Article: ‘e-learning 2.0 – How Web technologies are shaping education’

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/09

Great article this AM from the folks over at Read/Write Web on emerging Web 2.0 (yeah, I know, but we gotta call it something) trends in eLearning.

Article is titled ‘e-learning 2.0 – how Web technologies are shaping education’. Here’s an excerpt –– 

The traditional approach to e-learning has been to employ the use of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), software that is often cumbersome and expensive – and which tends to be structured around courses, timetables, and testing. That is an approach that is too often driven by the needs of the institution rather than the individual learner.

In contrast, e-learning 2.0 (as coined by Stephen Downes) takes a ‘small pieces, loosely joined’ approach that combines the use of discrete but complementary tools and web services – such as blogs, wikis, and other social software – to support the creation of ad-hoc learning communities.

This is the heart of what I will be going into detail on in ‘Blogs and Screencasts in the Quest for Training Attention’ for my Cerner Health Conference 2006 presentation in Orlando this October.

Interviewed on blogs and podcasting in the corporate environment

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/06/14

Caught up with Stuart Maxwell of the Seattle Podcasting Network (SPN) a few weeks ago at the Seattle TechCrunch party.

We talked about the challenges of using blogs, podcasting and new media tools in the corporate environment — great chat.

I cover some of the ins and outs of spreading the vision for these types of projects in healthcare (and other non-tech-industry) organizations (like the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford where I currently work).

Stuart recorded our conversation and has posted it to the as ‘SPN Podcast – TechCrunch Party Interviews: Part Two’.

Part 1 is also available from the SPN site.

Seattle Mind Camp 1.0 highlights

Posted by bryanzug - 2005/11/07

Went to Seattle Mind Camp this Weekend and it was a blast. Cannot recall a time where I’ve had 24 hours of such great discussions.

Got to talk with so many interesting people who provoked me with cool ideas — Even now I’m having a hard time slowing my brain down (woke up at 3 this AM with my usual insomnia — only this time I had at least three viable business / project ideas the minute I opened my eyes — is that a good thing?)

Here’s some of my big highlights in chron order —

Highlight 1: The Saturday morning session by Julie Leung called “Making Masks: Blogging as Social Tool and Family Lifestyle” was stunning.

She read an essay set to pictures on how blogging has changed and challenged her as a woman, wife, mother, sister.

It was exciting to be at a stereotypically geek event and be provoked by such a thoughtful intelligent display of femininity — I thanked her afterward for a session that my blogging wife would have thoroughly enjoyed (somehow I imagine that my wife’s newfound affinity for Maryam Scoble is just the beginning of us discovering some very cool feminine blog voices).

Julie’s presentation gave me so much hope to see that geek slumber parties like this really do have the potential to be more balanced and diverse instead of stereotypical (and yes John — I’m with Liz and Tara — the quote could have been contextualized much better).

Highlight 2: Got to talk for 30 minutes with Scoble and Bill McCoy (Adobe’s director of Product Management) about the state of web development, Microsoft, Macromedia, Adobe, Google, and husband vs wife debates on wood stoves vs. plasma TV’s — quite a bit of fun — tried hard not too come off as too much of a fanboy.

Then, this AM, I opened up Todd Bishop’s Seattle PI post on “Notes from Mind Camp” and found this photo of the conversation (picture 7 in the photo gallery that accompanies the post — I’m the geek in the yellow shirt). All I could think yesterday was — it would’ve been cool to have some shots of the impromptu moments that happened, then, blam, there one emerges.

Talking with Scoble and Adobe's Bill McCoy at Mind Camp 1.0

Coolest takeaway here, aside from the geek discussion, was that Scoble really is as approachable and good willed as rumor has it — glad he is influencing the industry (and culture at large) in that direction on so many fronts.

Highlight 3: About 15 or so folks (including 1 woman — which I count a diversity victory) hung out for the discussion I led on “Neo vs. Samwise in a fight? And what does this have to do with the attention economy?”

Conversation was really great and hit me with things I hadn’t thought of before.

My friend Mike Wilkerson took notes on a tablet PC that we projected live as we talked. I will do more of a write up on this later and post a PDF and HTML file of the notes. Hope to one day write a book with this as a chapter (Tim O’Reilly — get in touch with me if you are interested in new kinds of offerings — seriously).

My session from Mind Camp is the 4th one down under the 5-6 PM timeslot

Picture of the session description from the Mind Camp schedule was also in the Todd Bishop’s Seattle PI photo gallery. In photo 3, my session is the 4th one down under the 5-6 PM timeslot.

Highlight 4: Got to meet Buzz Bruggeman of Activewords.

Wilkerson and I pulled him into our orbit during Saturday night’s dinner to get the direct buzz on his product — we ended up talking for about an hour about everything from that to how a lot of people want Jesus to save them from his followers.

(Wilkerson has the blue crayola diagram of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem that Buzz drew — it was one of the coolest conversations I’ve had in a long time — and Mind Camp was one of those extremely rare eclectic mashups where it somehow did not seem out of the ordinary)

Highlight 5: Shelly Farnham presented on the use of a peer to peer filesharing technology called Groove during the response to hurricane Katrina.

Very interesting conversation. Nancy White had lot of other experiences she shared from an international perspective on use of technology in relief work.

This one went late (1:15 AM according to Nancy) and at midnight I had to excuse myself to get some sleep.

Highlight 6: I got up at 5 AM and loaded a bunch of the sound equipment that had been donated for use on Saturday. We didn’t publicize it too much, but all of the PA gear used at Mind Camp was donated by two Seattle churches — Mars Hill in downtown Ballard (where Wilkerson is a pastor) and Harambee in downtown Renton (where I am a volunteer marketplace pastor).

That’s very cool to me.

I really identify with that “Jesus save us from your followers” sentiment most of the time. When I heard that Mind Camp needed a PA system, it was a blast to jump in and “bless the geeks” — no matter their race, creed, culture, politics, sexual orientation.

It’s quite a kick to see what everyone at the event is doing and to bless it with no strings attached — it’s a bit of a cultural disruption, if you ask me — a sort of culture hack — I like it — I like it a lot.

Highlight 7: After returning the sound gear, I continued a conversation thread with Justin Martenstein (whose wife is an RN) that had started the night before about our shared passion of using technology to solve real world problems.

We talked a lot about Berkun’s people centric pragmatic approach to tech projects in “The Art of Project Management” and I gave him a copy of “Why software sucks (and what to do about it)” that I happened to have with me.

I love spreading Scott’s work around — he and I had a chance to catch up a few times on Saturday but I missed his sessions (because I was talking with the folks from Highlight 2 above — oh that there were more hours in the day). Hoping to hear about his takeaways from the event soon.

Highlight 8: As Justin and I rambled on to other topics, I mentioned a story from a book a friend of mine named Don Miller wrote called Blue Like Jazz (man I wish I hadn’t been too busy to do the cover design on that book!).

Ted Leung (husband of Julie from Highlight 1 above and XML programming afficonado) was nearby and it turned out he had read the book and was intrigued by what we were talking about.

Was a great discussion that again had me thinking of those Inkling conversations that Tolkien, Lewis, etc. had so many years ago. Looking forward to more of that sometime soon.

Highlight 9: As Wilkerson and I left, we thanked Andru Edwards who spearheaded the event with the help of family and friends. Noted to him our sincere thanks for putting the whole thing together and that we are both ready to help with Mind Camp 2.0 in any way we can.

Tutorials overlaid onto live software applications??

Posted by bryanzug - 2005/10/17

I am back from presenting at the Cerner Healthcare Conference in Florida (hello humidity!). Got an interesting question from the lively Q&A following my panel presentation.

A clinical applications analyst (who is an RN) asked if any of us knew of eLearning systems that overlaid help or tutorials onto live software applications.

While I knew I had looked at one about a year ago, I could not recall the name of the product or vendor at the time of the session. Did a Google desktop search this AM and found it (that application is significantly increasing my daily productivity for finding info I know is somewhere on my machine, but is at the blurry edges of my recall)

Was thinking of the Epiplex (unfortunate name, I know — gives a connotation of perplexing epilepsy, which I, for one, do not associate with positive software system training experiences).

Had first heard of it mentioned in an article titled “Simulation-based Application Training: A Case Study” from Bersin & Associates December 2004 “What Works in E-Learning” newsletter.

Sounded like an intriguing concept and since Bersin seems like a pretty credible eLearning consulting organization, I scheduled a demo. Here’s the details of what I learned.

Epiplex is a product of a company called Epiance. It’s got a feature called ‘Desktop Assistant’ that is described on their website via the following —

Delivers Cue Cards, onscreen support for complex tasks and processes that guide the user through the application, encouraging and enforcing best practices.

If anyone knows of other products/vendors offering this kind of approach, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear about them.

Cerner Health Conference 2005 Presentation

Posted by bryanzug - 2005/10/11

As promised, here are the files from my panel presentation “Web-Based Training: Effective & Affordable Solutions” from the Cerner Health Conference in Orlando on October 10, 2005.

The PowerPoint File:

The Flash .exe file demoing the Children’s CIS WBT structure and interaction model. (Intended for 1024×768 screen resolution):

ASTD Techknowledge 2005 Presentation: Streamlining WBT Development with Macromedia Captivate and Flash

Posted by bryanzug - 2005/09/20

Here’s the .pdf handout to the ASTD Techknowledge presentation I gave in Las Vegas in February 2005 with my eLearning partner in crime, Karen Hofmann (every good eLearning technical developer needs a really great subject matter expert — and Karen is the Bees Knees).

It’s a case study of the first phase of development of our web based training (WBT) system using Macromedia’s Captivate and Flash toolset. Description from the session is below (along with a link to the ASTD file). Enjoy!

Streamlining WBT Development with Macromedia Captivate and Macromedia Flash at Children’s Hospital Seattle Presented by: Karen Hofmann, Bryan Zug, Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center In this session, participants will explore the use of Captivate and Flash in streamlining software training WBT development. Participants will examine successes and lessons learned by the presenters who are internal content experts and WBT developers at Children’s Hospital Seattle. The session will include a short introduction to Captivate, demonstrations of Captivate to Flash functionality, a look at Children’s WBT development Flash templates, and an overview of the WBT development lifecycle. Learning Objectives:
  • Apply the key strengths and weaknesses of Captivate and Flash in the full WBT development lifecycle.
  • Use Captivate to support streamlined project deliverable timelines by reducing Flash developer resources required for course production of enterprise-wide WBTs.
  • Enable novice, non-technical content experts to efficiently produce technical training content for your own learning audiences.

Sys-Con MX Developer’s Journal Article: Between a Rock and a Soft(ware) Place

Posted by bryanzug - 2005/09/20

Here’s a .pdf of the article I wrote for the March 2005 Edition of MX Developer’s Journal (a Sys-Con publications). It’s called “Between a Rock and a Soft(ware) Place: Streamlining Web-based training development with Captivate & Flash” and is the story from a technical web developer’s perspective.

MXDJ editor, Charles Brown, had some nice things to say about our work in the introduction to the issue, so I’ve included that in the .pdf as well.

I do have to say that I love the fact that they used the exact line I hoped they would use for one of the pullout quotes. It’s one of those that, as I wrote it, I thought to myself, that’ll make a nice pullout quote.

It reads —

When incorrect use of a system can kill people, you tend to be very serious about certifying that everyone using it has demonstrated correct completion of the system tasks that are a part of their job
That is so cool.

The MXDJ version of the article can be found at —