Cerner 2006: Blogs & Screencasts in the Quest for Training Attention

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)



Adobe Captivate 2 Announced

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.

Silke Fleischer from Adobe has a good writeup here.

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.



FooBar Sessions as Literature

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/29

Berkun has a great writeup of his FooCamp experience from last weekend. Sounds like a great time.

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.



BarCamp Vancouver Intros via Opensource ‘YouTube’ esq solution

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!

Thanks all!



Blog or Project Log: Selling disruptive tools on the inside

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/24

Jay Cross has a great post this AM about the need to find compelling language that can drive experimentation and adoption of blog, podcast, and wiki types of tools inside of organizations ––

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>

 



Harold Jarche » Elgg and the LMS Patent

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/23

Harold Jarche posted a good analysis yesterday on why he thinks the Blackboard patent does not apply to the increasingly popular online learning tool Elgg.

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.



Teens self organize a learning experience in Second Life

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/09

Just heard about via the Second Life Education Mailing List –– teens have self organized a learning experience on creating awareness about Child Sex Trafficking. Happened in an area of second life called the Teen Grid.

Looks like they created a maze that users would move through, digest facts, answer questions in exchange for Second Life stuff, and were given the opportunity to donate Second Life dollars at the end.

Pretty inventive and striking in it’s informality and self organization.

Here’s some details from the Global Kids blog entry.

On the effectiveness of the design ––

The thing I found interesting about this was how, by trying to address teenagers from a route which many are more comfortable in, and spend quite a bit of time in, they’re also managing to educate them, quite willingly in most places. As I went round the maze I saw many people stopping at each of the case studies and fact cards and reading them.

On the self organizing nature of it ––

Also evident throughout second life are members educating themselves or each other. For example, a lot of items are created by the members, who have had to learn how to build them, then learn programming for more interactive elements. Many of the kids on Teen grid didn’t know how to programme when they first arrived, however, through tutorials and people willing to help each other, they have learnt enough to complete items they are building, or have learnt where to go to find out more so they can continue to educate themselves.

On the inventiveness of their methodology ––

Raising money was also another part of the event that seemed to be working quite well. It can often be hard to get teenagers to donate money, however, within the virtual world they were a lot more willing. The one donation box had raised about L$6500 within a few hours, which is about $22. Although it does not seem that much, If the same people had passed a donation box in the street for the same cause, would so much have been donated?

 



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.



Blackboard adopts a ‘Patent the Obvious and Sue’ Revenue Model

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/02

Seems that eLearning vendor Blackboard is the latest tech company to switch to a “patent the obvious and sue” revenue model.

According to this post by Harold Jarche they’ve ––

  1. Been granted a far-reaching patent for “Internet-based education support system and methods”
  2. Already filed a lawsuit against its main competitor Desire2Learn

My understanding at this point is that their patent covers all rudimentary LMS functionality and seems to overlap with a lot of standard content management system (CMS) functionality as well. (Excerpt from the patent is below –– text of full patent is available here).

For instance, seems the patent guarantees a lock on ––

  1. Role based user functionality that defines some users as “administrator”, some as “instructors”, and some as “students”. (Patent claim, point 1)
  2. Grouping content into “courses” (Patent claim, point 1)
  3. Creation and editing of content that can be grouped into courses (Patent claim, point 2)
  4. Role based access to said courses (Patent claim, point 1)

I could go on, but you probably get the gist –– friendster has patented friend relationships reflected in technology –– and now blackboard has patented teacher/student relationships reflected in technology.

Can we take a moment and acknowledge how immoral this kind of corporate action is? Especially at the heart of emerging educational systems?

The thing that kills me is that we have to use up valuable brain cycles to discuss/combat this kind of dumb patent (can you say $$ lost via time spent on dumb stuff?)

Even with prior art (which there is tons of), combating it in legal/political channels is very expensive with no guarantee of “equitableconclusion being reached (depending on what the definition of Tubes is, of course).

So many resources that would be better spent building cool stuff -– not very often that you see this kind of “cost” calculated into these sorts of “revenue models”.

From my perspective, any company that tries to do this “patent the obvious and sue” tactic deserves to be called to account by the blogosphere — we’ve got small voices, but when you add them together they can get pretty loud.

––

From the patent ––

  1. A course-based system for providing to an educational community of users access to a plurality of online courses, comprising: a) a plurality of user computers, with each user computer being associated with a user of the system and with each user being capable of having predefined characteristics indicative of multiple predetermined roles in the system, each role providing a level of access to a plurality of data files associated with a particular course and a level of control over the data files associated with the course with the multiple predetermined user roles comprising at least two user’s predetermined roles selected from the group consisting of a student role in one or more course associated with a student user, an instructor role in one or more courses associated with an instructor user and an administrator role associated with an administrator user, and b) a server computer in communication with each of the user computers over a network, the server computer comprising: means for storing a plurality of data files associated with a course, means for assigning a level of access to and control of each data file based on a user of the system’s predetermined role in a course; means for determining whether access to a data file associated with the course is authorized; means for allowing access to and control of the data file associated with the course if authorization is granted based on the access level of the user of the system.


Shall We Roll Our Own YouTube for BarCamp Vancouver?

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/07/28

UPDATE: We’re starting a planning discussion of this via the comments below. You can track it via this RSS Feed for this post.

Was chatting yesterday with Roland Tanglao of Bryght. He’s one of the organisers of BarCamp Vancouver. Talked about me going up there to work on a video web cast of the event.

After the initial live video feed idea (which is cool in itself — there may be an internet 2 feed we can access), things got very interesting.

I pointed to this ‘roll your own open source YouTube’ post from Flash Insider (a summary of this original concept from Daniel’s Random Mutterings).

“Why don’t we roll our own YouTube” says I… “That would get the geeks excited!”

Wheels turn — “What about storage costs?”

S3” we nearly chattered simultaneously (Amazon is looking cool to devs these days).

So now Roland and I are hot on the idea — what about you?

Calling geeks (esp. Amazon’s Jeff Barr), can you help us make this happen? What a viral proof of concept that would be, eh?



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