educators Distribution list (SLED) for the link.
Love the anecdotes about how real world learning (english lit, economics, team leadership) skillz are making it into the new Xbox sports games — very interesting.
“I thought you were up here killing space aliens.”
“No.” He sighs with the exasperation of the chronically misunderstood. “I’m building a new franchise.”
I sink into the sofa to watch, interested. The game is MLB Baseball and, as my son explains, very little of the fun comes from playing simulated major league games.
In “franchise mode, ” he explains (all the while pulling up menus and pressing buttons), you have to acquire a team and a stadium, “set parking lot prices, ticket prices, concession stands and how much it costs for a stuffed animal or jersey. You have give-aways which cost you money but brings up attendance. You can lose your franchise if you do badly. I lost my team because I drove it into bankruptcy.”
On a tech note, this is my first post from Flock — question — where are the categories? — Oh, they come up as an option after you hit publish — wierd.
Posted by bryanzug - 2006/10/09
Here’s the flash video version of my screencast on installing WordPress via Dreamhost. Enjoy!
Posted by bryanzug - 2006/10/09
I am in Orlando today presenting a session called “Blogs & Screencasts in the Quest for Training Attention” at the 2006 Cerner Health Conference. From the session description:
In the quest for user attention, blogs and screencasts are more that buzzwords. Join us as we examine how these technologies help organizations capture valuable elements of “watercooler conversations” and leverage them toward system and process training. Session will include: An introduction to blogs, screencasts, and RSS; An examination of why content produced and distributed with these methodologies is naturally interesting to users; A short tour of WordPress and Camtasia — two popular blog and screencasting tools.Here’s the links to the files from the session —
- PDF of Keynote Slides (PDF – 7 MB)
- Installing WordPress via DreamHost320×240 (YouTube Flash Video)
- Installing WordPress via DreamHost1024×768 (Quicktime – 370 MB)
- Installing WordPress via DreamHost320×240 (Quicktime – 73 MB)
- Intro to RSS Readers via Newgator1024×768 (Quicktime – 268 MB)
- Intro to Camtasia1024×768 (Quicktime – 63 MB)
Posted by bryanzug - 2006/09/06
Adobe Captivate 2 (aka RoboDemo 6 or 7 depending on how you count) was announced yesterday. Should ship in October. I’ve been a beta tester of it for the last few months though have not had much time to actively test it in daily production.
That said — this is definitely the most robust version of Captivate yet. Would recommend an upgrade for anyone using it regularly.
Notable new features include —
- Visual scenario branching
- Manage project interactions globally
- Flash Video
- Reusable content via project library
- Zoom in or gray out
- Custom skins and menus
- Custom scoring slides
- Better UI (yay layer locking!)
I think Captivate still stands up as the best mid-to-entry level tool for rapid development of interactive screen based demos/sims.
The downside to it’s model is that it is difficult to update/maintain/scale large projects over time because so many things are not editable. Things are, for the most part, cut-up screenshots with some interactivity overlayed for the single points of interactivity that are automatically captured.
Adding multiple points of interactivity involves manually creating a lot of interactions. While you can (and I have) do many amazing things by exporting to the Flash IDE as a FLA, it does require a lot of technical knowhow.
In my perfect world, Captivate 3 would be able to incorporate the object level richness that Knowledge Planet’s Firefly does.
I would love Captivate to be able to capture every object in the screen for each interaction in a way that is editable later (like change the text on a button) and that multiple interaction paths could be easily created by drawing relationships between screens and doing the required action.
Posted by bryanzug - 2006/09/05
I’m leading a discussion at the Seattle Podcasting Meetup tonight about podcasting inside the firewall. Will be remoting in via SightSpeed.
Here are some links I’ve jotted down for the session —
1) An introduction to informal learning by Marcia L. Conner
- Informal learning accounts for over 75% of the learning taking place in organizations today.
- In 1996, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that people learn 70% of what they know about their jobs informally.
2) Jay Cross’s Informal Learning Blog —
J.P. Rangaswami, former global CIO at investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort in London, (says, …) as I’ve been pointing out, “The graduates of tomorrow are more used to the tools I was looking at than the enterprise was. So training cost, which used to be a huge barrier to entry for the people who were weaned on the mother’s milk of Microsoft, just wasn’t there.”
Harvard B-School prof Andrew McAfee chimes in, “The opposite of an imposed structure is not chaos. With these tools, the opposite of an imposed structure is an emergent structure, one that forms over time based on the interactions of a lot of people.”
– – – – –
LMS create a walled garden in an era when walls are falling down. Why not use the real internet and real internet technology rather than some hokey oversimplification? Furthermore, how can you manage serendipitous learning that is inherently unmanageable?
3) Elliot Masie webinar on ‘Is Instructional Design Relevant to RSS, Mobile Learning, Blogs, PodCasts, Wikis and New Tech?’
- Masie says podcasts under 10 minutes offer a more optimized learning experience
- IIRC this references and example of McDonald’s documentation in Turkey done via a wiki.
4) Reflections on the difference of creators vs consumers Mythical Man Month by Frederick P. Brooks. An excerpt from From the anniversary edition, pages 7-8 —
Why is programming fun? What delights may its practitioner expect as his reward?
First is the sheer joy of making things. As the child delights in his mud pie, so the adult enjoys building things, especially things of his own design. I think this delight must be an image of God’s delight in making things, a delight shown in the distinctiveness of each leaf and each snowflake.
Second is the pleasure of making things that are useful to other people. Deep within, we want others to use our work and to find it helpful. In this respect the programming system is not essentially different from the child’s first clay pencil holder “for Daddy’s office.”
Third is the fascination of fashioning complex puzzle-like objects of interlocking moving parts and watching them work in subtle cycles, playing out the consequences of principles built in from the beginning. The programmed computer has all the fascination of the pinball machine or the jukebox mechanism, carried to the ultimate.
Fourth is the joy of always learning, which springs from the nonrepeating nature of the task. In one way or another the problem is ever new, and its solver learns something: sometimes practical, sometimes theoretical, and sometimes both.
Finally, there is the delight of working in such a tractable medium. The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. Few media of creation are so flexible, so easy to polish and rework, so readily capable of realizing grand conceptual structures. (As we shall see later, this tractability has its own problems.)
Yet the program construct, unlike the poet’s words, is real in the sense that it moves and works, producing visible outputs separately from the construct itself. It prints results, draws pictures, produces sounds, moves arms. The magic of myth and legend has come true in our time. One types the correct incantation on a keyboard, and a display screen comes to life, showing things that never were nor could be.
Programming then is fun because it gratifies creative longings built deep within us and delights sensibilities we have in common with all men.
5) Screencasting Tools —
- Camtasia –
- Captivate –
- Firefly –
- CamStudio (Open Source) –
- Snapz Pro (Mac) –
- Screen Mimic (Mac) –
Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/29
Found myself nodding with this lowlight observation ––
I’m guessing fewer sessions were recorded or taped this year. I don’t know why, but the vibe was much less about blogging, posting and publishing in real-time than last year. Maybe this is not a lowlight – not sure.
Seems to me that this is both a highlight and a lowlight. In one sense, people are more focused on engaging with the stuff around them –– the facilitator, the content, the people, the space.
That’s a big win in my book as the ‘must blog’ buzz is subsiding in favor of more human lids down engagement (laptops, not eyes).
On the other hand, having just done a full weekend of session video capture at BarCamp Vancouver, it’s a lowlight to me that so many great conversations that could have been captured and passed on just won’t.
In a sense, our ‘now’ orientation keeps us from seeing the connections that are waiting to happen outside of the room/people/time of a particular setting like this.
And yet, when things get captured decently, they have great potential to take on a kind of life of their own — making connections and sparking fires that we can’t see in the moment — kind of like good literature does over the ages.
Even capturing a session that is not hit-it-out-of-the-park-fantastic is fun for me because the presenter is always really grateful and will usually go back and see the things they did well and learn things they could do better next time.
All the stuff, those rhetoric classes were supposed to teach you, but, because you never saw the relevance, never did.
Anyway — the weekend was really useful to help me think through this participate/capture dichotomy — lots of ideas percolating on how to bridge the gap.
Can’t wait for Mind Camp 3.0 to try ‘em out.
Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/27
Here are the initial .mov videos I managed to capture from yesterday’s BarCamp Vancouver. Very pleased with the captures for the most part. Will detail the setup Roland and I used later in the week.
These are quicktime .mov files I shot straight to disk. Were were able to get our opensource flash video thing going on Saturday morning (and when I say we, I mean Ianiv). As I previously mentioned, we transcoded and posted Friday night’s introductions. Everything worked through transcoding via FFMPEG to storing in Amazon’s S3 (thanks to Jeff Barr for the help!).
As the morning rolled on Roland and I captured video and Ianiv continued tweaking the setup. Headache and sleep deprivation caused Ianiv to have to pack it in early, so we weren’t able to transcode more via that setup yesterday — am sure we’ll get it done later this week.
On the sessions I caught — all were great and some were fantastic — noted standouts —
- The Meme Epidemic (43 MB .mov)
Darren Barefoot – darrenbarefoot.com
Darren is a pro and this was one of the best sessions of the weekend. What is a meme, how do they start, what is intriguing about them. Lots of talk about real world examples and the tracking of what Darren termed the ‘Epidemiology of a Meme’ — e.g. how it spreads.
- Constructing Creativity (36.9 .mov)
Aaron Wheeler – fightinjoe.com
Aaron is a natural and as he gets into this presentation, he is very engaging. Does a good job of spurring us on to live creatively engaged lives. Note the great slide design.
- Ruby on Rails from the Rear (35 MB .mov)
Jeremy Hubert – Rain City Studios & Aaron Wheeler – fightinjoe.com
Jeremy and Aaron gave a great intro to Rails. Natural presenters who showed why Rails is taking off and not just O’Reilly hype. They had a great quote in their slides — “Learn Rails: You can be just like DHH, just not as sexy.”
Here’s the full list of the sessions I got.
Prediction Markets (53 MB .mov)
Sacha Peter – doubleblind.ca
This vid is only half the session and also has bad audio. When the session I was set to record didn’t make, I repositioned to record Sacha’s session and wasn’t able to mic him.
Ad Hacks (8 MB .mov)
James Sherrett – adhack.com
Only have the last few minutes of this one. I had a power problem and it looks like the majority of the session vid got corrupted (and no, I wasn’t shooting tape –– too many undigitized miniDV’s to count are baring me from bringing more into that God-forsaken world) –– bummer too, cause James’ session was great. he’s a fantastic facilitator.
- For those that are interested, the url for DateBocks is at:
- For more information on Getting Started with Ruby on Rails, checkout the SlideWheel at:
Andre Charland and Dave Johnson – Nitobi.com
** Was trying a different sound setup here. It got distorted so I switched back. Sound is a bit distorted in the beginning. Again a bummer, cause it was a good session.
Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/26
Here’s last night’s BarCamp Vancouver introductions — about 18 minutes total — all transcoded via an ffmpeg based utility that Ianiv rolled — everything is automatically transcoded and then uploaded to Amazon’s S3 — nice job!
Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/24
It’s time for us to come up with a vocabulary that’s not an obstacle to installing learning technology. Take the word blog. For some people, the word sets off alarm bells. They envision amateurs, threatening hackers, neo-nazis, the Drudge Report, people obsessed with kittens, semi-literates, unverifiable nonsense, spammers, porno freaks, political extremists, teen age confessionals, MySpace flirts, people who are out of control and lawsuits waiting to happen.
It’s enough to give disruptive technology a bad name.
So let’s not speak of blogs or slimeheads. Let’s talk about Project Logs. Or Collaborative Project Documentation. Or Knowledge Logs. Or professional journals.
<bagoftricks>Project log –– hmm, that could work.</bagoftricks>
Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/23
After a rousing start (which I wholeheartedly agree with) ––
I think that the Blackboard patent filing is a load of crap, based on significant prior art, but here is my understanding of this patent in relation to Elgg’s design.
He says ––
A reasonable person could not interpret the following 44 points as applying to the Elgg Learning Landscape. Elgg uses a completely different model than most online learning systems. It does not use content (e.g. course) as the basic building block, but rather the individual person.